The fastest and the most convenient way to travel to Indonesia from India is by air. You can take a flight either to Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta or Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. There are several airlines from India that offer connecting flights to these destinations. Indonesia is roughly 4483 kilometres (2786 mile) from India and the flight time is around 5 hours. You can book your flight from several major cities in India, such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Amritsar, Chennai, and Cochin, all of which offer you nonstop flights to your destination.
Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta is the busiest airport and it is a mere 20 kilometres from the city centre. The airport offers all the amenities that the modern traveller desires – shops, cafes, lounges, ATM, etc. There could a bit of a wait while arriving or departing this airport. Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar can cater to large as well as smaller aircrafts making it your preferred choice if you’re heading to Bali.
There are several airlines that offer direct flights to Indonesia. Air India, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Emirates are some of the international carriers that can fly you to Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia is the national carrier, and you can travel within the country by catching a domestic flight on this airline
Connectivity within the country is excellent and you can easily get yourself a forward flight or alternate mode of transport to wherever your destination in Indonesia is. You can also check out the things to do in Indonesia.
If you are feeling a little bit adventurous and also have a lot of time on hand, you can try traveling to Indonesia by sea. The experience of just relaxing aboard a luxurious ship, being lulled by the waves, is unlike any other. Sit back and enjoy the many comforts that the trip offers you.
There are no direct cruises from India and you will first need to head to Singapore. From there, you can hop on board a cruise going to Australia or one doing a circuitous trip around the Southeast Asian countries. You can disembark in Bali where you can continue the rest of your vacation. The cruise from Singapore to Australia usually takes about 6-7 days to reach Bali, with a halt in between at Semarang.
What most tourists do is that they land at Bali and spend their vacation exploring the many coastal and cultural wonders that the island offers. Being a volcanic island also has its own charm and it is enough to keep tourists occupied.
However, if you wish to explore what else the world’s largest archipelago has to offer you, then Indonesia has an excellent transportation network that can whisk you from one corner to another, without breaking a sweat. Well, almost. There are airplanes, trains, cars, all kinds of two- and three-wheelers and cycles even.
After you land at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, you can immediately take a connecting domestic flight to your next destination. Garuda Indonesia is a state-operated airline that offers excellent connectivity between the many islands of Indonesia. Lion Air and Air Asia can also ferry you from one island to another.
While extremely convenient, the only downside to smaller airlines is the delay in departure time or getting bumped off the flight. To be sure that this does not happen, you must arrive early at the airport and confirm your reservation.
If you wish to spend some time in Bali first, you can get a taxi at the airport itself. The airport is about 13 kilometres from the city which means a travel time of about 30-35 minutes. You can pre-book the taxi at the taxi counter. You will receive a ticket with the destination and fare written on it. All you need to do is get on the taxi and head off on your journey.
Whether it’s within Bali or some other destination, you need to figure out how to move around the country. Even though Indonesia comprises 17,500 islands – not all of them are inhabited – you wouldn’t be interested in all of them anyway. Considering the duration of your trip and the itinerary, you will need to decide which mode of transport works best for you.
Renting a car:
You can rent a car for as low as Rs 700 a day, or even less, if you are good at bargaining or plan to hire it for several days at a stretch. Having a set of wheels with you is the most convenient way to see a particular place. Do note that most travel companies will not allow you to take the car to different islands even aboard car ferries. You will need an international driving permit. Most rental agencies will gladly rent you a car with a valid driving licence from your country, but you could get pulled over by cops who are quick to spot a tourist. You either part with a hefty fine or you will need to bribe your way through. It is much easier to get an international driving permit before you head over.
Taking the train:
The islands of Java and Sumatra can be reached by Indonesia’s national railway, called Kereta Api. These are more convenient because their schedules are more reliable, they connect major points and the stations are centrally located, making it easy to head out to your sightseeing destination. You can buy tickets at the station at ticket windows called lokets. We suggest paying a little more and booking seats on the roomier and air-conditioned executive class, especially if you are traveling overnight or have a lot of distance to cover.
Going by ferry:
When your entire country is made up of thousands of islands, it is no surprise that you need to have an excellent transport system. From small, open-to-the-sky, wooden boats to large steel ferries with cabins, you have it all. We recommend traveling by the state-owned Pelni service that is comfortable, reliable and halts at nearly all the ports that you would want to visit. There is no need to book in advance unless you are traveling during festival season when the boats run to maximum capacity.
Zip on two-wheelers:
Spend a few days watching the locals zip by on their two-wheelers and you will want to do the same. But get on one only if you know how to ride one properly. The roads and traffic in Indonesia is unlike any that you have ever encountered before. And be sure to wear a helmet always.
Buses and more:
Indonesian buses are reliable and affordable for those traveling on a shoestring budget. Then there are bemos, the mini buses that are mostly used for short distances. Make sure you know the fare else you could get ripped-off. You can also opt to ride the motorized three-wheeled rickshaw, called the bajaj, which can carry two passengers. The becak, the bicycle-style rickshaw that is pedaled by the driver, can also carry two passengers. Do negotiate your fare before you start your journey to avoid misunderstandings.
If you have planned a trip to Indonesia, do check out our Indonesia Tour Packages. You can get all your flights, tickets and visa formalities taken care at Thomas Cook. What’s more, you can also pick up some Indonesian rupiah.