Here are some answers to questions frequently raised by foreign visitors.
Do we have to obtain a visa to enter Indonesia?
Not if you come from one of the countries listed below. Indonesia has free visa facilities that allow citizens from 11 countries to enter the country without having to obtain a visa prior to arrival. The 11 countries are:
Citizens of the above countries will be issued on arrival a stay permit for 30 days free of charge upon presentation of a passport which is valid at least for another 6 months. This stay permit cannot be extended or converted into another type of visa.
Is Indonesia safe for tourists?
Absolutely. Indonesians are by nature an extremely friendly, welcoming people. Forget any images you may have seen on TV of Jakarta street violence in May 1998 – that disappeared into history long ago, and hardly effected foreigners anyway. Although ethnic and religious violence and riots have more recently erupted in the Moluccas and Timor in the eastern part of Indonesia, these areas are far, far away from Jakarta or Bali, which remain just as safe as they ever were.
Where is Bali in relation to Indonesia?
Well, Bali is part of Indonesia, actually one of the central islands in the archipelago, and the most famous as a tourist destination. But don’t forget that Bali is just one of over 17,000 islands!
What is the climate like in Indonesia?
Tropical – hot and humid all the time! There are two seasons, dry and hot (April – September), and rainy (October – March). The timing of these seasons has varied considerably in the past few years, however, due to El Nino and other climatic interference. Temperatures range from 21 to 33°C in the low lands, but it can get quite chilly at night in the highlands of Central Java. Bring a jacket if you intend to do any volcano climbing.
What about transport to and from the airports?
Most major hotels provide ‘pick up’ services which is the most convenient way, but there are also good taxi services ready and waiting outside the Arrivals hall. For budget travellers, air-conditioned buses run to various parts of Jakarta on a regular basis.
Where can we find exchange facilities?
You can find authorized moneychangers at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport and in all major cities in Indonesia, usually in major banks and at all major hotels. You will also find that your Visa or MasterCard can be used in many ATM machines.
How can I make international calls?
From hotels and business centres of course, but also from the abundant “Wartel” booths, which have international telecommunication facilities. For Internet access, again any hotel business centre should be able to sort you out, if not, find an Internet cafe or “Warnet”!