What you can and cant do..and advice.

This thread is intended to assist expatriates with problems they're likely to encounter when they move to Indonesia.
Many of the problems are simple lack of available information, so hopefully this thread will avert a good few of them.

Special thanks to Lukereg, Ubudian and indostocks for their valuable contributions

For a large collection of photos and videos about Indonesia (With comments), click this link. … 21#p527221

Some bits about food in Indonesia can be found here. … 42#3273554

Clothing and fashion here (Thread still being worked on) … 21#3562270

Art and culture here (Thread still being worked on)


Topics will be edited and updated as required, or as I improve the post.

Click on your area of interest to go directly to an appropriate post.


Immigration (General information)

Visa on arrival

Working in Indonesia (KITAS/IMTA)

Working as an English teacher

Owning land and building

KITAP for expats married to an Indonesian

KITAS/P - Changing address, passport or other details

Identity and family cards (KTP WNA, SKTT, KK)

The roads (including buying and selling vehicles) / Toll roads (Jalan tol)

Renting a motorbike for your holiday




Public holidays

Dengue Fever

Money/local salaries/exchange

Electronic toys/voltage

Telephones and mobile phones


English language TV/Radio

English language newspapers on the internet

Drinking water/cooking gas


Prescription drugs  - Illegal drugs

The backpacker's guide.

Renting a house/apartment



Avoid passing things with your left hand (Cross cultural understanding)


Public transport (Not taxis)

Owning land in Indonesia.

Airports / Air travel / airlines

Shaking hands



Retirement visa.

Wheelchair users

Birth control/Sex/STDs

Clothes and shoe shopping


Ubudian :

This is a link to a thread specifically about moving to Bali:


Indonesia's immigration department used to be extremely corrupt, but that has changed over the last few years ( A great credit to Indonesia)
They've now cleaned up their act, and all prices are displayed at the payment counter.
If you intend to use an agent, check the immigration price list first, so you have a starting point.
Some immigration officers will act as agents. It's probably not strictly correct for them to do so, but they aren't taking a bribe, just wanting a way of making a little extra, so I have no problem with them doing it.
If your visa isn't legal, they won't try to pull strings - it'll still be refused.
There are lots of agents, both inside the immigration office, and commonly in shops nearby, so shop around for prices.

NEVER try to offer a bribe - it will be refused, and you could end up in trouble.

Never get angry, even when the officer always needs one extra letter/document - just live with it and return with the requested stuff. I've ended up visiting three times as the new guy I speak to wants something more than the last guy asked for.

A friendly smile and being polite works wonders.
Always turn up to immigration reasonably dressed. For men, that means long trousers, shoes and a shirt with a collar (Polo shirt works).
Ladies, a skirt or dress below the knee and no plunging tops.
You may be refused service if you turn up in shorts and a T shirt.


This post was very out of date so I've removed it to make sure old information doesn't mislead posters.
I will try to update it when possible.

Working in Indonesia

ASEAN country citizens have some freedom to work here if they are in given professions, but restrictions still apply.
Engineering services
Nursing services
Architectural services
Medical practitioners
Dental practitioners
Tourism professionals
Surveying qualifications (still in framework stage at last check)
Accountancy services  (still in framework stage at last check).

To work, you need to get a work permit (IMTA) and a visa (ITAS or ITAP).
To get a work permit, you MUST have a skill that is not available locally.
This does not include lifeguard, cook, waiters, massage parlour workers and/or other unskilled work.


A spouse sponsored KITAP holder is allowed to work informally without a work permit, part time and without contract. Working in your spouse's business is fine.
Holders of this immigration document are restricted (according to the work department but argued about a lot) from formal work.

KITAS (immigration document) and IMTA (Work permit) should be dealt with by your employer at no cost to you.
This means you should take the contract seriously, noting you might well be asked to pay fees if you resign before the contract period.
You should have an exit permit to leave the country, and it's your employer who deals with that, so no thinking about running away.
The employer should also provide a return air ticket as part of the deal.
The work department are known for being very strict on everything so cheating is not a possibility.

As for two year contracts - don't.
The company only gets a one year work permit, so the common reason they want you to stay is, they have a high staff turnover.
Take that as you wish, but there is no way I'd sign a 2 year contract without a very special reason.

All KITAS holders should get an SKTT local ID card.
ALL KITAP holders should get a KTP local ID card.

For working visa information … -kitas.htm

For business visas … iness.html

Working as an English teacher.

There are a lot of schools wanting to hire 'native' English speakers.
These range from the language mills, many offering poor salary and lousy working hours, to top quality international establishments, offering massive salaries and very nice working conditions.
The former start at about Rp5,000,000/month, but more commonly Rp8,000,000.
You can live on it if you aren't a party animal but, if you like the night life, you'll be scratching around after the second Saturday of the month.
Real schools  generally offer from Rp20,000,000 upwards.
Update. EF now claim 11 million/month is their minimum salary.

To be legal, the school should provide the work permit and KITAS (immigration document) and you have to be from any one of five countries.

UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

As with every work permit/KITAS I've heard of, you MUST get an exit permit.
You can't get that unless the school signs it off.
The moral here, don't bug your boss and don't bother trying to do a runner, the airport immigration will turn you back.

lukereg :

Working in a 'language mill' ish Mas Fred has pretty much hit all nails on the head. There are however exceptions to the rules for western teachers it being Indonesia.  But degree qualified,  drug and hiv free reachers are now expected norms and my company English First is now also  expecting every new teacher to provide background checks before coming here which is a first for Indonesia.

Whilst that sounds strict or over the top I see an end to the days of back packer teachers and the dawn of a more professional level and approach to teaching English here. After 6 years in this industry I can say I am seeing it change constantly for the better.

That is good news. EF had a terrible reputation for dodgy practices.
Strict and OTT aren't bad things when it comes to hiring people who'll be looking after kids.

A note from a friend on this subject.........

Here are the latest requirements for a teacher who wants to work for a private school and there is no guarantee that a visa will be issued anyway. There is also a requirement for a full health  (physical and mental) check, HIV and drug check as well as background checks. Bear in mind this is for a 1 year job which is 50% less a month than in China, so I am sure you will agree that private schools are on the decline and I cant say how long this will last. I am sure there will be a relaxation with these rules again this year but I cant say when. You should also know that these rules also effect everyone here as well at the moment. Needless to say, I am not in a comfortable position.

Current Visa Requirements
Citizen of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK or USA
Over 25
BA degree holder with any major
TEFL certification
5 years of teaching experience after BA awarded

Cambridge CELTA and DELTA are commonly being asked for at the moment, and Cambridge TKTs are becoming popular in many schools as Cambridge tests and IGCSEs are becoming more common.

For high schools the degree is required but not necessary as these schools come under a different department in the Education Ministry. Teachers working there might find themselves on a business visa for up to a year before a Kitas is issued and then only when all the boxes have been ticked.


Some private schools are shedding western teachers.
Private teachers remain generally under the radar.
Business visas allow teachers to be in a school on a consultancy basis only.

KITAP for expats married to an Indonesian

After two spouse sponsored KITAS, an expat married to an Indonesian is allowed to apply for a KITAP (Five year immigration document).
This allows freedom to do some casual work or work in a family business.
The law is a little contradictory, so better to be safe and not take up full time employment without an IMTA work permit.
However, this spouse sponsored KITAP is usable as an immigration document for work in Indonesia.


All KITAP holders should get a KPT WNA (or KTP OA, as some refer to it)

The old police registration is no longer required for foreigners in Indonesia.

There are two ways to get a spouse sponsored KITAS/KITAP:

The first is using an agent, but that incurs fees, and those fees vary a lot so shop around if you prefer the ease of that method. You'll normally find agents in the immigration offices or they have an office very close to immigration.

I prefered the do it yourself route.
DIY means you get to meet the immigration officers, and they get to know you. That means they can you're honest and your application is legal and valid. That helps in later years, especially if issues come up over time or you eventually want to change your KITAS to a KITAP.
All the paperwork is available free of charge from immigration offices, and there are plenty of friendly officers there who are willing to help you out if you have problems with the forms.

KITAS / KITAP - Change of details.

In the days of the blue book, if you changed address, you simply took a letter from Pak RT and your blue book to immigration. Job done.
The demise of the blue book has changed things so now you must have:

Copy of your KITAS/P
Original KITAS/P
A letter from your sponsor
A letter from the local village office (Surat domicili)
A red folder (From immigration - free of charge)
Two forms (From immigration - free of charge)
A copy of your passport
Your passport
Take that lot to immigration, and prey they don't want anything else.

Added - Moving also requires expats to get a letter fro their old village department to take to the new one. Not having this letter can cause problems so make sure you get it sorted out.
If you move immigration areas, you must transfer to the new one, that requiring a letter from the old.

Changing passport whilst on a KITAS/P

If you change your passport whilst on KITAS/P, you must inform immigration.
Take with you:

Copy of your KITAS/P
Original KITAS/P
A letter from your sponsor
Old passport
New passport
Photocopies of ID pages of old and new passport

The required form can be obtained from immigration free of charge, along with the red folder you must put it in.

Identity card (KTP/SKTT) / Family card (KK)

SKTT and KTP WNA ID cards are available with some messing about, but no one ever tells you the law.
The fines for not having one are minor, but I've heard of people spending a night in the cells whilst waiting to sort out the problem.
KITAP holders should also have a KK (Family card).

They look like this.

Foreigners on a KITAS are required to get an SKTT.
Foreigners on a KITAP are required to get a KTP WNA.

NOTE - The residency card (KTP or SKTT) MUST be carried at all times or you could be subject to arrest.
The fines are small as this is considered to be a minor crime, but you could end up with a night in a cell whilst it's sorted out, followed by a small fine.

