TRAVEL FORMALITIES AND USEFUL HINTS


ImmigrationTravelling in Indonesia

All travelers to Indonesia must be in possession of passports valid for at least six months from date of arrival and have proof (tickets) of onward or return passage. Visas are not required for nationals of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Marocco, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom (Great Britain), United States of America, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Germany.

Entry and exit must be through certain specified gateways: the airports of Jakarta, Bali, Medan, Manado, Biak, Ambon, Surabaya, Batam; the seaports of Semarang, Jakarta, Bali, Pontianak, Balikpapan, Tanjung Pinang and Kupang.

For other ports of entry and exit, visas are required. Maximum stay permitted is two months and is not extendible. Visa free entry is also allowed for registered delegates attending a conference which has received official approval.

For those not belonging to the above categories, tourist visas can be obtained from any Indonesian Embassy or Consulate. Holders of a Certificate of Identity (CI) from Hong Kong can obtain visas for group travel with a minimum of 5 persons from the Consulate General of Indonesia in Hong Kong for visits not exceeding 30 days. Entry and exit must be in groups, whereas travel and accommodation should be arranged by a tour operator, entering the country through Soekarno-Hatta International Airport of Jakarta, Ngurah Rai, Bali and Polonia, Medan.

Health

International health certificates for smallpox and cholera are not required, except from travelers coming from infected areas.

Customs

Customs allows on entry a maximum of two litters of alcoholic beverages, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco and a reasonable amount of perfume per-adult. Cars, photographic equipment, typewriters, recorders must be declared to Customs upon entry and to be re-exported. Prohibited from entry are TV sets, radios, narcotics, arms and ammunition, printed matter in Chinese characters and Chinese medicines. Advance approval has to be acquired for carrying transceivers. All movie films and video cassettes must be censored by the Film Censor Board. Fresh fruit, plants and animals must have quarantine permits. There is no restriction on import or export of foreign currencies, however, the export or import of Indonesian currency exceeding Rp.50,000 is prohibited.

Airport - city v.v. transportation

In Jakarta, taxi fare is Rp. 15.000,- approximately to the down town area.

Limousine/bus service Rp. 3.000,- to any of the five city zones. Hotel limousine-service. Some leading hotels provide city-airport-city transportation service on complimentary basis, provided they are hotel guests.

At major airport terminals, inquiries about local transportation should be directed to the information counter.

Exit

An exit permit is required only for residents or visitors staying over a period of six months. Airport tax levied on passengers for international travel is Rp 11,000 while for travel within Indonesia is varies from one region to another with an average of Rp. 3,500.- for each departure.

Tipping

Major hotels add a 10% service charge to bills. Where it is not included, a tip of between 5% to 10% of the bill would be appropriate if service is satisfactory.

Airport portage is Rp 500 for a small bag and Rp 1,000 if weighing more than 20 kg. Tipping taxi and hire-car drivers is not mandatory, but Rp 500 would be sufficient for a taxi driver, but more for a hire-car driver.

Clothing

Because of its climate, dress is normally informal in Indonesia. Accepted attire for men is shirt and long pants. Jacket and tie are required for official calls or more formal occasions. Long sleeved batik or hand- woven shirts are acceptable for evening functions.

For ladies, dresses, blouses, and long pants are appropriate. Shorts, halters or tank tops should only be used at sports facilities or on the beach. Due to the warm, humid climate, clothing of light fabrics are recommended, but for travel to the highlands carry a light sweater.

Office Hours

Business offices are open either from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. or 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. with a break for lunch between 12.00 noon to 1.00 p.m. Some offices work half days on Saturday, but quite a few are closed.

Government office hours are from 8.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. on Friday, and till 2.00 p.m. on Saturday.

Banking

Banking hours are from 8.00 a.m. to 15.00 p.m. from Monday to Friday and till 1.00 p.m. on Saturday. Some bank branches in hotels keep longer hours. Money can also be changed at hotel cashiers, and authorized money changers. Daily exchange rates are published in newspapers. Jakarta has several international banks, whereas major tourist destination areas have banks with foreign exchange facilities. For travel to remote areas, it is advisable to change money and travelers cheques in advance. Credit cards are acceptable only at major hotels, restaurants and travel agencies. The US dollar is the most readily accepted currency.

Shopping

The major cities have shopping complexes, supermarkets and department stores where prices are fixed. Shopping hours are usually between 9.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m. for department stores and supermarkets in the large cities with shorter hours on Sundays. In smaller cities, shops may be closed for a siesta between 1.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. Bargaining is customary at small shops and markets, the art of which is to start at half the asking price and going up till a compromise is reached.

Sports

Traditional sports to be seen include bull races, bull fights, rowing, and unique ram fights, all of which are held as part of special festivities.

Silat, a martial art is performed as a dance or exercise and is comparable to karate or kungfu.

However, the most popular sports in Indonesia are soccer, badminton, and table tennis. More exclusive is golf. Many cities have excellent golf courses where guests are welcome.

Most major hotels have their own tennis and squash courts, swimming pools, health clubs and those at seaside resorts provide equipment for sailing, surfing, scuba diving and wind-surfing. There is also a growing number of dive shops which provide necessary equipment and services.

Time

The Indonesian archipelago is spread over three time zones. Western Indonesia Standard Time is GMT plus 7 hours, covering the islands of Sumatera, Java-Madura, West and Central Kalimantan. Central Indonesia for East and South Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, and finally Eastern Indonesia Standard Time is GMT plus 9 hours for Maluku and Irian Jaya.

Electricity

Power supply is usually 220 volts/50 cycles in the big cities, but 110 volts is still used in some areas. Normal outlets are plugs with two rounded prongs. It is advisable to check before using your appliances.