Dealing with Imigrasi serves as a useful introduction to the Byzantine complexity of Indonesia's bureaucracy. The long and short of it, though, is that most Western travelers can get a visa on arrival for US$.25 at most common points of entry (Java, Bali, etc), so read on only if you suspect that you don't fit this description.
There are three ways of entering Indonesia :
- Visa free. Show your passport, get stamped, that's it. Applies only to a few select countries, mostly in ASEAN.
- Visa On Arrival (VOA). Pay on arrival, get a visa in your passport, get it stamped, that's it. Most visitors fall in this category.
- Visa in advance. You must obtain visa at an Indonesian embassy before arrival.
One peculiarity to note is that Free Visa and Visa On Arrival (VOA) visitors must enter Indonesia via specific ports of entry. Entry via other ports of entry will require a visa regardless of whether you are a free visa or Visa On Arrival national or otherwise Customs in Indonesia is usually quite laid-back. You're allowed to bring in one liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 gm of tobacco products, and a reasonable quantity of perfume. Amounts of money carried in excess of 10 million Rupiah, or the equivalent in other currencies, have to be declared upon arrival or departure. In addition to the obvious drugs and guns, importing pornography and fruit, plants, meat or fish is (technically) prohibited. Indonesia imposes death penalty on those caught bringing in drugs.
Visa free entries are only permitted via the following ports of entry :
- Juanda in Surabaya (East Java).
- Adi Sucipto in Yogyakarta (Central Java).
- Adi Sumarmo in Surakarta (Central Java).
- El Tari in Kupang (East Nusa Tenggara Province).
- Halim Perdana Kusuma in Jakarta (Capital of Indonesia).
- Hasanudin in Makasar (South Sulawesi).
- Ngurah Rai in Denpasar (Island of Bali).
- Polonia in Medan (North Sumatera).
- Sam Ratulangi in Manado (North Sulawesi).
- Selaparang in Mataram (Lombok Island).
- Sepinggan in Balikpapan (East Kalimantan).
- Soekarno Hatta in Jakarta (Capital of Indonesia).
- Sultan Syarif Kasim II in Pekanbaru (Riau Province).
- Minangkabau in Padang (West Sumatera).
- Sultan Iskandar Muda, Banda Aceh.
- Hang Nadim, Batam.
- Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, Palembang (South Sumatera).
- Husein Sastranegara, Bandung (West Java).
- Ahmad Yani, Semarang (Central Java).
- Supadio, Pontianak (West Kalimantan).
- Bandar Bintan Telani Lagoi and Bandar Sri Udana Lobam in Tanjung Uban, Bintan.
- Belawan in Belawan (North Sumatera).
- Benoa in Badung, Bali (Island of Bali).
- Bitung in Bitung (North Sulawesi).
- Jayapura in Jayapura (Irian Jaya/Papua).
- Maumere in Maumere (East Nusa Tenggara).
- Padang Bai in Karangasem, Bali (Island of Bali).
- Pare pare in Pare pare (South Sulawesi).
- Sekupang; Nongsa, Marina Teluk Senimba and Batam Centre in Batam.
- Sibolga in Sibolga (North Sumatra).
- Soekarno-Hatta in Makassar (South Sulawesi).
- Sri Bintan Pura in Tanjung Pinang (Riau).
- Tanjung Balai Karimun in Tanjung Balai Karimun (Riau).
- Tanjung Mas in Semarang (Central Java).
- Tanjung Priok in Jakarta (Capital of Indonesia).
- Teluk Bayur in Padang (West Sumatra).
- Tenau in Kupang (East Nusa Tenggara Province).
- Yos Sudarso in Dumai (Riau Province, Sumatra).
- Citra Tritunas (Harbor Bay) (in Batam, Riau).
- Other place: Entikong, West Kalimantan.
For more information about Visa to Indonesia, you may read it on this page : Indonesia Visas.
The climate in Indonesia is very much constant with least amount of changes. The only variation in the Indonesian climate is not in the temperature or air pressure, but the rainfall. Around 81% of Indonesia’s area is covered by the warm waters from the rainfall in the land. The rainfall ensures that the land temperature of Indonesia remains stable. The archipelago of Indonesia is split by Equator thus ensuring a tropical climate all through the year. The coastal plains in the country averages an annual temperature of 28 °C while the inland and the mountain base records an average of 26 °C whereas the annual average temperature on the higher mountains is 23 °C.
The monsoon winds in Indonesia mostly blow from the south and the east in the months of June to September bringing down torrential rainfall. The monsoon changes direction during the months of December to March when it blows from the northwest direction. The land has little threat from Typhoons and huge storms. Rather the mariners face a threat from the swift currents in the channels, such as the Lombok and Sape straits.
The variations climate in Indonesia generally come from the rainfall and the monsoons. In other words monsoon brings in the different seasons in Indonesia. There is a spell of dry season between the months of June to September which is caused generally by the Australian continental air masses.
The northern and the western part of Indonesia experiences the maximum precipitation because of the north- and westward-moving monsoon clouds which are moving into these areas and are heavy with moisture. They usually lose some amount of moisture as they reach the other parts of the country.
