Lots of people this morning waiting for the ferry to Nunukan. Lots of women with children and adult men. Seems I'm the only tourist here today.
At 10:30am the boarding starts. They weigh your total luggage. Allowed are 10 Kg, in my case their scale shows a total of 30 Kg, so I have to pay RM 32 for the additional weight (RM 1.60/Kg).
Then you go through a security check, immigration (officer asks where I'm going etc.) and finally around 11am I'm on the ferry. It's sort of a "bullet boat" type of ferry, i.e. fully contained vessel, you can't walk outside.
Shortly after 11:30am the boat leaves Tawau. It takes 1:45 hours to reach Nunukan and the boat is slow - slowly glides along the smooth water.
Once in Nunukan first they check your Peduli Lindungi app (they scan the QR code). Then you proceed to immigration.
In my case, since I'm a German national I have to get a visa on arrival for a fee of 500000 IDR. The problem is that the guy who sells the visas is not there. I wait for a long time until this guy shows up. Then the issue is that I do not have Indonesian rupiah, they don't take Euro or the credit card.
Long discussion, in the end one of the immigration officers brings me on his motorbike to an ATM (Mandiri), where I withdraw 2.5 million IDR (you never know how much cash you need).
Then it's a matter of reaching the ferry terminal for the speedboat to Tarakan. Again some discussion. Somebody insists that he can bring me on his motorbike to the terminal. No way with a huge and heavy suitcase.
Finally somebody with sort of a truck will bring me there for 70000 IDR. It's actually an old and broken truck with no windows and no A/C, but never mind, the important thing is to reach this terminal.
So we arrive at the ferry terminal around 2:15pm. Quick discussion, a speedboat to Tarakan is leaving soon. 300000 IDR, we rush to the pier and I board this boat.
Thinking again about it, perhaps I caught the last speedboat to Tarakan of the day (almost missed it).
The boatride to Tarakan takes quite some time (very bumpy ride, because the boat is fast and there are waves). We reach Tarakan around 4:50pm, i.e. two and a half hours after we left Nunukan.