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Practical information about Indonesia

Practical information about Indonesia

Practical information about Indonesia

1. The climate in Indonesia

Extending across the Equator, Indonesia has a tropical climate. The temperature does not fluctuate much from island to island, and the main climatic difference is the rainy seasons and rainfall. Humidity is generally high throughout the year, but typically drops, the higher up in the mountains you go.

Indonesia does not have four seasons like we do in Europe, but two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. However, the months that the seasons stretch over differ depending on which island you are on.

Bali (Munduk – Lovina – Ubud – Sanur)

Bali is a very green, lush island. It is usually dry during the day, with the rain typically falling as brief, torrential showers in the evening or at night. So, there are always many hours of sunshine – even during the rainy season.

The dry season is from April to September.

The rainy season is from October to March.

Weather statistics for Bali: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 30 30 31 31 30 30 29 29 30 31 31 31
Average minimum temperature 24 24 24 24 23 23 22 22 23 23 23 24
Rainfall mm 328 261 225 117 107 90 119 53 116 173 187 258
Average sea temperature 29 29 29 29 29 28 27 26 27 28 29 29

Java (Yogyakarta – Bromo – Kalibaru – Banyuwangi)

The dry season is from May to September. During this period, the days are hot, dry and sunny.

The rainy season is from October to April. Less rain falls in eastern Java than in the western regions. During this period, the rain falls in the late afternoon in the form of heavy showers, which typically last a couple of hours.

Weather statistics for Yogyakarta (Central Java): JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 29 29 29 31 30 30 29 30 31 31 30 29
Average minimum temperature 22 22 22 22 22 21 21 21 22 22 22 22
Rainfall mm 353 335 310 211 127 89 41 25 30 94 229 340

Sumatra (Medan – Bukit Lawang – Berastagi – Samosir – Lake Toba)

Sumatra is Indonesia’s third largest island, split by the equator, and the two seasons therefore also differ, depending on whether you’re in the north or south of the island. Despite the two seasons, the temperature is very constant, with the possibility of rain all year round.

The dry season is from May to September. In the northern part of the island and in the jungle areas of the north, temperatures are generally slightly lower than in the southern part, but they are still higher in the dry season than in the rainy season.

The rainy season is from October to April. In northern Sumatra, most rain falls from early October to January, while in the south, most rain falls from early November to late February.

Weather statistics for Medan (North Sumatra): JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 32 32 33 33 33 33 33 33 32 32 31 31
Average minimum temperature 22 23 23 24 23 24 24 23 22 23 23 23
Rainfall mm 92 115 97 157 178 147 167 185 263 387 253 228

Komodo National Park (the island of Flores, Komodo Island and Rinca Island)

The Komodo Islands are a national park made up of many different islands. The two best known are Komodo Island and Rinca Island, and then there is the slightly larger island of Flores, where most hotels and resorts are located. As in the rest of Indonesia, Komodo National Park has two seasons:

The dry season is from April to October, and during that period, it can get so dry that water restrictions are imposed to preserve the area. Humidity in the period is also incredibly low.

The rainy season is from November to March, with most rain falling in January and February. Throughout the period, it typically rains for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours late afternoon, while the sun only shines for a few hours during the day.

Weather statistics for Labuhanbajo (Flores): JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 32 32 32 31
Average minimum temperature 21 21 21 20 20 19 18 18 19 20 21 21
Rainfall mm 396 361 310 154 120 51 28 29 45 99 193 298

Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan is located east of Bali and is part of the Gili Islands archipelago. While the seasons on the Gili Islands are the same as in Bali, it can easily be rainy and overcast in Bali but sunny with cloudless skies on Gili Trawangan.

The dry season is from April to October, with August being the driest month. The conditions for snorkelling and diving are particularly good during this season, as visibility in the water is at least 30 metres.

The rainy season is from the end of October to March, with January being the wettest month. The season usually offers rain in the afternoon and clear skies the rest of the day.

You should be aware that the Lombok Strait, which you will be passing through when sailing between Bali and Gili Trawangan, may be choppy in January/February and June/July. If the weather is unsuitable for sailing, the ferry will be cancelled for safety reasons. This generally happens once or twice a year and usually lasts for about one to two days at a time.

Weather statistics for Gili Trawangan: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 30 30 30 31 31 30 30 30 31 31 31 30
Average minimum temperature 22 22 22 21 21 20 19 19 20 21 22 22
Rainfall mm 358 297 245 117 107 53 58 38 37 97 152 246
Average sea temperature 29 29 29 29 28 28 27 27 27 28 29 29

Lombok (Senggigi)

Lombok is situated east of Bali and is a neighbour to the Gili Islands, and the seasons are largely the same. Temperatures are stable all year round, but when you visit the highlands, it may be cooler in the evening and night all year as well.

