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Backpacking and Crossing Borders: Singapore to Indonesia

Backpacking itinerary for 9 days includes Indonesia. From Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by train and bus, from Malaysia to Singapore by bus alone, and Singapore to Indonesia by ferry.

This will guide you through the process of going to Indonesia from Singapore.


From Singapore to Indonesia by Ferry

If you haven’t read about the process of land travel from Thailand to Malaysia, and Malaysia to Singapore yet, now is the best time. See links above.

There is one ferry terminal from nearby Changi airport to Indonesia from Singapore, the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal caters ferry services to Bintan and Batam, Indonesia.

You need to book tickets first in person at the ferry terminal’s ticket counter or book online via https://reservations.brf.com.sg/. You can book a ticket for as low as 2 SGD (base fare promo tickets) if you happen to get one from the website, so book as early as possible to avail of this promo as it is only limited.

A day tour (return ticket – SG-IND-SG) is also available. Singapore to Bintan, Indonesia is only 45-60 mins boat travel and it wouldn’t cost you so much time. On our trip, we had day tour tickets departed from Singapore at 9:10 am and arrived at Indonesia at 10:10 am (GMT + 8).

The process was fairly easy and always keep your passport handy.

Checking In and Immigration

Once you have arrived at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, you’ll have to proceed at the check in counter and they will scan your e-tickets. Provide your passport – this is required, and you will be given your boarding pass. Singapore to Indonesia

Upon receiving your boarding pass, proceed to the immigration counter. Present your passport again with your Singapore departure card. Some officers will be asking questions as to until when are you gonna be staying in Indonesia, what resort you’ll head to once you get there, how many days will you be in the country, or are you only going to stay in Bintan. Let them know what they need to know. On our experience, we’re only a day tour tourist so there weren’t many questions.

After getting your exit stamp, proceed to the designated gate. You need to scan your boarding pass and proceed to the ferry boat.

The ship could accommodate more than a hundred passengers plus there are crews all the time and you won’t have to worry about safety. The seats are even larger and comfortable than what an airline bus provides. I can say that the sail was smooth as I was able to sleep the whole time and just woke up when the ship docked at the Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal.

From the Bintan Terminal, proceed to the immigration counter. Same thing, queue in, present your passport, answer their questions, wait for the stamp, scan your bags, and that’s it! You are now in Indonesia!

At the Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal, you may proceed to book with many resort counters scattered everywhere. Taxi drivers will also ask you to ride with them and all, it’s up to you when you’re there. Bintan map can be collected from the ticket counter. Singapore to Indonesia

You may check and book your Bintan resorts and accommodations here (click me).


Brief Bintan Experience

On our trip, we didn’t know where to go first as we really have no idea. Taxi drivers won’t tell us where to go best without offering their service, so I went to ask the ticket counter officers and they provided the information I need.

Treasure Bay is the nearest spot from the terminal (700m away) and you can just walk to the place for 10 to 15 minutes. Treasure Bay is where you’ll find Asia’s first largest manmade saltwater pool and The Canopi – a glamping kind of accommodation.

A free shuttle is also available with specific hours of pick-up and drop-off location. You literally could spend nothing here if you know how to get by and if you have your own food.

After a few hours in Treasure Bay, we headed next to Lagoi Plaza. Lagoi Plaza offers a mall-type ambiance and scenery and is next to the Lagoi Bay or Lagoi Beach. You may swim in here as much as you like, it’s definitely FREE. It is a white-sand beach but the shore looks brown – and it’s quite like a mossy green in color behind shoreline.


Heading back to Singapore from Bintan

Since we’re only on a day tour in Indonesia, by evening, we had to head back to Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal for our ferry ride by 8 pm. Singapore to Indonesia

Immigration and ticket counters are on break from 6 pm to 7 pm so we had to wait for a little while. While waiting, you may fill-up your departure card as it is required before getting into the ferry.

You should proceed to the ticket counter, present your passport, and they’ll provide you your boarding pass. Scan your bags and head next to the immigration counter to get your exit stamp from Indonesia.

After getting stamped, proceed to the boarding gate and enter the ferry. The travel time from Indonesia to Singapore is the same – 60 minutes or might be longer depending on the water current and weather.

Once the ship docked at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, proceed to the immigration counter, present your passport, get your entry stamp and don’t forget your departure card from Indonesia.

Arriving in the evening at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, there would be no public transportation. From our trip, we opted for a taxi to the nearest MRT station, Tanah Merah.



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Jerny Destacamento

Jerny is a full-time freelancer, an IT Specialist, a traveler, a dreamer and also a reading enthusiast. He loves to travel, climb mountains, swim and take beautiful photos. Together with his girlfriend, Jane, are currently traveling all over the Philippines and aspires to explore every corner of the world.
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5 comments

  1. Singapore to Malaysia sounds so cool. I love crossing borders. I don’t know why it gives me kick. I didn’t know you could do Thailand to Malaysia and Malaysia to Singapore on road. Very interesting.

  2. It’s really interesting to get Indonesia by ferry. Just cross the border and get to see a whole new world haha All the photos are so beautiful and urge me to travel there 🙂

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