The requirement for a police ID card (SKLD) were dropped some years ago, so you can forget that one. A lot of sites still list this as a requirement, but just ignore it

The process is simple, but can be a real pain to get through.
Most of the problem is the local government officials are commonly unfamiliar with the law on this matter, assuming that foreigners can't appear on the family card.
A KITAP holder should appear on his or her family card along with the rest of the family but it's not uncommon to have a separate one for the foreigner. I never managed to get on mine until I became Indonesian. No real problem if you don't manage.
A foreigner KTP is pretty much understood by most offices now.

Click the link and print it out if you have problems - it might help but no guarantee.
It explains the law, so should ease the problems. … k-ktp-wna/

Whatever happens, ALWAYS remain polite. The first angry word is very likely to mess you up until you move house, so don't bother trying.

The process starts with a surat domicili (Letter of residence) from your Pak RT, stamped and approved by Pak RW, sent to the district office (Kelurahan).
When they've signed it off, you can apply for the appropriate card at the office they tell you to go to.

Some Pak RT/RW (Area head) just don't want you to have any documents, so you'll have a heck of a job with this. Sadly, there is some racism here, but not much.

The whole process should take about two weeks.


The roads.

Get a dashcam and make sure it's recording at all times.

If anyone is considering driving in Indonesia, watch this first.
These caused accidents but most get away with stupidity on the roads - I have no idea how they manage to, but they do.
These things are pretty common on roads here, especially the crazy overtaking and totally ignoring traffic lights..

Most people have no idea how bad traffic is in Indonesia until they see it.
Traffic lights are advisory at best and commonly ignored; leading to total chaos.

The lights were out of shot most of the time but they are there.
Red, green, whatever - no one much cares.


The roads are a mess.
Traffic jams in larger cities and lax enforcement of any laws anywhere I've been in Indonesia.
Corrupt cops give all Indonesian cops a bad name but I believe many are not as corrupt as some people would have us believe.

Update (21/09/17) - The KPK anti corruption body has been very busy so most traffic police corruption has disappeared. I've watched several police stop and check places over the last couple of months, seeing no sign of bribes being demanded.

With motorbikes, the cops tend to take interest in the licence, reg docs and tax being paid than anything the driver actually did and helmet laws, along with most other none vehicle laws are pretty much ignored unless a sweeping operation is taking place.

Jakarta has better enforcement than most places I've seen so traffic, whilst slow because of the jams, tends to be better behaved but still terrible when compared to London.

What is required to ride/drive?
Your Australian/American/British licence isn't valid here and I expect that probably goes for most other foreign licences.
I believe (Open to correction). an international licence is valid if you report to your local POLDA.
Most cops will accept a foreign licence but don't get into an accident and try to use it. You may just get the wrong cop and end up with a very large bill to pay.

Local licences are:
SIM A - Car licence.
SIM C - Motorcycle licence.

These should be available, after passing a written test, driving test and medical, for a small fee.
The licence should be valid for five years.
I have to note, the cops in Wonosobo, where I did my test, were not corrupt and everything was done by the book. They cocked up with the first licence dates but that was an honest mistake, not a scam.

Update (21/09/17) - Foreigners must now take their tests at a POLDA, not any licencing centre as before.

Expect idiots to overtake you but turn left before they get clear or some daft pillock to run a red light or just fly out a blind junction without a thought of looking to see if the road is clear.
Traffic lights are hardly ever bothered with. They're there; just ignored.
Also note - Most people will turn left at any junctions regardless of light colour. I think this was made illegal a couple of years ago but you'll be quite likely to get a truck ram you if you stop at lights.

If there were any enforced speed limits (or even signs advising of a limit), speeding would be normal.
The idea of driving in Indonesia is; I'm first and I don't care about what's in the way or, if something is already there; it'll get out of the way.
They seem to think this applies to brick walls as I've seen on a couple of occasions.
The police do almost nothing to enforce any little rules so seeing a kid riding a motorbike, but unable to put his feet to the floor because he's only five years old, is pretty much normal in country areas.
A country area is anywhere there isn't a main road.
Because of this dangerous stupidity, illegal road humps are very common.
The locals get pissed off with the bad riding so install crazy road humps outside their house. This becomes more of a problem when the hump is so tall, the cars/bikes get stuck on them. This is quite common.
The other problem is, the locals all want a hump outside their house so humps just a few metres apart from each other is common.

As a foreigner, any accident will probably be your fault, regardless of who was actually at fault.
Unlike Thailand, most Indonesians don't drink beer so driving whilst drunk is quite rare but hardly unheard of. One bloke smashed into two girls on a bike in my first week here. Luckily, they were pretty much okay but that accident was caused because the car driver was drunk.
I've seen a good few drunks on bikes or driving cars. Watch out near churches and the guys often booze after the service then drive home.
That seems to be worst for evening services.
I must try to get some video of that.
Basically, between exceptionally bad driving and traffic jams; I'd strongly recommend you employ a driver with his own car or use taxis.
The latter is far cheaper than buying a car and far less stressful.

Many car parks ask you to produce the STNK (reg doc) as proof the thing is yours.
I rarely get asked in my home area as the guys all know me and see me on the same bike every time.
You must carry all the docs, all the time as the police can take your car/bike if you don't have them with you.

Driving and road markings

Roads are commonly poor quality here, and road marking are often very confusing.

Watch this video of the road between Trisakti and the entrance to Jalan toll Tangerang.
The road markings are clear, warning of a bus lane, so you expect to move a lane to the left, but the toll road entrance is on the right before the bus lane, not marked until you getup to it.
A policeman awaits at that junction, looking for people who don't know the road.
There are plenty more junctions like this - so watch out.
The basic rule there is, don't cross a solid white line.


Buying a car/motorbike.

We need to get around, so many of us will buy a car and/or motorbike.
In general, a small scooter such as a Honda Spacy is easily the cheapest, most efficient and quickest in Indonesia's terrible traffic but, if you have a family or need a car for other reasons, you can legally buy one.
Buy a scooter that has space for your helmet under the seat - Very handy feature.

You'll get asked for your KITAS/P when buying so the bike can be registered in your name.

Motor insurance.
Insurance for a bike is rare but you can get theft insurance if you try. Ask the dealer when you buy.
New cars on loans come with insurance but watch out to make sure third party is included. It will probably cost more and has limits for payouts.
New cars paid for in cash - ask to make sure insurance in included in the deal.


Selling a car/motorcycle

All vehicles require taxing once a year, and that requires the person taxing the vehicle to take ID documents with them when they pay.
When a vehicle changes hands, the new owner should register the vehicle in their name, but that means a charge, and that doesn't go down well with a lot of people.
That in mind, expect the new owner to knock on your door at tax time, asking to borrow your ID card and/or various other documents, including passport and KITAS/P.
Whilst I see their position, this is illegal so you shouldn't do it.
Of course, there is no serious problem unless the vehicle is used in a crime or confiscated by the police for some reason.

I would strongly recommend you never lend documents to anyone, especially passport or immigration documents as there appears to be a serious black market trade in these things, with a western passport selling for several thousand US$, more than enough for the borrower to have 'lost' it out of his pocket on the way back to your house, if you ever see him again.

The best way is to make it clear the sale is final, and you won't help them tax the vehicle in future.


Toll roads (Jalan tol)

There are more and more toll roads in Indonesia, mostly in the Jakarta area, but a lot of new ones are being built across Indonesia.
Most are in pretty good condition, but some of the older ones can be a little rough.

All toll roads are cashless payments only so make sure you have an e-toll, brizzi, or Flazz, and make sure it's topped up. I have all three in anyway but I recommend you have two of the above in case one goes faulty.
There are staff around for drivers who get stuck.

You can also use these cards to shop in a lot of places, pay for parking, trains and Transjakarta buses, and several other things.


Many Indonesian drivers are poorly trained and have no training at all on fast roads, meaning they can be extremely dangerous.
Tailgating whilst flashing high beam is very common, even when you're stuck between two trucks and have absolutely no possibility to get out of the fool's way.

Don't get angry, simply ignore them and move over as soon as safe.

It's very common to see trucks and busses sitting in lane 2 and 3, jamming up the whole mess so always check out lane 1 as that's often totally clear.
Most Indonesians are unused to long roads so accidents are common on the tolls because they just can't handle the speed or try to drive too far without a rest.
Truck drivers are under pressure to get their deliveries completed so they tend to push themselves way too far, meaning you often see cars and trucks in the ditches at the sides of the road.
Watch out for other vehicles changing lane without warning, totally ignoring other cars to the side. They just don;t check before moving lanes so be aware and stay safe.

I've been using the toll roads a lot of late and I've seen at least one accident, or the aftermath of one,
on every trip.

Motor insurance
Insurance is a problem in Indonesia, especially when you look at motor insurance.
Most motorbikes have no insurance at all, and a large proportion of car drivers run around without it, not even third party.
Motorbike insurance against theft is easy enough for a new bike, but accident cover is pretty much impossible to get.
A new car always comes with insurance if it's on credit, but is optional for a cash sale.
You normally have to ask the dealer to arrange it for you.
Most car accidents are knock for knock, but make sure you're covered against some twit on a motorbike running into you and claiming you were at fault.
As I suggested before, a dashcam won't hurt in the event of an accident, but minor details such as clear proof won't always do much to help you.

Many policies don't have third party cover, so make sure you ask for it.
One bonus, many policies come with breakdown and recovery cover.


Jakarta has many taxi companies but you have to be a little careful.

