I "heard" it was possible to go by plane or by ferry to Medan (Sumatra island, Indonesia).

I want to find the different ways to go from Singapore to Medan (Sumatra island, Indonesia) in order to choose the price/complexity ratio that suits me best.

Note: I am not planning to go to the Aceh region because of this: What are the restrictions imposed by the Sharia law in Aceh, Sumatra?

  • There is no international ferry link going to Medan. You would have to transit by Batam (from Singapore) Dumai (from Melaka, Malaysia) or Tujung Balai (from Klang, Malaysia). If you want specific info about north Sumatra, ask me. I lived 2 years there
    – Madlozoz
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


Options I found:

All in all, my research seem to always point to taking a plane rather than a ferry... unless you really have a special reason for avoiding planes (transporting loads of luggages, transporting a bike, fear of planes, or else).

Here is another good reason not to take the ferry in Indonesia How safe are the ferries in Indonesia?

Note: you must add circa 12 USD to every flight with AirAsia if you have a checked baggage

Note regarding trains going from Singapore to Johor Bahru: There's no point in taking the train to JB, the new terminal is very inconvenient and services are infrequent and unreliable. Take a bus instead.

Final note: there is nothing "special" to do in Medan, so if you arrive before 4pm try to plan your journey to your final destination straight from Medan (typically using a tourist bus or a public bus), roads can be dangerous at night so many transports do not work when it's dark (after 7pm). The hotel/hostel hosting you can provide more info, it's a typical thing to do.


  • 2
    If you take indirect route, there are other Ferry (Melaka->Dumai or Klang -> Tunjung Balai) but then, you need to make a tourist visa in some consulate beforehand. There is no visa on arrival in those harbor (there is in Batam harbor, but that's definitely not the direct route)
    – Madlozoz
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 12:23

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