Dumai is the main port city in Riau province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Typical of such cities, it is quite seedy and there is nothing really much to do once you have arrived except to get out as soon as you can. However, you may well find yourself arriving here as it is a major ferry port with connections to the Malaysian cities of Port Klang, Port Dickson and Malacca as well as other Indonesian cities like Bengkalis and Batam.
Ferries operate from the following Malaysian cities:
- Port Klang: Several operators run daily ferries to/from Port Klang, the port for Kuala Lumpur. They include:
- Indomal Express/Malaysia Express: Contact Doyan Shipping in Port Klang (Tel: +60-3-3167 1058). From Malaysia, RM100 one-way. Journey takes just under 3 hours.
- MV Pelita Jaya Express/Sabang Marindo II: by NKH Ferry Services in Port Klang(Tel: +60-3-3166 0122). Daily departures from Dumai at 1300; from Port Klang 1030. From Malaysia RM80/150 one-way/return.
- Port Dickson: The Acob Express (Port Dickson Jetty office Tel: +60-6-6471599) operates daily to/from Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan. From Malaysia, it is RM85/160 one-way/return. Departs Dumai 1300, Port Dickson 1030.
- Malacca: Two ferries daily, operated by Tunas Rupat Follow Me Express (Dumai agent at Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 425. Tel: +62-765-31398; Malacca Ticketing booth at Jln PM10, Plaza Mahkota Melaka Raya. Tel: +60-6-2816766 or office at +60-6-2832506, +60-6-2832516). Ferries from Malacca depart at 0900 and 1500. Journey time just under two hours. Tickets from Malacca cost RM80/150 one-way/return.
From other parts of Indonesia
- Batam, Bintan and other Riau Islands:
- Dumai Express (Tel: +62-765-31820; Office at Jl. Jenderal Sudirman No.425) operates several ferries to/from Batam and Bintan. Most ferries stop by Bengkalis off the coast of Riau, and also Tanjung Balai on Karimun Island.
- Batam Jet (Tel: +62-765-35880; Office at Jl. Jenderal Sudirman No.441) has daily ferries to Batam.
In Batam, ferries dock at Sekupang, next to the international ferry terminal where there are connecting ferries to Singapore. In Bintan, ferries arrive/depart from Tanjung Pinang harbour in the middle of town.
- Other islands:
Nothing much to see if you don't have a transport. The town is quite small where you can walk around in half a day just like Kuah, Langkawi, Malaysia.
- Chinese Temple, Jalan Kelakap 7 (about 5 minutes walk from bus terminal).
- Grand Mosque Almanan, about 15 km from the city center on the way to Pekanbaru.
- Minang Sari. Delicious bakso (meatball soup).
You can eat the Nasi Padang, cheap. Four persons eat much for less than RM20.
the famous Indonesian Food Restaurant (Nasi padang) is Pak Datuk. Even Jakarta people buy from this restaurant.
There are two or three nice and new hotels. Once you reach the jetty, do not allow any touts to bother you. Walk fast and get a trycycle to go to your hotel. Do not tell anybody how long you are going to stay. You can say you came for business meeting with your boss. Your boss is arriving later. You won't be bothered after that. Otherwise the van touts and tricycle touts will try to push prostitutes.
The local bus station is about 3 km out of Dumai where busses leave for the nextmost tourist destinations in Sumatra, Bukittinggi (ca. 8-9 hrs) or Lake Maninjau.
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