Tag Archives: Indonesia

Indonesian Visa

If you’re planning to visit Indonesia for less than 30 days then most likely you should have no worries (unless your coming from few certain countries in the world). At the airport you’ll get a stamp for visa-free entry and you’re good to go! But if you plan to stay longer, that’s another story. If you have the opportunity you can apply for 60 day visa beforehand but they only accept applications if there’s 2 months or less until the date you’re entering the country. For us it meant that we couldn’t use this option (technically we could have in Kuala Lumpur embassy of Indonesia but the timeframe was quite tight) so we decided to extend it while here. First and foremost it means that when you arrive to the country you have to PAY for Visa on Arrival. You must find a separate counter for that and NOT go through the passport check as most of the people are doing (since they’ll get 30 day visa-free entry). If you just go through the passport check it’s not possible to extend your period of stay since technically you didn’t get the visa in the first place and you must leave the country after 30 days. The cost for VOA (Visa on Arrival) is 35USD but many other currencies are also accepted. With that the first step is done and after 20 days staying in the country you should go and find the nearest immigration office (in Bali there are 3 for example). Then the interesting second part starts :). In total you need 3 visits so make sure you choose an office where it’s comfortable for you to go since you can’t change it in the middle of the process. Be warned that all immigration offices are closed for lunchtime and all in all they are just opened until 3 or 4 in the afternoon with many only accepting new applications in the mornings. So it’s always best to go early. I must also add that based on many other forums the experience and things you need to do may vary each time since the immigration system in here is quite chaotic 🙂

Visit 1

Go to the reception desk and ask for the application for extending VOA. Fill it out with blank letters, don’t worry if you leave the recommendation part empty, it’s not needed. But what you do need is copies from your passport picture page and also the page where you got the first VOA stamp. Most of the immigration offices have small copying places nearby. In addition you need 2 copies of your ticket leaving the country with the date clearly stated. If you have all that you should take a ticket for “VOA foreigner” and wait for your turn at the counter. When your turn arrives (there can be some waiting involved 🙂 ) they’ll give you a red folder on top of which you should write your full name and passport number and put all the needed documents + passport inside. Then they ask you to take a seat so they could check if everything is in order. If that happens to be so after some time they call out your name and give you a piece of paper where the date of second visit is stated. Usually it’s after 3-4 working days. Be sure not to lose it since as long as they have your passport it works as an official substitute!

Visit 2

At least in our case we were asked to go to the same counter where we handed over our folders and from there we got a ticket to the photo booth. At least in Ngurah Rai immigration office everyone were really friendly and helped out if we asked something. But I’ve read that that’s not always the case. Either way when it’s your turn you have to get your picture + fingerprints taken. That shouldn’t take very much time and afterwards you’re presented with yet another paper with the time of the 3rd visit. Once again it’s about 3-4 working days usually. But before you come back to claim your passport you must find the nearest post office or a bigger bank where you can pay for your visa. I really don’t understand why you can’t pay for it in the same immigration office but that’s  just the case. I would recommend finding a post office since not all banks accept these payments and there is no list of the ones who do. But you really shouldn’t have any issues in post offices. The fee is 355.000 rupiah and you’ll get a check. Be sure to bring it along for your 3rd visit.

Visit 3

Usually this is the easy one. You just hand over the papers you got last time + the check (ask from the reception where you should give them) and then you’ll once again go to the “VOA foreigner” counter and wait until your name is being called out. If everything is ok you’ll just get your passport with a new stamp, leave your name/signature and your good for another 30 days!

After 60 days you have to leave the country/do a VISA run and when you decide to stay longer it’s the same 3 steps all over again :). There are also several agencies who do some of the work for you but since you still have to visit the immigration office for the photo and fingerprints + these agencies can ask you twice as much if you’d do it yourself it’s not highly recommended. It may seem like a hustle but actually it’s nothing too inconvenient and in total we spent maybe only a bit more than an hour in the immigration office.

Hope you found some value in this post and feel free to ask if there’s any questions :)!

All the best!

Lauri

Bali – the last paradise on Earth

…was the sign that greeted us a few days back in Denpasar airport. And based on our couple of days here mostly it seems to be true, with a small “but”.

Bali is quite big. We are staying at Jimbaran area and so far we’ve been able to explore only a very small fracture of this island paradise. On the first day we just walked around in our area but yesterday we rented a scooter for 30.000 rupiah a day (~1,8€!) from our hostel and started looking around on a bigger scale. The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that most of the streets in Bali are really narrow and the smaller ones can be in quite bad shape. So at some point you’ll probably find yourself off-roading with your small scooter :). But walking and driving around in Bali is like being in a Tomb-Rider game. There are just hundreds and hundreds of temples, shrines and similar everywhere! In fact I’d say that every 3rd building in smaller residential areas is like a small temple with it’s stone walls,carvings and beautiful statues everywhere. Add to that all the greenery, when at some places plants are already eating up the road itself, you’ll get quite a scenery! And the beaches and the cliffs… I have no other word than just breathtaking! I’m already eager to see what majestic places we’ll find during our nearly 1,5 month stay on this island. Here are some pictures (unfortunately taken with my low-quality cell-phone camera, there will be better ones I promise!) of the places we’ve been so far.

