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Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

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  #1  
Old 6 Aug 2008
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Which Port Indonesia to Malaysia?

I know this is a topic that has come up on more than one occasion, but mostly going the other way (Malaysia to Indonesia).
We are near Padang now trying to decide our next move.
We have about 10days left on our visas.
We prefer to travel with the bike by boat and am not keen to fly.

Any recent info on possibility to leave from Pekanbaru, Ive heard this has been done in the past.

Is Dumai OK going from Indonesia to Malaysia? Ive heard good and bad things about this place but its mostly coming from Malaysia.

Can we travel from Medan with the bike or is the only option to fly?

As any of you who have been to Indonesia would know its impossible to find information from anywhere else but the source. As we have little time to play with and would like to avoid the ride north to Medan if we can and make the trip from nearby Pekanbaru/Dumai. This way we can spend the maximum amount of time in our newly discovered jungle hideaway, before our visas expire.

Any ideas/tips/advice welcome.
Thanks in advance
Nathan and Aki
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Old 6 Aug 2008
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I´ve no firsthand info on Dumai or Melaka, but I was warned not to take the bike to Dumai from Malaysia. That province is said to have problems with smuggling, and customs can give travellers a hard time clearing their bike (dont know if that is still so, or how it might work, if heading towards Malaysia).

I took the bike from Penang to Belawan (near Medan) and everything worked smoothly. But the boat is a cargo one, they didnt allow you to go along, you had to either fly or take the speedboat (which we did) which only transports people. Even if you somehow managed to let them take your bike into the speedboat, which you will never know, it is Indonesia afterall, then loading/unloading it is probably not easy, and it might have to stay on the deck, get some saltwater splashed onto it, etc.

Getting accurate information about just about anything is nearly impossible in that country!

BTW, if you end up going to Belawan, Lake Toba is definitely worth a few days. The ´Trans-Sumatra Highway´ which I´d rename the ´Billion potholes byway´ has some quite interesting sections south of Lake Toba. Nothing too bad at the time of our trip, but during the rains it might be different.
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Old 7 Aug 2008
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Hi Hathan,

I'd advise that you take the boat from Medan (port of Belawan) to Penang as that is a regualr ferry, but you should check on frequency, thats the normal bike route and they are experienced at it. Riau is not reliable and they will fleese you.

The other good thing about going via medan is that the best part of sumatra is Toba which you will ride past, also make sure to stop just north of toba at Penatang Siantar (about 100km south of Medan) the local form of public transport is BSA 350/500 singles with sade cars, these bikes are B31's from 1946-55. North of Padang is the town of Bukit Tinggi the home of the Minanag Kerbau culture also very interesting. If you plan to get to Kl let me know.

rgds,
Dean
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Old 7 Aug 2008
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Going FROM Dumai should be ok, somebody posted this here recently. Unless you can find the elusive ro-ro ferry in Dumai you will have to ship your bike separately.
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  #5  
Old 8 Aug 2008
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Hey guys

Thanks for all your fast responses.
We have decided to ride up to Belawan and ship the bike that way.
I was happy to here that the fast boat service carries passengers so even if we cant get the bike on with us we will go by sea.
Our bike is just a small CT110 so it can be lifted by 2people easily.

Thanks again and see you on the road.

Nathan and Aki
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