Indonesia Travel Guide

Indonesia Travel Guide

The Republic of Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world comprising 17,504 large and small tropical islands fringed with white sandy beaches, many still uninhabited and a number even still unnamed. Straddling the equator, situated between the continents of Asia and Australia and between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, it is as wide as the United States from San Francisco to New York, equaling the distance between London and Moscow. Indonesia has a total population of more than 215 million people from more than 200 ethnic groups.

The national language is Bahasa Indonesia. Among the most well known islands are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan (formerly Borneo), Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), the Maluku Islands (or better known as Moluccas, the original Spice Islands) and Papua. Then, there is Bali “the world’s best island resort” with its enchanting culture, beaches, dynamic dances and music. But Indonesia still has many unexplored islands with grand mountain views, green rainforests to trek through, rolling waves to surf and deep blue pristine seas to dive in where one can swim with Dugongs, dolphins and large Manta rays.

Because of her location, and geology, Indonesia is blessed with the most diverse landscape, from fertile rice lands on Java and Bali to the luxuriant rain forests of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi, to the Savannah grasslands of the Nusa Tenggara islands to snow-capped peaks of West Papua.

Her wildlife ranges from the prehistoric giant Komodo lizard to the Orangutan and the Java rhino, to the Sulawesi Anoa dwarf buffalo, to birds with exquisite plumage like the cockatoo and the bird of paradise. This is also the habitat of the Rafflesia the world’s largest flower, wild orchids, an amazing variety of spices, and aromatic hardwood and a large variety of fruit trees. Underwater, scientists have found in North Sulawesi the prehistoric Coelacanth fish, a “living fossil” fish, predating the dinosaurs living some 400 million years ago, while whales migrate yearly through these waters from the South Pole. Here are hundreds of species of colorful coral and tropical fish to admire.

Culturally, Indonesia fascinates with her rich diversity of ancient temples, music, ranging from the traditional to modern pop, dances, rituals and ways of life, changing from island to island, from region to region. Yet everywhere the visitor feels welcomed with that warm, gracious innate friendliness of the Indonesian people that is not easily forgotten.

Facilities-wise Indonesia’s hotels are second to none. In fact, many of our luxurious and unique hotels have constantly been listed as some of the best in the world, located on white sandy beaches, overlooking green river valleys, or situated in the heart of busy capital Jakarta. While Indonesia’s cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, or Makassar are a hive of activities for business and leisure and a paradise for shoppers, offering upscale boutiques selling top brand names, to local goods at road-side stalls. Here gourmets can treat themselves to the many regions’ delectable spicy cuisine or dine sumptuously at international restaurants. And for sheer relaxation, Indonesia Spas are second to none to reinvigorate both body and mind.

Convention centers are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, as many top international conferences and exhibitions are held in Jakarta, Bali to Manado, ranging from the Global Climate Change Conference in Bali to the World Ocean Conference in Manado , to trade and investment exhibitions and tourism trade shows in many provincial capital cities.

Jakarta, Bali, Medan, Padang, Bandung, Solo, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Makassar are connected by direct international flights, and many regular and low cost carriers fly passengers to Indonesia’s towns or remote locations.

Indonesia has so many beautiful travel destinations and attractions, sometimes difficult to decided which Indonesia islands to discover and visit. With years of experiences and employing highly qualified professionals, we will guide you to travel in the Indonesia islands such: island of Sumatra, Borneo Orangutan, Sulawesi, Java, Bali, Lombok island, Komodo island and Papua, to have a unique experience with Orangutans, Komodo Dragons, Tana Toraja People, Dayak Tribes, “the stone age” Baliem Valley, Yali, Asmat tribes and the Tree House Tribes, climbing the Indonesia volcanoes or just to have laze by the beaches of Indonesia. If you are not sure what to do on Indonesia?, relax..! please let us know a little about your self, your interest, any dreams of your trip on Indonesia islands, then sit back and allow us to suggest a customized holiday tour packages.

Indonesia Travel Tips

Immigration Visas are required except for the nationals of 48 countries namely Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom (Great Britain), United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Taiwanese holding MFA//M passports. The visa requirement is also waived for other nationals from friendly countries, attending a conference which has received official approval.

Visa free entry is for maximum of 60 days and is not extendable. Entry and departure must be through the airports of Polonia (Medan), Simpang Tiga (Pekanbaru), Hang Nadim (Batam), Tabing (Padang), Soekarno-Hatta (Jakarta), Husein Sastranegara (Bandung), Juanda (Surabaya), Adisumarmo (Solo), Ngurah Rai (Denpasar), Eltari (Kupang), Supadio (Pontianak), Sepingan (Balikpapan), Sam Ratulangi (Manado), Pattimura (Ambon), Hasanuddin (Makassar), Selaparang (Mataram), and Frans Kaisiepo (Biak), and the seaports of Belawan (Medan), Batu Ampar and Sekupang (Batam), Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), Tanjung Mas (Semarang), Tanjung Perak (Surabaya), Benoa and Padangbai (Bali), Bitung (North Sulawesi), Ambon (Maluku), and Tanjung Pinang (Bintan). There is only one land gateway, Entikong in West Kalimantan.

