Below you will find the best travel tips and tricks you need to know before you go to Indonesia, including details on local currency, security, travel, and languages.
For UK nationals: the tourist visa is not mandatory for stays of less than 30 days provided you have a national passport valid for at least 6 months upon arrival in Indonesia. If the stay exceeds 30 days: you will need to buy a tourist visa (issued by the Indonesian Embassy or on the spot at the crossing of the border). Its validity is 6 months, at the price of around £50.
Madura, Bangka, Belitung, Sumatra, Java, West Kalimantan and Centre (West Spindle) are at GMT / UTC +6
Flores, Timor, Sumbawa, Lombok, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, East Kalimantan and South (central spindle) are at GMT / UTC +7
Papua and Moluccas are at GMT / UTC +8
Indonesia is a pretty safe destination. However, here are some precautions to take:
Do not buy arak, rice-based alcohol or fermented palm
Respect the security measures put in place in the face of attacks
Stay informed about the news
Pay attention to scams
Pay attention to your personal belongings
Indonesia is a group of more than 17,000 islands between Asia and the Pacific Ocean. Thus, in order to travel between the islands we advise you to take the boat. Connections such as ferries are put in place to allow you to browse these pieces of land. You can rent a private boat or call a specialised shipping company.
On land, the bus, the bike, the car or the motorcycle will be your means of transport. Because of the high traffic, buses often remain very busy and therefore uncomfortable to travel on, but you still have the choice between various ranges of services: economic bus (ekonomi), express bus (patas) or luxury bus (executive). For the most experienced cyclists, you can cycle the roads, paths and hills. Make sure to pay attention to traffic and hot weather.
The official language is Bahasa Indonesia since independence from Indonesia in 1945. It originates in Malay and the addition of dialect or imported words. However, there are about 250 other languages and dialects spoken in Indonesia. In Bali, Java, Sulawesi or Lombok, people have their own dialect but all speak Bahasa. In tourist areas, English is commonly spoken.
Post office: 08:00 to 16:00, every day except Sunday
Office hours: 08:00 to 16:00
Lunch break: 12:00 to 13:00 (closed on Saturday)
Government Offices: 08:00 to 16:00
Banks: 08:00 to 15:00 Monday to Friday (but some banks keep their branches open longer in hotels)
Before you go to Indonesia, you must make sure of some formalities.
In addition, we advise you to consult your doctor and take out insurance covering medical expenses and medical repatriation. Depending on the length of your stay, be sure to be vaccinated against typhoid, hepatitis and PAO. Rabies vaccination may also be recommended because several cases of rabies are reported.
Behaviour to adopt:
Permanently protect yourself from mosquitoes.
Do not drink tap water.
Avoid consumption of raw fish, meat and poultry.
Be cautious of animals and stay away from them (dogs, monkeys, stray animals). In case of bites, you must clean the area and see a doctor immediately.
Prefer private hospitals to public hospitals.
Main airports: Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta on Java and Bali Ngurah Rai Airport. The airports of Balikpapan, Medan, Surabaya, Lombok and Manado also make international connections. Most international flights call at Singapore.
Here is a list of the main airlines: Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Garuda, Silk Air and Tiger Airways.
Indonesia has an equatorial and tropical climate, with temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees all year round. The seasons are regulated by the monsoon:
- The rainy season from October to April, has a humidity rate of up to 75% (the heaviest rains between March and December are in the mountainous regions of Sumatra and Java)
- the dry season from April to September, the best season to visit.
The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian rupiah. You can exchange the currency before leaving, but you will easily find money exchange offices in all cities.
£1 = around IDR 16,700