Indonesia: what you need to know before you go

How to get to Bali in 2022

Before the pandemic, travelers from Russia got to Bali without a visa or any restrictions.

They would fly into Denpasar International Airport and get a free stamp in their passport, which gave them the right to stay in Indonesia for up to 30 days. They could spend them all on the island or travel around the country. With the onset of the pandemic, the rules changed: Indonesia closed entry to tourists. But travelers still found loopholes to relax in Bali.

Since February 1, 2022, tourists were officially allowed on the island. But visa-free entry to Indonesia has not yet been returned. If you want to travel to Bali you should get a visa on arrival, which is pasted into the passport, or make a business visa beforehand.

I will tell you in detail what documents are required for each visa, how to get from Russia to Bali, and what are the rules for entry.

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How the rules of entry to Bali changed during the pandemic

In March 2020, Indonesia closed to tourists and began accepting only those Russians who came to the country on a business visa. They had to have an official invitation from a local sponsor.

It was impossible to fly to Bali under that scheme. You had to take a ticket to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia on Java. From Jakarta to Bali is a little over 1000 km. After arriving in Jakarta, travelers were quarantined in a special hotel, and then, if they wanted, flew to Bali.

It was expensive: you had to pay for a quarantine hotel with full board for all days, two PCR tests. A transfer in Jakarta for a family of two adults and a child cost about R120,000. Three business visas cost another 50,000 P .

On February 1, 2022 the Indonesian government simplified the rules of entry. Since then, travelers from Russia could fly directly to Bali and the Riau Archipelago without visiting Jakarta. They still needed a business visa, but on entry they could officially state the purpose of the trip as tourism. This is confirmed by the rules published by the Indonesian government.

Entering the rest of Indonesia, unless there was a real business reason for the trip, was risky: at the border crossing, travelers could be asked what business they were going to do. If the border guard was not satisfied with the answer, they could be denied entry into the country. But judging by the reviews on Bali-forum Usually there were no problems at passport control and Russian tourists were allowed to rest freely. Travelers write that they have not had any problems at entry.

On March 23 Indonesian authorities canceled the arrival quarantine for vaccinated travelers on all Indonesian islands, including Bali.

How to get a visa on arrival in Bali

Starting May 30, 2022 Russian travelers may enter Indonesia with Visa on Arrival for Tourism.

You do not need to apply for the visa in advance, it is issued on arrival in the country – for example, at the airport in Bali. To get such a visa you need:

  1. Have a passport with a validity of at least six months.
  2. Show a return ticket to Russia or any other third country.
  3. Show insurance with coverage of $25,000 ($1,584,375).
  4. Р ).
  5. Pay visa fee of $35 ( 2,218.
  6. P ) or 500 000 Rp ( 2174
  7. Р ).

How to apply for a business visa to Bali

If the traveler plans to spend more than 60 days in Indonesia, he/she must obtain a business visa B211A. The documents for the visa are submitted on the Indonesian Immigration Service website. You do not need to visit the embassy.

You do not have to spend all that time in Bali: you can enter the island as a tourist, and then travel all over Indonesia. Let me tell you about the requirements for the documents you need to apply for a B211A visa.

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A passport which will be valid for a minimum of six months before entering Bali.

Letter of guarantee from a sponsor. It can only be an adult citizen of Indonesia. His name will be noted on the visa. The sponsor vouches that the traveler will comply with the laws and leave the country when the visa expires. That is, he is responsible for the individual’s visit to Indonesia.

Business visa can only be renewed at the sponsor’s place of registration. If a tourist plans to renew his Bali visa, the sponsor must be a Balinese person, not any resident of Indonesia.

Judging by the reviews on the Vinsky forum and telegraph chat “BaliChat – Baliforum”, almost none of the Russian tourists do the visa on their own, as it is difficult to find a sponsor from the locals.

A return ticket to Russia or the country the tourist plans to visit after vacation in Bali.

Portrait color photo as for Russian passport.

Certificate of full vaccination in English. In Indonesia, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Novavax, Convidecia and Zifivax vaccines are approved. Of the Russian vaccines, only Sputnik V will do. A minimum of 14 days must elapse after the last shot.

Letter of declaration of readiness to observe all coronavirus restrictions in Indonesia. It must be printed out and filled in.

What documents do you need to enter Bali during a pandemic?

In addition to a visa on arrival or a B211A visa, every traveler is required to submit a package of documents. Here is what it includes.

A certificate of full vaccination with the same requirements as for the B211A visa. The document is not required for children under 18 years of age and for transit passengers who will not be leaving the clear zone of the airport.

Those who have a vaccination certificate do not need to take a PCR test before departure and upon arrival in Indonesia. Vaccinated travelers are also exempt from quarantine.

The rules do not specify whether children who have not been vaccinated need to take PCR tests. The Bali Forum writes that children under 18 are subject to the same testing conditions as the adults accompanying them: if the adult doesn’t need a document with a negative covid test, the child isn’t asked for one either.

Proof of payment of Bali rent for the entire trip.

The e-HAC International form. It is filled out in the PeduliLindungi app and shown at the border crossing.

In April, in the “BaliChat Visa” telegraph chat, tourists reported that when entering Indonesia, they are asked for a return ticket to Russia or another country.

