The Indonesian currency unit is called the Rupiah (Rp). Notes
are issued in the values of Rp500, Rp5,000 and Rp10,000. Coins
of Rp5, Rp10, Rp25, Rp50 and Rp100.
When changing large amounts, banks usually give Rp10,000 notes,
but changing these in the provinces may be troublesome. If
you are heading for the outer islands, take Rp1,000 and Rp5,000
notes instead. Always keep your exchange receipts, so that
you can exchange your rupiah for foreign currencies upon leaving
the country. The US dollar is the most readily accepted currency.
The only airline operating domestic routes is Garuda. It has
several flights daily from Jakarta to such destinations as
Bali, Medan, Ujung Pandang, Manado and Yogyakarta. There are
also shuttle flights to Surabaya and Semarang daily.
Becaks: A becak (pronounced baychahk) is a tricycle
pedaled by a man who normally sits behind the passenger. Becaks
seat between one and two people and are found in the cities
and towns in Java. They have been used for over 40 years but
are slowly disappearing as motor transport takes over. Be
sure to bargain with the driver before beginning your journey.
Buses: There is an extensive bus network in Indonesia,
especially useful where there is no rail service. The roads
are being improved, and more modern buses are being introduced.
Car Rentals: There are a number of car rental agencies
in Jakarta. Driving is on the left side of the road. Chauffeur-driven
cars are also available, with different rates for in-town
and out-of-town use. Motorcycles are also available for rent.
An ojek is a motorbike hired with a driver. Ojeks
can be hired by the hour or day or for individual trips.
Trains: Rail services are only available throughout
Java and part of Sumatra around Padang, West Sumatra, Medan
in North Sumatra, South Sumatra and Lampung. The most comfortable
trains are the air-conditioned "Bima" (sleeper) and "Mutiara"
trains. Both these trains travel at night.
Ships: Shipping is very important in Indonesia since
the country is an island nation. Water travel is the best
way to explore the islands of Indonesia. The state-owned Pelni
is the biggest shipping line, with services almost everywhere.
There are regular schedules; the main base is at Jakarta.
Duty-Free Items: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars and 2 pounds
of tobacco, cameras and a reasonable amount of film, 2 liters
of alcohol and a reasonable amount of perfume for personal
Passports and Visas
All visitors are required to have a passport valid for at
least six months after arrival. Visas have been waived for
nationals of some Western countries for a stay of up to two
months and for registered delegates attending a conference
that has received official approval.
Each visitor is required to pay an airport tax of Rp50,000
for international departures and between Rp11,000 for domestic
flights (infants under 2 are exempt).
Yellow fever vaccination is required if you arrive within
six days of leaving or passing through an infected area.