Blue bird are reliable and, with two exceptions, have always got me there without messing about.
No tourist route, no attempts to run without using the meter and no messing about from the drivers.
Their drivers usually drive safely - mostly. … contact-us

Note - Every Blue bird driver must keep his car clean and tidy, and always have his ID badge in the front of the vehicle.

They have an Android app that requests permission to access much of your phone's data so I recommend not installing it on your phone.

Silver bird is the top end posh service, running Mercs and other quality cars.
Their fares are about 1.5 times that of Blue bird.

Express are also good. Their cars, as with Blue bird, seem to be pretty well maintained and the drivers tend to be pretty good.
Again, they always use the meter without being asked and, so far, they haven't messed about.
Their Android app is rubbish so is in serious need of sorting out before it's usable.

There are many other companies, many of which are probably fine but many are far less so.
I've seen rusty wrecks used as taxis and drivers I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw them.
However, I have used independents from time to time and some have been fine.

I've had many bad experiences in Jogjakarta. Taxi drivers refusing to go where I want, lying and generally being rubbish.
That may be a tourist area problem.

Purwokerto has two main taxi companies and both seem good.
As with all companies, there's a minimum fare.
I've never had problems with them.

Some tourist towns don't have taxi services, something that applies to many other less than busy towns in Indonesia.

Wonosobo now has a taxi service.

Perhaps other posters could PM comment on taxis in towns I haven't covered, and I'll add them to this with credit to the poster concerned.


I have, in over eight years of using Blue bird, had two really bad drivers. On both occasions I contacted to complain, sending map screenshots and maps and driver details (Photo of his driver card in the front of the taxi).
Their customer service rang me back in about 20 minutes.
You can't fault that, and that's why I continue to recommend Blue bird.

indostocks :

I think the best places for taxis generally is my hometown: Yogyakarta.

Taxis ALWAYS stick to the meter and never try to go the 'scenic' route. This is my experience of 10+ years. Of course some taxi drivers may be in a grumpy mood and give the silent treatment or may otherwise be uncommunicative. Some taxi drivers/taxi companies may insist on a minimum. Now in August 2013, this may be Rp 15000. You generally reach this fare in about 15 minutes anyway, unless you are stuck in traffic when it may take another ten minutes on top.

My favourite providers are Indra Kelana or ASA. Most of the others are almost as good. Cars tend to be new and clean. Few taxi drivers smoke as much as to stink up a car but if you have a problem then you can generally find another one reasonably quickly.


No taxis except from the airport into town for Rp 75000 per person or Rp 300000 per car. Service is fast and efficient and I can recommend a gentleman by the name of Chandra for especially good service. Transport inside town is by "Bentor" for 2-3000 Rupiah short distance. This is like a motorcycle pedicab but very different from a Becak as in Jakarta.

Ubudian :

Taxis in Bali:

For taxis in Bali the most reliable and honest is Blue Bird, but here in Bali we have a lot of fake Blue Bird taxis running around so beware. 

If you use the link below, the top photo is a real Blue Bird taxi, the one below it is a fake. … 200374.jpg

Tips to spot a fake Blue Bird:

The roof ornament on a real Blue Bird Taxis is more angular and contains the Blue Bird logo whereas on the fakes, are more rounded in shape and contain a fake Blue Bird logo.

Fake Blue Birds commonly have various phone numbers on the back wind screen which are not to the Blue Bird dispatcher but rather to an independent dispatcher.  The common fake phone number is 724724 but Ive seen other phone numbers employed.


Uber has set up business in Indonesia, charging lower fares for journeys under a private hire ideal rather than taxis. I have heard no complaints about their service from customers, but many officials and traditional taxi drivers don't like them.

Lukereg :

For uber you need to add you cc into their system. When you book an uber it will tell you the rough price which is based on time and distance. Also it lets you know if their is a 'surge' which means the flat is increased due to demand such as 1.5 or 1.7x normal price.

As in many cites all over the world, Uber has had problems here from both taxi drivers and government. … i-service/

The new version of the Uber Android app asks for permission to access pretty much everything on your phone, including all personal files and photographs = They have also been accused of data mining their customers' phones.
I would not recommend using this app for that reason.


Reviews of a few hotels can be found here. … 28#3282278

Unmarried couples living together can, on rare occasions, face problems.
I saw a couple, Indonesian man with foreign girlfriend check into a hotel, the policeman I was with asked me if I thought they were married.
I asked him if he really wanted to know the answer.
The police (in general) aren't interested in upsetting tourists but it's something to keep in mind.

On another occasion, after a very long hard trip, we checked into the first hotel we saw, intending to move the next day when we weren't so tired.
About midnight, the Sat PP were hammering at a the door, looking for men with prostitutes.
When he saw my kid in bed with us, he buggered off, all apologetic.
However, I wandered out and noticed a lot of empty rooms with the doors left open.
I suspect that trade was common in that hotel.
The moral of the story is, single men don't bother, and everyone else be a little careful as to the hotel you choose.

Hotels used to ask for identification as part of the check in but many no longer bother.
A lot of hotels ask you to leave a form of identification when you check in, but I would strongly advise you not to leave your passport as they are of great value on the black market.

I don't stay in hotels often these days but I usually use my SIM as ID. I have used an SKLD in the past - same total lack of problems.
I have never had it rejected and no one has ever asked me for a credit card when booking a room.

I've seen tourists asked for their passport but that's tourists, not expats with local documentation.
For tourists, I strongly suggest keeping your passport hidden away and giving a photocopy to the hotel.
Passports are expensive items and valuable to criminals - keep it out of sight and never show anyone except people in authority.

Added - I've stayed in a wide variety of hotel rooms from very basic backpacker style to several of the very nice Aston hotels (and they are very, very nice - terrific breakfasts - I strongly recommend Aston hotels).
None have asked me for anything other than local ID and all were paid in advance.
The Astons were booked via a website, you can get good discounts that way.

Many such booking sites are on the net, but I've only ever used Agoda and Traveloka.
My preference has always been Agoda but others prefer one of the many other sites. The reason I stick with Agoda is they were extremely helpful the one occasion I had a problem. As I know they were so good, I tend to stick with them.
If you're out and about, google maps will display all local hotels for you, and link directly to booking sites, usually listing the price offered by each one.

Alcohol - Advice that could save your life.

Alcohol is quite expensive in Indonesia but don't let that tempt you into buying cheap stuff from local shops.
The chains, Alfamart, Indomaret, and so on, are no longer legal outlets, but it is legally available in supermarkets and many other shops.

Some areas now have a total ban on alcohol sales. Whilst this is often unpopular with expats, it's very popular with most locals (or they simply don't care) as they don't drink anyway.

Many small shops sell cheap gin, whisky or whatever but the stuff is laced with methanol, bleach and various other nasties that'll likely put you in hospital or a morgue.

Locals sometimes die of it as two lads in Wonosobo did when I lived there but it's also been known to kill tourists. … drink.html

The father of a young British backpacker who died after drinking poisonous gin has flown around the world in a bid to catch the people who sold her the lethal substance.
Brenton Emmons, 47, has travelled more than 8,000 miles to Indonesia after his daughter, Cheznye, tragically died there in April.

This stuff is common all over Indonesia so, to be safe, NEVER buy alcoholic drinks except in known shops.

indostocks :

RE: Alcohol consumption. Very good advice, Mas Fred!

Just my extra 2 sen...

Western spirit are extremely expensive in Indonesia so if you can find a local source for safe alcohol then treat them well. Manado and environs are sources for palm wine. Flores and the Batak region of Northern Sumatra are also places where locally sourced distillates can be encountered.

Again unless you are buying properly sealed western liquor or beer make sure of your source.

I live in Yogyakarta so I don't drink except for the occasional can or bottle of San Miguel.

Ubudian :

Booze in Bali:

Locally made arak is the high octane spirit of choice among the Balinese, and it is indeed potent.   Various arak cocktails are served in many bars and restaurants, arak madu being probably the most popular.  Arak madu is made with honey and lemon and its quite good.

Most Balinese will agree that the very best arak is made in the Amed, East Bali area.  It is illegal to produce it without a license, but bootlegging is popular here and thus you can find arak at a great many warungs being sold in re-cycled glass bottles.

As previously mentioned, local made stuff is always a drink at your own risk proposition and there are periodic articles in the local papers of a local dying from consuming poisoned arak.  Some idiots think that adding ground down mosquito coils to the arak increases its potency even more. 

There is a licensed local distillery operation in Bali called Bali Moon.  They recently came out with a very high quality vodka which rivals the best and in taste competitions regularly beats Stoli, Absolute and Sky.  Its called Bali 9not after the famed criminals in our prison, but rather to reflect the number of times it is charcoal filtered.  Retail runs about 180k for a 700 ml bottle and I think its only available now on Bali and nowhere on Javabut I could be wrong on that as their intention is to market this in Java eventually.

Bali is also home to a great micro-brewery called Storm Beer.  This is a great quality brewery and they produce five varieties from a hearty stout to a light pale ale.  They are having some problems as of late and production recently stopped.  Hopefully their issues will be resolved soon and production resumed as it is the best beer available on Baliall imports included.

Public holidays change year to year but the base is fixed.
Indonesia has a few common religions and there are public holidays for all of them.
The longest are Christian and Muslim celebrations.
As with Easter, many Muslim holidays are based on the lunar rather than solar calendar, so they tend to move around a little.

Google's calendar app can be set to show local public holidays (Red days).

Dengue Fever

You're more likely to have a heart attack because you're worrying about dengue than you are actually catching it.
Saying that, it is a problem, especially in the rainy season but you can do a lot to reduce your chances to nearly zero.
Mosquitoes tend to be around at night so, if you go out, wear long trousers, socks and shoes.
You're supposed to wear long sleeves as well but you'll melt if you do.
I use an easily bought insect repellent. There are many types available but I use Autan because it doesn't smell of much and I've never been bitten when I've been wearing it.
I don't follow my own advice regarding long trousers and shoes but Autan does the trick.
It also keeps the ants off my feet - they hate it as well.

