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 (attached at the end of the post). 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:
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 for 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!
But anyway, from East Timor, crossing to Indonesian West Timor, and then island-hopping west all the way to Sumatra, and then shipping your bike from Belawan to Penang is the most common route. I went the other way in Feb-2008 (but I was there right at the time, when there was a coup attempt in East Timor, so I had to skip it, and decided to airfreight from Bali to Perth). Lately there´s been a lot of confusion about whether or not Cakra Shipping is still operating that route (Penang-Belawan). Note, that it´s not a ferry, it´s a small cargo boat, and you cannot go along with it.
And thru Sulawesi & Borneo, some have done it, but I assume it is BY FAR more adventurous, and time-consuming. For one thing, most of the traffic in Kalimantan is by river boats. The roads... well, not sure I would want to even try them in the rainy season! And it´s not like there´s any shortage of adventure, wonderful places, and things to see & do on that ´more used´ route, either.
I think there will be ferries going from Nusa Tenggara or Java to Sulawesi, and from there to Borneo, the trick could be to get the bike to come with you (officially Pelni doesn´t transport bikes – I haven´t tried, so I don´t know what the final word is on that!).. But from Borneo, I don´t think there will be any ferries to Western Malaysia, so you´d probably need to freight the bike.
Accurate info about Indonesian ferries was very hard to get during the time of my trip (Pelni´s webpages were last updated like 4 years ago!!) But generally, on the route from East Timor to Sumatra, there are regular ferries, and for some strange reason, transporting the bike on them seems to be no problem.
(Do note, that this may not be 100% up-to-date anymore)
Hi i'm rob..
ok now let me share about what i knew considering those routes,
first the red route, it is the most common route either for international travellers or local. both routes has a wonderfull scenic but you will found a much better road condition on the red one. i dont know about the distance between the two routes, the red seems a bit far from the blue, but with a better road condition you will manage just fine. assistance from local is much more easier to get if only you may need one.
while the blue route..well blue route is mostly the opposite from the red route and if you love challenges, just give it a go.. :)
Your advice is exactly the opposite of what I would have expected. From my understanding the BLUE route is the more commen and the red one is more challenging.
Hahahaha...you got me.. doh
my mistake.. sorry sir..
just put it the other way, that should do.. :mchappy:
hope it help though... bier
Darwin to Dili shipping Perkins
Sorry this isn,t Route advice.
I,m currently in Carnavon on the West coast of Australia heading for Darwin to Ship my Bike across to East Timor also.
Not quite mid October though , I,m looking at Perkins Shipping cut off Date for the 2nd of October shipping.
Figure I,d check the Hubb for others heading the same way at same Time.
Might catch up? Others?
darwin east timor
wheal i am in melbourn and hiting darwin in 14 days sea yuo thear or in east timor whil reach darwin around the 1 off oktober honda 650 sweden plates 2 year one the rode time four some asian nodels
I came down the route Penang-Sumatra-Java-...-Timor in Feb.-April.2012, after a short visit in East Timor I have riden back to Bali, where I stored my Bike.
From mid Oktober 2012 I planing to go from Bali, Java, to Borneo and then shipping the Bike from the malaysian part of Bormeo back to Westmalaysia or if possible direct by air to Nepal.
As I reseached, there is no regular Car-Ferry between Bormeo and Westmalaysia. So you have to ship the Bike(s).
Same situation between Sumatra and Penang/Malaysia, but there you can use well known Cakra Shipping. Mr. Lim ist the agent at the malaysian side, but he can give you the adress of the agent in Belawan/Sumatra.
Maybe you can ask Helmut&Bea www.timetoride.de they might have the Waypoints.
Cakra Enterprise, Yeap Thean Seng (owner), 187 second floor, Lebuh
Pantai, 10300 Penang (Georgetown) Malaysia - phone: 04 2625879, mobile:
Mr. Seng 012 4889717, mobile Mr. Lim: 012 4709717,
About Indonesian ferrys:
on the southern route the car-ferrys runns more frequently. once or twice a day and west of Lombok every houer. Only from Timor/Kupang to Flores you might have to wait some days. 7 Month ago there was a ferry every Friday 14:00 Kupang to Ende and on Sunday and Thursday Kupang to Larantuka. There are no actual infos about ferry sceduals online, and the only way to find out, is to drive to the habour and ask staff (better more than only one).
I do not have infos about the northern route jet, but I am sure you have to bring a lot of time for this journey, and I heard roads are not in good conditions.
Anyway Indonesia is an interesting country with nice people.
