Indonesia is one the world’s largest countries by land area (14th on the world list) and the planet’s greatest archipelago thanks to its over 17 thousand islands.
Visitors can reach Indonesia by plane, boat, or via land from Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor. Different entry requirements apply to specific border crossing points.
On this page, holidaymakers will find useful information to travel to Indonesia, including:
- Countries sharing borders with Indonesia
- How to reach Indonesia via land from Papua New Guinea and Malaysia
- Visa and entry requirements for Bali and Indonesia according to different entry points
What Are the Indonesian Borders?
The Southeast Asian island nation shares borders with several countries. Find a list below.
Indonesian land borders:
- Malaysia (Borneo island)
- Papua New Guinea (New Guinea island)
- East Timor (Timor island)
Indonesian maritime borders:
- The Philippines
Indonesia - Papua New Guinea Border Crossing
The closest Indonesian city to Papua New Guinea is Jayapura, which serves as the capital of the Papua province and is located on the northern part of the New Guinea island. The closest urban center beyond the border into Papua New Guinea is Vanimo and most of those who move from PNG into Indonesia and vice versa travel between these 2 cities.
Please note that there are no passenger boats between Vanimo and Jayapura so it is necessary to travel by road.
There are no vehicle insurance arrangements between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea so it is best to cross on foot or by public transport. The bus from Vanimo to the actual point of entry (Wutung) takes about 1 hour. Please note that the crossing point may at times be closed with little notice.
Do I need a visa to travel from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia?
In order to go from PNG to Indonesia, foreign citizens are advised to apply for an Indonesian visa in advance. This can be done at an Indonesian embassy or consulate in Papua New Guinea or online.
Wutung is not eligible for visa-free entry nor for visas on arrival.
There is a small Indonesian consulate in Vanimo but this has limited office hours and capability of issuing visas. If possible, it is preferable to apply in a larger diplomatic mission or, even better, before leaving one’s home country.
That is why the majority of foreigners prefer to apply online. This can be done from any device that can connect to the internet (no need to visit an embassy) at home or in Papua New Guinea and significantly reduces processing times.
Indonesia-Malaysia Border Crossing Point
Indonesia and Malaysia share over 2 thousand km (over 1,240 miles) of land border as well as maritime boundaries along the Straits of Malacca in the South China Sea and the Celebes Sea.
While there are several sea transport options between Malaysia and Indonesia, there are only 3 land border crossings:
- Between Tebedu, Sarawak and Entikong, West Kalimantan
- Between Biawak, Sarawak and Aruk, West Kalimantan
- Between Lubok Antu, Sarawak and Badau, West Kalimantan
It is possible to travel visa-free from Malaysia to Indonesia for eligible passport holders. However, eligibility does not guarantee entry.
Those who intend to use the border crossing from Indonesia into Malaysia should check the Malaysian visa requirements before departure.
Visa Requirements for Indonesian Land Crossings
Not all Indonesian entry points are authorized for entry-free travel. This means that even those who would normally enjoy visa-free status may need an Indonesian visa to use certain crossings.
It is paramount that travelers keep up to date with relevant news and travel restrictions to find out if they can use a certain crossing and how.
Those who need an Indonesian visa may be eligible for a visa on arrival (VOA) and/or an electronic or traditional paper visa. Please note that the visa on arrival may not be granted at certain entry points.
Electronic visas are usually considered a safer and more convenient option as they can be requested from anywhere in the world in minutes through an online application form.