Indonesia's currency is the Rupiah (IDR), abbreviated Rp. The rupiah's value plummeted during the 1997 economic crisis and has slowly drifted downward ever since, and as of March 2008 you need more than Rp 9,000 to buy one US dollar. The trailing three zeros are often abbreviated with rb (ribu, thousand) or even dropped completely, and for more expensive items you will often even see jt (juta, million).
The largest banknote is Rp 100,000, which may only be US$10 but is still inconveniently large for most purchases. Next in the series are Rp 50,000, Rp 20,000, Rp 10,000, Rp 5,000, Rp 2,000 and finally Rp 1,000. Bill size is the easiest way to distinguish them, as the designs — all pale pastel shades of yellow, green and brown — are confusingly similar and the smaller bills in particular are often filthy and mangled. (The new 2004-2005 series of notes has, however, corrected this to some extent.) A chronic shortage of small change — it's not unusual to get a few pieces of candy back instead of coins — has been to some extent alleviated by a new flood of plasticky aluminum coins, available in denominations of Rp 1,000, Rp 500, Rp 200, Rp 100, Rp 50 and the thoroughly useless Rp 25. Older golden metallic versions are also still floating around, and you may occasionally even run into a sub-1000 banknote. Bills printed in 1992 or earlier are no longer in circulation, but can be exchanged at banks.
Keeping in touch with the outside world from Indonesia is rarely a problem, at least if you stay anywhere close to the beaten track.
Telephone calls as getting a fixed line remains an unaffordable luxury for many Indonesians, Wartel (short for warung telekomunikasi) can be found on most every street in Indonesia, but nowadays the "Wartel" is almost gone and change with Mobile Phones.
If you have Global System Mobile (GSM) cellular phone or mobile phone, ask your local provider about "roaming agreement/facility" with local GSM operators in Indonesia (ie: PT Indosat, PT Telkomsel, PT Excelindo etc). For Mobile Card can be found in every where in Indonesia, you may bought it and do top up if the card is empty.
Making a calls.
- Making local calls :
Dial (telephone number).
- Making long distance calls :
Dial 0-(area code)-(telephone number).
Example, you want made a call from Jakarta to Makassar, so you have to know the Area Code of Makassar is "0411", for making call you may dial : 0411-telephone number.
- Making international calls.
Dial 017-(country code)-(area code, if any)-(telephone number).
Beside "017" prefix, you can use "001", "007" or "008". For example : 001-(country code)-(area code, if any)-(telephone number).
You may also can made International calls through operator, dial 101 or 102.
- Making long distance collect calls.
Dial 0871-(area code)
The Indonesian mobile phone market is heavily competed and prices are low; you can pick up a prepaid SIM card for about Rp 10,000 and calls may cost as little as about Rp 1,000 a minute or less (subject to the usual host of restrictions). Indonesia is also the world's largest market for used phones and basic models start from Rp 250,000. The largest operators are Telkomsel (brand Halo, simPATI, AS), Indosat (brands Matrix, Mentari, IM3) and Excelcomindo (brands Jempol, Bebas).
If you have Global System Mobile (GSM) cellular phone, you can ask your local GSM operator about "roaming agreement/facility" in Indonesia. Most GSM operators in Indonesia have roaming agreement with various GSM operators worldwide. Using roaming facility, you can use your own cellular phone and GSM SIM card in Indonesia.
The modern day version of the "Wartel" is the "Warnet" in Indonesia call it "Warung Internet", which feature Internet connected PCs as well, and many shops now do double duty. Prices vary considerably, and as usual you tend to get what you pay for, but you'll usually be looking at around Rp 3,500 per hour. In large cities, there are free hotspots (WIFI) in certain shopping malls, Cafe, Restaurant, Hotels, Airport, etc.
If you have GSM/WCDMA Mobile phones, you can easily use them for internet connections with a prepaid card from Indosat called Mentari, IM3, Broom, Telkomsel called Telkomsel Flash Card, Simpati Car, As Card ... etc , Excelcomindo called XL Hot Road, the prices may vary for each operator, but mostly they offer about Rp 10,000/day, and some operator offer "unlimited" connection per-day. The starter kit starting Rp 10,000 with vouchers Rp 10,000, Rp 25,000, Rp 50,000 or Rp 100,000.
Other information services :
- Current time; Dial 103.
- Information about TELKOM services; Dial 162.
- Phone directory; Dial 108 or 142.
- Phone directory in other cities; Dial (Code Area) 108.
- Hello Yellow Phone Directory; Dial (62)(21) 7917 8108.
- If you have internet mobile phone, you can found it on internet.
Code area of cities in Indonesia.
