How to cross the border from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea

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15 Responses

  1. Tom says:

    Hi Max, How are you?

    We crossed the border about a month ago, stayed two weeks in PNG, obtained Indonesian VISA and crossed back. I’d say not much has changed and the border crossing is still not stable (could be closed due to weather or tensions between two countries).tfac

    We are more than happy answer any questions, if someone needs help 🙂
    Most help we got, was from the homestay we stayed night before going to PNG.

    Read more about our experience: http://tomplusveronica.com/report-png-visa-and-crossing-from-jayapura-indonesia-to-vanimo-png-and-back/

  2. Max Jamilly says:

    Hi Tom – thanks for the great update! I’m very glad to hear that you made it across the border without significant problems. Hopefully the border will get more stable in time.

    Your blog looks brilliant. I can’t wait to read more! Look out for some photos and articles about my time in PNG soon. 🙂

  3. Hi everyone,

    Small update for the border crossing: all easy now.
    You can go there by bemo by Jayapura then hitch-hike from Koya or charter a bemo (public taxi) for around 150,000 rupiahs. Indonesia has just opened a new border office and you can reenter directly (from an used VOA to a visa exemption, for the French guy that I am). Getting a PNG visa in Jayapura was easy too, and I have got it in 24h.

    Just one point more, Vanimo is very expensive for foreigners, as mostly business men and civil servants go there: cheapest hostel (Vanimo Beach Hotel) was about 90 US dollar a night: 1.1m Indonesian rupiahs. And no hanging out by night, because of spirits and drunk people. But water is amazing and there is a small cave with skulls, cross and bones just before Indonesian border, on the seashore. I have had the pleasure of meeting a forester to discover the area.
    In a nutshell, it is expensive, very original with locals and militaries, long and unforgettable.

    I have done it by your post, so thanks a lot. Very cool of you.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Nicolas

  4. Max Jamilly says:

    Salut Nicolas! Thanks for your awesome hints. What brilliant news that the crossing is no longer such an ordeal. Did you continue further east into PNG?

  5. Astrid says:

    Thanks everybody for your update which is so important, as it is soo difficult to get any information beforehead! I am planning to cross the border on a saturday, but I did organise a visa for png beforehead.. so i should not need to get one in jayapura.. at least this is what people promised me… so i just wonder if you know if the border is also opened on saturdays? thanks again for your help! cheers astrid

    • Max Jamilly says:

      Hey Astrid – great to hear from you. Unfortunately I don’t know whether the border is open on Saturdays. If you’re already in Jayapura, you could try asking at the police office or calling the PNG consulate. Let us know what you find out! Good luck 🙂

      • Astrid says:

        Hey max! Thanks for your reply! Well everybody told me that the boarder should open on Saturday .. lets see! But they told me also that I ll need an exit stamp even if I already have my visa for png and a normal one ( so no visa on arrival) which I only get in the migration office..and this I do not know wether it is open on Saturday ..I wonder if I can not get the stamp right at the boarder ..well as usual nobody knows..but I ll keep you updated..I ll be there beginning of September..cheers astrid

        • Juergen says:

          Strange, I will be arriving in Jayapura this. wednesday and hoping to get my PNG Visa the same day, so I can cross the border the next day 17.11.2017.
          Hopefully everythink works well, I have reading this helpful blog since 1 year.
          Cheers Jürgen from Austria

          • Juergen says:

            I will let you know, about the PNG Visa application in Jayapura Consulate, and the way to go to PNG.

          • Max Jamilly says:

            Hey Juergen! how did it go? Let us know when you have the chance 🙂

          • antonovitch says:

            Wahoo, I strongly disencourage you to go camping there. It is very unsafe by night, don’t do it. Hostels have told me there you risk robbery and death if you go out by night, and I am not a newbie.
            You have to understand Vanimo is a forestry town for export in Malaysia and China. So there is not really accomodation for tourists: hostels are very expensive (cheapest is Vanimo Beach something, 75€ per night) because it is used, nearly only by business men and civil servants.

            I have managed to hitch hike in the Indonesian part, but you are unlikely to succeed in the PNG part, because you have first to go through a road in the forest / seeside, with a check by militaries. So I don’t expect locals to have to deal with your border-crossing needs. But shared taxis are alright!

            It was an unexpected and great time for the poor one-boy traveller that I was six months ago, but please deal with these safety requirements. And remember, be safe before night! And go swimming, water is marvellous and, according to my small insights, less dangerous (less streams) than in the Indonesian part.

            So long,
            Antonovitch

          • Max Jamilly says:

            I agree! Although Vanimo is pretty different to the rest of PNG. In Vanimo I think I spent $40 at a mission home (I’ll check the name) and then spent a few nights couchsurfing with a great guy from the town hall called Mr Wasa. Hitchhiking in the rest of PNG wasn’t difficult but if you’re on a PMV route then people may ask you to pay. Definitely avoid the streets in urban areas at night.

  6. Merle says:

    Thanks to everybody for all this recommondations!
    I´m planning to travel from Indonesia (Jayapura) to PNG by hitchhiking and staying in my tent in March/April 2018- solo.
    Does anyone know more about woman´s safety there?
    I have hitched and stayed in a tent in Thailand and Malaysia before, there I felt quiet safe…
    Would you consider hitching / camping for a solo woman as quiet safe in PNG and Indonesia?
    Otherwise how much are approximately the cheapest accomodations there?
    Thank you in advance!♥
    Merle

    • Max Jamilly says:

      Hey Merle! Camping in PNG will be a great adventure. I don’t have any personal experience of women’s safety there but I reckon most people wouldn’t advise camping near urban areas. It’s not especially safe at night and you’ll certainly attract a LOT of attention unless you’re very good at hiding.
      In the jungle and Highlands camping may be OK, but maybe chat to some people locally for advice – again, every time I tried, friendly people came and invited me to their homes. Accommodation is pretty expensive (often 80+ kina per night in missions/hostels in cities, sometimes 150-200 kina if you’re unlucky) but everywhere I went I met people willing to host me. There’s a pretty active couchsurfing scene in some of the cities. Let me know and I can put you in touch with friends there but you’ll probably have more offers of a place to stay than you can handle! Kira Salak’s book “Four Corners” is a bit old but it’s probably still an accurate account of solo female travel in PNG – maybe worth a read. Good luck! Let us know how it goes… 🙂

      • Hi all, what a great thread, thank you so much for this info. I was trying to find a way how to cross the border from Jayapura to PNG and wasn’t sure if we can go further into the country. Now, after reading your info, we probably give it a go 🙂
        We will be there in January, if I don’t remember myself, please remind me to also update on here to share latest info.

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