The dry season is from April to October, and the best time to visit the island is from June to September. During this season, there are tons of hours of sunshine, the heat is not too intense, and a pleasant breeze blows from the sea.

The rainy season is from November to March, and the wettest month is January. You can expect rain showers in the morning followed by sunshine and a shower or two again in the late afternoon. The temperatures remain stable, and humidity is relatively high in this period.

Weather statistics for Lombok: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 30 30 30 31 31 30 30 30 31 31 31 30
Average minimum temperature 22 22 22 21 21 20 19 19 20 21 22 22
Rainfall mm 358 297 245 117 107 53 58 38 37 97 152 246
Average sea temperature 29 29 29 29 28 28 27 27 27 28 29 29
2. Form of travel

The tour takes place in international groups of up to 14 people and with Asiatours’ own guests. All excursions and transfers mentioned are with English speaking guides.

3. When is it best to travel to Indonesia?

You can travel to Indonesia all year round. The peak seasons for tours to Bali are from July until September, and in December.

4. Terms & Conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from Asiatours.co.uk. Click here to read our terms and conditions of travel.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

5. Travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their tour.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

6. Language

The official language is Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia); this is the language taught at educational institutions and used in public sector offices, etc. It is spoken as the first or second language by around 200 million people out of the total population of approx. 230 million. Several regional dialects are spoken in addition to the official language, and a minority of around 25 million people only speak a regional language. As a tourist, however, you should be able to make yourself understood in English, which young people in particular speak quite well.

7. Vaccinations

We always advise that you contact a specialist, your GP or an authorized vaccination clinic. You can also read more about the rules for travel & vaccinations at the central NHS Fit for Travel website: here

Please be aware of the rules about yellow fever – especially if you are entering via another country where yellow fever is present.

Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. So be sure to bring your vaccination certificate with you in these cases.

8. Visa

In the same way as for other international travel, you must be in possession of a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after departure from Indonesia.

As a UK citizen, you need a visa to visit Indonesia. Tourist visas valid for 30 days are issued free of charge on arrival at Ngurah Rai Airport on Bali, KualaNamu Airport in Medan on Sumatra, Soekarno-Hatto Airport in Jakarta on Java, and at Juanda Airport in Surabaya – also on Java. On entry into Indonesia via any airports other than those listed above, a tourist visa costs USD 35, which must be paid in cash in US dollars.

Please note that visas on arrival aren’t available if you’re travelling on a British Overseas Citizen, British Subject, British National (Overseas) or British Overseas Territory citizen passport. Instead, you must apply for a visa before you travel.

The rules on visas can be checked on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Of course, you are also welcome to ask us for advice.

9. Currency

The unit of currency in Indonesia is the rupiah (IDR). Visit www.xe.com/currencyconverter to see the current exchange rate in both US dollars and GBP. We recommend that you take some US dollars with you in cash (at least enough to pay for your visa), and exchange them for local currency at an official bureau de change on arrival. Standard credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted, and there are cash machines (ATMs) in all cities. You can use credit cards at almost all hotels and in many restaurants and shops, but not in small local markets.

10. Tipping

Tipping in Indonesia is both the done thing and commonplace – especially if you receive good service. Generally, of course, you tip according to the service you have received.

Below is a guide on how much to tip:

  • Porter: At least 10,000 Rp per item of luggage (approx. 1 USD)
  • Maid: At least 20,000 Rp per day per room (approx. 1.5 USD)
  • Drivers: At least 30,000 Rp per day depending on the service provided (approx. 2 USD)
  • Guides: At least 30,000 Rp per excursion per person, depending on the service provided (approx. 3.5 USD)
  • Restaurants: Tips are not expected at small local restaurants and at street kitchens, but at restaurants of international character, it is customary to leave at least 10,000 Rp on the table when you go (approx. 1 USD).

Our tipping guideline shows amounts corresponding to USD, but tips should be given in the local currency at the destination.

11. Time difference

Indonesia stretches over three time zones. The difference between Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the time in Indonesia varies, depending on UK summer and winter time.
West Indonesian time is +6 hours in relation to UK winter time, and +5 hours in relation to UK summer time.

Bali is on Central Indonesian time, which means it is +7 hours in relation to our winter and +6 hours in relation to our summer.

Summer time: +5 hours. This means that when it is noon GMT, it is 17.00 in Indonesia.
Winter time: +6 hours. This means that when it is noon GMT, it is 18.00 in Indonesia.

East Indonesian time is +8 hours in relation to UK winter time and +7 hours in relation to UK summer time.