Malaria is far less of a problem in the cites, but take care anyway. I used anti malaria drugs when on holiday but that only lasted a few days as they had such a terrible effect on my digestion. It seems that's a common side effect.

For new expats, trying to work out the money.

All internal transactions should be conducted in Rupiah so any shops asking for Dollars are operating illegal and very likely ripping you off as well.

Money here is in big numbers (The smallest note being Rp1,000) but don't let the thought of spending four thousand to park a car put you off.
You get used to these numbers pretty quickly.

The big temptation is converting back to your home money - Don't.
The conversion will make things sound really cheap so you'll get ripped off all the more as you aren't considering the local economy. The price you're told might very well be cheap if it was for sale in the UK or US, but it could be three times the normal price for Indonesia.

However, as a foreigner, you'll get ripped off at first but less so when you stop converting and start working out if locals would buy it at that price.
You can minimise this with a trip into an Alphamart or other fixed price shop.
See how much they charge for a bottle of water and a few essential items.
That'll give you a base to work with.
If you use a warung (small shop), they probably buy at the same price such as Alphamart sell at so expect to pay a little more.

As a note, locals commonly miss the thousand or million - you'll get used to how it works (over time).

Most working expats earn more in a day or two than many locals see in a month.
That in mind, allow a little rip off or two; it's good for the soul.
I allow a thousand or two but never allow them to charge stupid prices.

When it comes to special electronics, even computers, check prices on the internet so you can go to the shops armed with foreknowledge.
I bought a small projector (Mostly because I wanted a serious home cinema) the first shop tried me at Rp8.5 million but the real price was just short of six.
A polite refusal is best as anything else is pointless.
NEVER negotiate with a shop that starts at a stupid price - they've lost trust so aren't worth bothering with.

Local salaries.

The lowest I know of in Jakarta area (For a real job) is just over Rp1 million,
Street traders may well earn less.
A degree educated professional such as a teacher may earn around 5 to 7 million/month.
In the smaller towns and villages, a teacher will generally earn Rp400,000/month - I know a few guys out there, and that's what they get.

Consider the information in this post before posting a thread asking if Rp30 million/month is enough to live on.

Note - Indonesian law stipulates a set minimum wage for local employees by area, so Jakarta has a higher minimum wage than Wonosobo, but the law is commonly ignored, and doesn't apply to all workers.


Money changers

The ones at the airport don't always give the best deal.
These are all over the place in busier shopping centres and you see a few scattered about in larger towns or tourist areas,
All banks will do this but, as will all changers, may require notice for larger amounts of a foreign currency.
All will change foreign to Rupiah.

This site will give you a pretty good idea of the rate you should be looking for but remember this gives the mean, not the actual buy or sell rate.

When travelling, I tend to get enough at the airport for one day, and look around from there.

lukereg :

You can type 'convert (insert number) USD or GBP etc to idr' into the google search bar on any device and it will give the current rate of exchange.


This price chart is reasonably accurate, but it isn't gospel.
However, it'll give you a good idea. … =Indonesia

Pre-paid debit cards

BCA's Flazz and other prepaid cards are quite popular in Indonesia.
I think ever bank has at least one, but these are the two I find most useful, mostly because I can pay for toll roads, parking and all the shops I use most accept them.
They're basically cash, but without all the messing around with money. I've been trying out BCA's Flazz, finding most shops are pretty quick with the transaction, and the loose change that quickly builds up in your pockets disappears.
BCA's flazz is also used to pay for Transjakata buses (Thanks to Luke for that), and I've used it to pay for car parking.

Update - You can also use pre-paid cards on local train services instead of buying a ticket.
The cards cost around Rp25,000, and only take a matter of minutes to get.
They can be topped up in thousands of places, including the given bank's ATMs and any of the shops that accept them.
They have a maximum load of one million Rupiah, the balance easily checked by just droppingt e card onto any Flazz machine on any of the shop's counters. No need to do anything else, it displays your balance automatically, so you can even used close tills as the Flazz machine is still active.
I dislike using my bank cards in shops as there is a level of fraud here, but the Flazz card (and others) are very easy to monitor, and not really worth a thief messing about with as the maximum gain is quite low.

The various banks are trying to push their cards by making them the 'official' card at shows and events. Indocomtech 2016 saw BRI's Brizzi card as the only way to buy food in the outdoor food court and it got you rapid entry to the show without buying a tickets. Just tap the machine at the automatic entry gate and you're in. Much as this can be a bit of a pain, it's far easier just to buy the very cheap card, stick a couple of hundred thousand rupiah credit on it and leave in in your wallet.

BRI's Brizzi card has surged forward over the last year or so, thus it's worth having on of those as well.


First, see scams, noting the skimmers that are in use here. … 05#1993251

All banks have ATM systems, many accepting several banks' cards, not just their own. Most will accept foreign bank cards and credit cards, but there have been some issues with older, non chip and pin cards, many from American banks. I had a few problems for a while, but nothing for months.
They all accept the usual logos, Visa, Cirrus, Maestro, mastercard and so on.

Electronic toys

The local mains is 220vac/50hz.

Most non-USA electronics will work here without issue, but check before you plug anything in.
Most of the USA bought products I've seen are 110v only, so won't work here unless you buy a step down transformer or replace the power supply.

Electronics are less of a seller in Indonesia than in most western countries, so prices tend to be slightly higher.
Computer shops are everywhere, including supermarkets but I prefer to use a dealer.
It's always hard to know which shop to use so I tend to decide if I can trust the salesman or not.
Does he know his product, do you get good vibes off him and does he look like someone you can trust?
As with many things in Indonesia, electronics shops tend to cluster.
Public address equipment, cameras and similar bits tend to be in Glodok but for computers, more cameras and top end hifi, head to ITC mangga dua.
There are many other good shops around but they lump together in these places, so you tend to get better prices.
If it's a special or more difficult product to find, call the manufacturer and they'll help you along. I did this when I wanted to buy my Fijifilm camera. The office staff were extremely helpful and told me where to find an official dealer with stock.

Many tend to think of Indonesia as a third world country and, in some areas, it probably is, but not when it comes to places such as ITC, mangga dua.
If you fancy a top end British made HiFi, no problem - if your taste is a professional, TV quality video camera, there are several shops on the first and second floors of ITC with that equipment.
You should remember, ITC is a big place and the electronics section is at the back, so don't take a look at the front and decide this post is rubbish.
Six floors of electronic goodies await you.

ALWAYS check internet prices before going - many shops WILL try to rip you off.

I discovered Jakarta notebooks, an interesting electronic toy company.
I should note - I don't make anything from these people, I'm just a happy customer.

Check out their prices - you'll save a fortune.

I bought a micro computer, a DVR for the car, and a mass of Gopro accessories - all at crazy cheap prices.

Telephones and mobile phones

Telkom is the suppliers for land lines, but not very many private homes ever bothered as it was expensive and unreliable in the past, and mobile phones are far better, easier and cheaper now.
Getting a land line can be seriously hard work, and pointless for most people.

Mobile phones are a different story.
There are mobile phone shops everywhere, literally hundreds in every town, commonly with several on every larger street.
Shopping centres commonly have 10 or more shops, all selling contract free, unlocked phones.
Some suppliers sell locked contract phones, but I'm less than sure I'd ever bother with one.

There are many SIM card/airtime suppliers in Indonesia.

Telkomsel have a very wide coverage, working everywhere I've ever been, but I scrapped them because of the massive level of spam SMS messages they sent.
It got sick of it, so I got rid of them.

XL and Indosat are probably next on the list for coverage, but they also send a load of spam (as of last time I used them), and one company ripped me off with scam, charged SMS messages they claimed I'd signed up for.
As luck would have it, they did it to a government minister at the same time, so got dragged over the coals.
They refunded my money. … -scam.html

Many operators were implicated in this theft.

On Lukereg's advice, I tried the 3 network's 'always on' deal.
You pay Rp50,000 per year for the card, then add credit and internet quota as you require.
Unlike most operators, the credit and quota have no time limit, lasting until the card expires (if not renewed), or until used up.
The signal is a bit on and off in the countryside, but works well in the cities. Their internet service varies in speed, but I can usually use skype without serious problems.

All operators have an internet service, and all are getting better and faster since the Bolt network opened up in this country. Their service is very fast, but can be expensive if you're into streaming. For general surfing, emails, and basic stuff, Rp35,000/month gets you 1.5 gb of data, all delivered at fast speeds.
Update. Some companies are now offering unlimited quota packages so streaming is no longer as costly.
As with other networks, they have a range of WiFi units, ranging from the small and portable to the in house mains powered devices. I use a Bolt when I'm out with a laptop, and I'm very pleased with it.
However, the service area is limited when compared to the big players, so check before you buy.

Indonesia has "Internet sehat" (healthy internet), so a lot of porn sites are blocked.
Sadly, some political sites get hammered as well, so it can limit the users ability to search for political titbits,if that's your interest. That's not to suggest Indonesia has general political censorship, these sites might very well have porn or extreme violence as well.

There are several VOIP apps available.
I use skype for most of my international calls, but use watsapp for most SMS and many internal calls.
As I'm still using 3's always on deal, it works out pretty cheap.
I have line, but it isn't popular amongst my circle of friends, so it hardly gets used.
Tango worked, but I had only one contact, and they also had watsapp, so I didn't reinstall on my new phone.

