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Indonesia

If you’re travelling to Indonesia, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution.

Latest Travel Alert

Over the past few weeks, and as recently as 21 December 2016, Indonesian security officials have disrupted multiple terror cells and arrested more than a dozen individuals suspected of planning attacks in Indonesia.

Embassy would advise Irish citizens to be vigilant during the Christmas and New Year period and also the Chinese New Year on 28 January 2017 because of continued threats of terrorism attacks. We also advise Irish citizens to be aware of their surroundings when gathering at shopping malls, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and places of worship in Indonesia, as terrorists have previously planned and carried out attacks at such venues, and could do so again.

There is currently an outbreak of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/.

The threat from terrorism throughout Indonesia – including Bali - remains high and an attack could happen at any time. We advise Irish citizens to exercise particular caution around locations that have a low level of protective security and/or which are known to be possible targets for attack. These include security force establishments, as well places frequented by foreign residents and tourists, including malls, nightclubs and restaurants.

Volcanic activity in East Java frequently affects flight schedules and the operation of regional airports including Lombok and Bali International Airports. Please check with your airline for further information. 

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and security

Social unrest

While the overall political situation is stable, developments elsewhere, including the Middle East, resonate in Indonesia. Recent demonstrations in central Jakarta resulted in violent clashes between protesters and the police.

You should avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings of people. If you become aware of any nearby violence you should leave the area immediately. Keep yourself informed of developments, including by monitoring the local media, and maintain a high level of vigilance.

You should be particularly vigilant during holiday periods such as Easter, Christmas, Nyepi (Balinese New Year – 23/24 March) and Independence Day (17 August), which can bring periods of heightened tension in Indonesia.

Terrorism

There’s a high threat from terrorism in Indonesia. Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and intent to carry out these attacks at any time and anywhere in the country. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places where large groups of people gather or which are known to be frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers: beach resorts, bars and restaurants, hotels and shopping malls hosting major international brand outlets, tourist attractions, places of worship, ferry terminals and airports. Attacks may also target Indonesian Government and law enforcement interests.

Crime

You should always take sensible precautions while you’re in Indonesia: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Make sure that you are comfortable with, and regularly review, your security arrangements.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Indonesia, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Indonesia if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Indonesia, you should be extremely careful, bring your full Irish and international driving license  and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local alcohol

A number of tourist deaths in Indonesia, have been linked to the consumption of locally-brewed rice wine ‘arak’ which has been contaminated with methanol. We advise all travellers, especially in Bali, Lombok and Gili Islands, not to consume this drink. 

Air Safety

Commercial aviation services are expanding rapidly in Indonesia. Many of the airlines now operating here do not meet – or cannot show that they meet - EU safety standards and are excluded from EU airspace as a result. Aviation infrastructure in Indonesia is sometimes overstretched, and the difficult terrain and climatic conditions also contribute to a heightened risk. There have been a number of serious incidents recently. Travellers should be aware of these risks, are advised to take care in choosing airlines, flights and routes.

Maritime safety

You should take extra care, particularly when travelling by boat. There have been a number of reports of boats capsizing due to stormy weather.

Local laws and customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal drugs

Possession, trafficking and manufacture of such drugs are serious offences in Indonesia. Those caught face lengthy prison sentences or the death penalty, usually after a protracted and expensive legal process.

Police often raid locations (particularly in Bali) known to be frequented by foreigners, and may require an individual to take a urine or blood test where they have reasonable suspicion that drugs have been taken. Drug use or the possession of even small amounts of drugs such as marijuana or ecstasy can lead to prison sentences upwards of four years. Convicted traffickers or users of hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin face the death penalty in Indonesia.

Muslim culture

You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.

You should be aware of offending Islamic sensitivities. Westerners have occasionally been harassed by fundamentalists in bars and nightclubs, particularly around major Islamic holidays such as Ramadan.

Personal identification

You must show evidence of your identity if it is requested by, for example, the police. You should carry photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport to avoid losing the original, which should be kept in a safe place.

Gambling

Gambling is illegal in Indonesia.

Natural disasters and climate

Climate

Indonesia sits along a volatile seismic strip called the ‘Ring of Fire’ in the Pacific Ocean. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur regularly, which can, where the severity and conditions of the quake combine, present a potential threat of tsunamis within the region. The capacity of the Indonesian emergency and rescue services, and local authorities, to deal with large natural disasters is limited.

Earthquake

It’s understood that 90% of the world's earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire which is a direct consequence of plate tectonics and the movement of collisions of crustal plates. If you’re travelling to or living in Indonesia, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Volcanoes

There are numerous volcanoes in Indonesia, any of which can erupt without warning. You should exercise caution, check news reports and follow local advice before travelling to volcanic areas.

Flooding

Flash floods and more widespread flooding occur regularly. Cities, especially Jakarta, are frequently subject to severe localised flooding which can result in major disruption, and occasional fatalities.

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Visa

Irish citizens travelling to Indonesia for tourism purposes can enter the country without a visa for up to 30 days at the following International Airports and Seaports: 

International Airports:

  1. Soekarno-Hatta, Jakarta
  2. Juanda, Surabaya
  3. Ngurah Rai, Bali
  4. Kualanamu, Medan
  5. Hang Nadim, Batam

Seaports:

  1. Bandar Bentan Telani Lagoi, Tanjung Uban
  2. Bandar Seri Udana Lobam, Tanjung Uban
  3. Batam Center, Batam
  4. Citri Tri Tunas, Batam
  5. Marina Teluk Senimba, Batam
  6. Nongsa Terminal Bahari, Batam
  7. Sekupang, Batam
  8. Sri Bintan Pura, Tanjung Pinang
  9. Tanjung Balai Karimun, Tanjung Balai Karimun

You must also depart Indonesia through one of these airports or seaports; or approved airports (29), harbours (88) and land borders (7). You will not be able to extend your stay beyond 30 days if you enter under this “Visit Visa Exemption”.

If you are travelling for purposes other than tourism you should apply for a visa before you travel, or get a visa valid for up to 30 days on arrival at a cost of US$35. You can extend this type of visa once for a maximum of 30 days by applying to an immigration office within Indonesia.

If you are unsure of the entry/exit requirements for Indonesia, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia.

Passports

Make sure that your passport is valid for a minimum of six months after the conclusion of any trip to Indonesia and other countries within South East Asia.

Health

Health and medical care standards in Indonesia can be poor and some medical tests cannot be done reliably. Good medical treatment can be very expensive. In remote areas, high quality services for serious injury or illness are unlikely to be available.

You may need expensive medical evacuation so make sure you have valid comprehensive travel health insurance cover and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.