Special Tips for Travelling to Indonesia

With over 17,500 islands, Indonesia is one of the most exotic places in the world. From cultural & sacred temples in Java, the white sands in Lombok and Bali, to the capital city of Jakarta, to the pure lands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, you can always find something different here.

Indonesia is home of indigenous animals such as Orang Utan & Komodo Dragon. Indonesia also offers inexpensive local food and reasonably-priced accommodation, it’s no wonder Indonesia is a popular destination with so many travelers.

Weather

Indonesia has tropical climate which makes it an ideal holiday destination all year round. There are only two seasons here are: dry and wet. From June through September the weather is dry, while from December through March, the season is wet with temperatures at 21 to 33˚C (cooler at higher place).

Average temperatures in some of the most popular tourist destinations like Bali are around 30˚C the whole year. May through August is the best time for a visit to Indonesia. If you plan on traveling to mountain villages, you’ll need to carry some warm clothing.

Accommodation

In Indonesia, Visitors can find impressive selection of accommodation, ranging from five-star luxury hotels to basic but comfortable lodgings. Hostels usually cost around US$12 per night for a shared room and US$24 for a double private. Prices will be up to half the price outside of the major cities. Most hotels begin at US$27 per night for a double room.

Food

Local food is extremely cheap. You can eat either street food or in restaurant. You can indulgence yourself with various local food with cheap price but still so tasty. Just starting at US$.50 you can get yourself street food and $1 for a full local meal. On average, you’ll spend $2-3 for local meal (this is applicable if you take street food) . Western food is more expensive but is still affordable at around US$9-US$10 for a meal and drink.

Transportation

There are airports in some of big cities in Indonesia. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) in Jakarta is the biggest airport in Indonesia and a major gateway into the other cities.

The easiest transport is by plane, as Indonesia is consist of so many islands. Alternatively, if you want to travel around Java Island, you can use train between some destinations, with business and economy class trains available. For other island there are many buses which can take you from the big cities to the small cities. Or you can also experience the local transport such as becak (also known as pedi-cabs and tri-shaws).

Most of the drivers cannot speak English, so don’t forget to bring your map and always know the route of your destination.

Visa and Passports

Visas are not required for nationals of Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Visitors from these countries will receive an arrival permit valid for 30 days.

In the year 2004, the tourist visa regulations became more restrictive for nationals of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Some visitors must now purchase a visa on arrival, with visas available for periods of 10 or 30 days. Note that visitors who obtain a visa on arrival cannot extend their stay.

Currency

The currency is the Indonesia rupiah (IDR), commonly abbreviated as Rp. The largest amount is Rp100,000, roughly equivalent to US$10. It also come in Rp50,000, Rp20,000, Rp10,000, Rp5,000, Rp2,000 and Rp. 1,000

Money Saving Tips

  • Eat on the street – You can pick up tasty local fare for around $.50 cents! Street side snacks, soups, and noodles will keep your wallet fat! Markets are your best bet for finding seriously cheap food.
  • Bargain hard – Nothing is ever at face value in Indonesia. Bargain with sellers as most of the time, the price they’ve quoted will not be the price you’ll pay if you bargain!

Language

Bahasa Indonesia is the national language in Indonesia. However in some tourist area you can find people who can speak English, Dutch, French or Japan. There are about 583 languages and dialects are spoken in Indonesia, such as Acehnese, Batak, Sundanese, Javanese, Toraja, Buginese, Ceramese, and several Irianese languages.

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