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SE Asia Includes Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, plus Indonesia
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



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  #1  
Old 21 Mar 2017
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Shipping and ferries in/out/around Indonesia MARCH 2017

Dear all!

I have been traveling east towards my goal, Bali, for about 10 months. I spent about 3 entire weeks researching what was the best way to get my motorcycle from Malaysia to Indonesia. I decided that the best way for me was to get the RoRo ferry from Port Klang to Kota Kinabalu on Borneo. Now that I am waiting for my bike to get to me (no passengers allowed on the boat, so I flew), I have some time to write things up and I got a little carried away with trying to organize as much information possible into a single map.

LINK TO MAPS Detailed information on times, schedules and routes on the map.




CONCLUSION FOR MALAYSIA >< INDONESIA CROSSING
There are 3 options for motorcycles
  1. Onion boat by Mr Lim /// Penang to Medan /// US$270 per person per bike
  2. Passenger Ferry, if you fit through the door /// Port Klang to Tanjung Balai /// US$280 per person per bike
  3. RoRo ferry to Borneo /// Port Klang to Kota Kinabalu /// US$180 per person per bike
The passenger ferry is the only option you do not have to fly, but it is technically not legal and only works if your motorcycle will fit through the door.



CONCLUSION FERRIES INDONESIA
Between the closest western islands there are plenty of ferries daily, no need to worry there. The further you go east, the less frequent the schedules get.

There are 3 ferry companies I can find online
  1. Pelni /// Slow and mostly long distance, the quality/safety of this line as been questioned
  2. PDLU /// Active mainly between Sumatra, Java and Borneo
  3. Prima Vista /// Not many lines to choose from
The Pelni website is the worst to find information on, but they do reply to emails if you have a very specific question.



CONCLUSION SHIPPING DILI >< DARWIN
I am not planning on shipping to Australia so I did not do a lot of research here, but just collected the information I came across while looking for Indo information.

There seem to be 4 companies operating on this route
  1. SDV/Perkins
  2. ANL
  3. Toll
  4. Bollore
Quotes range from between US$500 - US$1200




Feel free to comment & correct me if I am wrong, hope this sums it up for a lot of people. The car peeps have less choice going to/from Malaysia and if not going via Borneo will need to arrange a container shipping.

Also, I will add the daily vlogs from a few of these topics whenever they come online. In the meantime come and checkout my YouTube channel!


Lots of love,


Nora

Last edited by Adventurism; 21 Mar 2017 at 07:08.
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  #2  
Old 28 Mar 2017
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Hello!
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  #3  
Old 30 Mar 2017
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All of the ferries I took in indonesia were run by ASDP, they were definitely the most common. Still, in the eastern islands some would only come weekly. Who did the quote for 500 from dili to Darwin?? Shoulda gone with them!
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  #4  
Old 16 Apr 2017
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Hi Nora!
We are trying to go from Malaysia to Borneo and as you said the only options seems to be either the roro ferry from port klang or a container.
May I ask with wich company have you been in contact for the roro to Borneo. We are in the east coast of malaysia and planing to ship around april 25th. You also said you're not heading to australia, so where are you heading next?. We are heading after indonesia to USA and looking to share a container.
Best,
Javier
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  #5  
Old 9 May 2017
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Nora: Hello and thank you for the informative post! Good luck reaching your goal/Bali.
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  #6  
Old 3 Dec 2018
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I am at the tail end of a 2.5 months ride through Borneo, Sulawesi, Flores, Sambawa, Lombok, Bali and Java. Happy to share some info if helpful for anyone:
KL (Port Klang) to Kuching or Kota Kinabalu: Giga Ferries, good experience.
Inter-Indo ferries: ASDP seems to have most connections, also a functioning website with itineraries and schedules
Pelni is all passenger only, except maybe 2 or 3 cargo ferries, so don't look at them
Many other ferry companies exist but they don't maintain websites. Best is to go to harbor and talk to ticket agents or local port people. Maybe a travel agent in town or the (foreign) owner of a nearby hotel can help, too.
I think it is safe to safe that Indo ferry schedules are unreliable and can change - you need time and patience.
I received an itinerary from company Bollore.com offering me shipping of bike from Dili to Darwin, however decided not to travel to OZ.
I have no knowledge of a car ferry between Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia. Would be most helpful for ADV riders like us but I do not see a commercial justification for this, car ferry probably still doesn't exist.
Anyone seeking more info, please contact me.
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  #7  
Old 5 Dec 2018
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Lims Onion Boat has not operated since Ausgust this year. Service discontinued.
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  #8  
Old 20 May 2023
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Thanks for this awesome resource
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  #9  
Old 22 May 2023
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I'll give the latest updates on what I know on the Malaysian Borneo side.

