Dubbed The Emerald of the Equator, bewitching Indonesia is an archipelago tucked between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. So diverse is its islands that you would be marveling at the tall roofs of traditional houses in Sumatra on one, and admiring the cluster of homes in Bali on another. The ethnic groups of Indonesia themselves are just as diverse.
If you plan on exploring this spectacular country, it pays to know some travel tips before paying it a visit, to ensure a stress-free trip and get the most out of one of the most stunning destinations in the world.
Here are the tips to take note of.
1. Decide on your budget.
Accommodation, transportation and food in Indonesia are budget-friendly, but it depends on the places that you plan to visit. If you go for touristy places such as Bali and undertake activities like trekking and diving, then you may have to set aside a lot of cash. However, there are lots of other breath-taking places such as Sumatra that won’t burn a lot of cash. The important thing is, you have set a budget and stick to it, whether you stay in one of the best resorts in Indonesia and have the time of your life, surrounded by the luxury you deserve, or stay in humbler places to keep costs down.
2. Schedule your trip.
In deciding when to go to Indonesia, take note of the country’s climate. With its islands sprinkled over both sides of the equator, it is hot in the country all year round, but it has two seasons: wet and dry. The rainy season runs between October and May, which means that if you plan on spending most of your vacation outdoors, it is best to avoid these months.
3. Know what to pack.
What to bring with you depends on where in Indonesia you’ll be visiting. If you’re staying in one of those Bali luxury resorts, bring swimsuits, cover-ups, and light cotton clothes. If you’ll be spending some time trekking at high altitudes, you may have to break sweaters and long pants to keep yourself warm. You may want to bring with you some leech socks, especially in the rainy season, if you intend on visiting national parks or jungles. Bug sprays would come in handy in keeping insects at bay, especially when Indonesia has problems on malaria and dengue fever. You may also want to bring with you personal and medical products as it can be a challenge finding them in Indonesia.
4. Familiarise yourself with visa rules.
Indonesia’s visa rules are always changing so you have to understand essential information when it comes to visas before traveling. Indonesia has two kinds of tourist visas you can get upon arrival and they can be used by 169 nationalities and allow you 30 days of stay in the country. The free visa can’t be extended, while the other is not for free but allows you to extend for another 30 days.
5. It is better to carry cash.
Indonesian Rupiah is the currency Indonesia uses, and while you can rely on your credit cards in big cities, in the smaller towns, it would be better to have cash with you as their credit card payment system as well as the ATMs may not working. Touristy areas and large shops also usually have a 2% free for transactions paid through credit card. Be reminded that locals often omit the last three digits of the price, only saying 30 IDR instead of 30,000 IDR, so double-check before paying.
It is essential that you take note of these tips. While Indonesia is safe and quite an easy place to explore, it pays to have everything planned to ensure you only get to experience the best of what the country has to offer.