Are you planning a trip to Indonesia? Before you embark on your adventure, you must know about potential health and safety risks. From finding the right hospital if needed to protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases and food-related illnesses, we’ve got you covered.

Before you go

While having a sunbath and discovering every corner of the landscape may take you into an adrenaline rush, don’t quickly pack your suitcase without any preparation! Be sure to take 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 the website or ask an authorized official regarding this issue to determine the 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 they should be considered if you plan to go to more rural areas or on extensive trips.

We also recommend you pack a medical kit that consists of at least and is 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 staff are easily discovered in major cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Bali. On the other hand, 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 kits, as pharmacies are harder to find in more secluded locations.

Mosquito-borne diseases

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

Food-related illness

While the majority of street food stalls are quite hygienic, avoid eating in less clean places to avoid suffering from diarrhea and other food-related illness unless you get a recommendation from your fellow locals. They usually know selected restaurants suitable for indulging your tastebuds and customized to your convenience.

It must be noted that tap water is not potable in Indonesia. So, if you want to drink but have a shortage of water in your tumbler, buy bottled water at a 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 in public places. Thefts are mostly found on public transportation and local markets, although local law enforcement constantly has put much effort into eradicating this issue.

For prevention, wear clothes modestly by not revealing too much jewelry. Don’t show off valuable belongings like gadgets, wallets, purses, and luxury watches in public eyes.

Transportation scam

While taking public transportation is strongly recommended, especially in big cities when you are intended to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the surroundings and act as a local, avoid taking one with no fixed-rate costs.

Some (although not all) often use wild meters to accelerate the costs, making it much more expensive. Therefore, you should use ride-sharing (online transportation apps) to book taxis, cars, or two-wheeled vehicles. 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 wear comfortable clothes that absorb sweat well. Apply sunscreen regularly, especially when you are outdoors. 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 from children from it.

Although Indonesian people’s awareness of the smoking ban is increasing, lots of public places are promoting campaigns on the smoking ban by facilitating smoking rooms. In some restaurants, it is possible to ask for a non-smoking area.

For Female Travelers

Indonesia is generally a safe country for female travelers. However, considering that Indonesians are still quite conservative, so wearing clothes that do not bare too much skin is the best option to respect the local culture.

In big cities, solo travelers is common. On the contrary, you maybe be asked why you travel alone, particularly when you visit rural areas. Crime against women rarely occurs in Indonesia. Nonetheless, it’s wise not to be alone on the streets late at night and to take a taxi or ride-sharing car if you’re heading back late.