3 Things to Know Before You Travel to Indonesia and the mistakes I made.
Traveling to Indonesia is actually easy once you have the mind-set to do it. I actually took my decision over the night and on the next day, I was on the hunt for a cheap one-way ticket to Indonesia and that was my first mistake, trying to purchase one way ticket.
With over 13,000 thousand islands, Indonesia has what to offer in terms of exploring all of the natural beauty. In this post, I want to share my experience and the mistakes, I have made. I am not promoting any service/product. I only aim to save you the hassle and breaking your head as I did. I want to make your travel to Indonesia smooth. You might thank me later.
Do Your Research, do not Trust all of the Crappy “Travel to Indonesia” guides!
Oh boy, here we go again. I just typed into Google. “travel to Indonesia tips” and bunch of nice articles came up from authority websites. Have you ever thought about why these articles come up on the first page once you search for that particular keyword? I bet you have not!
Do not worry, I was sold the same “dream” before I travel to Indonesia. I never expected to find so many discrepancies between the information that these post deliver to you. Once you read the article, you are probably sat down in front of the computer thinking, hell yeah! I want to travel to Indonesia right now!
Just calm don for a second. Let me break the reality for you. I am sorry to be the one who will bring the reality to you. I am really sorry guys, but I was in the same boat a month ago.
My advice is to make friends with some Indonesians before you actually travel to Indonesia. Ask questions about anything that might come into your mind. Please ignore all of the beautiful post coming on Google. Google is not your only source of information. The reality is that these post are promoted and to appear on the first page on the search engine there is actually a lot going on behind. I will not break your mind with the formalities right now. What, I am trying to tell you is that all of the post with tips are carefully written promoting something specific in the post itself. Use all of the available resources to you to gain idea of your destination country and not only Indonesia.
Documents and Visa before you Travel to Indonesia
I want to save you a lot of time and headache so before you travel to Indonesia make sure you are aware of the travel documents the immigration requires before you enter Indonesia. Here you can find quick facts about the required documents. Bear in mind that you can only carry approximately $7,500 USD. If you need more than that for some reason use Western Union. If you decide to use any other services or apps, do not be foolish to do so, because you will end up paying some hidden fees. Banks also charge sending and accepting fee. For more information refer to your local bank.
If you exchange money, be very careful and count your money few times before you leave the exchange office. The units are in thousands and millions and there is a lot of notes and it is easy to be trick and get confused especially for a newbie. Book a return ticket no matter what visa you have. I did a mistake booking only a one-way ticket and almost got stopped by the immigration in Singapore. In my case the embassy in my country issued me the visa as I had a (sponsor) and my circumstances were different, my advice is speak directly to the embassy and they will tell you exactly what to do.
I had to apply for visa as I wanted to stay longer than just one month. So the visa I obtained was for two months. However, the visa could be extended each month up to six months. Then if you require to stay longer than six months you can apply for the same visa and the closest Indonesian embassy is in Singapore. The flights to Singapore are very cheap. If you are going to do business in Indonesia, you can apply for business visa. If you decided to bring more than one from the same type of technology, even for a present, immigration might try to charge you import tax. This is where everything becomes ridiculous.
Mobile internet and Broadband
This one is my favorite. I have experienced a lot of problems with the mobile connection and the broadband in Indonesia. Europe and the US is slightly different in terms of quality and service. I am currently using Telkomsel and it is the Indonesia’s number one provider. I would expect them to be better than anybody on the market. Actually they are very irresponsible and they do not deliver their promises. For example, I had some problems couple of days ago and I contacted them on twitter. You are probably wondering why twitter? Why did not you call them? Yeah great idea!
When I tried to call them, they ask you to press 1 for English then press 1 for being their customer or something like that. Why would I call them if I am not their customer? Does it really matter? Probably it does for them. The funny part comes after you are asked to dial your mobile number.
If anyone succeed, I will buy you a beer. As soon as I start to dial my number and you make a gentle pause the machine starts to tell you that you still have got the wrong number. You ignore that and continue but it still does the same and after 3 times it hangs up automatically.
I tried all tricks to copy paste and etc. I tried to speed up my dial faster but unfortunately nothing worked. After 4-5 attempts of course they obviously blocked my calls, because of the too many failures. I guess they did not want to speak to me on the phone.
Their twitter customer help was not very helpful either. They were asking me for my mother’s name, my birthday and etc. Perhaps they want to send me birthday card? All I asked them to do is to fix my connection. The signal was constantly switching between LTE (4G) as a matter of fact they advertise it as 4G but actually it is not.
Welcome to Indonesia
Before you travel to Indonesia make sure you know your stuff and be prepared for surprises. I do not want to ruin your holiday or business trip to Indonesia. Please, do not get me wrong. There are some good things about Indonesia too. However, some things are not just like in Europe, US or any other western country.
It is a little bit more expensive than you think and seeing on all of those foolish blog posts makes me concerned about many things. For example, I tried to buy dental tread as I run out of mine. Few weeks after, I left the UK. I went to the store and I was shocked to see that one box 50 m standard length was 50,000 IDR. I really do not know why? Actually I do know why. The import tax, it is very expensive to buy imported products.
If you wish to know any more details or you have more questions, shoot them in the comment section below and I will respond to each one of them. Happy travel to Indonesia and stay cool.
The owner and PM of Techinfographics.com. Dimitar is young entrepreneur who is into technology and innovation. He is an investor and key figure into several other online projects. He travels and writes about technology and business.