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But unfortunately it’s not all that glorious. Indonesia is the second biggest maritime plastic polluter in the world after China. And when there are bigger downpours all this garbage is washed with the floods into the sea. Then in turn waves bring it all to the shores. And you can clearly see the effect here in Bali. Many of the beaches, especially in the west side of the island, are turned into mountains of garbage. Mostly it’s driftwood and all sorts of plastic and rubber waste. In some places the sight can be quite devastating. Although it’s now been declared a garbage emergency in Bali (you can read more about in here and here) and the beaches are being cleaned daily more and more rubbish just washes on the shores. There is also quite significant amount of waste found on the streets and everywhere else.

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So as usual everything has two sides. Let’s hope that the wider audience notices what’s going around us before it’s too late but everything starts with you and me!

Either way I will be keeping you up to date about our adventures in Bali and there is a lot to come!

Wish you all the best!

Lauri

A must visit place in Jakarta – Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

Yesterday we visited the whole of Indonesia. Well, almost. In the eastern part of Jakarta there’s a place called Mini Indonesia and it’s one of the things you definitely should visit while in Jakarta. Basically it’s a combination of exhibitions, regional pavilions from all over the country, numerous parks, museums, different activity centers and much more. This place is huge and you could literally spend days there. Be warned that although the park itself is opened until 10 PM a lot of museums and pavilions will close at 4-5 PM. We spent about 6-7 hours there and during this time we managed to visit maybe only less then half of the places and walk around in about 3/4 of the area.

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Entrance fee to the park is 15000 ringgit per person and most of the places are free to visit although for some museums and activity centers (like waterpark, skyworld, theatres and so on) there are separate admittance fees. All in all it’s still inexpensive compared to the value and sheer number of different things to see that you’ll get in return. Although in some areas you can clearly understand that the park has seen better days there’s probably no better place to get an overview of different cultures that form this huge country called Indonesia. Add to that all the museums and activities and you will easily have an enjoyable time there. In case you’ll get hungry or thirsty there are countless places to refresh yourself so no worries about that.

I made several video clips of this place so soon you’ll be able to get a glimpse of it through the lens of my GoPro also :).

I briefly already wrote about this in the previous post but honestly – if you’d like to know how it feels to be famous, come to Jakarta! Hundreds and hundreds of people during our time in here have said hello to us with a big smile on their faces. Quite often they are seconded with “Hi mister”/”Hi miss” or “Hi sir”. By the way most of the time they don’t get it quite right and address Anna as mister or vice versa but all in all it’s not important :). For countless times we’ve been asked if a photo or even a selfie could be taken with us and most of the time we’ve said yes – only at the end of the day we’ve politely declined since although it’s great that people are so friendly it’s also quite tiring :). And dozens and dozens of times we’ve been asked where we’re from. Once again, all this is being done in an extremely friendly way but just be advised that this can happen to you here in Jakarta :)!

Different emotions from Jakarta

Jakarta is huge. I mean really really huge. The city metropolitan area is second only to Tokyo and about 31 million people live here! As far as the eye can see there are endless rows of buildings with only Java sea ending them at one side. Our accommodation is located on 30th floor so the view from our window is pretty good.

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The room otherwise is also really nice with a huge bed, nice small living room area and a proper bathroom. We are staying in a huge 39 floor building right near the center of the city with a decent pool and also a gym. The only thing is that the building at some places is still under construction :). As I searched the internet it seems that it was officially finished in 2014 but the reality is that in several places construction works are still being done 4 years later. Supposedly there was going to be a mall, several dining places and much more in this complex but I think that something went wrong at one point and at the moment none of these places are really working. Well, it’s actually rather good for us since it’s really quiet in here and not so many people moving around.

Speaking about moving around – walking in Jakarta is a quite an interesting experience. Compared to all the cities we’ve been and are going Jakarta is not at all touristy. So far during the 2 days here we’ve only seen about 15-20 people who you could also classify as tourists. That being said you get a lot of attention everywhere :). All the people smile to you, say hello and want to get a second of your attention. It’s all being done definitely with a positive energy but it’s still quite an interesting feeling since we’ve never been in such a situation before. On several occasions people have even asked us if they could make a photo with us :). Actually this is one of the reasons why we chose Jakarta to one of our destinations – to see how the life works in one of the biggest cities in Asia without any touristy glamour. I think you could somewhat compare Jakarta with Bangkok but the latter is in most of the places really tourist-orientated. And the honest answer to how the life is in here is it’s quite diverse and contrasty. There are some high end malls, business buildings and so on but mainly it’s still endless fields of older buildings and streets, a true concrete jungle. There’s not much greenery besides the huge 1 square kilometer park in the middle. And the poverty also shows out with garbage on the streets, homeless people and low quality infrastructure. Compared to Singapore it’s like being on a different planet. But nevertheless all this has it’s own appeal and Jakarta definitely holds many secrets to be discovered during our stay in this huge metropolis.

Currency, local Indonesian Rupiah, is a quite interesting thing on it’s own. Since the exchange rate compared to Euro is huge it definitely takes time to get used to. For example 1 EUR is about 16000 rupiah meaning a small meal can cost tens of thousands and you can easily spend half a million during one day. There are also coins that are made from plastic since metal would be just too expensive. The downside to all this is that your wallet is constantly cramped with a huge package of notes from 2000 up to 100.000 but from the upside at least here we are millionaires :)!

Lauri