RORO service from Port Klang to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu and vice versa still on. You can't go with the RORO so you will have to fly to meet your car/bike.

As far as I know there is no ferry/express boat from Labuan to Kuching.

# Labuan to Menumbok, Sabah (ferry & speedboat available. There is no bridge linking the island of Labuan to mainland Borneo so commercial trucks use the ferry)
# Labuan to Muara, Brunei (ferry and express boat available)
# Labuan to Kota Kinabalu (express boat)
# Labuan to Sipitang, Sabah (speed boat)
# Labuan to Lawas, Sarawak (express boat)
# Labuan to Limbang, Sarawak (express boat)


Typically we will drive/ride from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to Kuching, Sarawak and vice versa.

There is an express boat from Tawau, Sabah to Tarakan, Kalimantan Indonesia
Typically on express boats, motorcycles are not allowed and furthermore you are going from Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia to Indonesia another sovereign country.




Last edited by 9w6vx; 22 May 2023 at 06:08. Reason: spelling correction
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  #10  
Old 3 Nov 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9w6vx View Post
I'll give the latest updates on what I know on the Malaysian Borneo side.

RORO service from Port Klang to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu and vice versa still on. You can't go with the RORO so you will have to fly to meet your car/bike.

As far as I know there is no ferry/express boat from Labuan to Kuching.

# Labuan to Menumbok, Sabah (ferry & speedboat available. There is no bridge linking the island of Labuan to mainland Borneo so commercial trucks use the ferry)
# Labuan to Muara, Brunei (ferry and express boat available)
# Labuan to Kota Kinabalu (express boat)
# Labuan to Sipitang, Sabah (speed boat)
# Labuan to Lawas, Sarawak (express boat)
# Labuan to Limbang, Sarawak (express boat)


Typically we will drive/ride from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to Kuching, Sarawak and vice versa.

There is an express boat from Tawau, Sabah to Tarakan, Kalimantan Indonesia
Typically on express boats, motorcycles are not allowed and furthermore you are going from Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia to Indonesia another sovereign country.



Do you know the name of the company providing RORO service? The only vehicle shipping service between east and West Malaysia I found online is called CMMPromovers but it seems more than a year since they had a scheduled departure. And they are not RORO either.
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  #11  
Old 3 Nov 2023
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The RORO services between East Malaysia (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah & Kuching, Sarawak) to Port Klang, West Malaysia is definitely on.

New vehicles from the various assembly plants in West Malaysia are shipped by RORO to East Malaysia for the car dealers and used cars also do the same.

I have used the RORO service twice within the last 2 years. I shipped a car from Kota Kinabalu to Port Klang for my daughter who works in Kuala Lumpur.
Early this year, the same car was shipped back to Kota Kinabalu as my daughter bought herself a new car and I decided to ship the old car back.

The national courier service known as Poslaju also does vehicle shipping services.
https://www.poslogistics.com.my/vehi...ping-services/


You can also check out this company and it even has the sailing schedule and also the cost for each type of vehicle.
https://www.venturamalaysia.com.my/

I personally have not used either of the above companies.
I use this guy instead and his rates are more competitive.
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069786575490
His mobile number is in the facebook page and so far he has been very helpful. When I sent my car to my daughter in Kuala Lumpur, I did not want her to go all the way to Port Klang to pick up the car and I paid extra for the car to be delivered to my daughter at her home address. That's an extra service which other companies are not willing to do.

Contact all 3 companies to get quotes for you to compare. The guy I used does not speak much English.

If you need any help please feel free to ask me and I will try to assist.


Last edited by 9w6vx; 3 Nov 2023 at 15:18. Reason: typo correction
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  #12  
Old 3 Nov 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9w6vx View Post
The RORO services between East Malaysia (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah & Kuching, Sarawak) to Port Klang, West Malaysia is definitely on.

New vehicles from the various assembly plants in West Malaysia are shipped by RORO to East Malaysia for the car dealers and used cars also do the same.

I have used the RORO service twice within the last 2 years. I shipped a car from Kota Kinabalu to Port Klang for my daughter who works in Kuala Lumpur.
Early this year, the same car was shipped back to Kota Kinabalu as my daughter bought herself a new car and I decided to ship the old car back.

