Getting from a place to the other in Indonesia is not difficult as you think. In major cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, Medan, Bali and Surabaya, transporting to different local places is easy. There are various local transports you can use with reasonable price. While there might be various local transports in a big city, you might face difficult situation to find local transports in smaller regions. It sometimes depends on time, for example, in another region such as Sukabumi in West Java, you’d find it relatively difficult to find local transports on the go at night. And in big cities such as Jakarta, you’ll find it quite difficult just to ride a bus around after hours because you have to do the hunt with the other passengers. Well since there are various local transports to use, you should not be afraid to getting around while travelling in Indonesia. You’ll get fun to and it can help you in minimizing your travelling cost, especially if you travel on a budget. Let’s narrow it all:
Indonesia mostly consists of islands, and for most, travelling by airplane is the most effective way to explore from one island to another. It’s faster and affordable. Domestic airplane company such as Garuda Indonesia, run by the state itself, is often the most reliable airline in Indonesia. Not only for its punctual habit because of very tight flight schedule, but it also offers range variety of facilities which ensure the security and convenience of its passengers. In addition to Garuda Indonesia, there are several more airlines which serve domestic flights such as AirAsia, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, even Susi Air serves flight to smaller provinces or remote areas. If you intend to explore some major islands around Indonesia, airplane will always be the best choice comparing to other types of transports such as ferries or bus.
Depending on which area you want to visit, ferry or ship can be much more efficient than airplane. It normally costs cheaper than airplane, and tickets are almost available anytime. If you’re looking to visit nearby islands, for example, from Bali to Lombok or Nusa Penida, ferry might be your better choice among all the available transports. It’s much cheaper, reliable, and of course fun because you can enjoy admiring the seas and beautiful sceneries around along the way.
Train is a very popular local transport here in Indonesia, especially in Java. People, rather than using bus, prefer to use train because it’s much more comfortable and secure than bus. It’s also faster and affordable. If you’re going to visit Surabaya (Central Java) from another city in the same island, say you’re coming from Bandung (West Java), then train will be your best choice.
Taxi is one of major local transports, but not everyone in Indonesia likes taxi to getting around. Despite of not being a favorite local transport, taxi is always very helpful in most case, especially for tourist. Many kind of local transports are available to use, but some of them are not covering the whole area of a region. So if taxi is available around you, take it and ask the driver to take you to the destination you have in your map that is not covered by other local transports. But beware, only use official taxis to avoid getting ripped off. You’ll save much of your budget. Some of official taxis are Blue Bird, Silver Bird, Gemah Ripah, etc. There are wide range of varieties when it comes to taxi, which one to choose from must be your priority concern if you have moved to another area, because each city or area has different providers. But always be sure to choose the official ones, browse them on the net!
Angkot (abbv: “Angkutan Kota”, City Mini-Bus) is the most favorite local transport in every area. Available anytime, cheaper, easier, and can be found anywhere. In Medan City, North Sumatra, most angkot drivers are considered as F1 Racers, and in most cases especially if you’re in a hurry, will help to make everything faster than usual. Angkot costs you much cheaper than regular taxi, so if you want to go to another destination nearby your hotel, say to local restaurant or arts store, angkot will be a help because you can cut much of your travelling budget. You can take angkot almost anywhere in every region, anywhere in the whole city, and have it take you loose you at anywhere on the street along its route. Just be careful with local pickpockets.
Other Favorite Local Transports You Should Use Including:
- Bus (available in the whole country, has different types, and affordable for most).
- Becak (similar to a cart, driven manually using pedals. All you have to do are sit tight and enjoy the local sceneries around).
- Delman (similar to becak, but the driver rides a horse which pulls the cart. Traditionally made and has a very different sensation in any cities).
- Odong-Odong (normally used at tourism sites to explore its attractions).