Route advice for Indonesia/Malaysia
After more than two years on the road, we are preparing for the south-east-asien leg of our around the world motorcycle trip.
Mid October we´ll ship our bikes from Darwin (Australia) to Dili (Timor Leste).
I ask your advice regarding the route through Indonesia and Malaysia.
We consider two ways.
I roughly indicated them on the following map. They just shall show you, which island we consider to include. They don´t show the exact route.
red route: East Timor (Timor Leste) – West Timor (Indonesia) – Flores (Indonesia) - Sulawesi (Indonesia) – Borneo (Indonesien/Malaysia/Brunai) – West Malaysia – Thailand...
blue route: East Timor (Timor Leste) – West Timor (Indonesia) – Flores (Indonesia) – Lombok (Indonesia) Java (Indonesia) – Sumatra (Indonesia) – West Malaysia – Thailand...
From my understanding the red route is the more commen for motorcycle travellers and might be easier in regards of ferries. But the red route looks more interesting to me.
There are three aspects for comparing those routes:
Which route would you recommend in regard of those three aspects?
How about ferries for the blue route? I found the pelni internetpage for ferrys in Indonesia, but it´s far from beeing perfect. Where can I find out, which ferries take motorcycles on board?
Where can I get information about a ferry from
a) Borneo (MAL) to West-Malaysia
b) Sumatra to West-Malaysia?
How about the climate?
I allready did some research, but I would like to hear your personal opinine/experience.
Our travel time is: As I said, we´ll arrive in East Timor around mid October. Might be end of October or early November, until we get to Flores. We plan two to three month for Indonesia and Malaysia, which means we are there in November, December and maybe January.
Thanks in advance for your advice!
I believe someone here have done the blue route. Bigfella, i think. As for ferries, just go to the harbour and ask around. i done a crossing recently from java to bali and back. Ferries depart 24hrs and very often from ketapang to gilimanuk. Takes around 1hr. From bali to lombok took 6 hrs to cross. You can see in google maps for the exact harbour.
contact me if you go near jakarta.:freaky
I have found Lonely Planet '' Thorn Tree Forum '' a very good place to get info in Asia , especially ferry info . I use i a lot .
Even under that aspect you would recommend it?
Thorn Tree Forum
Good day Panny,
I have been doing research for myself for Indonesia touring, so this is what I have gather.
For more information, you can check at this website
The blue route is more common among fellow ADVriders. I just got back from a week family holiday in Bali cum research :clap... Don't tell my wife..
From the locals I spoke with the ferries operate for car and bikes
Bali(Gilimanuk) - Java(Ketapang)
from Sumatra you can take the 'Onion' boat, I do not personally what the hell that is!! from Port Dumai to Port Klang in Malaysia(not recommended) or Port Belawan to Penang(recommended)
From Malaysia you can continue all the way around asia on roads.
If you decide to take the red route, you need to get to Serawak or Sabah(malaysia). There you will have option to ship or fly your bike to West Malaysia.
to fly your bike contact this guy, from malaysia airline, MasKargo
Mr Alwee B Mohd Razali
I do not have information to ship your bike..sorry
Anyway if you decide to drop by Singapore, do drop me an email..
I also will be on the road in early dec(car/family) Chiang Mai,Thailand:(:
and mid Feb(bike/solo):ricky:happayThailand and Laos hopefully...
Would love to heard your RTW trips and advice... And beer is on me...:freaky
All the best on your journey and ride safe..
thanks for the helpful info!
Do you know if there´s a (car/bike) ferry from Singpore to East Malaysia (Borneo) or Brunai or Indonesien part of Borneo?
Greetings from "the top end" australia - meanwhile I know, why they call it "top end": prices in Darwin are top end of the scale!
sadly there is no ferry services from Singapore to East Malaysia.
And do not ship your bike to Singapore... The paperwork and payments itself will kill your trip.
If you plan to go via the red route you got to PM these riders. They are advriders in East Malaysia, Burung and Aki
Anyway as you might know its not worth the hassle to ride in Singapore unless you love to be stuck in traffic, see concrete buildings, casinos, shopping malls and stuff like that.