12. Electricity

Most parts of Indonesia have 220 V mains power – the common tourist areas all use this voltage. The plugs have two round pins. Sockets that can accommodate plugs with three round pins (earthed computer plugs) are rare. Therefore, make sure to bring a travel adapter with you if you will need to recharge your laptop, for example.

13. Telephone and Internet

The international dialling code for Indonesia is +62. It can be expensive to place calls to – or receive them from – Europe while you are in Indonesia. Ask your own mobile service provider about coverage and call charges.

There are internet cafés in the big cities, and Wi-Fi connections in most hotels.

14. Safety

It is generally safe to travel in Indonesia, as long as you stay in the tourist areas. Over the years, however, there have been a number of terrorist attacks in Indonesia, some of which have unfortunately affected tourists. Great emphasis is therefore placed on safety and security. Ordinary crime directed at tourists is typically limited to pick-pocketing and occasional cases of credit card fraud. This is usually simple to avoid through the application of common sense. Avoid showing off expensive jewellery and large sums of cash, and never let your credit card out of your sight at typical tourist locations. Always follow the advice and information provided by the guides and you can be sure of staying out of danger.

15. Food and drink

Indonesian food smells great; it is healthy, extremely tasty and clearly influenced by Indian, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine. The most common dish is called ‘satay’ – small skewers of chicken or beef with peanut sauce.

Only ever drink water from bottles. Bottled water is cheap and readily available everywhere. DO NOT drink water from the taps.

16. Public holidays

It is always special to experience the traditions and celebrations of other countries. Below is a list of public holidays, important festivals and other special occasions.

Please note that some museums and attractions may be closed on these days.

17. Flight reservations and airline tickets

We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport. If you find any mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.

Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.

18. Service letter

Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.

So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.

19. Seat reservation, upgrades and extra legroom

The airline will assign you a seat on board the aircraft upon check-in. If you have specific wishes, you can make a seat reservation via the airline’s website. Most airlines have an area on their website named “manage my booking” or similar. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation, so it’s a good idea to have your payment card ready when starting a seat reservation. Airline seat reservations vary from company to company, but as a general rule, you can book seats from around 48 hours before departure.

Many airlines also offer upgrades with extra legroom or comfort seating, such as Economy Comfort with KLM and Premium Voyageur with Air France. You can check these details through the airline’s own website, along with payment information.

Please kindly note that airlines have full access to all seats on the aircraft and therefore always reserve the right to alter a reservation.

If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will issues your seating upon check-in at the airport.

20. Your luggage

We use many different airlines for our flights to Indonesia, so there may be variations in the amount of luggage you are allowed to bring with you as both checked luggage and hand luggage. Check the information about this on your airline ticket, and contact us if you have any questions. If your tour involves a domestic flight in Indonesia, you cannot bring more than 20 kg of luggage with you.

You should also make sure you carry all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.

You may find yourself sitting in a draught from the air conditioning in the plane, so make sure to pack a warm jumper or jacket in your hand luggage.

21. Transfers to and from airports

On arrival at the different airports in Indonesia, you will be met by our local representative who will be waiting for you in the arrival hall with a sign bearing your name. You will naturally also be driven to the airport on departure. You will be informed of your pick-up time when you arrive in Indonesia.

22. Etiquette and cultural differences

Experiencing differences in culture and etiquette is one of the delights of travelling, and it is essential to respect these differences. ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’ is good advice, and the section below contains a number of useful hints and tips intended to help you make the very most of your visit to Indonesia.

  • Try not to show anger. Displaying frustration or anger by shouting or acting rudely is considered extremely impolite and disrespectful – and nothing good will come of it.
  • Never use a red ballpoint pen or felt-tip pen, as this is viewed as a sign of anger.
  • Always remove your shoes when you enter a private home or a temple.
  • If you are invited into a private home, you must not leave until you have taken some refreshments – no matter how long it takes your host to prepare them. If you leave without accepting refreshments, you will bring shame on the house and the host.
  • Always use your right hand or both hands when passing something to – or receiving something from – other people. Never use your left hand alone.
  • Do not stand with your hands on your hips, as this is considered arrogant and aggressive.
  • Never point at a person or an object, either with a single finger or your whole hand. If you want to attract attention by waving, make sure to keep your hand at hip height and wave towards yourself.
  • Do not touch children on their heads, as this is believed to bring bad luck.
  • Try to avoid public displays of affection – kissing or cuddling, for example – as this is considered offensive.
  • Do not wear short shorts, short skirts and tank tops close to temples and churches.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, go skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing, as this is considered obscene – even on beaches and at hotels.
23. Travellers with reduced mobillity

Please note, our tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.

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