How to get to and from: Bima

How to get to Bima

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Bima's Sultan Muhammad Salahudin Airport (BMU) is one of two airports in Sumbawa (the other is by Sumbawa Besar) but it is the only one with direct flights to Bali with Wings Air (a subsidiary of Lionair). The flight from Bali takes around one hour and 15 minutes. On arrival, by the baggage handling, staff at an "Information Kiosk" will ask you to show your passport and they write down where you're going.

Unless you want to walk out onto the main road and wait for a passing bus, there is no public transport from the airport. Instead you need to deal with an organised taxi cartel which have set artificially high fares to, well, anywhere.

The following prices are what we were quoted per vehicle. As they are per vehicle, it pays to find other passengers on your flight to share a car with.
Bima: 100,000 rupiah, takes about 20 minutes
Lakey: 800,000 rupiah, takes 1.5-2 hours
Sape (for ferry to Flores): 350,000 rupiah, takes 1.5 hours

The Lakey fare in particular is ridiculous. But if you have a surfboard, there is no way to avoid it (save walking!). A surfer we talked to on the flight told us that if you don't have a board, he'd been told you can get an ojek to Lakey for 350,000 rupiah, but as most surfers have boards, they're stuck with the 800,000 rupiah rate.

We'd heard stories about the drivers being very aggressive, but we had no problems. While we don't always manage to do this ourselves, always remain calm when dealing with airport taxis in Indonesia -- breathe deeply!


Bima's main bus station is in the southern reaches of town on Jalan Sultan Salahuddin and a 15-20 minute walk from the centre of things.

Sample fares include:
Dompu: Departs between 07:00 & 16:00, taking 1.5 hours and costing 35,000 rupiah.
Mataram (Lombok): Departs between 07:00 & 19:00, taking 12 hours and costing 300,000 rupiah.
Sape: Departs between 07:00 & 14:00, taking 1.5 hours and costing 35,000 rupiah.
Sumbawa Besar: Departs between 07:00 & 19:00, taking 8 hours and costing 80,000 rupiah.

There are also long-distance VIP buses, some of which sound totally insane -- we imagine the Bima to Jakarta bus would be a bag of laughs. These can be booked at the travel agents on Jalan Sultan Salahuddin near the intersection with Jalan Soekarno Hatta. All departures are at 19:00. Sample fares include:

Sumbawa: 150,000 rupiah
Poto Tano: 200,000 rupiah
Mataram: 250,000 rupiah
Denpasar: 550,000 rupiah
Banyuwangi: 600,000 rupiah
Surabaya: 700,000 rupiah
Semarang: 750,000 rupiah
Jakarta: 850,000 rupiah


There are two ferries daily from Sape (1.5 - 2 hours east of Bima) to Labuan Bajo in Flores. The scheduled departure time is 09:00 and 16:00 daily, though the schedule is subject to change -- the day we rode to the port, neither departure was running due to "engine problems". Check in Bima before heading over to Sape - and travel agent in town should be able to call ahead and check for you.