SOME USEFUL INFORMATION BEFORE LEAVING
VisasHealth and SafetyMoneyElectricityInternet and telephoneTime zonesRespect of populationsLanguageSmall glossary
The tourists visiting Indonesia must have a passport valid at least 6 months from the date of arrival and have valid return ticket on pain of being repressed upon arrival. Tourist visas can be obtained :
On arrival at the airport
This is the “Visa on Arrival” available for 30 days. This visa is free at all ports of entry (seaports & airports), for all nationals of the following countries :
Singapore, Thaïland, Burma, Brunei, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, Chile, Morocco, Peru, Hong Kong, Macao, New Zealand, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and South Africa.
Please be advised that Visa-Free cannot be extended and cannot be transferred to another type of visa. If you want to renew your visa, you must apply for the PAYING VISA.
Its cost is US $35 (30 Euros) for 30 days and can be extended only once for another 30 days on site (make the request to an immigration office). To facilitate the formalities for obtaining this visa we recommend you to have the exact amount in US Dollars (Euros are also accepted), to avoid any difficulty of change. Credit cards are not accepted.
Warning : If you exceed the limit time, a penalty of $20 per day will be required upon your departure. Exceeding more than 60 days is punishable by prison.
You can get a 60 days tourist visa from the Indonesian Embassy of your country. This visa is usable untill 90 days after the issue date. Its cost is US $60 and is not renewable. It is also possible to obtain a 60-day tourist visa from the Indonesia Embassy in Penang (Malaysia).
I opted for a non-paying visa on arrival, but I would like to stay a bit longer in Indonesia … what solution?
To do that, you will have to leave the country to enter again. The easiest and cheapest solution is to make a return trip from Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur within the day with Air Asia. You will get a new “visa on arrival” available for 30 days. Cities in Indonesia with direct flights from/to Kuala Lumpur are : Bali, Balikpapan, Banda Aceh, Bandung, Jakarta, Lombok, Makassar, Medan – Kualanamu, Padang, Palembang, Pekanbaru, Pontianak, Semarang, Solo, Surabaya and Yogyakarta.
If you wish to come back to Indonesia with a 60-day visa, you will need to visit the Indonesian Embassy in Penang (Malaysia). The visa costs about $ 50 and will be issued in 3 days maximum.
No vaccinations are required for travelers from Europe. But it is recommended to be vaccinated for :
- Typhoid fever and Hepatitis A. Since 2011 there are 2 vaccines combined into one syringe.
- The DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) or check if you are updated of the vaccine ; booster every 10 years.
- Hepatitis B, recommended as for any trip in highly endemic countries.
- The Rage for long stays or in rural areas or for a stay that will take you to be in contact with animals.
- Japanese encephalitis, recommended for all travelers going to rural and marshy areas and particularly ricefields (especially Java and Borneo). Vaccine with booster at 1 month, each dose costing about € 88.
It is recommended for all the duration of your stay in Indonesia, to take a treatment for malaria. The whole country is classified as “Zone 3” (except Bali and big cities). Transmission occurs only from sunset to sunrise. Make enquiries with your doctor before departure. Preventive treatments recommended for this area are :
- Mefloquine (Lariam®250).
- Atovaquone-proguanil association (Malarone ®).
- Doxycycline (Doxypalu®).
The best prevention remains the protection against mosquitoes : Mosquito nets and clothes impregnated with insecticide, spray or cream for skin. Many of mosquito repellants sold in supermarkets and pharmacies are not or insufficiently effective. Choose only the range of products complies by WHO as Insect Ecran®. It will be essential not only for malaria but also for dengue, chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis present in Indonesia.
Indonesia is a safe country and tourists are warmly welcome. As always when traveling, it is prudent not to show his wealth in an exaggerated way and to be vigilant in crowded places, markets, downtown … (pickpocket).
The currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). The average exchange rates are about 16,000 Rupiah for 1 Euro and 14,000 Rupiah for 1 Dollar. To check the exact exchange rate before departure, you can use this currency converter :
ATM machines are available in all cities of Indonesia. Euros and Dollars are accepted only in large hotel structures. So we recommand to change it into Rupiah upon arrival at the airport or in an exchange counter that can be found in most of cities.