Contract mobile phones are available here, but there is generally little or no advantage over pay as you go.
Most mobiles (cellphones) are bought unlocked and without a SIM card, so can be used on a selection of networks.
You can top up your phone in millions of places (literally). Every street has a phone top up place, either selling electronic 'pulsa' (credit) from their own phones (They usually add Rp1,000 for the service), to every mini mart who commonly have a machine in the shop that gives you a receipt you take to the counter. The top up arrives in a few seconds, and off you go.
Top up is easy to do at ATMs.

One note of worth - if you top up from another mobile, the active period does not get any longer, but top up by voucher or a shop's machine increases the active life.

All the major mini marts sell mobile phone credit (Known as Pulsa). There's commonly a charge of Rp1,000 for the service, but some charge nothing at all.

Other mobile phone communication

I hardly get any incoming phone calls or SMS from individuals because everyone I know uses the apps to call and message.
SMS is now the domain of spammers so reading them commonly pointless



Much of Indonesia has internet that could be described as, Poor, slow, terrible, or even, a waste of time but the towns are getting better as time moves on.
The cities are generally better served, now having fair to reasonable internet speeds in most places.
Several providers are offering faster speeds with little or no price increase.

Speedy - Telkom Indonesia's telephone provider.
I had these before and was glad to get rid of them. The headaches just weren't worth it.

Mobile providers. Most are now upgrading their internet services, so are starting to provide faster access. I'm currently using 3 for my internet as they have an "Always on" package that only costs what you use, not a set quota per month. So far so good on that one.

First media. I had these for two years and was pretty pleased with them.
They offer 6mbps with a TV package for about Rp380,000/month, no data quota.

I'm also using Bolt at the moment. Its service area is still a little limited but the service had proven reliable, cheap and fast. They have a very reasonable unlimited quota package and you can pay 12 months in advance so you don't have all that messing about paying bills.
They have new tariffs from time to time, but the lowest email and light browsing package is still very cheap.

You might want to note, Indonesia has 'internet sahat' (Healthy internet) that restricts a lot of sites, these mostly being extremist stuff, porn and some way out on the edge political stuff.

Extremely important - Indonesia has extremely harsh defamation laws and the same level of seriousness on electronic communications that break local laws. NO porn of any sort should be sent by Whatsapp or whatever as you can be prosecuted and the punishments are bad. You can get 6 years for a naked picture if you're found out.

All SIM cards must now be registered against your passport or KTP, that meaning any crime associated with your number is easily traced back to the user.
The massive spam content requesting transferring credit to strangers' phones or money sent to an account because your grandfather's dog was rushed into hospital dried up overnight because of this very nice rule.

English language TV / Radio

All of the satellite and cable broadcasters transmit English language TV.
The cheapest packages start from Rp72,000/month with nextmedia (Satellite).
Of course, you have to pay a lot more for films and sports channels but the film channels are exactly the same as in England - more repeats than fresh programmes.

Most of the streaming sites for UK TV have been closed down now as a result of crackpot UK law that doesn't allow you to watch a program, even if the same thing is openly available if it's on TV in pretty much every other country.


Most other countries aren't that pathetic so lots of stuff available.

Lots of others, I'll post a few when I get a moment

This radio service is very nice. This link is the UK's BBC radio 4, but you'll see a menu at the top of the page.

English language newspapers on the internet

I'm a bit of a news freak, enjoying reading a lot of sites every day. I like to keep up with Indonesian local news, more so the longer I stay here.
My local favourites are: (Thanks to Luke for the link)

Don't drink the water

Tap water is dodgy here, at least as far as drinking goes, so we all use bottled water.
We buy a water dispenser for the house with "gallon" bottles.
They aren't actually a gallon, but that's the local name they're known as.

Various types are available, the biggest (And most expensive) being Aqua.
It's considered to be a high quality product with a good reputation, one I can say is deserved.
There are many other brands on the market, Vit being just one.
A 'gallon' will cost around Rp17,000 each, depending on the brand and the shop.
Just ask for Aqua gallon, and you'll get what you want.
Note. You have to buy the bottle first, but then you just buy the refill. (Thanks Lukereg)
The refill should be of the same type as the bottle you first bought.
They're sold all over the place so are easy to get hold of, many shops offering a delivery service. You may even find your security guard selling water as a little side business to his job.


Gas for cooking

Cooking gas is available in bottles; there being three types available.

Portable stoves use a small, internal bottle. These are by far the most expensive but, if you hardly cook in the house, they're very handy.
The stoves and bottles are available in supermarkets.

There is a wide range of cookers available to buy, but most use a small twin burner. These are cheap to buy and available in a wide variety of shops from electrical stores to large supermarkets. You can buy far bigger oven/hobs that look very similar to western kitchen appliances, but these are rarer.

Two types of gas bottle are available for these.
You have to buy the first bottle, but only pay the refill price after that.
I prefer to have two in the house, one in use and one for when it runs out so you don't have to mess around in a rush when the flame goes half way through frying an egg.

The small green ones are light and easy to handle, so popular. The added advantages is the far lower cost of a refill, so it isn't as big a hit for lower wage earners.
I believe the maximum you'll pay is Rp17,000 for an exchange.
I have two of these at home as I find them a lot easier to move around than the big ones.

The larger blue bottle last a lot longer, cost a lot more to buy and are heavy to move around. The delivery guy will generally bring them into the house and set them up for you.

In either case, always make sure you have a few rubber seals in the house as the bottles are commonly missing them, or they're in poor condition and leak.
These are available in supermarkets and many small shops.

NOTE - Most of the gas appliances have no safety features at all.
If the flame gets blown out, the gas will continue to flow.

Many shops specialise in gas and water but they aren't easy to find as they tend to hide and advertise little.
This is a typical wholesale place but anyone can walk in and buy.


Unlike shops in most western countries, many shops here don't have to price label their products, and don't always stick to the labelled prices anyway.
Even western companies cheat on prices.

This bottle is pretty clear on the price.

as is the receipt.

Alfamart and the other convenience stores tend to be priced up, and stick to the noted price, as do Giant and other supermarkets.
For new expats. Have a wander round an Aflamart and a Giant, that experience will give you a good idea what you should be paying for a wide range of goods.

A typical Alfamart looks like this and stocks most of the day to day items you're likely to require.
Pretty much all of their shops accept cash and most cards, but please don't shout at them if their internet is down and they can't accept cards - not their fault.

Local, small shops tend to buy at very poor prices, and make very little profit, so expect that Rp4,000 bottle of coke to be 5 or 6 thousand, and don't complain; these guys make almost nothing, and expats tend to be able to afford a little extra.

A wander round Bintaro exchange mall a couple of days ago saw me in several technology/phone shops; none having many prices on accessories.
That means you have to ask the price, but I have little time to bother messing about, so I tend to use shops that price up product.


It should be noted by new expats from western countries, the laws and rules you're commonly used to simply aren't bothered with here, especially in smaller businesses.
Even in larger businesses, guarantees are commonly a week or a month from store, then any problems are direct to manufacturer.
In many cases, guarantees on products are non existent, even when there's a guarantee card.

Advertising claims
Any laws on these tend to be pretty much ignored, so don't believe it unless you check it.
I was assured my Fujifilm HS55 was direct from Fujifilm Indonesia, but that's a lie as they don't have the 55 here. One of many direct lies I've been told whilst buying things.
I ended up buying one from a guy who told me the truth, so at least I had a level of trust in him.

Price and rip off jobs.

It is a sad thing, but a lot of places massively overcharge foreigners/tourists for whatever they can get away with.
This wordpress is a fine example of the sort of things that can happen if you don't watch your back ... or check before you order. … dan-tenan/

The bill should have been a lot closer to Rp100,000.

Prescription drugs

If you intend to enter Indonesia with drugs, legal as they may be in your home country, check they're legal in Indonesia.
Indonesia has very strict laws concerning illegal drugs, laws that include shooting importers, so take extreme care.

Check your drugs are legal in the country you wish to visit/transit (Something legal in Indonesia might very well get you 10 years in the UAE).
Keep all drugs in their containers, including supplied labels.
Keep copies of prescriptions and a letter from your doctor.
Pack them in hand luggage, in a clear plastic bag.
When going through airport security, place the plastic bag on the tray so the officers can see you aren't trying to sneak anything past them. (Some may argue that will invite questions).
An email from the country's embassy (confirming your drugs are legal) would be great .... if you can get them to send you one.

Buying drugs in Indonesia

Take great care, buying only from chain outlets, never small one off shops.
There are a lot of fake drugs out here, so you might very well not get what you're paying for.
Hospitals tend to be more expensive, so try to buy from the shops. Giant supermarkets, amongst others, all have a reliable pharmacy in their complexes, as do all shopping centres. … ing-Center

Officials have also seized hundreds of various drug brands that are ready to be circulated.  Those drugs do not have marketing authorization and some have also exceeded the expiration date.  “The place is only used as a warehouse,” said Edi.

According to Edi, the suspects have been running the business for five months and says that the drugs were distributed to a number of pharmacies in the city of Bekasi.

These are all reputable outlets, so try to find these logos if possible. All are pretty common in Indonesia, so you should find one of them easily.
Of course, there are other good places, so these are just a sample to get you started.

Don't even think about bringing illegal drugs into Indonesia, there's a better than average chance of watching a firing squad from the dangerous end, and the new president has made it very clear, he won't help you get off.

