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In what order to see Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines

Travel Forums Asia In what order to see Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines

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1. Posted by kelvin00 (Budding Member 7 posts) 6y


I am a notorious procrastinator and find myself trying to figure out the absolute basics of a trip I plan on leaving for in JUNE.

I plan on travelling indeffinitely and I want to start in the southern archipelagos of asia. My question is what is the most economical and convenient way to see The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia?

I want to fly as little as possible but have come to realize that regional flights are almost required to see a goo amonunt of the area, especially in Indonesia. And it also seems like flying in and out of each country might be necessary given visas.

-Should I fly into Jakarta, see my fair share of Indonesia (spend as much time there as the visa allows) then take the ferry to the Philippines, after my time there fly from Manila to Kuala Lumpur?

-Should I into KL, see mainland Malaysia, fly (or ferry if possible) to either Indonesia or Malaysian Borneo and from Indonesia fly/ferry to Phil. and from Manila fly to mainland asia (probably Vietnam)

-Or should I start in the Philippines?

With my departure just over a month away I want to figure out the absolute basics pretty soon. Any info or advice helps, thanks.

2. Posted by Yvekes (Respected Member 266 posts) 6y

You can do this loop in either direction.

There used to be (expensive) flights between Manado, Indonesia and Davao, Philippines, but these are suspended at the moment I guess. Today, the only international flight from Manado is to Singapore.
The only connection by air between these two countries is the flight from Jakarta to Manila, I think even Cebu Pacific (low cost!) flies between those two cities.

Another cheap possibility is the flight between Kota Kinabalu (Malaysian Borneo) and Manila Clark with AirAsia.
However, there is a ferry connection between Sandakan (Malaysian Borneo) and Zamboanga, Mindanao.

And between mainland Malaysia and Sumatra, there are running several ferries.

3. Posted by Araluen (Respected Member 346 posts) 6y

I can't help with the order of doing your trip, but can advise on Air Asia. I've flown with them and would recommend them. From Kuala Lumpur they fly to several destinations, including some of which you've mentioned.

4. Posted by kelvin00 (Budding Member 7 posts) 6y

My number one issue as far as planning this trip is the whole "onward ticket" hassle. As far as I can tell I can't buy ferry tickets in advance. This seems weird to me though. How could these ferries run if all foreigners had to leave both the Philippines and Indo. by plane?

If it weren't for this visa issue I would fly into Manila, ferry from Zamboang to Sandakan, enter Indonesia on Borneo, and ferry out of indonesia Medan to Penang.

Can anyone help me with this visa stuff? I've asked this question on multiple forums and no one seems to know.

5. Posted by Yvekes (Respected Member 266 posts) 6y

As far as I can tell, you don't need an onward ticket to enter the Philippines. I've been three times to this country each time with a visa on arrival, each time I extended my visa in the Philippines itself, and nobody ever asked about an onward ticket...

Indonesia, that's another story... Each time I bought a cheap AirAsia ticket to leave the country. And in case I wasn't able to use this particular ticket, bad luck for me (and my bank account...).

6. Posted by kelvin00 (Budding Member 7 posts) 6y

I have heard that the Philippines doesn't always check for onward tickets but, they do officially require it. I don't think I want to risk it. I may buy a ticket that flies Cebu to Kota Kinabalu (about $200).
I would prefer not to be limited to 30 days in Indonesia, how easy is it to get a 60 day visa in either Phil or Malaysian Borneo? If I can get it there, is it good 60 days after I enter Indo or 60 days after I get it?

7. Posted by jonnydonny (Budding Member 23 posts) 6y

in about 10 times of entering the philippines i have been asked for a onward ticket once. I didnt have one so they made me buy 1 before they would stamp my passport. Only thing was i landed at 5am and the cebu pacific office didnt open till 7am so 2 hours of waiting about. Bought it then as soon as they stamped my passport just went and cancelled it.
What i do now just to be on the safe side coz sometime the airline u are flying with, especially from hong hong ask to see a onward ticket, so all i do is the e-ticket i have for my flight is forward it agian to my email address so u can then edit it and change the details around so it looks like your leaving within the 21 days. No one has ever quetioned it.
As for extending your visa here i live in boracay and they have a imagration office on the island u just go there and its done within 5-10mins. Dont know about doing it at other offices coz always done it here

8. Posted by kelvin00 (Budding Member 7 posts) 6y

Do you know how easy it is to just get a 59 day Philipinno visa before I go? (in Canada).

9. Posted by joffre (Respected Member 157 posts) 6y

Hiya, what about flying into KL, travel through Peninsular Malaysia, then Singapore, across to Sumatra, Java, Bali, then Sulawesi (if you have time) then Kalimantan, Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah & onto the Philippines via KK. For visa info, contact the individual countries immigration websites...

10. Posted by kolokoi (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Quoting kelvin00

Do you know how easy it is to just get a 59 day Philipinno visa before I go? (in Canada).

Its easy to get a 59 day visa at the Philippine Ambassy or consulate in Canada, it wil take only a few hours. Keep in mind that they want to see the following papers: onward ticket, proof of your income or emploiment, and a proof that you have sufficient financials means for your trip. I have been to Philippines many times , and the immigration on the airport never asked me for an onward ticket. But the airlines company are the one making problems. If you dont have a ticket to travel out of the Philippines they dont want you boarding on their plane.

Enjoy philippines