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Travel Essentials in Indonesia

Fahmi Rizwansyah says:

How to get in and get out of Indonesia


The principal gateways for entry to Indonesia are Jakarta and Bali. Flights from neighbouring countries also stop in several Indonesian cities. Singapore has some of the cheapest flights to Indonesia and is a major travel hub in the region, so it may be cheaper to fly to Singapore, from where you can enter Indonesia by air or ship. From Penang in Malaysia, you can take a short flight or ferry to Medan in Sumatra.

The number of carriers servicing Indonesia has waned over the past few years. Nevertheless the glut of alliances between carriers means there are still enough options.
Air France,
Air New Zealand,
Air Paradise,
Australian Airlines,
ANA (All Nippon Airways),
Cathay Pacific,
China Airlines,
China Southern Airlines,
Eva Airlines,
Garuda Indonesia,
JAL (Japan Airlines),
KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines),
MAS (Malaysia Airlines),
Northwest Airlines,
Philippine Airlines,
Singapore Airlines,
Silk Air,
Thai Airways,

Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is spacious, modern and efficient, but only has a few good and shopping outlets. Bali’s smaller Ngurah Rai International Airport is slightly more interesting. Shopping is also overpriced here but more varied than at Soekarno-Hatta. In peak tourist seasons when a few jumbos land, it is standing room only and queues are long. Standard duty-free items are on sale at both airports.

Bali is the major gateway to Australia, with almost all flight to/from Indonesia routed via Denpasar. Direct flight connect Denpasar with Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin. Garuda and Qantas used to be the only carriers competing on most of these runs, but a couple of new outfits strated in 2003. Air Paradise flies from Melbourne and Perth, and Australian Airlines (operated by Qantas) from Sydney and Melbourne. Other direct flights to Indonesia are Perth – Jakarta and Sydney – Jakarta (both Australian Airlines).

If your tourist pass is running out and you’d like to return to Indonesia, Darwin is not your only Australin short-hop destination option. Christmas island in Australia’s Indian ocean Territories is only 360 km away from Jakarta, and there’s a weekly return charter-flight, which at the time of research departed Saturday from both Jakarta and Christmas island.

There are no direct flight between Indonesia and New Zealand; however, Air New Zealand, Garuda and Qantas connect Auckland with Denpasar via Sidney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Flight Centre (0800 243 544; has an office in Auckland and many branches throughtout the country. Also checkout deals in the travel section of the New Zealand Herald.

There are no direct flights from the USA, but there are plenty of options that involve a stopever in another Asian destination, such us Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia. If you are traveling from east coast USA, it’s better to travel via either Frankfurt or Amsterdam.

If you are also visiting others parts of Asia, some good deals can be organized (eq, there are cheap tickets between the US west coast and Singapore with stopovers in Bangkok for very little extra money). However, be careful during the peak travel seasons (June to August, and Chinese New Year) because seats will be hard to come by unless reserved months in advance.

US websites worth checking out for lowcost flight include, and .

Getting discount tickets in Canada is much the same as in the USA – shop around until you find a good deal. Again, you’ll probably have to fly into Hong Kong or Singapore (or Europe from the east coast) and carry on from there to Indonesia.

The UK
There are no direct flights to Indonesia from the UK; however, there are plenty of airlines offering services via Europe, Asia and/or the Middle East. Discount air travel is big business in London. Advertisements for many agencies appear in the travel pages of weekend broadsheet newspapaer, in Time Out, the Evening Standard and in the free managazine TNT.

There are plenty of travel agencies worth checking for fares. STA Travel (0870 - 160 0599; has branches across the country. Other reputable agencies are Trailfinders (0207 – 938 3939;; Flight Centre (0870 – 890 8099; and ebookers (0870 – 010 7000;

STA Travel has offices throughout the region. Check out its website at for office locations and contact details. Nouvelles Frontieres ( also has branches throughout Europe.