NOTE - Even small quantities of what would be considered a nothing drug in many countries, sometimes even legal, can get you into a prison cell in Indonesia. … ssession-M … ong-beach/

Shoot to kill policy

Excuses aren't accepted, you're guilty (regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation)
Note - BNN, the Indonesian anti drug agency, has adopted a shoot to kill policy, and the police have followed suit.
The upshot is easy enough, the officer decides if you're resisting arrest and, if (in his opinion) you are, he shoots you dead. Enquiries don't happen and human rights aren't even considered so I very  strongly suggest you don't carry illegal drugs in Indonesia.

The backpacker's guide.

Keep it light, preferably hand luggage size; saves a ton of messing around at airports.
Pack simple (I know this is harder for girls).

2 pairs of very lightweight trousers.
A bunch of T shirts (It gets hot here so you'll find yourself using at least two per day)
One polo shirt (You'll need this if you visit immigration/other offices as you may not be allowed in without a shirt with a collar and long trousers)
I also carry a thermal shirt for colder areas/use on buses and trains (They're totally mad with the air conditioning)
A waterproof coat (Also handy if you're returning home to a cold country/going to cold areas of Indonesia)
A folding baseball cap (The sun kills me if I don't use one)
A roll of soft paper kitchen towels (Don't ask, just thank me later)
A pack of wet tissues - Many washrooms don't have soap.
A microfiber towel
A couple of black bin liners - when you first visit a bus rest stop toilet/washroom, you'll understand. The floor are usually soaking wet and there's rarely anywhere to hang your bag/clothes.

A super light sleeping bag - make it yourself.
Take a piece of thin cotton material, at least one meter wide and two and a half times your height.
Sew it to turn it into a long bag, open at one end only.
Many budget hotels have no bed sheets but they do have free biting insects - sleep in that and you'll save yourself a world of grief.
I still carry mine when I wander into Java.
Tip - squirt insect repellent on the outside at the open end and the ants won't walk inside.
Tip - This can also be used as a wrap to keep you warm on buses and trains.

When you arrive, go directly to Alfamart and buy:
a folding travel toothbrush (Rp10,00)
Small sachets of shampoo (About Rp1,00/each)
a bar of soap (Rp 3,000)
Many budget hotels don't provide these.
Suncream (if required)
Small sachets  or a small tube of insect repellent (you'll need those at night)

Pack that lot into a light rucksack (without a frame), and you're good for a week or more.
Laundry in the most expensive places is Rp10,000/kg for next day service.

Use a waist hidden wallet for your passport, all your credit cards and larger amounts of cash, leaving only a smaller amount for daily use.
I use a neck wallet for that as it's very easy to get to but hard to steal from without you noticing.

Careful on buses and trains - keep your stuff close and cash out of sight. When the bus stops for a break - take your stuff with you.

I always book two seats on the bus - that way you can stretch out or even lie down on the seat; your soft backpack is handy as a pillow.
Always use an air conditioned bus. If it gets too cold, use the home made sleeping bag to stay warm.
Cross country train seats are wide - one is fine.

In most of Indonesia, air conditioned rooms are best, but you won't need hot water.
In cold areas (Such as Wonosobo), you won't need the air con but hot water is a serious bonus.

Renting a house/apartment

NEVER even consider any property priced in US $.
Apart from being illegal to price in anything other than the Rupiah, many of these places are massively overpriced and aimed at ripping off expats unfamiliar with real pricing.

When considering any deal, always think about local salaries and ask if a local could afford it. If not, it's either very top end or you're being ripped off.

One year in advance is normal here. Many want a two year contract, but I would suggest that's a bad idea, and you can usually get it down to a year anyway.
Make sure the area isn't prone to flooding.
Check monthly payment for security, water, and electricity. (Some places are seriously expensive)
Why an apartment? Houses in a local complex are commonly a lot cheaper and better places to live.
Make sure you live near work/kids' school - Jakarta's traffic jams can add hours onto your day.

More ----

1 - make sure the place is sound, checking the roof timbers for termites where possible.

2 - Try to visit a potential property when it's raining so you can see if the roof leaks

3 - Use agents sites to get ideas, but try to contact owners directly as that will likely get you a better price.

4 - Most property owners assume the tenant will pay for any damage or repairs that need doing whilst you are there, regardless of who caused the issue.
Confirm this is the case and argue your point before you pay up.

5 - Make sure the electricity, water and rubbish/security bills are paid up to date or you're very likely to have serious problems with the suppliers.

lukereg :

Try and get a top up meter so you can control the burn! Electricity levels are set by the power company and if you want to change it up or down you would need to return the level to its original when you leave and also pay for the change.
Also check the breakers so that they don't trip if an AC is running with the rice cooker, iron, hair tongs as normally the breakers are very low.

With water if you have piped access then check the pressure and the tank where the water is stored. Hope that the water is clean and does not smell obviously remembering not to drink it. If the water is direct from a ground well then ask about how deep the pipes to it run and also about the dry season and if the well will run dry. On the flip side you don't pay any water fees.

Don't forget you will need to pay for rubbish collection and security maybe as well as making friends with the local community by joining in with paying for random things like bags of cement or brushes and things.

Check also where gas and water can found and if they deliver.

The higher the wattage available, the more you pay for all.
If you never run high power stuff, lower wattage is fine, but you'll need more if you try to run the AC, microwave and rice cooker at the same time.

To find a house.
The easy way is to google.

Indonesian language.
House - Rumah
For rent - Disewa.

Google Rumah disewa <Place name> - I used BSD for this example. … sewa%20bsd

But that isn't the only way.
All the large estate agents have web sites, but also check out ... … h/?asf=l,7

A lot of places to be found there.

The last, and commonly leading to a better deal, is walk around the streets in the area you want to move to. Lots of houses have a small hand written notice in the window, advertising the place is for rent.
These don't always show up on websites, and you deal directly with the owner, so no agent fees.
My last three places were found that way or via OLX.


Indonesia has seriously harsh laws regarding defamation, and harsh punishments to go with them.

The 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law and articles 310 and 311 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) can be used, and leave the accused with a massive fine, or even prison time.

The upshot is, even if you think your boss's behaviour probably means his parents aren't married, don't say it in public.
More seriously, don't make claims about anyone or anything in Indonesia unless you can back it up with evidence that'll stand up in court.
Many consider the laws draconian and want them struck from Indonesian law, but they're still there at the moment, so take care what you say about whom.

As this came up on the forum of late, I'll add this to the post. … hed-yogya/

Yogyakarta. Prosecutors in Yogyakarta have demanded 12 months probation and a Rp 10 million ($756) fine for a a postgraduate student at Gadjah Mada University (UGM) who was reported to the police after calling Yogyakarta “poor, stupid and uncultured.”

Apart from being way wrong, Jogja is a lovely place, her few words on the internet have cost her dearly.
Sanctioned by her university and in big trouble with the courts, all over a post that didn't need to be bothered with.

Please don't post any allegations about anyone that you can't prove.
The forum could end up in trouble, and the poster might well get a ban, or far worse if the wrong people get wind.




Every country has its scam artists, Indonesia being no exception, but they're limited and unimaginative.

The most common is people hanging around in shopping centres or supermarkets suddenly stopping you, explaining how they're students collecting for charity.
They commonly want a one off payment.
Their ID cards look very professional, but they're fake.

A polite "No thank you" and look around for a security guard.
If one is there at the time, wave him over and the offenders will be kicked out.

Traffic lights often see 'volunteers' collecting for whatever - most are collecting for themselves.
Again, a polite refusal is best.
Violence from these people is uncommon, so remain polite and avoid confrontation and they'll go away and try to scam the next people.

SMS scams are very common.
They're rubbish and badly thought out, but very common.
Most explain how they need you to transfer phone credit to a family member, or ask you to pay a bill using a new bank account, always a personal account.

One thing I heard of some years ago.

Woman approaches man.

Off to hotel.
Outraged husband knocks on door demanding cash or police.

A cop I know in Java explained that one - seems it's quite common in some areas.

ATM fraud

This happens all over the world, including Indonesia, but it is easily preventable.

Number one trick - try to use ATMs in supermarkets or other places with lots of security. It's far harder for a skimmer to be installed in places like that.

Next up - the banks and police in many countries have little idea about this type of crime. I found one in Central Java, reporting it to the bank and police, but they said it was impossible, so dismissed my warning, well they did for two days, when a big skimming ring was arrested on Bali and the news was in all the papers.

Many gangs operate in tourist areas, knowing a hit will bag them more cash that locals tend to have, so take special care in such places.

There are two ways they copy your card:

1 - They conduct a transaction in a retail outlet of whatever sort, and run your card through a second reader under the counter. If your card disappears out of your sight, even for a second or two, cancel the transaction, refusing to enter your PIN into their machine as there could well be a camera pointing at it.

2 - Card skimmers on ATMs.
These are normally easy to sport as they require an add on to the ATM machine, but many people have no clue what they look like.

There are many types, but all require something over the card slot, so just don't use a machine that doesn't look right.
It should be noted, the thieves are going to great lengths to copy the parts of real ATMs, making their devices look far more real than the older ones, so it isn't always your fault if you become a victim.
Watch out for mismatched colours, stickers that don't quite match the bank's own stuff, or anything that doesn't match other machines from that bank.
With the ATM skimmers, they must still have your number, and that commonly requires a camera. That's easy to beat by making sure you cover the keypad with your hand. I totally cover the pad, using tough to identify the correct keys.

However, the new generation of thieves is getting more with it, so new ways to get your number have been developed.

This short clip is worth a watch.


Foreigners can't .. with exceptions of a sort

Apart from some types of companies, it's illegal for a foreigner to own land in Indonesia.
This goes back to the colonial era, the independence struggle and the political landscape when the Dutch were finally removed.
There are a couple of legal ways you can own land, or at least your Indonesian wife or husband can.
You used to have to arrange a prenup agreement.

