Indonesia Travel Guide
Lobmok travel tips

Travel around in Lombok, Flores, Komodo und Sumba

Bangsal harbour, Lombok © Reinhard Kuchenbaecker

Airports

Lombok:

  • Bandara Internasional Lombok is Lombok’s new international hub in central southern Lombok near the city of Praya. This airport replaces the old Selaparang Airport and is approximately 40 km south of Mataram, and 55 km southeast of the established Senggigi area.

  • You can go from Bandara Internasional Lombok to Mataram or Senggigi by bus. The fare to Mataram’s Mandalika Bus Terminal is Rp 15,000 and to Senggigi it is Rp 25,000. The bus service runs every 1.5 hours.

  • Silk Air connects Lombok with Singapor, and Merpati Air goes to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. However, many visitors travel via Bali.

  • Bandara Internasional Lombok serves many domestic flight connections within Nusa Tenggara. And via the airlines Merpati and Transnusa every other airport within Nusa Tenggara can be reached.

  • Outside the airport building Koperasi Taxi Mataram offers many nice Blue Bird Taxis. There is no need to opt for the more expensive private drivers, that offer there service directly after the baggage claim.

Labuan Bajo:

  • Komodo Airport is an airport near the town Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores.

  • The airport is quite well connected to Denpasar/Bali via Merpati Air and GT Air.

  • As the name suggests, the island of Komodo is located in close proximity. However, from Labuan Bajo no regular ferry service to Komodo island exists. Instead visitor may travel via a chartered boat to Komodo. The trip should cost around Rp. 600,000 and takes 4 hours.

Ende:

  • H. Hasan Aroeboesman Airport, is an airport in the city of Ende on Flores island.

  • It has daily flights to and from Denpasar by Transnusa and Merpati. Also, Labuan Bajo on Flores and Waingapu on Sumba island can be reached.

  • Flight schedules change very frequently. Check that regularly!

Maumere:

  • Wai Oti Airport serves the largest town on Flores, Maumere.

  • Merpati Air serves Denpasar/Bali and Labuan Bajo on a regular basis.

  • Flight schedules change very frequently. Check that regularly!

Waingapu:

  • Mau Hau Airport formerly known as Waingapu Airport, serves the largest town on the island of Sumba.

  • Once again it is Merpati Air that serves regular flights to Denpasar/Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya, and other airports.

  • Flight schedules change very frequently. Check that regularly!

Airlines

No go? No choice!

  • Every airline that serves domestic flights in Nusa Tenggara is banned within Europe, because of safety risks.

  • However, a flight with Merpati or Transnusa might still be safer than going by an overloaded Indonesian ferry. Those who want to travel in Nusa Tenggara have to take a choice.

Sea

Cruise

  • An island nation such as Indonesia is of course equipped with a strong network of cruise lines. Pelni is the national shipping company and operates 28 cruise ships which travel to 80 ports. There is practically no alternative to travel on sea.

  • On the cruise ships of Pelni different comfort classes are offered to travelers. In the lower classes heat, smoke and animals must be expected. And quite a lot people sleeping in one cabin. The First Class offers a four-bed cabin with a bathroom and everything is clean.

  • The First Class tickets of the Pelni cruise ships sometimes cost more than a plane ticket and the trip takes much longer. But if you want to come in contact with the local population, you should travel with these vessles, as this offers unsuspected opportunities. You can set that you are the only tourist on board and are considered a small attraction.

  • The cruise ships stop at any port for a few hours so that you can also go short on land.

  • Like many areas in Indonesia, the Pelni cruise ships are heavily air-conditioned. It is recommended to bring warmer clothes with you.

  • To travel from Surabaya to Jakarta, for example, costs €55 and lasts 24 hours (as of 2010). On the website you find all routes (English language available) and other information. A cruise should be booked about 1 week in advance. This can be done directly on the website, but we recommend to visit one of the Pelni offices, whose current addresses also can be found on the Pelni website.


Harbour

Ferry connections:

  • Between the many islands of Nusa Tenggara many ferry connections are available. The following list has no claim to completeness:

From:To:Operator:
Lombok, LembarBali, Padangbai-
Lombok, Gili islandsBali, PadangbaiPerama shuttle bus
Flores, Labuan BajoKomodocharter privat boat, ask hotel reception
Flores, EndeSumba, WaingapuASDP ferries, buy tickets at the harbour, phone in Waingapu ++62 387 61533:
Flores, MaumereSurabaya, JavaDharma ferries, phone in Maumere: ++62 382 21091

Getting around

Bus:

  • To travel by bus is uncomfortable by several reasons. The road network is small and due to the mountainous landscape of many islands it is not possible to reach the town you want to go. Most bus services have no aircon, which results in extreme temperatures inside the bus. Also, it is common practice to go endless loops around town until enough passengers are picked up to start the journey to another town. So don't be surprised, if travel time is tremendously long.

  • Maybe the only exception you’ll find in Lombok. There is an airconditioned express bus from Mataram to Labuhan in Lombok. To travel with this bus, buy the ticket a day before at Mandalika bus terminal.

  • Furthermore, Perama operates a tourist shuttle bus service between the main tourist centres in Lombok. This service connects Senggigi, the Gili islands and Kuta. Tickets can be booked at any travel agency in Lombok.

Car & Motorcycle:

  • Because public transportation in Nusa Tenggara has expanded poorly and taxi is not available, renting a car or motorcycle is a good solution.

  • An international driving license is mandatory, even the rental agency may not request for it.

  • Traffic on Nusa Tenggara islands is relatively light. But beware of chickens running around on the street.

  • It might be a good idea to hire a car together with a driver. This solution costs between Rp. 350,000 and Rp. 500,000, depending on the island and the area where you stay. Ask at the hotel reception for reliable drivers.

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