INDONESIA : A BASIC TRAVEL INFO Print
 

Area                                                           1,919,440 Square Kilometer

Comparing to the size of U.S. states               2.5 times bigger than  Texas 

Borders with                                                 Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Malaysia,

                                                                  Singapore, Australia, Palua           

Population                                                   250 million                                          

Time Zone                                                   Three time zones, Central time GMT + 7:00

Religions                                                     Islam

Government Type                                         Constitutional Republic

Capital                                                        Jakarta

Language                                                    Bahasa Indonesia

Passport & Visa Formalities

The Indonesian government requires a passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in Indonesia to enter the country.  U.S. citizens may apply for a visa upon arrival most of the  airports including Jakarta and  Bal Visas on arrival are available at a limited number of seaports, including the Batam and Bintan ferry terminals, but are not available at any land border crossing.

For more information on visa and fees, contact  the Indonesian  Embassy. Current Visa Fee $ 35.00 per preson (subject to change anytime)

The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia:

2020 Massachusetts Avenue NW,

Washington, DC 20036,

Phone: (202) 775-5200 or  http://www.embassyofindonesia.org   

Weather & Clothing

Indonesia has a tropical climate, with variations throughout the country - it's generally cooler inland and at higher elevations compared to the coastline and lowlands.

The northeastern monsoon brings cool, dry weather from June to September, while the southwestern monsoon brings heavy rains from December to March. Average annual temperature stands at 86°F (30°C).

The best time to travel in Indonesia is between April and October, when the weather is not too hot and not too wet either.

Dress is normally informal in Indonesia due to the warm, humid climate and clothing of light fabrics are recommended. Travelling in highland areas is noticeably cooler, however, and carrying a light sweater may prove useful. Accepted attire for men is a shirt and long pants.For ladies, dresses, blouses, and long pants are appropriate. Shorts, halters or tank tops should only be used at sports facilities or on the beach.

Health & Immunization

As with most underdeveloped countries, stomach upsets and diarrhea are a common problem and can ruin a visit. Most problems stem from contaminated water. Unless it has been thoroughly boiled, do not drink tap water. You should also avoid ice in drinks, especially in the countryside. Imported bottled water is available in most cities, but beware of bottles that have been refilled with tap water. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are fine and in hotels you can use the boiled water in your room to make Chinese tea. You should have no problems with thoroughly cooked food.


Malaria: Prophylaxis with Lariam, Malarone, or doxycycline is recommended for rural areas in Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Nusa Tenggara Barat and for all areas in eastern Indonesia (provinces of Papua Indonesia, Irian Jaya Barat, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Maluku, and Maluku Utara). There is no risk in Jakarta, resort areas of Bali, or the island of Java, except for the Menoreh Hills in central Java. 

The Centers for Disease Control provides an International Traveler’s Hotline offering recorded messages or faxes on current health risks. Call 877 394 8747 or visit cdc.gov/travel for suggested immunizations and food/ water precautions For other health-related inquiries, call 404 639 3534 (8 a.m. 4:30 pm EST)

Customs & Declarations

Indonesian Customs allows on entry a maximum of two liters of alcoholic beverages, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco and a reasonable amount of perfume per adult. 

Narcotics, arms and ammunition, printed matter in Chinese characters and Chinese medicines are prohibited.

There is no restriction on import or export of foreign currencies. However, you may have to declare upon arrival if you are carrying more than specified amount of foreign currency.

Money, Credit Cards & ATM

Currency
The unit of currency is Indonesia Rupiah indicated as IDR.  You can exchange the money at the airprot, hotels, banks and official money exchange counters.

The US dollar is the most readily accepted currency. Most major tourist destination areas have foreign exchange facilities, but for travel to remote areas, it is advisable to change money in advance.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are acceptable at most of t hotels, restaurants and bigger stores.

ATM

ATM are available most of the places in Indonesia except the rural areas. 

Culture & Etiquette

When visiting Indonesia, visitors should observe local customs and practices. Some common courtesies and customs are as follows :

Although handshakes are generally acceptable for both men and women, some Muslim ladies may acknowledge introductions to gentlemen by merely nodding and smiling. A handshake should only be initiated by ladies. The traditional greeting or salam resembles a handshake with both hands but without the grasp. The man offers both hands, lightly touches his friends outstretched hands, and then brings his hands to his chest to mean, "I greet you from my heart". The visitor should reciprocate the salam.

Drinks are generally offered to guests. It is polite to accept.

Taking photographs at places of worship is usually permitted but always ask permission beforehand.

Miscellaneous

When you arrive at the airport or border 

When you arrive at the airport or border, someone from our local supplier will meet you  who will be displaying your name. You will be then transferred to your to hotel.  In case,  because of earlier or delayed flight, if you do not  see anybody to pick you up, then give a call to the local tour operator listed on the “Local Operator’s Contact Detail” which is in the information package you have received from us before you left U.S.

Electricity

Power supply is usually 220 volts/250 cycles in large cities, but 110 volts is still used in some area. Normal outlets are plugs with two rounded pins. It is advisable to check electricity supplies before using any appliance.

Telephone, Internet & Wifi

You can make intenation calls from most of the country. Sim cards for mobile phones are widely sold and easily obtained for a small fee.

Indonesia is becoming a very connected society and internet cafes and Wifi hotspots can be found in nearly every major city. Hotels, coffee shops and restaurants tend to offer private Wifi networks. However this can be quite different in more remote islands and less developed highland areas.

Shopping

If you are thinking of purchasing any products, which you cannot carry with you, then think twice before you purchase it. The salesman or guide may tell you that they would pay the shipping charges to your address. However, besides the shipping charge, you must understand that there are other charges involved at your end, which they may not be aware of, such as destination charges, custom clearance fees, warehouse fees and other fees. By the time, the product reaches your home; the chance is high that you will also receive a bill for all the other charges, which might be higher than the cost of product itself. So, unless you are very sure about these charges, shipping anything home is not suggested.

Airport Departure Tax

As of now, airport deaparture taxes are not included in your domestic and international flights. The tax has to be paid in local currency. Please check with you local guides about the exact current tax amount before you go to airport.

Local /Govenment Tax

There is a 21% tax and service charge added to all meals, drinks and purchases. Your tour cost already includes this tax on the services which are included in the tour. You will pay for the extra meals and other sevices which are not included including the tax. 

Tipping

The same rules apply about tipping as elsewhere. Roughly 10% of bills at restaurants if service charge is not included. If the service charge is included, you do not need to pay tip, unless you get something very special.

Your driver and guide expect a tip at the end of the tour.  Below is a general idea on tipping in the group size beween 2-5 people.  If there are more than 5 people in the group, a little more would be expectd. The mentioend tipping is to be divided by the number of people in the group.  The tips can be more or less depending on the services you get from them.

Tour Guide : US$  8 a day

Driver  :        US$ 7 a day