Getting Around Indonesia

Ready packing your stuff to go to Indonesia? Before you start exploring, there is no harm to gain more information about how to commute in this country. As an archipelago country, Indonesia offers a variety of ways to get around. With a little curiosity and planning, you can usually go anywhere easily and comfortably. Below is a list of recommended options for getting around Indonesia.

Air Transportation

Flights in Indonesia

Traveling by air is the quickest and most convenient way of getting around Indonesia. Flights are relatively inexpensive, as many domestic carriers are accessible. From an array of local airlines, Garuda Indonesia is the best option to feel the full-service experience to go to major destinations across the archipelago. While its subsidiary, Citilink, is a low-cost carrier for more budget-friendly trips. Other domestic airlines also offer flying services throughout Indonesia, such as AirAsia, Batik Air, just to name a few. You can buy ticket via travel agencies, booking apps, and travel websites.

Airport Accessibility

Most airport in Indonesia has a taxi pool, so you can easily hop on to the taxi without booking beforehand. In some airports, you might need to buy a taxi ticket beforehand. While the taxi fare might be expensive, taxi is one of the most reliable transportation options in Indonesia.

Or, you can also order a ride through ride-hailing apps, which are available in large cities such as Jakarta and Bali. Gojek is the most popular ride-hailing app in Indonesia, while Grab is second. To use the app, you will need to set up an account and have internet access in your cell phone, either by turning on roaming access, buying a local number, or relying on Wi-Fi hotspot.

In addition to taxi and ride-hailing apps, in some cities you can also use airport train and bus. For example, in Jakarta, you can use Railink train service or Damri bus. The availability of buses and trains might be limited depending on your arrival time, so you might want to check the schedule before deciding to use train or bus.

You might also want to check your hotel if they offer shuttle service from and to the airport. A lot of 3-stars and better hotels offer shuttle service, either free or with a small fee. Depending on your destination, hotel shuttle service might be your best transportation option.

Ground Transportation

By Bus

Within the city, bus is the easiest way to reach your destinations. In Jakarta, an integrated bus system known as Transjakarta is ready to take you to every part of the capital. In addition, the Jakarta tour bus offers you facility to many common tourist destinations like Monumen Nasional, Kota Tua, Istiqlal Mosque, Cathedral Church, and more. Other ways, many local buses with a variety of routes are also available. However, you are best advised to check the route via GPS or map prior to taking this type of transportation. Since Indonesia is not an English-speaking country, bus staffs may have difficulty to communicate with you and language barrier is likely to occur.

By Train

Many big cities in Indonesia are well facilitated by the train system. If you aim to go within Java island, long-distance train is indeed the right choice. In Jakarta, three types of train systems are available, Commuter Line, MRT, and LRT. Commuter Line serves various routes from Jakarta to satellite cities (Bogor, Bekasi and Tangerang). MRT and LRT are new options for public transportation. Those use electronic ticketing system using card with progressive fare. You can use single-use card via offline ticket counter or card issued by local banks (BCA Flazz, E-Money, Brizzi, Tap Cash) to get access to use these transportations.

By Online Transportation

In Indonesia, Gojek and Grab dominate online transportation market. Aside from their flexible arrangement of route, fixated fare, and simple booking, those offer more facilities as they give the option of electronic payment through Gopay for Gojek and OVO for Grab.

By Local Transportation

Auto rickshaws, known as Bajaj or the Indonesian version of Thai Tuktuk, is local public transportation that is suitable for up to two or three passengers. This three-wheeled vehicle operates in certain areas regulated by local government. Another local transportation worth trying is Becak, cycle-rickshaw. You won’t this traditional pedal-powered bike in big cities like Jakarta, but it is still commonly found in more rural areas.

Using Mobile Apps

Google Maps definitely is a must for your adventurous trip, a portable guide that will lead you to some hidden gems. For your smooth trip, also install online transportation apps like Gojek and Grab. To put the cherry on top, download booking apps like Traveloka and Booking.com as this app offer hotels, airplanes, many attraction tickets with competitive price.

Essential Apps

Local Tour

For the best experience exploring Indonesia, ask your hotel’s receptionist to check whether local tour is available. Sometimes, they have recommended local tour that could accommodate your needs.

Rental & Parking

Aside from the aforementioned public transportations, car rent is also available for travelling in Indonesia. Naturally, renting a car is the best option for travelers to enable exploring regions with no restriction of route so you can park anywhere, anytime.

However, it is not a common to rent a car for foreign travelers as the route and parking are too tricky if you are a first timer or have not got used to route situation in some part of Indonesia.

Crossing the Street

While the pedestrian bridge and zebra cross are commonly found in Indonesia, you should also learn some hand signals specifically for crossing the street. In case you can’t spot any connecting facilities around, be sure that the traffic is not crowded. Next, hold up a hand to request or indicate that the cars and bikes need to stop. It should be noted that some places do not allow this kind of crossing. So, it is recommended to check how the locals do before you act.

Safety

Even though Indonesia is a relatively safe country for tourists, watch out for your belongings. Thefts are sometimes found at public transportation, although local law enforcement constantly has put many efforts to eradicate this issue. For prevention, wear clothes modestly by not revealing too many pieces of jewelry. Don’t show off valuable belongings like gadgets, wallet, purse, and luxury watch too often in public eyes.

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