There are plenty of schemes that allow you to set up a nominee, but schemes commonly have a schemer and these ALL leave you at risk of losing everything as any legal agreement to do something illegal is going to be a serious problem if you try to take it to court when your nominee sells the land out from under you.
I know a lot have done this, but I'm strongly recommending against it.

Note - There is a type of long lease available and some bent agents will try to convince you the land is yours. This is just a scam but it is yours to use until the end of the agreement, but that day sees everything revert to the real owner, that including and buildings you've put up.
These agreements are perfectly legal, but you never own the land, only have use of it.

Apartments/flats with no land are legal to buy with some restrictions.

Building costs

No direct answer to this as there are a million variables. These include the prices foreigners are are offered are commonly higher, how big a rush you're in to get the work done, and who you know that can offer help, mostly in stopping you getting ripped off.
Where you build is also a major factor as far as price goes. Towns and cities are always going to cost more than if you build in a village, and more popular tourist or business areas are also going to be a lot more expensive.

Suppliers tend to only offer whatever they make, bricks from one place, blocks from another, sand and cement from separate places. You can buy them all in one, but that person will simply go to all the suppliers, then add a profit.
Watch electricians and plumbers as they commonly don't care about quality. Avoid wiring and piping in places you can't get to if they fail such as underfloor runs.
A lot of the workers don't really know their jobs especially well and none will care if it all fails the day after they leave the site, so watch the like hawks.

Renting a motorbike for your holiday

Many companies sell this idea, and some expat publications push it, but you have to be very careful.
A few main issues come to mind:

It's very likely to be illegal as most western licences are not valid in Indonesia

If you have an accident it's probably your fault regardless of what happened, especially if you don't have a valid licence.

An accident causing serious injury to anyone is likely to get very expensive as there is unlikely to be any insurance that covers you. Don't even think about an accident that causes death.
My odd visits to Indonesian prisons was easily enough to strongly suggest you don't do anything to be a resident in one.

Your holiday medical insurance probably won't cover injuries from a motorcycle crash as you were probably riding illegally.


Gambling is illegal in Indonesia and, should you get arrested, you could face a good few years in prison.
There is no "safe" place as the police actively look for them.
I've heard of several poker dens being raided, one including the arrest of police officers.
I very strongly suggest you don't engage in gambling.

Owning land in Indonesia.

Freehold for foreigners is impossible in Indonesia, but a foreigner married to an Indonesian may own a property in their Indonesian spouse's name if they have a prenup stating any property is owned solely by the Indonesian half of the relationship.

“Indonesian Nominee Owners”
This is a really bad idea that can leave you in a massive mess.
It goes like this - You supply the cash for  an Indonesian Nominee Owner to buy the land in their name, all done with the help of a solicitor who makes a nice contract for you.
One slight loophole, a bent solicitor or a bent nominee who simply sells the place out from under you, and you're basically buggered.

UPDATE for UU13/2016

Most foreigners still can't own land in Indonesia, but there are now some exceptions.
The new law has opened the market to some better off buyers in a limited way.
There is a minimum value set on the property and other restrictions regarding what property you can buy and who you can buy from.
You must hold residency status and, if that is lost, you must sell within one year.
Upon death, a property can be left as inheritance, but only to someone with residency rights or it must be sold. There is also an 80 year limit on ownership, making it a lot more like a long term lease.
You should also note, if the sales rules aren't followed, the government can auction off the property and the buyer has no control over the sale, potentially meaning a large loss.

Also note - This is untested as yet so could be subject to other problems, perhaps from political groups with more extreme nationalistic views.

Minimum values

DKI Jakarta Rp. 10 billion
Banten Rp. 5 billion
West Java Rp. 3 billion
Yogyakarta Rp. 3 billion
East Java Rp. Rp. 5 billion
Bali Rp. 3 billion
West Nusa Tenggara Rp. 2 billion
North Sumatra Rp. 2 billion
East Kalimantan RP. 2 billion
South Sulawesi Rp. 2 billion
All other regions Rp. 1 billion

Public transport (Not taxis)

(Thanks to Luke for the suggestion)

Indonesia has a wide range of public transport.

Transjakarta is a public bus service that will take you to most areas of the city.
It has links to other bus services that can get you to the satellite towns around Jakarta.
They've has some issues with reliability of vehicles, including fires that have destroyed several buses.
However, in general they're safe and fast because they have special bus lanes that other drivers can't use with risking a fine.

More information on this thread. … 19#3396576

Lukereg :

For Transjakarta you need to buy a 40k flazz card which can be dropped up at the TJ bus stops.
You should always take the second bus that comes as Indonesians crowd onto the first thing that comes along leaving the next often empty.

Transjakarta route map

Intercity bus services.

Indonesia has a lot of intercity bus services, both air conditioned and not.
The non AC are generally old, dirty cattle trucks I would strongly advise you not to even consider.
The Air conditioned buses are mostly pretty good.
I generally recommend Sinar Jaya services because their buses are clean, tidy and well looked after.
I strongly suggest buy two tickets because the seats tend to be a little cramped if you're big, or sit next to someone wider than average.
I have had a couple of overtired drivers, but they are generally safe.
You'll also notice the very cheap prices they advertise.

There are many local bus services, all about the same.
Their buses are commonly in poor condition and their drivers tend to drive in a fashion that leads you to suspect they're suicidal.
Kopaja buses in Jakarta  are numbered and have designated routes, but are mostly old and commonly very overcrowded.
They're very cheap and run all over the city.

You should take care of pickpockets on any and all crowded services.

This is a typical local bus in Central Java.
The floor is damaged, the buses are commonly overcrowded and  you even get passengers hanging off the outside.

I would generally suggest avoiding these services if possible.

You should also note the vast majority of the local bus services allow buskers on. Most buskers are not especially good when it comes to singing, but a few can be very forceful when it comes to asking for money. A polite refusal is usually best and normally gets rid of them.
If you do give them cash, keep it to not more than Rp2,000 and never get large amounts of money out on these services.

NEVER get aggressive.


Micobus services

The drivers are almost universally hated by other road users because they drive how they like, stop without any warning and park where they fancy, even if it blocks the whole road.
These vehicles are commonly poorly serviced, massively overloaded and extremely dangerous.
They're also very cheap.

Trains (Intercity)

The executive class intercity trains are generally clean and comfortable, but I have never enjoyed the food, so I would strongly suggest you take a packed lunch.
They're generally safe, but level crossings are a problem as manyroad users don't believe in stopping at them, even petrol tanker drivers.

The seats are nice and easily wide enough for a wider than average person.
The toilets are less than what you'd expect in a top class service, as are the links between carriages.


Trains (Local around the Jakarta area)

You must buy a Rp10,000 card to use the trains, but that's refundable at the end of your journey if you wish to cash it in.
I don't have a full list of fares at this point, but I know West Jakarta to Bintaro costs Rp2,000.
The trains are fine when they're quiet, but you're packed in like sardines at rush hour, making them a little unsafe.
I've seen quite a few women faint because of the extremely cramped conditions, heat and lack of air.
All the local commuter trains are equipped with air conditioning and all have ladies only carriages.

There used to be non air conditioned economy trains, but these have all been retired from service now.
Many commuter stations are being upgraded at the moment, making life difficult for the moment, but the improvements will make things a lot better in the long run.

Commuterline info

Horse and cart (No, I'm not joking)

Some of Jakarta's satellite towns still have these as working taxis, but most are just local rides for the kids.
In smaller towns they're still common forms of transport. You usually have to hammer out a price with the driver.
The horse and cart services were still operating as of December 2015.


Go-jek and Grab bike

Go Jek and grab bike are motorcycle taxi services that use mobile apps to allow you to call transport to where ever your are.

The Go-jek and grab applications both ask for permission to use media, files, contacts lists and other private information.
I wouldn't advise installing any application that asks to access information they don't need to run their service.

Lukereg :


Thank you for your never ending support for GO-JEK Indonesia. In an effort to give the very best services to our customers, new rates for GO-RIDE in JABODETABEK will be applied on December 29, 2015 at 00:00:

Rp. 12,000,- for 1-10 KM distance
Rp. 15,000,- for 10-15 KM distance
Rp. 2,000,-/KM for distance above 15 KM

With grab taxi you get sent emailed receipts and the choice of prices for different types of transport. Taxis for grab taxi include express and gamya.


Other public transport services will be added shortly.

Airports / Air travel / airlines


Indonesian airlines used to have a terrible reputation and a worse accident record, but that's changed a lot over the last few years.
Garuda, the national carrier was banned in many countries (including the whole of the EU) but Garuda is now listed as a five star airline.
My personal experience forces me to agree with this without reservation.  Their service has been fantastic, the staff are nothing short of great, and the in flight food is delicious (Tell me that isn't a major shock for any airline)
They gained awards for the most improved airlines and the world's best cabin crews. I can see why.

Lukereg :

For VOA, tourists are being asked to provide onward flight details at check in and they are checking and entering these details into their systems. Lion air and Air Asia especially.
There are no signs in Jakarta airport to let you know about the free 15 day VOA nor are you asked. $35 is the new fee as you know but currently they have stopped giving change.
Also there are no departure cards any more for entering and leaving Indonesia just the pointless customs one.
For travellers leaving jakarta, old town coffee and Starbucks are both 24hours and are towards gates starting with D.
Security checks also require removing watches belts keys etc and they are cracking down on liquids and sharp things as well. There are far more bag searches and far more security personnel. The army, police both uniformed and plain clothed are there. Porters are not allowed to ask for tips anymore but I suspect they do.
There is also a move to changing the minimum arrival time to check in for flights due to the improved security checks but it hasnt started get.

