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Ferry From Kalimantan (Borneo) To Philippines

Travel Forums Asia Ferry From Kalimantan (Borneo) To Philippines

1. Posted by vegasmbj (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

I'm thinking of taking a ferry from Surabaya to Kalimantan, traveling overland to Bitung and then taking a ferry to General Santos, Philippines. Or traveling to Sandakan and taking a ferry to Zamboanga. I haven't found a lot of information on either of these routes. What I found confirms that it's possible, but I can't find any details on these trips. Has anyone taken either of these routes? I'd love to hear what you did exactly to help give me an idea of what I'm doing before trying the trip.

2. Posted by sepilokfui (Budding Member 75 posts) 6y

Well, I am from Sandakan, Borneo. I don't see and never heard there is a complete land road from Banjarmasin to Sandakan. In some points, you would have to fly or take another boat before you arrive in Sandakan. If not, it would ride with some loggins (lumber truck) or some lumber company private transportation over some part of the jungle.

The furthest land road from Banjarmasin is upto Tanjung Selor. Then, boat to Tarakan and boat again to Tawau or Semporna, then land road to Sandakan.
But most people stop at Balikpapan because there are bigger ferry from there to Tawau/Semporna or Sandakan.

From Sandakan, there is ferry to Zamboanga. Nobody guarantes it is regular. It is also depend whether the route will continue to open for foreign water.
Last post - Weesam Express (check their website with the same name) runs twice a week (13hours) on wednesday and friday, last posting was on 7am.
Timmarine runs on tuesday and friday, last posting was on 5am.
You need to clear immigration formalities before leaving for Phillipines.

3. Posted by vegasmbj (Budding Member 5 posts) 6y

Awesome...thanks for all of the information sepilokfui! It should be a big help with trying to navigate through Borneo and over to the Philippines. I appreciate it :)

4. Posted by sepilokfui (Budding Member 75 posts) 6y

You are welcome. Post again when you reach Zamboanga, so that I know whether the route works or not :-).

5. Posted by miguel_es (Full Member 114 posts) 6y

I made journey in the ferry last year from Sandakan to Zamboanga. You must go to Sandakan, get the ticket, and then take a taxi to the ferry terminal. You have karaoke bar at the ferry, where you can have some drinks and dinner. You need some small notes of dolar, because you have to pay some "brives" to get into the ferry and at the arrival in the Philippines if you want a quick clearance.

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Dec-2010, at 23:00 by miguel_es ]

6. Posted by spacekadet (Budding Member 2 posts) 3y

Hello,

I see that it's already more than two years since this thread was started, but I will post anyway in case anybody is still subscribed.

Firstly I can confirm that it is possible to travel by road all the way up Kalimantan - I have done that. It is necessary to get a boat to the island of Nunukan, which can be done near the town of Malinau, or in my case by getting a ride on a river boat up the Sebuku river (this is not a regular service - it has to be arranged first). I was going the other direction. It is then necessary to catch a ferry from Nunukan to Towau (Sabah), but there are a few every day and it only takes an hour.

Now I have a question: can the ferries from Sandakan to Zamboanga carry a motorcycle?

thank you
Colin
Sydney

7. Posted by serow (Budding Member 2 posts) 30w

yep there is a ferry schedule from sandakan to the philippines (in Zamboanga City) and yes u can bring a motorcycle

8. Posted by serow (Budding Member 2 posts) 30w

anyway im from philippines... may i ask is there a ferry from sandakan to balikpapan? im also bringing a motorcycle

9. Posted by spacekadet (Budding Member 2 posts) 29w

Partial answer: there is a Pelni ferry from Nunukan to Balikpapan. It is not "RORO".

Keep in mind Sandakan to Balikpapan is an international trip, and as far I I know, Pelni ferries don't do that.

Towau is the last Malaysian town near the Indonesian border. It's pretty easy to get a high speed ferry from there to either Nunukan or Tarakan (which is half way to Balikpapan). These ferries are only "passenger" but a bike can be loaded onto the foredeck, if you have a few helpers.

The Towau Big Bikes club would surely be able to assist you with getting a ticket and getting your bike loaded, they are a wonderful and fanatical group. The terminal is really chaotic and you might not even be able to figure out which ferry to get on.

Wow this is a thread that has a long life!

10. Posted by limdrew37 (Budding Member 15 posts) 29w

Quoting sepilokfui

Well, I am from Sandakan, Borneo. I don't see and never heard there is a complete land road from Banjarmasin to Sandakan. In some points, you would have to fly or take another boat before you arrive in Sandakan. If not, it would ride with some loggins (lumber truck) or some lumber company private transportation over some part of the jungle.

The furthest land road from Banjarmasin is upto Tanjung Selor. Then, boat to Tarakan and boat again to Tawau or Semporna, then land road to Sandakan.
But most people stop at Balikpapan because there are bigger ferry from there to Tawau/Semporna or Sandakan.

From Sandakan, there is ferry to Zamboanga. Nobody guarantes it is regular. It is also depend whether the route will continue to open for foreign water.
Last post - Weesam Express (check their website with the same name) runs twice a week (13hours) on wednesday and friday, last posting was on 7am.
Timmarine runs on tuesday and friday, last posting was on 5am.
You need to clear immigration formalities before leaving for Phillipines.

I have to agree with all your suggestion. Also, it would be very helpful if you also call the embassy and immigration as you need to fix some papers before going to the Philippines.