Tips in Indonesia
Dry season and monsoon season
Indonesia has a tropical climate, which means we have just two seasons.
Dry season which begins in April until October and rainy season which is November to March. Dry season is most popular for tourists, with peak season being July and August in most of Indonesia, it is hot and the sun is blazing all day with the evenings being cool and quite chilly.
Although Indonesia has a dry season we experience a hot and humid climate all year round. When monsoon season begins in November, the humidity rises with the wet weather. Around December/January time monsoons start to hit Bali and Lombok throughout until March. Depending on what adventures you would like to undertake when your traveling in Indonesia, we advise you to consider the weather conditions before you book!
Culture and Religion in Indonesia
Indonesia has various Religions including; Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism and Buddhism. Depending where in Indonesia you visit you will experience a different culture and religion from the locals.
Islam being the biggest religion in Indonesia, Islam was first brought to the West coast of Sumatra and developed on to the east in Java. Soon twenty Islam-based kingdoms were created in Indonesia. This meant the domination of Indonesia was Islam and has maintained that way up to date.
Visiting Lombok and the three Gili Islands. Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno you will see these are Islamic Islands. You will find mosques scattered around Lombok and even in the three tiny Gili Islands you will see they each have a mosque.
Lombok and the Gili Islands understand and respect that tourists are traveling through and on vacation. It is also our responsibility to respect and understand their religion and culture. This doesn’t mean we have to wrap up in clothes and cover all of our bodies, but we encourage tourists to understand that even though the locations are often lazy, beach towns and party towns by night. We should wear clothes, and not just bikinis and swimwear through the village and the main streets.
When you arrive in Gili Trawangan, Gili Air or Gili Meno you will discover that these three paradise islands have no dogs. Dogs are considered to be unclean animals in Islam, so on these tiny islands you will find only cats along with lots of goats on the quiet coasts of the islands.
On the other hand, Bali; the most famous Indonesian Island for tourists and backpackers is a Hindu island, as well as the islands that belong to Bali such as Nusa Lembongan.
Upon arrival in Bali you undoubtedly come across a Balinese, Hindu Offering baskets almost straight away. These are usually filled with rice, flowers and food. These are called ‘canang sari’ and are offerings to the God’s. These are the Hindu’s thanking for the peace that the God’s had given to the world.
Bali is the only place in the world that closes everything for one whole day, even their International Airport on the Hindu holiday; Nyepi “Day of Silence”. Nyepi is for silence, no one including tourists can go out on the streets, the beach or make noise or use bright lights. This day is for reflecting and meditation for Balinese Hindus.
Currency in Indonesia
The Indonesian Rupiah is the currency in Indonesia, The currency code for Indonesian Rupiahis IDR, and the currency symbol is Rp. The currency is in hundreds 00’s, thousands 000, hundred thousands 00.000, and millions 000.000. This at first can be a bit confusing and daunting to foreigners and we advise you to get familiar with the currency before flashing money around when purchasing anything, as more often than not tourists get confused!
Check out our currency converter to check the Indonesian rate.
Visas in Indonesia
As a foreigner you will be given a Visa on arrival in Indonesia which is $25 USD. This grants you thirty days in Indonesia, you also can extend another thirty days when you are already in Indonesia, allowing sixty days in total. Since 2015 the visa on arrival is now free for people who are part of the following fourty five countries https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Indonesia#Visa_free
Although the visa is free, you cannot extend. So make sure you tell immigration you will be staying in Indonesia longer than thirty days so you will be offered the visa on arrival which you pay the $35 USD but you are able to extend.
Expect touristy parts of Indonesia to be a little more expensive than a lot of South East Asia, especially the islands. The islands in Indonesia are also considered to be more expensive. This is due to import tax to Indonesia and transportation of goods to the islands.
When you arrive in Indonesia be prepared for crowds. Bali is one of the number one destinations in the world. In high season Bali and the Gili islands is extremely busy as everyone has the same idea to visit at the same time. We recommend you to explore mountains or jump on the fast boat to Lombok to escape the crowds.