The national courier service known as Poslaju also does vehicle shipping services.
https://www.poslogistics.com.my/vehi...ping-services/


You can also check out this company and it even has the sailing schedule and also the cost for each type of vehicle.
https://www.venturamalaysia.com.my/

I personally have not used either of the above companies.
I use this guy instead and his rates are more competitive.
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069786575490
His mobile number is in the facebook page and so far he has been very helpful. When I sent my car to my daughter in Kuala Lumpur, I did not want her to go all the way to Port Klang to pick up the car and I paid extra for the car to be delivered to my daughter at her home address. That's an extra service which other companies are not willing to do.

Contact all 3 companies to get quotes for you to compare. The guy I used does not speak much English.

If you need any help please feel free to ask me and I will try to assist.

perfect. thanks. this is exactly the info I needed. my Australian registered bike is currently sitting in a box in a warehouse in Port Klang pending final approval from MITI (which surprised everyone since it should only have been a Customs matter).

i’m thinking i’ll ride it to Yogyakarta if i can get a RORO to Kuching and then another from Balikpapan to Surabaysa,

All in all i plan to spend 6 mnths in Thailand, 6-9 months in Indonesia, and 3 months in Malaysia. i can speak Malay/Indo so as long as know who to talk to i should be ok - but your offer to help is greatly appreciated.
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  #13  
Old 4 Nov 2023
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I am surprised that MITI is involved and yes I concur it should be a Customs matter only.

Nice that you can speak Malay/Indonesian.

I will be in Medan, Sumatera in January 2024 for 3 weeks and will rent a scooter there.

And if you are in Kota Kinabalu, we can have a cup of coffee if you have the time.

Last edited by 9w6vx; 4 Nov 2023 at 02:53.
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  #14  
Old 4 Nov 2023
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Originally Posted by 9w6vx View Post
I am surprised that MITI is involved and yes I concur it should be a Customs matter only.

Nice that you can speak Malay/Indonesian.

I will be in Medan, Sumatera in January 2024 for 3 weeks and will rent a scooter there.

And if you are in Kota Kinabalu, we can have a cup of coffee if you have the time.
Fortunately riding aimlessly around the world on a BMW GSA is now the only major goal/interest/responsibility I expect to have for the rest of my life so I’m not too fussed about MITI wanting to know whatever it is they actually want to learn over our polite little meetings.

But I reckon anyone with only a few weeks or months holiday trying to do a trip through SEAsia via KL (and little prior experience of Asian bureaucracy) might be feeling pretty shitty with their shipping agent about now.

However, this seems to be a genuine and inexplicable anomaly and no fault of either my Australian or Malaysian agents. I’ll try and remember to write up any explanation if I ever find out what’s going on.


As for Kota Kinabalu…a coffee would be great. In the meantime do you have an opinion on whether the more interesting route (i.e. more dirt/back road and less highway) from East Malaysia to Balikpapan would be from Kuching or from Kota Kinabalu?

This question is premised on the possibly groundless assumption that Balikpapan is the best place to get an Indonesian RORO to Surabaya since I want to go back to Yogyakarta for a while as it was my second home prior to Covid.
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  #15  
Old 5 Nov 2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9w6vx View Post
The RORO services between East Malaysia (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah & Kuching, Sarawak) to Port Klang, West Malaysia is definitely on.

New vehicles from the various assembly plants in West Malaysia are shipped by RORO to East Malaysia for the car dealers and used cars also do the same.

I have used the RORO service twice within the last 2 years. I shipped a car from Kota Kinabalu to Port Klang for my daughter who works in Kuala Lumpur.
Early this year, the same car was shipped back to Kota Kinabalu as my daughter bought herself a new car and I decided to ship the old car back.

The national courier service known as Poslaju also does vehicle shipping services.
https://www.poslogistics.com.my/vehi...ping-services/


You can also check out this company and it even has the sailing schedule and also the cost for each type of vehicle.
https://www.venturamalaysia.com.my/

I personally have not used either of the above companies.
I use this guy instead and his rates are more competitive.
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069786575490
His mobile number is in the facebook page and so far he has been very helpful. When I sent my car to my daughter in Kuala Lumpur, I did not want her to go all the way to Port Klang to pick up the car and I paid extra for the car to be delivered to my daughter at her home address. That's an extra service which other companies are not willing to do.

Contact all 3 companies to get quotes for you to compare. The guy I used does not speak much English.

If you need any help please feel free to ask me and I will try to assist.

Thanks for your posting and sharing of info, much appriciated! However I found it a bit difficult to use the link to the shipping company as it was in malaysian for the most part. Can you approximately tell the shipping costs of a mid sized motorbike from Port Klang to Kuching?
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