Diving/Snorkeling with/between Mantas in Labuhanbajo/Flores and visiting the Komodo-Dragons,
Sand riding and senic views at Mt. Bromo/Java
Senic-West-Coast Highway Sumatra
Orang-Utans "feeding" near Medan/Sumatra
Bad news, you will hit the rainseason anyway. Just stopp and wait some houers if it is to bad...
Sometimes it is nice for cooling down.
Greetings und Gute Fahrt
ps. Let me know if you take the northern route, I will be two weeks ahed of you and might give you further information.
The red route is less common taken by fellow bikers. There is no ferry service between East Malaysia to West Malaysia vice versa. (The last ferry service terminated in the 90s because not popular, expensive and longer time taken). If you ask me, I suggest if you are in Borneo (Kalimantan, Indonesia), you cross border from Pontianak, Indonesia to Lubuk Antu (Near Kuching, Malaysia) side. From Kuching you can ship your bike by air (MAS Cargo) to Kuala Lumpur (About 800 - 900 Malaysian Ringgit or about USD 280). Yourself can take the regular flight from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur by MAS or AirAsia. This is the easiest way to ship your bike into West Malaysia. MAS Cargo has lots of experience in freighting bikes and cars.
Riding in Malaysia; do not take the North-South highway (E1). Its boring because you dont see anything but palm trees, exits to small towns, lay-by rest and recreation (food, gas, ATM machines, toilet and mosque) and 110 kph highway speed limits. Take the secondary roads. From Kuala Lumpur, you can take the West coast of the peninsular towards Penang or the East coast to Kota Bahru.
There are 5 border-cross Malaysia into Thailand but the most popoular ones are at Wang Klian, Perlis Malaysia/ Wang Prachap, Thailand; Bukit Kayu Hitam, Perlis, Malaysia/Danok, Thailand; Bukit Berapit, Perak Malaysia/Betong, Thailand and Pasir Panjang, Kelantan Malaysia/ Sg. Kolok Thailand.
If you plan to cross border Malaysia into Thailand at the Eastern side you probably use the Pasir Panjang, Malaysia/Sg Kolok Thailand route. Check out with local police the security situation in Songkhla and Pattani district of Southern Thailand.
If you need any assistance while in West Malaysia, please contact me (email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +60193854736)
Thanks for you helpfull advice!
Are you sure? Others paid MUCH more for it - at least that´s, what I read.
Indeed it was serveral times the price you mentioned.
thanks for the information! Very helpful.
But I didn´t follow the thread recently.
We´ll check, when we get closer.
Most likely we´ll take the southern route, so chances are low, that we´ll meet, which is a pity!
I made a big loop around Indonesia this year so I've been on you red and blue route :)
Sulawesi is the island that I enjoyed most. Good roads, not too crowded, beautiful scenery, nice people. There is sometimes a weekly car ferry from Labuan Bajo (Flores) to Sulawesi. Depends on the weather as it is not a big ocean going ship. There is always a large Ferry that goes from Surabaya (Java) to Sulawesi though.
Java has much worse roads and absolutely driving conditions but there are more tourism things to see/do there as well.
like zou know we just took the blue route... Red we tried but was not possible in the time we had planned. Only to go to Sulawesi could take sometimes up to 3 weeks... there is no schedule the boat leaves when it is full and you have to wait at the port till it is... thats we have been told on the spot... so we continued...
which way you will take to Darwin? We are haveing a break at the Westcoast, Geraldton, 400 km North of Perth. If you come along we can have a beer or two and chat about Indonesia. They have even German Beer here beer Weihenstephaner... yammi!
In Darwin I have a contact where you can stay, nice place, PM me and I will send you the contacs... Same for Dili, and some good Contacts all over Indo...
OK, have to go fishing...
I asked you twice for the contact data of those guys in Darwin, but you said you had none / I had to use couch surfing.
That contact would have been really helpfull! Would - since we are in Indonesia meanwhile.
Any contact for Indonesia is most welcome!
Best by email!
Greetings from Flores, Indonesia
Of couse I am aware, I told you to contact him using CouchSurfing and I thought you got that. I dont have an email address of him...
Nevertheless contact first Lutson he is in AU at the moment but back in Indo soon) from HTML Tangeram:
lutson_umbaran AT yahoo.com
lutson_umbaran AT hotmail.com
AND contact Honda Tiger Mailing List (HTML) in Facebook
AND contact Ivan, head of HTML Tangeram: van.rivai.524 AT facebook.com
^^ They will introduce you to the rest of HTML Indonesia.
AND contact for sure:
Ring of Fire Adventure Indonesia (Facebook)
^^ They are doing the full round of Indo with their bikes and the WHOLE family and make a documentary of it, its all over the TV in Indo, we met them and they are are super nice. Send them greetings from us.
All above love follow riders and they welcommed us with: "Welcome in the Brotherhood!".
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