So what are the options to go from Malaysia to Indonesia? And what is the cheapest and my personal best option?
Malaysia is separated by the ocean from Indonesia so you will either have to take a ferry or flay by plane.
My plan was to get from south Malaysia to North Sumatra so I will focus the information on this route but the following is also interesting when you want to go anywhere else in Indonesia!
So what’s the cheapest option? It’s by plane!
You can fly from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur to Medan or anywhere else in Indonesia and it’s cheaper then taking a ferry (at least to get from KL to Medan). You get the flights for as cheap as 20€ including 20kg baggage with Lion Air. So best check the prices online on Skyscanner.
So why didn’t I want to fly? I was already in Singapore (flights are more expensive there) and taking a bus all the way to KL again and then fly would take longer and be more expensive then taking a ferry … and the ferry was more adventurous!
So let me tell about the best way of getting to Sumatra in my opinion.
I wanted to take a ferry to Dumai because there is a English course run by a local called Mr. Muchsin. He runs his “Grand English Course” since 1990 and invites foreigners to his place to stay for free in exchange that they attend his English classes. If you do that you will have the chance to give the students a chance to use their English and you will have the chance to live/eat with Mr. Muchsins family and have your own room there. See my pictures at the end and you want to do the same 😅
For me it was a great time to stay there and some of his students met me after class and took me out for dinner and showed me some nice places around their town.
You can contact his doughter on Couchsurfing to arrange everything and she will also help you to get to Dumai if you have some questions. Also you can call Mr. Muchsin +62 813 71275956 or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
So that’s the reason why my perfect way to get to Indonesia is to take a ferry to Dumai!
There a few options to get there:
Ferry’s to Dumai leave from Port Klang (near KL), Port Dickson (between KL and Malacca) and Malacca by Tunas Rupat and there is also a ferry from Batam (Island near Singapore).
For the first 3 options the ferry leaves at 10am and cost 110MYR (~24€) and the ferry takes roughly 2-3h so arrives in Dumai Indonesia at 11-12am (time difference!).
If you leave from Malacca – you can read here why you shouldn’t miss Malacca – find the Ferry Terminal with these coordinates (2.191462 102.244962) and you also buy your ticket there. Additional to the 110MYR you have to pay 25MYR for Harbour tax (~5,5€).
So in total that will cost you ~29,5€.
If you are in Singapore you can take a ferry to Batam in Indonesia. They leave hourly, take 45min and cost with tax 25SGD (~16,5€). Then there is a ferry leaving daily to Dumai at 7am what costs around 400.000IDR (~27,50€) and takes 7-8h.
You will have to spend a night on Dumai because even if you take the early ferry to Batam you can never predict immigration times and most likely won’t make it directly to Dumai.
So this trip will cost you just for transportation
Because of that I decided to go to Malacca again – take a direct bus from Singapore for around 25SGD (~16,5€) or go to Johor Baru cost you 4MYR (~1€) from the emigration of Singapore and then take a bus to Malacca Sentral for ~20MYR (~4€) and leave from Malacca the next morning!
Even cheaper and more fun is to hitchhike, so try it 😅
So I hope I can help some of you to do this trip and stay some days in Dumai – you won’t regret it.
From there Mr. Muchsin will be happy to help you to plan your future trip and get a bus to Medan.
So please let me know if I could help you, you have some more questions or different information.
Greetings from Medan