What I need to know before travelling to Indonesia. The best time to go is during the dry season. What vaccinations do I need? Do I need a visa? What clothes should I bring?
Weather What is the best time to go?
It should be noted that Indonesia is a country that covers thousands of square kilometres, so it will depend on the area you want to visit.
The country's tropical climate can be broadly divided into two seasons: the dry season and the wet season. The best time to visit is the dry season.
Dry season: May to October
Wet season: November to April
Now, let's look at the best time to travel according to the islands:
Bali: May to September. High tourist season is July and August. If you can, we recommend that you avoid these months, as there are too many tourists and prices tend to rise a little.
Java: April to November
Lombok: May to September
Moluca and Papua: September to April
Borne: All year round
Celebes: May, June and September
Sumatra: February and March, June and July
A passport with at least 6 months validity is required.
Fortunately for Argentinians, you don't need a visa to visit Indonesia, as long as your trip lasts less than 30 days. Often they ask for your departure flight to prove it.
If you intend to stay more than 30 days in the country, it is necessary to get a visa that allows you to stay up to 60 days.
This visa is called on arrival as you get it when you arrive at the airport. The process can take between 4 days and a week.
When you arrive at the airport you will have to pay $USD 35 and they will give you a small piece of paper that proves that you have the right to apply for a visa for 60 days. Then you will have to go to an immigration office (be careful, there are not in all cities) where you will have to bring a photocopy of your departure flight, a photocopy of your passport and the paper you were given at the airport. Again you will have to pay $35USD. After a few days your visa will be ready.
Which vaccine do I need?
- If you have lived in South America or Africa in the 6 months prior to your entry you need to be vaccinated against yellow fever and present the vaccination certificate.
- It is recommended to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B and tetanus.
- There is no risk of malaria in major cities, but if you travel to rural areas it is advisable to take malarone and always use mosquito repellent.
What am I wearing?
It's a country with a variety of climates, so it depends on the route you take.
If you are going to the volcanoes it is advisable to bring warm clothes as it is usually about 8 degrees Celsius up the mountain. We took warm tights, wool socks, a sweater and Uniqlo, and we were perfect. We tried to pack warm clothes that would take up little space as we were only going to use them for 2 days out of the 20 days of the trip.
Beaches and cities tend to be very hot.
As always, it is not necessary to take a lot of clothes when travelling in Southeast Asia. The less you carry, the more comfortable you will be. If you are hesitating whether to take an item of clothing or not, don't take it ;).
If you are going in the wet season it is advisable to take a rain jacket, thin enough to cover you from the rain.
Very few places accept credit cards as a means of payment. It happened to us that in hotels they did not accept this method of payment.
There are ATMs where you can withdraw money, but always check beforehand how much your bank charges as sometimes it is not convenient.
As our bank charged us commission we decided to take the money in cash and change it there as we needed it.
WATCH OUT WHEN YOU CHANGE MONEY ON THE STREET
We are going to tell you about a bad experience we had exchanging money in Bali, which, as it turns out, is a common occurrence.
We needed to change money and we went to the one with the best change, looking at the different stalls. The man told us how much we had left, counted the notes, gave them to us to count and everything was perfect. He kept talking and asking us questions, which seemed a bit strange to us, as if he was trying to distract us. At that moment he asked us again for the notes to count them again, and while he was counting them again he asked us if we had change in rupees, as he didn't have any. I look in my wallet, give him the rupees and the dollars, he gives us the rupees we bought and we leave happy.
We were about to get to the corner when Marcos tells me that he felt that he wanted to distract us to take notes out of the wad (keep in mind that 100 dollars is 1,400,000 rupees). At that moment he gave me the same feeling and looked for the money in the wallet, as I was already used to it I realised that the wad was smaller than the other times we had exchanged money, so I started to count it very quickly and I realised that there were some $600,000 rupees missing.
We ran back to the stall to ask the man to give us the money he had taken from us when he counted the banknotes again, as there was nothing there that corresponded to us. At first he tried to defend himself by telling us that he charged a 7% commission, which he had not told us at any time and did not say anywhere. Angry, we asked him to give us the rest of the note, but he refused and told us that he would give us back the dollars in exchange for the rupees. Our answer was a profound no, because we didn't know if he wanted to give us a counterfeit note, at this point we didn't trust anything. We made a fuss and little by little he gave us $50,000 rupee notes until he had paid us back what he owed us.
So be careful when changing at street stalls. We changed in such places during the whole trip and had only one bad experience. We are telling you about it so that you can be aware of it and do not have a similar experience.
- It is the country with the most Muslims in the world. 83.99% of the population profess Islam. On Gili T we used to be lifted up by the chanting of prayers from loudspeakers, something very curious.
- Bali is the only Hindu island in the country. If you visit another island and Bali on your trip you will be surprised by the cultural and architectural change.
- It is the largest archipelago on the planet. The number of islands is approximately 17,508, of which only a couple are inhabited.
- With 250 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous country in the world. They are spread over 5,000 kilometres from east to west and 3 different time zones.
- There are 360 ethnic groups, 719 different languages and 5 official religions.
- It lies on the Ring of Fire, which is why earthquakes are very common in this part of the world. It is also the country with the highest number of active volcanoes in the world.
- Especially in Java, they are very surprised to see western tourists. We felt like celebrities the days we were on this island. They kept asking us to take pictures with them, rubbing shoulders with them every time we passed by and secretly taking pictures of us!
- They are super friendly people! Everyone smiles at you and is willing to help you with whatever they can.
- As in most of Asia, the streets are often dirty, with people throwing everything on the ground. It's a sad state of affairs given the paradise in which they live.