Indonesia is a vast country located off the coast of mainland Southeast Asia with more than 17,000 islands extending into the Indian and Pacific oceans. With its large tropical forests, numerous pristine beaches, and the incredible hiking trails blanketed with nature, one should definitely plan a trip to this region once in their life. It is home to hundreds of distinct linguistic and ethnic groups, incredible landscapes, and a huge range of flora and fauna. Since there is so much to see, we’ve put down for you Indonesia travel tips which can prove very helpful in exploring this region.
10 Travel Tips For Indonesia
For planning a holiday in Indonesia, travel tips and information about the place from experienced travelers can prove to be very useful. This article highlights a few of these to help make your journey memorable.
1. Packing tips for the trip
Other than clothes and accessories, other travel essentials which must be packed are bug spray to avoid any insect bites while exploring nature, aloe vera gel for skin soothing treatment after being exposed to sun and a sunscreen to protect skin from the harsh rays of the sun. A universal charger should be taken along for avoiding any inconvenience. Mostly ATR aircrafts are used for internal transfers, therefore it is important to keep the baggage restrictions in mind as only 10 kg check-in baggage is allowed on these aircrafts.
2. Exploring beyond Bali
All travelers planning a trip to Indonesia will most of the times only visit Bali. While Bali is a magnificent place to visit, one should always explore the other beautiful islands of Indonesia as well. Heritage and culture buffs can plan a visit to Yogyakarta along with Bali. For nature and wildlife buffs, Komodo island is a great option. There are the unexplored gems Sulawesi and Gili Trawangan islands which have the best of both worlds.
3. Visa formalities
For tourists from more than 160 countries, visa on arrival is an accessible option. For this, you will need your passport valid for at least 6 months. The visa issued will be valid for 30 days. The return ticket from Indonesia should be kept handy as the passport officials may ask for it on arrival while issuing the visa. Airport tax is charged extra for all non-Indonesians but this is generally added to the Indonesia travel cost which is included in the purchased airline ticket. Beware of the dangers to avoid while traveling to Indonesia and not get involved in suspicious illegal activities like drug handling etc. Make sure you have an authentic prescription for all the medicines you’re carrying.
4. Local transport options
On islands like Bali, the distances between different tourist destinations are huge. Therefore, one may need to book a cab to travel from one place to other. A popular cab service company of this region, “Bluebird cabs”, provides a cab within ten minutes of booking. They take cash payments by the meter. Another feasible option is, renting a two-wheeler. This is the best option for slightly smaller places of Indonesia like Labuan Bajo and Ende where the distances are not too much. These kinds of towns are best explored by foot or by two-wheelers.
5. Accommodation in Indonesia
The more popular and bigger places like the capital city Jakarta, Bali and Yogyakarta have many hotels of all budgets and facilities. However, there are limited hotel options in smaller towns like Labuan Bajo and Ende. Almost all the hotels have all the basic amenities and services. In Bali, the Kuta area is filled with tourists throughout the year and is very crowded, therefore it is better to search for hotels in Nusa Dua and Seminyak.
6. All about the Indonesian currency
This is the most important tip out of all Indonesia travel tips. The currency used in Indonesia is IDR, the Indonesian Rupiah. Exploring and staying in this country are fairly inexpensive. As per the exchange rates, below are the approximate values:
1 INR = 195 IDR
1 USD = 13,000 IDR
1 EURO = 14,360 IDR
In Indonesia, the locals quote the price after omitting the last three digits, so if a shopkeeper is telling that something costs 30 IDR, it doesn’t mean it costs 30 IDR, but 30,000 IDR. Be very careful and double-check before paying to avoid getting fooled. In bigger cities, credit card transactions can be done easily but in smaller towns, it is better to carry cash.
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7. Buying local sim cards
Simpati is a sim card brand which is considered to have the best reception across Indonesia, even in the smaller cities is the best for travel tips in Indonesia. One can buy these sim cards at the airport but it is better to buy them from someplace else, as it’s much cheaper outside Bali Denpasar Airport. Even locally, the sim card is sold at different rates at different places. One may have to bargain for getting the cheapest rate for it.
8. Decoding the language (basics)
This country is culturally diverse with different religions practised in different regions. Hinduism is prominent in Bali, while parts of Flores is a Muslim dominated area. As visitors, one should respect and be sentimental towards their culture. It is always better to get to know a little about their customs and also about Bali Indonesia safety tips before visiting. Below are some of the common phrases which can be used to communicate with the locals.
Hello – Halo
Thank You – Terima Kasih
Yes – Ya
No – Tidak
Sorry/Excuse Me – Maff
Help! – Tolong!
Where? – Di Mana?
How Much/How Many? – Berapa
9. Must try dishes
Indonesia has several street shops and also high-end restaurants offering a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies from different cuisines. The highly recommended dishes include Gado Gado, Nasi Goreng, and Misi Goreng. A local non-alcoholic drink called Sirsak fruit juice offers a very unique taste. Their Seaweed dish called Chapchay is also quite enjoyed by all visitors.
10. Shopping in Indonesia
Bali market streets are covered in lively spirits and colours and offer many locally crafted creations like Ganesha idols, colourful dream catchers and dragons. Vendors and shopkeepers here generally double the price and quote so it is always better to bargain before purchasing anything. The shops at cultural centres can also be visited for good quality products at reasonable prices.
11. Download Offline Maps
This advice is always usable as when it coems to traveling in Indonesia, an Indonesia travel map is essential. Downloading offline maps comes handy during zero connectivity. It is easy to navigate in areas and to get to a specific landmark, especially in a foreign land where language is a barrier.
12. Drink Bottled Water Only
It’s not recomended to drink tap water in Indonesia, to make sure sanity is in check, always carry bottles of water and keep it in stock with you. Purchase reusable water bottle and keep it with throughout the trip and stay hydrated for your Bali Indonesia travel tips.
People visiting any part of Indonesia, be it Jakarta or Bali, should keep in mind these Indonesia travel tips mentioned above. If you’re still confused, you can consult our tour operators while booking your trip to Indonesia, and they’ll be more than happy to help!
Further Read: 10 Indonesian Islands That Will Take Your Breath Away!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Indonesia Trains and Buses
The Transjakarta Busway is the best public transportation network in Indonesia. Buses are extremely affordable, but aren’t as comfortable or safe as taxis.
Indonesia is fairly safe compared with many places in the world. There are some hassles from the avaricious, but most visitors face many more dangers at home. Petty theft occurs, but it is not prevalent.