For other ports of arrival or departure, visitors must have visas, For others, tourist visas for thirty days can be obtained form any Indonesian embassy or consulate. Two photographs are required and a small fee is charged. Possession of passports is a must to all visitors to Indonesia valid for at least six months with proof of onward passage, either return or through tickets.

Transports There are metered taxis in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Solo, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Bali and Lampung. For air-conditioned taxis flag falls are Rp.2,000 (Rp. 900 for each additional kilometer) and Rp. 3,000 (Rp. 1,300 for each additional kilometer). For Silverbird flagfall is Rp. 3,500 and Rp. 1,500 for each additional km. Hire cars are available and rates differ form area to area and it is best to ask the transportation desk of your hotel for information concerning rates and distances.

From Soekarno-Hatta airport to Jakarta city, taxis add a surcharge ranging from Rp. 7,500/Rp. 9,000/Rp. 10,000 depending on the destination and the road tolls of Rp. 7,000. There are also Soekarno-Hatta International Airport buses which run every 20 minutes to five different points in the city. For those heading for the major hotels in the city center, take the bus to Gambir, a railway station, which is five to ten minutes away by taxi from the hotels. Bus fare is Rp, 5,000 per person plus luggage. At other airports there are transport counters with fixed fares for taxis.

Other forms of transport in Indonesia are bajaj for two passengers, small buses which ply regular routes, the man-driven pedicab “becak,” all of which need advanced bargaining to come to a mutually accepted fare. Buses are very crowded, particularly in the cities and routes need to be identified. Trains traverse the island of Java and part of Sumatra. Fares are comparatively cheap but higher on air-conditioned express trains running between major cities.

Garuda Indonesia has an extensive network throughout the country. To all major cities on the archipelago, Garuda had daily services. Garuda services are supplemented by those of Batik air, Wings Air, Mandala, Lion Air, Awair and Pelita.

Communication and Electricity Long distance calls within Indonesia are by direct dial. International Direct Dial (IDD) is available from major cities and hotels to 240 countries. Long Distance, IDD and facsimile services are also available at the telecommunications offices (Wartel) in major cities and hotels. Internet service is not a difficult things to find in big cities public internet services (Warnet). Most hotels in big cities use 220 volts 50 cycles and a two-pronged plug. However, some hotels in the provinces may still be using 110 volts. It is better to check before using an appliance.

Weather Indonesia Indonesia has two seasons, the dry season from June to October and the rainy season from November to March. There are occasional showers during the transitional periods and the general maximum temperature is 33°C (62°F) and the general minimum 21°C (41°F). Humidity is high at all times.

Customs Customs allow on entry a maximum of one liter of alcoholic beverages, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco and a reasonable amount of perfume per adult. Cameras, video cameras, portable radios, cassette recorders, binoculars and sport equipment are admitted provided they are taken out on departure. They must be declared to Customs. Prohibited are firearms, narcotics drugs, pornography, Chinese printing and medicines, transceivers and cordless telephones. Films, pre-recorded video tapes and laser disks must be screened by the Censor Board.

There is no restriction on import or export of foreign currencies and travelers checks, however, the import and export of Indonesian currency exceeding Rp. 5 million is prohibited. Airport authority levies an airport tax of Rp. 50.000 for travelers on international routes and Rp. 11,000 for those on domestic routes.

Shopping and Tipping At most hotels a service charge of 10% is added to the bill. In restaurants where a service charge is not additional, a tip of 5 to 10% would be appropriate depending on the service and type of establishment. An airport or hotel porter expects Rp. 5,000 per bag.

Tipping taxi drivers Rp. 1,000 or leaving the change is appreciated but not mandatory. It is advisable to carry small change as taxi drivers are often short of change. The big cities have shopping complexes, supermarkets and department stores where prices are fixed. They stay open from 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. everyday and some even on Sunday. At small shops bargaining might be necessary.

Food and Health The Indonesian staple food is rice steamed boiled or fried. Some accompanying dishes can be pepper hot – big red pepper or small green ones – so it is advisable to ask before ordering. Please be inform to also ask the price before ordering. There are many restaurants specializing in European, American and Oriental cuisine including the fast food restaurants.

A variety of beverages (both imported or locals) are available everywhere including very good Indonesian beer. Keep to bottled drinks if doubtful of water served in restaurants. Travelers coming from infected areas are required to submit International certificates of valid smallpox, cholera and yellow vaccinations.