Halim is also being used for flights by Citilink and Batik air. To make life more fun, you can fly to Surabaya from both Halim and Cengkareng with Citilink and suspect elsewhere too so people need to check tickets carefully. Citilink tickets are purchased through traveloka online and also at indomaret.
Lion air fly from t2 international but bus you to t3. T1 for domestic except Bali which is t3 but again people need to check as I am sure this can also change.

Soekarno-Hatta is a clean, modern airport with good facilities for the traveller, including easily available food from Indonesian and western outlets.
Terminal two is international flights.
More information here.

As Luke mentions above, airport security is a major priority, so good behaviour at any airport is a very good idea.
I really shouldn't have to mention this but I saw it myself last July, so it's probably worth a moment.
Don't turn up drunk and loud at any airport here. That would get you into trouble at most airports, but it will go down extremely badly here, leaving you with a fair chance of spending the night in a cell and having to rebook your flight.
The drunk I saw got away with it, but almost didn't after he tried to justify himself to me immediately after the serious telling off he'd just had from an immigration officer.
That almost finished his journey, but he realised it was best to accept my advice and shut up before he got himself arrested. Even after that he was still chuntering to himself.
All that because he tried to push into a queue ahead of a family, with no one behind them.
Very foolish.

Internation flight areas tend to have a lot of chain restaurants so food is available at standard prices.
I'm less than keen on the prices of food in some domestic flights areas.
I generally suggest taking a sandwich and a disposable bottle of whatever you prefer to drink.

I will also add a note of thanks to the staff at terminal 2, Soekarno-Hatta for their assistance with my elderly mother.
They went out of their way to be as helpful as possible, even escorting her through passport control when they saw she was having difficulty walking.
Their kindness is very much appreciated.

More information coming soon.

Shaking hands

This might very well sound silly, but cultural differences have shaped the way people shake hands.

The first thing to realise is the western style of handshake (men) is not acceptable here.
A strong grip is seen as aggressive, so stick to a lightweight effort similar to the way your would shake hands with a lady in the west.

Muslims will then put their hand to their heart, mouth or nose to signify acceptance of the person, but don't be offended if they don't do it as this is a Muslim thing, so doesn't normally apply to non Muslims.

Some ladies with more conservative religious views tend not to shake hands with men at all, using a prayer style and a bow of the head, but some will touch finger tips.
This isn't extremism, just being conservative, so don't get scared or offended. The trick is to see what the lady does, then follow suit.

Children will normally kiss your hand or place it to their forehead. I was seriously shocked the first time it happened, but that's the norm here.

Teachers - It's pretty common for the whole class to line up and shake hands with you on the way in/out of the room. You'll get used to it.

Avoid passing things with your left hand

Toilet roll is less than popular in Indonesia as the vast majority of the population are Muslims, and the Muslim holy book lays out a way to clean your bum after a trip to the thunder box.
It says you must use water when available, and 'leaf' only when water isn't available, explaining the little hoses that are normally next to toilets.
Before the days when the hose wasn't invented, you would splash water with your right hand, rubbing off anything sticky with your left.
Thus, the left is considered unclean.

This is fixed in Indonesian culture, so you avoid passing anything to anyone with your left and, should there be no choice, you say, "Maaf kiri" (Sorry I've used my left).
Of course, modern hygiene and more powerful arse cleaning hoses means this is largely a thing of the past in cities (At least the richer parts), the old bum washing technique is still pretty normal in much of the country.

Pembantu (maids) are available easily, but vary in ability.
We've had a couple of total duffers, but also some very good ones.
If you don't know anyone, your security guards probably will.

There are also lots of agencies available, and they'll commonly have English speaking people available, but they add a premium for special skills.
Agencies will also take a percentage of the maid's salary, so be careful of that.

Monthly salaries start at about a million, and go up from there.
I've heard of people paying a lot less, but that's extremely unfair and I won't have anything to do with it.
If you get a good one, increase her salary from time to time without her asking for it.

Don't be surprised if a sixteen year old girl turns up with three years working experience - a lot of girls drop out of school as soon as they finish primary because their parents can't afford the cost of educating them.

If she's live in, you'll be expected to provide a reasonable room, but most medium sized houses and above commonly have maid's quarters built in.
You see houses listed as 3+1, meaning three bedrooms and a maid's room. The same goes for bathrooms. 2+1 meaning two toilets/bathrooms and one for the maid.


A few bits and bobs about local (and not so local) food can be found here.

Food is available in a million forms over here, ranging from top restaurants, through the western chains such as KFC and Dominos, right to street food.
All the western chains have a motorcycle delivery service within a given radius of their outlets; a quick google will give you the numbers.

Street food takes a little getting used to in order to get the right thing at the right price, but without free food poisoning.
The cheapest street food in small towns and villages starts at Rp5,000, going up as far as Rp30,000 for bigger portions in the cities.
There are some tricks to deciding where to eat.

1 - If the place looks really dirty (by Indonesian standards), the food is probably dodgy.
2 - If there is a crowd, it's probably nice (and safe) If there's a crowd at every other stand but not that one, it's probably rubbish.
3 - Take note of how they wash the dishes. If they have running water, it's probably safe to eat from their plates. If not, order wrapped up (dibunkus) and use the plastic cutlery they give you for free.
I keep some disposable things in the car, just in case.
I believe much of the problem isn't bad food, but it being served on dirty plates. I've seen them washed in drains - pretty terrible, but true.
4 - Most street food (Kaki lima) people that wander the estates are fine. If they aren't, no one buys so they go bust pretty quickly.
5 - If you aren't used to spicy food, ask for the chilli separate (sambal dipisah), adding just a little until you get used to it.

Retirement visa.

These are done through a travel agent, and must be collected from outside Indonesia, although there's nothing stopping you applying whilst you're in the country on a tourist visa.


You need to be a minimum age of 55 at the time of application.

Application form and guarantee from sponsor (An approved travel agent)
Copy of Business License (SIUP) of the sponsoring travel agent.
Copy of Taxpayer Identification Number of the sponsoring travel agent.

Statement of pension funds or Bank statement from the country of origin showing a minimal income of $ 2,500 per month
Health, death, and third party liability insurance.
Photocopy of marriage certificate (If applicable)
Colour photocopy of passport.
(The passport must be valid for at least 18 months)
Statement letter to show the rent of accommodation
Statement you will hire a local maid

More details soon.

Disabled facilities in Indonesia

Those with mobility problems, especially wheelchair users will have problems here.
There are no provisions at all outside the newer shopping centres and offices of newer large businesses.
All the new centres have disabled toilets and ramp entrances, but these are about the only places with access designed for wheelchair uses. The pavements (Sidewalks), if they have them at all, are commonly rough and have steps to get up and down, that and bars designed to prevent motorcyclist using them but also blocking wheelchairs.
You'll find public transport is all but useless to you if you have any sort of disability that slows you down when walking or makes stairs difficult to climb.
There's almost nothing outside the larger towns and cities for disabled people.

These are not typical pavements/sidewalks, but ones in this sort of condition are very common.
Facilities for disabled people are poor at best in most of Indonesia.

Birth control / Sex / STDs.

Birth control
Some people believe Indonesia has strict controls on birth control, but that's far from the case, much of the reason being the Indonesia's problems concerning overpopulation.
Condoms are available easily without the slightest question in most mini marts and the pill is just as easily available from most pharmacies without need to see a doctor.
As with any potentially dangerous drug, I would strongly recommend seeing a doctor if you intend to use oral contraceptives, but they are available without prescription.

STDs are a problem in Indonesia, but they are MOSTLY confined to given groups, these being sex workers, injecting drug users and the gay community.
However, the problem is also around in the many bars where the richer Indonesians and foreigners hang out. Free sex can easily come with a free STD, and HIV is in there.

Another issue is gold diggers, mostly women who hunt out foreigners and are willing to go all the way for a few shopping trips. This can be dangerous to the wallet and your health.
I would strongly advise leaving sex alone as far as casual meetings in bars goes, but that's up to you.
If you do engage in carnal pleasure, wear a raincoat.

Sex and social diseases.

Some expats come here and enjoy prostitutes of whatever kind but this has dangers.
This is illegal and police do raid places from time to time so you could find yourself locked up with the potential for being deported but the main issue is STDs.
AIDS isn't a massive issue here but there are still plenty of deaths so, if you engage in dodgy sex with professionals or have sex with high risk groups, a blood test is a good idea.
I don't use prostitutes, know any drug abusers or have any gay relationships so I don't know any of the following personally thus these aren't recommendations, just possibilities.
Click on the link for further info and more options. … karta.html

Klinik Yayasan Angsamerah
Jl. Panglima Polim Raya 6
Blok A, Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta Selatan 12140

The new Angsamerah Clinic will be located on Jalan Johar.

Website (with English version):
Phone number: +62 21 724 7676

Bio Medika
In Jakarta: Kedoya, Gandaria, Kelapa Gading, Mangga Besar, Semangan, Angke. More details on their website:

Phone number: 021 568 9942-43

International SOS

SOS Medika Cipete Clinic
Jalan Puri Sakti No. 12, Cipete - Antasari
Phone number: 021 7505973

SOS Medika Kuningan
Menara Prima 2nd Floor, Mega Kuningan
Phone number: 021 5794 8600

Gay sex
Gay sex or any other gay relationship is perfectly legal here (outside prostitution), it it isn't exactly welcome either. I know a couple of seriously camp blokes and no one bothers them in the slightest, but you have to be aware there are more extreme members of the population who aren't past 'gay bashing'.  Gay clubs are raided from time to time and clients ridiculed, but there's little to charge anyone with so no worries about prison time unless you're up to something else as well.

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