Fun Under the Sun in Indonesia
By Jennifer Allman-Guinn, on January 6, 2020
Lush beaches, vibrant nightlife, jungles filled with incredible animal life, and plenty of shopping are just some of the reasons Indonesia is such a popular tourist destination. As the fastest growing tourism destination in Southeast Asia, Indonesia provides a wonderful mixture of leisure and culture. You can enjoy plenty of diving sites and surfing, national parks and volcanoes, Hindu and Buddhist temples, and ample touring opportunities in traditional villages and colonial areas. There’s something for everyone in Indonesia!
Travel RequirementsUS citizens traveling to Indonesia should obtain their travel visas ahead of time through APVI.com. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended visit and should have two blank pages available. APVI offers single-entry tourist visas valid for up to three months, as well as single and multiple entry options for business travelers valid for up to one year.
Indonesia is fairly safe compared with many places in the world. There are some hassles from the avaricious, but most visitors face many more dangers at home. Petty theft occurs, but it is not prevalent. Indonesia is ranked as a Travel Advisory Level 2 due to active terrorism and a higher risk of natural disasters. Acts of terrorism have been known to occur in places of worship and areas frequented by tourists, including shopping areas, bars, hotels, nightclubs, and restaurants. Civil unrest is highest in central Sulawesi and Papua. Demonstrations are commonplace in these areas and while many begin peacefully, they can turn violently quickly and should, therefore, be avoided. The odds you will be caught up in such a tragedy are low.
Natural disasters are common in Indonesia. Tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic activity can strike with little to no warning. Most often these incidents result in transportation and sanitation disruptions, with more serious situations resulting in infrastructure damage and limited access to emergency services.
Other common crimes in Indonesia mostly include pick-pocketing credit card skimming, and armed car-jacking and other thefts. As in many developing countries, some people are out to relieve you of your money in one way or another. On a more dangerous level, drink spiking and poisoning have been known to occur at outsides of reputable bars and resorts and can result in death. If the price of drinks in a bar seems unnaturally low, pause to consider what you might be drinking.
Important Indonesia Travel Tips
As previously mentioned, credit card scams are the most common petty crime you may encounter on your trip. ATMs that are not connected to a reputable bank should be avoided at all costs, as these are the most likely targets for card skimming, in which a criminal can steal your card and PIN via a machine they attach to the ATM.
Below are some additional travel tips:
- Bring plenty of bug spray, strong sunscreen, and aloe to protect your skin against bug bites and harsh sunrays
- English is widely spoken, especially in urban and tourist areas, and while the country as a whole speaks hundreds of native languages and dialects, the primary language is Bahasa
- Western travelers should bring a universal travel adaptor to accommodate the 230V AC two-pin electric sockets
- The local currency is the Indonesian Rupiah, and when locals say something costs 13 rupiahs, they actually mean 13,000 rupiahs, which is about 1 USD
- Tap water, even in tourist areas, is not recommended for consumption, so stick to bottled water at all times
With a few basic safety precautions, your trip to Indonesia will be a memorable one. Visit APVI.com to ensure you have the proper travel documentation for a smooth experience.
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