All You Need to Know About Indonesia: A Guide for Tourists

6 March 2019

ph by dio Hasbi Saniskoro

Indonesia is one of those countries that every tourist should visit. It combines all the qualities that are so appreciated by travelers: island location, the oceans around, rich ancient culture, exotic wildlife, a combination of mountains, valleys, beaches, volcanoes, and tropical forests - all this can be found on the Indonesian islands.

If you are going to rest in Indonesia, our guide will help you to make preparations the best way you can to make your trip exciting and safe. Let’s know what tourists need first!

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  • Indonesia is the largest state located on the islands. Its population exceeds a quarter of a billion people;

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  • Almost 90% of the population are Muslims, so it’s worth a little to understand Islamic traditions to avoid getting into an unpleasant situation;

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  • Country Currency - Indonesian Rupiah. Its current exchange rate to US dollars as 14,000 rupiahs per $ 1. To the euro, the ratio is even higher: 16,000 rupiahs for 1 euro. You can exchange money right at the airport, but in the markets or hotels, exchangers usually offer a disadvantageous rate. Also, in all tourist locations, you can visit the bank cards are accepted. On the Bali island, POS-terminals are in use even in small local establishments, for example. Besides, there are dollars or major currencies of Southeast Asia in tourist locations;

There are two airports near the capital of Indonesia, but only one is used for passenger traffic — Soekarno-Hatta (CGK). Terminals №2 and №3 are designed to work with international airlines.

Terminal 2 provides free Wi-Fi.

Transfer to Jakarta is possible on the bus departing from the arrivals area at Terminals 2 and 3.

Address: Soekarno-Hatta Jakarta International Airport, Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia

Phone: + (62 21) 550-51-79

Airport website:

  • In case of unforeseen situations, emergency telephone numbers are available: 118 for the ambulance, 110 for the police, 108 for the information bureau, 113 for the fire brigade, or the emergency services.

Visa to Indonesia: The Basic Questions

Your journey begins in Indonesia, of course, with a visa. There are no problems with it. The fact is that with more than 40 countries, Indonesia has an agreement on visa-free entry for up to 30 days. So you do not need an additional visa opening before departure: it is enough to pass the visa control at the airport and get a stamp in the passport for entry into the country. Remember that such conditions do not apply at all airports, but at the ones listed above. You will be able to undergo a visa-free arrival procedure.

The only thing worth attending in advance is the validity of your passport. You will not be allowed into the country if less than half a year is left before the expiration date.

Especially not to fly to Indonesia with a passport, which has expired. For a customs officer to have no questions for you, you need to have with you:

  • Your international passport ID;
  • Customs declaration (it is issued directly on the plane or upon arrival);
  • Return tickets or tickets for departure to a third country;
  • Reservations at the hotel or hostel;

Health Questions: What to Take with You in The First-Aid Kit

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Like any tropical country, Indonesia has its climate and culture, to which the average European is not used. When buying a tour to Indonesia, you should take care of your health. The main problems that may arise in a tourist in this country are associated with skin lesions (wounds, abrasions, scratches), problems with the stomach, bruises, or with a cold, fever, or the bites of local insects. Therefore, when collecting first-aid kits on the road, it is worth taking care of:

  • Antiseptics for treating abrasions;
  • An analgesic or antipyretic drugs;
  • Absorbents for the stomach;
  • Ointments for sprains or bruises;
  • Local painkillers;
  • Sunscreen;
  • Repellent.

If you have a specific disease, take your conventional drugs with you. If you need to buy medicines at local pharmacies, be sure to remember or write down the main active ingredient or look in Wikipedia for a translation of an article about your usual dose in Indonesian - you will find its name and show it to local pharmacists.

Choosing A Wardrobe: What You Need to Take with You

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 The peculiarity of the local climate dictates the choice of wardrobe for travel. The weather in Indonesia is very tropical, that is, hot and humid. At the same time, there is a maximum of sunny days a year. Therefore, going on the road, choose:

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  • Light items made from natural fabrics - they will not stick to the skin in the heat;
  • Closed versions of T-shirts or shorts - after all, in an Islamic country you should not open your body too much;
  • Besides, full covered light shirts or long shorts will protect you from overheating or sunburn;
  • If you plan a trip to the mountains or a tour on the volcanoes of Indonesia, be sure to grab warm and comfortable clothes and shoes (windbreakers, sweatpants, hiking boots or sneakers, hats or buffs);
  • Bathing suits - beaches in Indonesia are among the best in the world, but without a bathing suit on the beach, you can be fined;
  • For sure you will use the next accessories: sunglasses, caps, and hats with a wide brim.

Sights of Indonesia: Forming The List of Must-See Places

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If you are going to Indonesia for the first time, you should think about your program in advance. Include those sight-types:

  • A visit to at least one local nature reserve: Indonesia’s wilderness is beautiful and worth a look. Choose a couple of locations on the island where you will be located, and visit national parks or nature reserves of tropical nature.
  • Buddhist temples of Indonesia. It is one of the oldest attractions of the islands. Look at some of them to feel the spirit of the ancient culture.
  • Beaches and surf areas are another must-see landmark in the country. On each of the islands, there are many, and each is famous for cleanliness and convenience. Do not forget about the rip current - it often occurs in Indonesia.
  • Mountains and volcanoes: a tour to the active volcanoes of Java can be one of the most exciting adventures in Indonesia. The ascent to the volcano Batur will dilute the relaxed rest in Bali.

Driving License: Moving Around the Islands

If you want to use the rental of local transport (it is convenient and profitable), you will need an international driving license. You should better get it in advance to ride a bike or drive a car on the islands without any police concerned problems.

Gastronomic Indonesia: what to eat and what not to eat

Indonesian cuisine has absorbed all the best from Southeast Asia and the expansion of the Netherlands. It would be best if you tried the local meatballs of satay in a peanut sauce, rendang beef, soup of buffalo tails (Sop Bunut), local dim samy siomei, and pancakes martobak.

But what exactly you should not have to do is to try all culinary specialties from the street-food locations or to drink local water from the aqueduct (it is suitable to buy bottled water).

An Indonesian Religion: How to Behave in the Temples

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We have already covered the issue of behavior in the temples, but recall a little about how to behave:

  • There are many temples worth entering only in unique clothes that you can buy or rent at the entrance;
  • Bare feet - a prerequisite, so you have to remove your shoes at the gate;
  • If a temple requires a donation, you may have to buy it at the entrance in the form of flowers, plates with rice, or other ways to appease the temple spirits;
  • Respectful behavior - a pledge of a unique visit to the temple. Even if you do not understand the purpose of specific actions, doing them = a sign of good taste and friendliness.

Relations with The Locals: The Culture of Indonesians and How to Get It Through

ph by Artem Bali

Indonesians, like other peoples of Asia, are renowned for hospitality and openness to foreigners. But do not overdo it with their benevolence. Remember that the current number of people in Indonesia are Muslims, and this religion does not tolerate familiarity and overly open orders. Simple politeness and modesty in Indonesia will help you to get a lot of bonuses from residents.

Travel tastefully, travel with interest, and discover for yourself a multi-faceted Indonesia and its features!


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