Traveling can be stressful. Planning well is the key to a successful vacation. If you’re planning a trip to Indonesia the following are a few tips to help make your trip a stress free one.
Visa and Passport Requirements
You can acquire a visitor’s visa upon arrival (VOA). The cost is USD 25 for 30 days per entry USD 10 for 7 days (minimum 5 persons).
Visa-free entry countries: Nationals of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippine, Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR, Ecuador, Chile, Morocco, Peru and Vietnam are given visa-free entry facility for maximum of 30 days
Countries / Nationals that require Visa-on-arrival (VOA) are as follows at Bintan ferry terminal: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Japan Kuwait, Laos, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monacco, Netherlands, New Zealand Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of China, Russia, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America.
The standard voltage in Indonesia is 220V/240V, 50 Hz. If you have equipment that runs on a higher voltage, a voltage adaptor will be required to use your electrical devices.
Power Plugs: Indonesia uses the British BS1363 three-pronged square pin type socket. Plugs from the US, Western and Eastern Europe, and Asia will not fit into a Singapore power plug.
Hotels almost always offer international conversion sockets/plugs and it’s always a good idea to purchase a universal converter as, depending on the time of year, hotels usually don’t have enough to go around. Converters can be purchased in all airports or from many shops around the island.
The Indonesian Rupiah is the currency of Indonesia. The exchange rate can be confirmed online as it can change by a few cents each day but a general example is 1.00 USD = 11,329.28 IDR. 1.00 GBP = 18,792.56 IDR. 1.00 SGD = 8,965.73 IDR. Banknotes come in denominations of Rp1000 up to Rp100 000. Coins start at Rp100 up to Rp500.
There are several local banks in Indonesia but it is recommended to exchange money before you arrive, as it is more convenient and cheaper. USD and the Singapore dollar is widely accepted in most major hotels and resorts as well.
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is the official language of Indonesia although you will find that English is spoken in most hotels and resorts although most times it is broken.
The Internet in Indonesia is a relatively new communication media. It improves yearly but expect to find some difficulties when travelling throughout the country. Many hotels and resorts offer limited, free Internet that can be accessed in main lobbies.
Prepaid Passport Indonesia SIM cards with an international cell phone is the most convenient and economical solution for staying in touch while you travel through Indonesia.
If your going to travel outside of Indonesia, the Indonesia Passport SIM Card cover you by providing service in over 190 other countries.
The standard time zone in Indonesia is UTC/GMT +7 hours. This makes the time difference for the US East Coast -11 hours. For London it is UTC/GMT + 6 hours. Check online for a comprehensive time difference calculation for other countries and cities.
Indonesia is very close to the equator and has a tropical climate throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 21°C (69.8 °F) to 32°C (89.0°F), with an average of 26° Celsius (78°F).
Humidity ranges from 61 to 96 percent. The period between October to March is characterized as the north monsoon season with more rainfall and stronger winds, but the weather is generally sunny all year around. Bintan Monsoon period lasts from November to March.
Getting around Indonesia:
Motorcycles are readily available for hire throughout Indonesia. In the tourist centers they can be rented from around 30,000Rp ($2.65 USD) per day, but in most places the locals rent out their own motorcycles to earn a few extra dollars. Rental charges vary with the type of bike and the length of hire. The longer the hire period, the lower the rate; the bigger or newer the bike, the higher the rate.
Motorcycles are almost all between 90cc and 125cc, with 100cc the average size. You really don’t need anything bigger; the distances are short and the roads are rarely suitable for fast speeds.
The main highways are hectic, especially in Java and Bali. Expect narrow roads, unexpected potholes, crazy drivers, buses and trucks that claim road ownership, children who dart onto the road, lumbering bullocks, dogs and chickens that run around in circles and unlit traffic at night. Take it slowly and cautiously around curves to avoid hitting oncoming traffic – this may include very large and heavy buses, buffalo, herds of stray goats and children. Keep to the back roads as much as possible, where riding can be pleasurable.
You need to have a license, especially to satisfy travel insurance in case of an accident, though you’ll rarely need to show it.
Some travel insurance policies do not cover you if you are involved in an accident while on a motorcycle. Check the small print.
These tips that we’ve put together can help ensure the difference between a nightmare travel experience and a memorable one.