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.
Dumai is well connected by road from Pekanbaru and Medan. It takes approximately 5 hours to reach Dumai from Pekanbaru. Mode of transport is either by bus or by "travels" (shared car pool). The cost approx IDR 70,000/- per person by travels and IDR 50,000/- per person by bus. If you book the full car it is IDR 450,000/- appx from Pekanbaru. The roads are not good.
Also it is connected by bus from Medan, which takes 10 hr. The cost of travel is approximately IDR 200,000/- to IDR 300,000/-per person depending upon the bus.
The main bus station is inconveniently sited. An office for shared taxis to Pekanbaru can be found about 300 m from the northern end of Jalan Sudirman, on the east side.
- 1 Pinang Kampai Airport (DUM IATA) (approximately 10 minutes' drive from the center of town). TransNusa serves Dumai to and from Jakarta 9 times per week (Sunday (2 flights), Monday, Tuesday (2 flights), Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (2 flights)). Wings Air serves daily flights from Dumai to Medan, Batam, and Pekanbaru and back.
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.
Please note that since the 12th of September 2011, the Port Klang passenger terminal charges a departure tax of RM 20 whether you arrive from Dumai or depart from Port Klang, if you don't have the amount in Malaysian Ringgits you are allowed to pay in Indonesian Rupiah but the rate are quite bad.
- 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.
Indomal Express Depart from/to Port Dickson on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Dumai to Port Dickson : 11.00 am Port Dickson to Dumai : 9.00 am
- 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 1000 and 1500. Journey time just under two hours. Tickets from Malacca cost RM110/170 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: +62-765-35888; 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.
There's public park in Sudirman street called Taman Bukit Gelanggang where we can rent "delman" is a traditional transportation. Unique because it use horse power to move. And there's a lot of amusment thing that we can rent to use
- Chinese Temple, Jalan Kelakap 7 (about 5 minutes walk from bus terminal).
- Buddhis Temple
There are 2 buddhist temple in Dumai 1.VIHARA BUDDHA PADMA Located at Nangka street no 35 AB. It's a buddhayana temple. 2.Vihara Mudita Maitreya Located at kamboja street
- Grand Mosque Almanan, about 15 km from the city center on the way to Pekanbaru.
Dumai is a small city and so does not have the variety of things to do that a larger local may have.
There is small shopping mall called Ramayana. You can get all the items required for normal consuption is available. Also there is a store named Besta Jaya and Hari Hari.
Hari Hari is better organised for buying the daily needs. For fruit and vegetabls there is Pasar which is in day time all seven days in a week. Pasar is the traditional Market for daily fruit and vegetable, fish, other grocessies and cloths.
The prices are very high as comapred to any other city of Indoneisa. It can be referred as Dollar city of Indonesia. There is no home production in Dumai excpet palm plantation.
Nothing to Buy as such unless and until required urgently.
You can taste a lot traditional food in Dumai. Ayam Penyet(Smash Chicken) is a fried chicken with hot/nice traditional chili. You can find sellers in Patimura street, Sei masang, and almost every street in Dumai. Pecel Lele is a fried Fish with traditional chili. You can find a lot of food in Hasanudin street
Air akar is a local drink which you can't find in any other city.
There are several good coffee shops in Dumai
- Coffee Toffee. A franchise coffee shop that tastes like Starbucks.
- VIENNA COFFEE TEA. Located at nangka street, offers a variety of coffee, tea, and dessert.
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. A few good Hotels are there to Check in e.g. Hotel Grand Zuri & Hotel Comfort. Grand Zuri is better. It is neat and clean and located at Centre place. Foods and drinks are available in the Hotel. Limited Vegterian Dish is available.
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.