The vast country archipelago of Indonesia calls for tourism from the luxurious to the back alleys. It’s most well-known for its beach resorts and volcano hiking, but beyond them is an entire landscape to be explored. Despite being neighbours with Indonesia nearly all my life and wielding decent language ability, my experience traveling there is little. But a personal tour across an island provided enough to tell.

Venturing beyond the international hub of Bali may be intimidating, but worth it for the amount of nature you get everywhere else.


Trip Budgeting

Expenses in Indonesia can be very cheap. Especially if you don’t go for high-end resorts and dine in restaurants on streets that are teeming with foreign brands. I have stayed in a beautiful AirBnB in Gili, a cute guesthouse in Lombok, and an impressive yet affordable hotel in Kuta – all these while not compromising too much on location and convenience. Even transport costed barely anything when I opted for motorbike taxis on ride-hailing apps like Grab or GoJek. But note that cash is more widely used than card.


Staying Safe

Indonesia is moderately unsafe for all travellers. Ask any seasoned traveller and you should hear at least one story related to scams or unfortunate incidents. Even if you travel with official tour companies, always follow guides and heed all warnings of scam tactics. Thefts and bribes are also rampant, whether snatched from your hands or taken from your hotel safe, or being stopped for doing literally nothing. So don't carry a large amount of cash and keep your wits about. Be informed as well on volcanic activities and earthquakes that are common in the regions.


Packing Light

You’re in a tropical country with lots of sun and nature. Good news is that you don’t need to be carrying bulky winter wear for the trip – unless you expect to be scaling a mountain. Even so, a good jacket and a pair of gloves should suffice. Other than that, swimwear, sunglasses, mosquito repellent, and an anti-theft wallet would be sufficient for the trip.


Travel REstrictions

As of April 2022, travellers who are fully vaccinated will not need to be quarantined upon arrival as long as they provide a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before departure. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers are required to quarantine for 5 days. Travellers from ASEAN region are able to travel visa-free, but those from other countries need to apply e-visa or visa on arrival. For Bali, travellers from 42 countries may arrive in Bali visa-free for up to 30 days. For more information, I use Safety Wing’s Borderless.

Stories from Indonesia

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