The only thing I can think off that Singapore can offer are that you can top up your perishable items for yourself and your bikes...
such as tubes, brake pads, bearings, tyres, gloves,chains, sprockets, helmets and stuff like that. Pls know that as you go further up north some items are hard to come by. dirt bikes items are easy to get. 520 chains, 21' tyres and 18' tyres are ok. 19' or 17' are difficult but not impossible.
wishing you all the best for your trip...:clap
I check with my riding buddies who services their bike with bike shop.
We have a quite a number of bike shop in singapore.
Anyway for myself i always bring parts during my touring and if shit happens
I will find any bike/car shop and borrow their tools and repair myself.
There is a lot of bike/car shops in South east asia. Even a small kid in villages can change a puncture tube better than me. In asia kids rides as early as 12 yrs old..:eek1
If we talk about riding, there is a lot to see, from mountains to beaches, from villages to jungles. If it is about beach, during your trip in Sumbawa islands, you'll ride along the beaches, then forest, then small towns, then beaches again.
I believe the red one is also interesting, but it is either huge highlands or lands.
Edit: All ferries take motorcycles on board, but you can also use cargo ships or fisherman's if you run out one around East Nusa Tenggara. Ask the people at the port where you can get one.
There will be lots of Calo. Those pandering pimps will try to sell you tickets higher than officials, knowing that you guys are not locals.
Also, for motorcycle riders or car drivers, you only need to pay for your ride. Not you or your mate.
Here is a map of ferries, from my own experience. I ride motorcycle below 500cc, well 97.2cc exactly. If you ride a beast bigger than that, just triple the amounts, and that is the maximum price.
Flores (Kupang) to West Flores (Ende)
Random at best. Wish you a lot of lucks. :deal:D
Ask the people at the town you aim to leave from and ask at the port there and even then make sure you check regularly before the boat leaves or you'll miss it and wait for another days to come.
Edit: Asked a friend from Maumere last day. He said that there is a ferry every Monday at 7 from Ende port to Kupang. There is also two ASDP ferries from Larantuka to Kupang on Monday and Friday at 2 PM. You and your beasts can "ride" them back to Ende from Kupang. If there is bad weather, they may not come, which means that you'll wait for another week. Or if they reach Kupang and then the weather going bad, they'll wait another day to sail back.
Flores (Labuhan Bajo) - Sumbawa (Sape)
This one is a tricky, there is only one ferry a day, and despite it's long hours, there is more to see if you like sight seeing. Lots of island to see. But one thing, you can't get to Komodo island from this ferry. If you wan't to go there, It is either from Labuhan Bajo, or Sape, using small boats.
Sumbawa (Poto Tano) - Lombok (Kayangan)
Take it noon, around the time when sunset occurs when you sail. It is around 5PM, more or less. The ray of light of the setting sun from mount rinjani or the moon rise from Sumbawa is something that you should see. :)
Lombok (Lembar) - Bali (Padangbai)
Night would be good. Around 6PM but before 12PM are the times where the sea is calm, and the lights from both islands are quite a sight.
Bali (Gilimanuk) - Java (Ketapang)
Anytime would be good. Nothing to see.
Java (Merak) - Sumatra (Bakauheni)
Reach it night. You'll know why when you get there. :P
Edit: From your website, I read that you two ride Transalp XL700V and that means it is 680cc, and two of them. That would cost a lot for each ports.
Here is a the latest official prices for every ports in Indonesia:
Also, the Transalp use high octane fuel, and it is rarely found outside Java and Bali. There are four types of fuels you can find here in Indonesia, Pertamax, Pertamax plus, Solar, and Premium. The first and the second ones, Pertamax (92) and Pertamax plus (95) are the scarce one. As scarce as there is no single gasoline pumps in Sumbawa island that sell Pertamax. Premium is 88, while you can skip Solar since it is meant for diesel engines. Because your Transalp need at least 91 you need to buy a lot of Octan-Booster if you use Premium. One of the well known brand in Indonesia is Hi-Octan Level 3. 1ml of Hi-Octan Level 3 will turn 1lt of Premium into Pertamax and so on.
