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Indonesia at a Glance

Being one of the most diverse countries we’ve ever been to, Indonesia is the epitome of a country which has a little bit of everything for everyone. From the lush rice fields and waterfalls of Bali to iconic temples and volcanoes in Java, to the incredible wildlife in the deep jungles of Sumatra, Indonesia is a country that is largely underrated. While the sandy shores of Bali are frequented by many, there is so much more to this incredible country that remains unexplored.

Indonesia Quick Information

Currency: Indonesian RupiahElectricity Socket: 230V AC electricity. Power outlets are usually two-pin round plugs. To avoid the hassle of having to buy new adapters for everywhere you go, we recommend picking up a Universal Travel Adaptor before you leave.

Visa: In Indonesia, 169 countries can now obtain a visa on arrival. This is valid for 30 days but cannot be renewed or extended. If you wish to stay in Indonesia for longer, you can pay for a tourist visa (there is a special line in the immigration customs for it). This gives you 30 days plus a chance to extend it for another 30 days through any immigration office. If you want to stay for longer, it is also possible to get a social visa which gives you around 6 months.

Safety: Although violent crime is fairly rare, there is a lot of petty theft, especially in touristy areas like Bali. With that being said, as long as you are sensible with your belongings (always put your bag strap across your body), never leaving your things unattended, you will be fine. ATM skimming is also pretty common so whatever you do, make sure you only go to ATM machines that are directly connected to a bank or to go to machines which have surveillance systems pointing at the machines at all times.

Based on our years of experience of traveling all over the world, we would never leave home without travel insurance. We recommend going with World Nomads due to their great travel activities coverage..

Apart from petty theft, alcohol poisoning is another serious issue that Bali and the popular Gili Islands is facing. Due to heavy alcohol import tax, some local vendors opt to stretch out their supply with other chemicals so it’s best to stay away from the local arak and only buy drinks from reputable bars and restaurants. Chances are, if you find a beach bar offering ridiculously low cocktails, the local alcohol might be mixed with extenders. Indonesia also has a zero tolerance for drugs, with the death penalty being imposed on a few convicted criminals so never put yourself at risk by carrying packages for people or even going to parties where you know drugs would be present.

Language: Everywhere you go in Bali, you will easily be able to find people who speak English, especially in touristy areas like Canggu, Ubud, and Seminyak. However, the further you decide to go, the level of English lowers. With that being said, no matter where you go, the people who work in the tourism and hospitality industry always has a good understanding of the language. The local language is called Bahasa and is spoken and understood widely despite the fact that they have about 300 native dialects.

As mentioned, although English is widely spoken, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few words to help you out.

Good Morning: Selamat Pagi
Yes: La
No: Tidak
Thank you: Terimah Kasih
To eat: Makan
Spicy: Pedas
No Spicy: Tidak pedas
Vegetables only (for vegetarians): Sayur saja
Cool: Bagus

Festivals and Celebrations: When traveling around Indonesia, watch out for the end Ramadan (July) as a lot of stores and restaurants are closed during these periods. During this time, making bookings for both accommodation and transportation is recommended. Other big celebrations worth seeing are Nyepi, which is the Balinese New Year celebrated in March.

Transportation: Transportation is a bit of a mission in Indonesia as it is pretty spread apart. To get from one place to the next, we recommend downloading the Skyscanner App to help you find cheap deals. When we were there, we got cheap flights from Bali to Sumatra thanks to the Skyscanner App. Alternatively, you can also use the 12Go website to view bus, boat, and train schedules ahead of time. In Bali, I suggest downloading the Blue Bird Taxi App to help you get around from one place to the next.

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