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Gates to one of the Hindu temples in Bali in Indonesia - Indonesia travel guide

Indonesia Travel Guide

Indonesia, spread over 17,508 volcanic islands, is the largest archipelago in the world! A paradise for nature and adventure lovers, pristine beaches and colorful underwater worlds meet unique landscapes, volcanoes and wildlife-rich jungles in Indonesia. Combined with rich cultural experiences – from Dutch colonial heritage and UNESCO listed-temples to indigenous cultures – and world class pampering at luxury resorts, it’s a beautiful illustration of Asia’s diversity.

In a country with such diversity, it is important to learn some details before you visit: what language is commonly spoken; what visas can you avail; what are communications like on the islands. Here the most important Indonesia travel tips compiled by our destination experts.

Indonesia travel guide - boat ride
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Visa and entry

Visitors traveling to Indonesia from Australia, UK and the USA do not require a visa for a stay of under 30 days. This visa-free entry is only possible at designated air and seaports only such as Jakarta and Yogyakarta in Java, Denpasar in Bali, and Lombok. If you are planning to enter through airports that don’t offer the visa-free facility, you will receive a ‘visa-on-arrival’ at the time of your entry. 

Visitors can extend a visa-on-arrival once after 30 days of entry. For this, you will be required to produce an onward/return ticket at any of the ports of entry, and the visa fee in cash. If you are planning to stay for longer, you will need to apply for a visa in advance at the appropriate embassy in your country of residence. Please note that your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure. 

For more information, please visit the site for you local consulate here.

Health information

Generally no vaccinations are required except for yellow fever if you are traveling from an area where the disease is present. It is best to be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A and B, tetanus and polio. Malaria and dengue fever are present in some parts of Indonesia so we advise you to take necessary precautions if you are venturing off the typical tourist trail. Please consult your doctor about vaccinations and up-to-date precautionary medicines before you travel. Medical or healthcare facilities in Indonesia generally do not match up to international standards yet. However, every major city has hospitals that are able to administer basic healthcare adequately. You will find few pharmacies in smaller cities with a limited supply of medicines. We recommend that you carry some basic medication and supplies for your tour. Don’t forget to purchase insurance before your trip!

Language in Indonesia - culture of Indonesia

Language and communication

Language

The official language of the country is Indonesian (also known as Bahasa Indonesia to locals). Javanese is the most commonly spoken language albeit without any official status. While English is taught in schools, most Indonesians, especially in rural areas, prefer to speak in the local dialect.

Communication

The country code for Indonesia is +62.

Most hotels have IDD phones that you can use. For a less expensive option, head to any one of the many internet cafes that not only offer cheaper phone rates but also sell prepaid international calling cards. If you wish to purchase a phone or local number traveling in Indonesia please contact your Enchanting Travels Trip Coordinator or local guide for the best options.

Shopping at a market in Indonesia

Shopping in Indonesia

Indonesia is known for its distinctive handicrafts and local products. Best buys include batik textiles, silverwork, wood carvings, puppets, handmade kites, paintings and ceramics. Bali offers the great choice when it comes to shopping for locally produced handicrafts. Larger cities such as Jakarta, also sell a wide range of products at competitive prices. Except for fixed price stores, some amount of good humored bargaining is expected – it’s not unusual to start at a price of about 60% lower the ask and then work your way up!

Cash and cards - Enchanting Travels

Currency, cash and cards

The official currency of Indonesia is the Rupiah (RP).

Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and towns. You will easily find ATM machines in larger towns and tourist destinations. Banks open from 0800 to 1500 hrs on weekdays and closed on Saturdays. You can also change money at exchange counters that are open until early evening. When taking US dollars in cash, make sure the bills are

new and crisp as banks and money exchanges in Indonesia can be selective about which bills they accept. It is hard to break larger bills so make sure that you carry some change.

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