As from Sumatra to West-Malaysia, The main port is Dumai in Riau to Port Klang, Port Dickson and Malacca in Malaysia, as well as to the Indonesian island of Batam near Singapore. Only Dumai has Visa-on-Arrival facility
Do not except that Pelni's (Indonesia's official ship and sail ministry) web site do any good. It downs every time you need it.
It is warm at night, but a lot of mosquito swarm hunting bloods in packs if you sleeping outside... AND EVEN INSIDE!
Get some mosquito repelling lotion. Some brands are: Autan, Lavenda.
I live in Sumbawa island, Dompu Regency, Dompu town. It is 4-5 hours from Sape and everybody always pass this place if they want to go to Sumbawa Besar. I can show you around if you like, the inns are cheap, around 15-20 USD a day with air conditioning, and do not worry, I am not CALO. :lol3
I also run a small community radio station and there is where I sleep if not in my office. If you guys don't mind sleeping in a small room, without bed, floor it is, with me, you guys are more than welcome. :D
Oh, and it is a bit early for me to say this, but welcome to Indonesia! :kumbaya:drums:thumb
thanks a lot for your excellent and extensive advice!
We just went through it in detail. Very helpful.
Good explanation of "Calo" - we immediately understood it.
I´m not too worried about the fuel quality. Honda recomends 91 octan, but the our Transalps have taken MUCH poorer fuel in Bolivia, Venezuela and other countries. Maybe 70 octan, lots of water and dirt + more then 10% of alcohol. No problem for these "donkeys". They run with everything. So Premium should be okay - especially if it is only for a limited period.
Thanks for the invitation. We would love to accept it. Besides: sleeping on the floor is exactly what we do all the time! We are low budget travellers and have a rather simple live style. Haven´t had a hotel room for more than half a year now.
Looking forward to meeting you!
We´ll contact you, as soon as we are closer!
Since you guys'll ride along East Nusa Tenggara soon, here is a map. Click to enlarge.
You may go to Kelimutu for hiking, but make it early in the morning, since around noon it'll be likely raining in this season, and well, sunrise there is a must. Mornings are cold and windy on the summit but as the day heats up later in the afternoon you'll find it will strikingly hot, and there is no shades at the summits, so, caps will come in handy. It is easy to hike, since the trails are well marked. It is a national park, so, you'll need to pay a small amount of fee at the entrance, and that's it. People might say that there is an unofficial trail that traverses the rim of the lakes but it is really dangerous if you are not a mountaineer. Oh, and bring your own foods and drinks. There are vendors there, but prices are damn high.
After you reach Ende, take the north route to Riung. There lies Riung 17 Islands Marine Park and if you are lucky, you may see that legendary last Dinosaur walking on earth there without the need to go to Rinca or Komodo islands. That is because the ferry at Labuhan Bajo only drops off passenger once or twice every week, and since the islands have no ports, they'll load you into small boat and that means, there goes your motorcycle. :rofl
From Riung, you may go to Reo, then turn south to Ruteng. From Reo to Ruteng, there is a small village named Ru’ah. Ask people there which way to go to Liang Bua. It is a cave where Homo floresiensis, Tolkien's Hobbits ( :lol3 ), lived.
Then, after reaching Ruteng, you may visit Compang Ruteng, a traditional village, where, in my opinion, is the best place nearby for a sip of coffee.
Or you may visit Cancar, there, you can find rice paddy fields shaped like spider's nest named Lingko. Or you can just skip to labuhan Bajo instead.
Now this route, Northern coastal Road, is the road with pure bike adventure. It takes days with my bike, but I was enjoying it. Dirt roads and sands are common, but I can guarantee, the views are definitely better than the south route, the Trans Flores highway.
There, Premiums are Rp.4.500/litre at the pertamina's gas stations, which is flat rate through the country, and people also sell them in bottles which ranges from Rp.5000-Rp.15000. Always full your tank whenever you find gas stations so you can save for Tuak. The local booze.
Edit: Please see the section above about the ferry from Kupang to Ende (my previous post). I've added another info.
I liked especially the advice about Tuak:freaky
Greetings fro Dili (Timor-Leste)
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