Indonesia, an archipelago country comprising of 17,000 islands with rich cultures and dubbed as the second longest shoreline in the world of 99,093 km length, surely becomes an earthly heaven for travelers. Some even shortlisted Indonesia into their bucket list. However, before you bask in the beauty of this tropical country, get well-prepared is a must to give you the experience to the fullest with peace of mind.

Before you go

While having a sunbath and discovering every corner of the landscape may take you into adrenaline rush, don’t quickly pack your suitcase without any preparation! Be sure to take an insurance for the trip. Consult with your doctor about personal medication, adjusted to personal medical records. Contact the Indonesian Embassy in your country to find out if your medication is legal under Indonesian law. Check your country’s travel advice on website or ask authorized official regarding this issue to find out the recommendation of vaccinations you should take before flying to Indonesia. Generally, travelers are required to take Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus and Poliomyelitis vaccinations. Meanwhile, Hepatitis B, Japanese B Encephalitis, and Rabies vaccines are optional, but it should be considered if you plan to go to more rural areas or on extensive trip. We also recommend you pack a medical kit that consisting of at least and not limited to:
  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain relief
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent lotion or spray
  • Diarrhea treatment
  • Topical antiseptic for wound care, such as Betadine

Hospital in Indonesia

International and high-standard hospitals with English-speaking staffs are easily discovered in major cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, and Bandung. On the other hands, in rural and remote areas you will find hospitals and other health facilities that only offer basic services. Remember to have a plentiful supply of personal medication and medical kit as pharmacies are harder to find in more secluded locations.

Mosquito-borne diseases

Dengue fever and malaria has become increasingly problematic in Southeast Asia, so consider taking anti-malaria medicine for preventive cause if you plan to travel to any remote destinations in Indonesia. Also, apply bug repellent lotion or spray during day and night regularly to prevent being infected by dengue fever.

Food-related illness

While majority of street food stalls are quite hygine, avoid eating in the less clean places to avoid suffering from diarrhea and other food-related illness, unless you get recommendation from your fellow locals. They usually know selected restaurants that are suitable to indulge your tastebuds and are customized to your convenience. It must be noted that tap water is not potable in Indonesia. So, if you want to drink but having shortage of water in your tumbler, buy bottled water at nearby shop for less than $1. In addition, avoid drinking with ice cubes in rural areas as the making process is hygiene questionable.

Safety Tips for Traveling in Indonesia

Petty theft

Even though Indonesia is a relatively safe country for tourists, watch out for your belongings, especially at public places. Thefts are mostly found at public transportation and local markets, although local law enforcements constantly has put much efforts to eradicate this issue. For prevention, wear clothes modestly by not revealing too many jewelries. Don’t show off valuable belongings like gadgets, walet, purse, and luxury watch too often in public eyes.

Transportation scam

While taking a public transportation is strongly recommended especially in big cities when you are intended to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the surrounding and acting as a local, avoid taking one with not fixed-rate costs. Some (although not all) often use wild meter to accelerate the costs, making it much more expensive. Therefore, you are advised to use ride-sharing apps (online transportation apps) to book taxi, car, or two-wheeled vehicle. This kind of service offers fixation in fare so you will not be cheated.

Heat Concern

Indonesia’s major weather is hot and humid, so put on comfortable clothes that can absorb sweat well. Apply sunscreen regularly especially when you are outdoor. Also, drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.

Smoking Issue

You might be startled and annoyed when you discover that smoking is relatively common in Indonesia. Be sure to stay away children from it. Although Indonesian people’s awareness on smoking ban is increasing and lots of public places are promoting campaign on smoking ban by facilitating smoking room, put on mask when strolling around is a safe choice. If it is possible, you may ask for non smoking area.

For Female Travelers

Indonesia is generally a safe country for female travelers. However, considering that the Indonesian are still quite conservative, so wearing clothes that do not bare too much skin is the best option to respect local culture. In big cities, solo traveler is common. On the contrary, you maybe be asked why you travel alone, particularly when you visit rural areas. Crime against women rarely occurred in Indonesia. Nonetheless, it's wise to not be alone on the streets late at night, and to take a taxi or ride-sharing car if you're heading back late.

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