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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

The threat of 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.

Visitors are also asked to be particularly vigilant in Aceh, Central Sulawesi Province (especially Palu, Poso and Tentena), Maluku Province (especially Ambon), Papua and West Papua Province due to potential for violence or violent conflict.

A number of large scale demonstrations have taken place in Jakarta since December 2016, and there is a possibility of further demonstrations taking place over the coming months, especially in the lead-up to the 2018 Presidential elections. As always, Irish citizens should keep away from street protests and political demonstrations.

Following recent cases of  the Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in various regions around the world, including South East Asia, Irish Citizens travelling to Indonesia 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/. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and plan to travel to areas affected by the Zika Virus, you are advised to discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider and to consider postponing your travel to affected areas.

Volcanic activity throughout Indonesia 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, recent demonstrations in central Jakarta resulted in violent clashes between protesters and the police. Moreover, developments elsewhere, including the Middle East, can resonate in Indonesia with similar effect.

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 is a high threat of 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. If you need consular assistance, please contact us at the Irish Embassy in Indonesia.

Lost or stolen passports

If your passport is lost or stolen, report this to the Police immediately and obtain a Police Report. Irish Citizens should be aware that if this occurs, it will delay your travel plans considerably, and incur cost. Along with the time taken to arrange a new travel document, you will subsequently need to get a replacement visa and an exit visa from immigration and this can take at least three working days and may delay your onward travel plans considerably. Please be aware that the Irish Embassy is located in Jakarta.

Driving

Caution should be exercised if driving in Indonesia, as roads are congested, and drivers often undisciplined. 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 between islands. There have been a number of reports of boats capsizing due to stormy weather. Furthermore, many beaches on the south coast of Java are unsuitable for swimming.

Water

We strongly recommend you do not drink local tap water. Drink or use boiled or bottled water only while visiting Indonesia.

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.

LGBT

While homosexual activity is not criminalised by the national government, there is very little tolerance for it. Provincial governments in some parts of the country, such as Aceh (Northern Sumatra), have enacted prohibitions, and punishment, in this regard. Caution and discretion are advised at all times for LGBT visitors.

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. Sharia law is enforced in Aceh (Northern Sumatra) and may exist unofficially or through local legislation in other 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

Geographical position

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.

Air Pollution

Air quality in Jakarta and other major cities is notoriously poor due mainly to the exorbitant amount of road traffic present. More generally within Indonesia, air quality can be compromised seasonally on account of smoke haze. This improves with the onset of the monsoon season. At present, air pollution is worse than usual for this time of year in a number of states due to land and forest fires and the persistent hot, dry weather. You should monitor information on air quality regularly and follow local advice.

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. It is also advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you while travelling.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to confirm what, if any, medical vaccinations you require.

Should you require medical attention, please be aware that 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. Please ensure you have adequate medical insurance before departure to cover any costs you may incur.