France has a network of travel agencies that can supply discount tickets. OUT Voyages (08 20 81 78 17; and Voyageurs du Monde (01 42 86 16 40, 08 25 30 02 90; have branches throughout the country and offer some of the best services and deals.

Recommended travel agencies in Germany include STA Travel (01805-456 422; which has branches in major cities across the country.

In Italy, CTS Viaggi (840-501 150; is a student and youth specialist with branches in major cities.

In Spain, recommended agencies include Usit Unlimited (902 252 575; and Barcelo Viajes (902 116 226;, both with branches in major cities.

In the Netherlands, NBBS Reizen (0900-10 20 300; is a stalwart agent.

All the following air fares are for one-way travel.

The most popular flight is from Penang to Medan in Sumatra with Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines also flies Medan – Kuala Lumpur and Pontianak – Kuching.

Bouraq and Merpati both have flights from Manado to Davao in the Philippines, but you need an onward or return ticket to enter the Philippines. Philippine Airlines flies Manila – Jakarta.

Silk Air flies into several cities including Medan, Padang, Pekanbaru, Palembang, Manado, Makassar, Mataram, Balikpapan and Solo.


Most sea links are between Malaysia and Sumatra. Confortable, high-speed ferries between Penang (Malaysia) and Belawan (near Medan, Sumatra) are one of the most popular ways to reach Indonesia. The other main ferry connection is between Dumai (Sumatra) and Melaka (Malacca). From Johor Bahru in southern Malaysia, daily ferries run to Batam and Bintan islands in Sumatra’s Riau islands. From east-coast Kalimantan, speedboats depart every morning from Tarakan to Nunukan and from Nunukan to Tawau.

A popular way to reach Indonesia is via the Riau islands in Sumatra. The main stepping stones are the islands of batam and Bintan, both only a short high-speed ferry ride from Singapore. From Batam, speedboats travel through ro Pekanbaru on the Sumatran mainland. From Bintan, Pelni ships run to Jakarta and other destinations, and other ships go from Bintan to Jakarta.


There are three possible land crossings into Indonesia. It’s possible to cross by road at Entikong, between Kalimantan and Sarawak (eastern Malaysia); get your visa in advance.

The border crossing between West and East Timor at Motoain was open at the time of research; a visa in required when traveling from East to West Timor.

The road from Jayapura of Sentani in Indonesia to Vanimo in Papua New Guinea can be crossed, depending on the current political situation. A visa is required if traveling into Indonesia.

by Indonesia Trekking

Whatever you bring, make sure you to pack light & within the baggage restrictions on your air ticket. Airlines are becoming more stringent & do impose hefty charges for excess baggage!

  • Passport valid for at least 6 months from date of departure and must have at least 1 completely blank page (no stamps, nothing) upon arrival in Indonesia for Indonesian Immigration to attach the visa on arrival. Otherwise, you will be denied entry into Indonesia
  • Tickets, itinerary, travel insurance policy and any travel vouchers
  • Visa (if necessary) – for most countries including Australia, NZ and USA a US$25 30-day tourist visa is issued on arrival into Indonesia, payable in most currencies, or by credit card.
  • Money – change some cash into Indonesian Rupiah before you leave home or at the airport when you arrive in Indonesia. There are ATM’s at all airports, cities and main towns in Indonesia. Change AU$400 minimum per two weeks stay, less for boat trips. Travellers cheques are becoming more and more difficult to change outside major centres, so cash, preferably new 50 or 100 dollar notes and a credit or cash card enabling you use ATM’s are the go. Make sure you have RP 100,000 left over at the end of your trip for airport departure tax when leaving Indonesia.
  • Ticket or document wallet to store you valuables.
  • A sense of humor and an open mind – Indonesia has a very different culture to us and things don’t always go to plan. These two qualities will ensure you get the most from your travel experience and they don’t weigh anything!

Cheers, frizzy2008.