Amlapura (0363), Ampah (0522), Amuntai (0527), Amurang (0430), Atambua (0389), Bajawa (0384), Balikpapan (0542), Banda Aceh (0651), Bandar Lampung (0721), Bandung (022), Bagan Siapi-Api (0767), Bangkinan (0762), Bangli (0366), Banjarmasin (0511), Banjarnegara (0286), Bantaeng (0413), Banyuwangi (0333), Batam (0778), Baturiti (0368), Bima (0374), Bireun (0644), Bitung (0438), Blangpidie (0659), Blitar (0342), Blora (0296), Bogor (0251), Bojonegoro (0353), Bondowoso (0332), Bontang (0548), Bumiayu (0289), Cianjur (0263), Cilacap (0282), Cirebon (0231), Deli (0261), Denpasar (0361), Dumai (0765), Ende (0381), Garut (0262), Gorontalo (0435), Indramayu (0234), Jakarta (021), Janeponto (0419), Jayapura (0967), Jember (0331), Jogyakarta (0274), Jombang (0321), Kalabahi (0386), Karawang (0267), Kasongan (0536), Kediri (0354), Kendal (0294), Kendari (0401), Ketapang (0534), Klaten (0272), Kotamubagu (0434), Kuala Kurun (0537), Kudus (0291), Kuningan (0232), Kupang (0380), Lamongan (0322), Langsa (0641), Larantuka (0383), Lhokseumawe (0645), Longnawang (0555), Lumajang (0334), Luwuk (0461), Madiun (0351), Magelang (0293), Majalengka (0233), Makale (0423), Malang (0341), Malino (0417), Manado (0431), Mataram (0370), Maumere (0382), Medan (061), Meulaboh (0655), Muntok (0716), Nangapinoh (0568), Negara (0365), Ngabang (0563), Nganjuk (0358), Nunukan (0556), Pacitan (0357), Padang (0751), Padangsidempuan (0634), Painan (0756), Palangkaraya (0536), Palembang (0711), Palu (0451), Pekanbaru (0761), Pematang Siantar (0622), Pamekasan (0324), Pandeglang (0253), Pangkalan Bun (0532), Pangkep (0410), Pasuruan (0343), Pemalang (0284), Ponorogo (0352), Pontianak (0561), Prabumulih (0713), Probolinggo (0335), Prapat (0625), Puncak (0255), Purwakarta (0264), Purwodadi (0292), Purwokerto (0281), Purworejo (0275), Putussibau (0567), Rangkasbitung (0252), Rantau Prapat (0624), Rengat (0769), Rembang (0295), Ruteng (0385), Sabang (0652), Salatiga (0298), Samarinda (0541), Sampang (0323), Sampit (0531), Sangata (0549), Sanggau (0564), Semarang (024), Serang (0254), Sibolga (0631), Singaraja (0362), Singkawang (0562), Sinjai (0482), Sintang (0565), Situbondo (0338), Sekayu (0714), Selat Panjang (0763), Selayar (0414), Soe (0388), Solo (0271), Subah (0285), Subang (0260), Sukabumi (0266), Sumedang (0261), Sumenep (0328), Surabaya (031), Tahuna (0432), Takalar (0418), Tanah Grogot (0543), Tanggul (0336), Tanjung Balai (0263), Tanjung Batu (0779), Tanjung Balai Karimun (0777), Tanjung Pinang (0771), Tanjung Redep (0554), Tanjung Selor (0552), Tapaktuan (0656), Tarakan (0551), Tasikmalaya (0265), Tebingtinggi (0621), Tegal (0283), Tembilahan (0768), Tuban (0356), Tulungagung (0355), Makassar/Ujung Pandang (0411), Waingapu (0387), Watampone (0481), Wonogiri (0273).
Every traveler should carefully research about potential diseases and illness while traveling abroad. Nobody wants to have a trip to be spoil by being hospitalized. Always remember the prevention is better than the cure, so therefore take all precautions, vaccinations and use common sense (like don't drink tap water in the country that has high risk of polluted water, sleep under mosquito net in tropical countries where malaria and dengue are prevalent, use mosquito repellents, wear light long sleeved shirts and pants during early mornings / evenings when there is high risk of mosquitoes etc.)
Taking anti malaria tablets :
- Take the right tablets for the area you are going to (there are number of types of the anti malaria tablets).
- Start your tablets before entering a malaria area. This may be a few days or up to 3 weeks before (depending which tablets you choose to take).
- Take the tablets absolutely regularly, preferably with or after a meal (check for the possible symptoms of taking the tablets and what to avoid).
- Take them for 4 weeks after leaving the malaria area. This period is reduced to 7 days for Atovaquone/Proguanil (Malarone) – again depends on which tablets you choose.
- No anti malaria tablet is 100% effective.
If booking flight via internet, you will found that some airlines at Indonesian will not accept non Indonesian Credit or Debit Cards. Therefore you will need local friend if any to book it for your and pay it for you or use a local agent to make a reservation for you, or you can heat to airport to buy it.
Here is a list of emergency numbers in Indonesia (please note that while these numbers are accessible for free from all non-mobile telephones, they may not be accessible from mobile phones [for mobile phones, you'd better use international mobile phones emergency number, 112]) :
- Police : 110.
- Fire department : 113.
- Ambulance : 118.
- Search and rescue team: 115.