To change your money in Padang, the easiest way is to do it directly at the airport, especially since the exchange rate is more interesting than in most of conventional exchange counters in town. In Padang you can change at Yani Homestay.
You will find ATMs in Padang and Bungus, one of which is located 50m from the place to take the boat to Rimba. This ATM accepts Visa and Mastercard.
Electricity in Indonesia is 220 volts and electrical outlets are the same as in Europe.
Internet cafe called Warnet are available in all cities.
The telephone network is very extensive and accessible almost anywhere. The telephone prefix for Indonesia is 0062 or +62.
If you make a long stay, you have any interest in buying an Indonesian Sim card sold in countless mobile phone shops. Sim card costs is only 5 000Rp. Ask the merchant to add phone credit. For example, an SMS to Europe will cost you between 400 and 600Rp (varies depending on the recipient’s operator) and a local SMS from 150 to 250Rp. The operator covering our entire region is Telkomsel.
Based on the meridian of Greenwich as origin of time, GMT = 0 : in Sumatra as in Java or in West and Central Borneo, you need to add 6 hours (5 hours during the summer for countries that having Daylight Saving Time). In Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi you must add 7 hours.
Islam is the predominant religion in Indonesia. Nothing is imposed to tourists but it’s important to respect the beliefs and customs of the population, especially in terms of clothing.
On our site and on the surrounding small islands there is no dress code demanded. However, in cities and even more in the villages, it is recommended that women avoid sleeveless outfit, plunging necklines, short skirts and mini-shorts. Outside touristic beaches it’s advised to swim at least with a short and a tank top. For men, except on the beach, it’s recommended to not be shirtless and not wear shorts too short (like cycling shorts or running shorts). For swimming a “board short” would be ideal.
So that we can maintain good relations with the villagers, we ask you to follow these few dress codes if you go through the village of Sungai Pisang to come to Rimba Ecolodge, or on field trips that lead us through the villages.
To greet someone, just shake him hands (use the right hand) and definitely not kiss him !
If you give or receive something from someone, do it with the right hand. In Indonesia, it is very rude to use his left hand. Similarly, use the right hand to eat if you don’t have cutlery.
If you are invited to drink some tea or coffee in somebody’s house, wait that your host started drinking before doing the same.
In Indonesia, it is customary to remove shoes before entering a home or in some public places such as internet cafes. If you are unsure, look at the front of the door. If you see a bunch of shoes, so you can let yours there. :)
Indonesia has officially 583 languages and dialects, but in reality there would have over 700 (Source: SIL International), making it one of the most diverse countries in the world at the linguistic level.
The official language is Indonesian language also known as “Bahasa Indonesia“ and that allows to the different populations that inhabit this country to communicate each other. This is a variety of standardised and formalised Malay. This language was developed as Esperanto, from the various Indonesian dialects, therefore simple and in principle with not many exceptions. It’s a language close to all varieties of Indonesian languages and not belonging to any particular group. So it’s a language considered as “neutral” for all Indonesian languages.
In 1928, at the beginning of the struggle for independence, the young Indonesian nationalists created the first linguistic congress that allowed the national language (Malay) to lay the foundations of an operation designed to develop an orthography (with the use of the Latin alphabet, and no longer Arabic), a grammar and vocabulary adapted to modern life. They called their language Bahasa Indonesia (“Indonesian language”). Bahasa Indonesia was invented to serve to symbolize national unity. Faced with the great linguistic diversity of the country, the official Indonesian language allows overcomes the barriers of misunderstanding.
Many foreign language inputs have also contributed to the creation of the Bahasa Indonesia and so trace the history about the multiple contacts of the archipelago with the outside world. Indeed, we find there many words in Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, English…
The article 36 of the Indonesian Constitution proclaimed the Indonesian language as “state language” in 1945. It was not until 1955 that this language was officially called Bahasa Indonesia and that the Government undertook its codification, normalization and expansion. Its evolution will continue a long time since it’s estimated to 130,000 new terms created between 1951 and 1964.
Therefore, Bahasa Indonesia is a very recent language. The official 1990 census revealed that 71% of Indonesians speak Bahasa Indonesia as a second language after their local dialect and 25% totally ignore the national language.
(Source : http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/asie/indonesie.htm)