You can sign up for the PeduliLindungi app with an email address. There is a separate block on the home page with an e-HAC form

Who will be quarantined in Bali

If a traveler arrives in Indonesia without a vaccination certificate, or if less than 14 days have passed since vaccination, you will have to take a PCR test on arrival and go for a five-day quarantine at your own expense. But only if the tourist has no symptoms of coronavirus. The same rules apply for unvaccinated children 6-17 years old if they are traveling with unvaccinated parents.

Hotel for quarantine must be booked in advance. At the border you will be shown the booking confirmation. Not every hotel is suitable, but only those that are on the list of approved hotels of the Indonesian government.

I checked the price of different hotels in Bali in this list – the price varies greatly depending on the hotel. For example, 100 Sunset Hotel for five nights from July 18 to 23 asks only 5227 P for two, and Alila Villas Uluwatu for the same dates costs 230 223 P. You should also keep in mind that the price is only with breakfast. For quarantine you will need to make additional arrangements with the hotel for lunches and dinners.

To complete the self-isolation, travelers must obtain a negative PCR test result on the fourth day of quarantine.

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How to get to Bali from Russia

Russia has resumed air links with Indonesia since March 14, 2022, and since April 9 lifted restrictions on the number of flights between the countries, but there are still no direct flights from Moscow to Bali. One can get to the island only with connections, for example, Qatar Airways flights with connection in Doha, Turkish Airlines flights with connection in Istanbul or Emirates flights with connection in Dubai.

If you fly directly to Bali, you will have to spend a lot of money. For example, Emirates is selling roundtrip tickets from June 23 to July 14 for 247,790 P per passenger with luggage.

It will be much cheaper to fly to Thailand and from there to Bali. For the same dates tickets will cost a total of 90,129 P.

Tickets from Moscow to Bangkok and back from June 23 to July 14 with Etihad Airways are 70,776 P . Then you can spend the night in Thailand and go to Bali on a Thai AirAsia flight at 19,353 P for round-trip tickets. On the way back it is also better to spend the night in Thailand and rest before a long flight to Russia.

All prices are valid at the time of publication of this article.

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Traveling to Indonesia – what should you know before you go?

Since you got to this page, it means you are going to travel to Indonesia. Well, I envy you in a good way – would go back there again! In my opinion, no matter how much time you take to visit the country, it won’t be enough. There are 17,000 islands!

We’ve been only to the most populated and developed island of Java and the popular Bali, but some idea of the month of stay in the country, and today will share useful information. Going to Indonesia by yourself? Read on!

Trip to Indonesia

Bali Surfers, Kuta Beach

Visa to Indonesia

Russian and Ukrainian citizens don’t need a visa to Indonesia if the period of stay doesn’t exceed 30 days – it’s quite simple. But there are a few nuances:

– You must enter through one of the international airports: Ngurah Rai (Bali), Soekarno-Hatta (capital Jakarta), Juanda (Surabaya), Kuala Namu (Medan), or through the sea ports Hang Nadim, Pelabuhan Laut Sekupang (Batam Island), Pelabuhan Laut Sri Bintan, Pelabuhan Laut Batam Center and Pelabuhan Laut Tanjung Uban (Riau Islands).

– A return air ticket or ticket to a third country is required

You will get a stamp in your passport upon arrival, but you cannot extend your stay with it, keep this in mind in case you want to stay :-)

Required documents for visa-free entry:

– Passport valid for at least another 6 months, at the time of arrival

– Return ticket (or to a third country)

– filled in migration card available at the desk (can be also given on the plane).

Belarusian citizens should get a visa for 35$ per person (including children) upon arrival or in advance in Moscow.

How to stay in Indonesia for more than 30 days? There are several options. Read the article “Visa to Indonesia” for details.

Where to go? Routes

There is a lot of room for imagination. Indonesia offers interesting places for every taste and a variety of cultures and traditions.

If you want to find great beaches, visit the islands of Gili, Lombok, Bali, Banyak and Bintan. The choice is just huge!

For surfing: Bali, southeast Java (G-Land), Lombok, Sumbawa.

For volcanoes: Java, Lombok.

For nature: the national parks Komodo, Meru Betiri, Papua.

For ethnographic finds: Papua.

The division is very arbitrary, Indonesia is a country full of beautiful places. If you don’t have much time, I suggest you come and see one island or group of islands nearby.

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The route we took is very popular among travelers: from west to east through Java and then Bali. You can combine Bali, Lombok and Gili, or visit Java and Sumatra separately. To explore Papua, it is better to go there alone, not combined with anything else. Kalimantan is also worthy of a separate trip.

Beach in Bali.

Grojogan Sewu

Grojogan Sewu Falls

How to travel to Indonesia? Transport

You can get to Indonesia from Russia only with a connection. Usually the cheapest way is to take air tickets to Bangkok, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and other major cities in Southeast Asia. And from there fly to Indonesia on local low-cost carriers like Air Asia, Lion Air and many others.

Travel to Indonesia

Down Jakarta – descend

There are periodic sales to Jakarta or Bali by Middle Eastern airlines Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Asian airlines China Airlines, China Southern, Korean Air and others.

Find the best and cheapest options conveniently on Aviasales and Skyscanner .

You can get not only by air, but also come from neighboring Malaysia, Singapore and East Timor, but that’s a separate topic.

By land, you can travel from the Malaysian part of Kalimantan (Sarawak state) to the Indonesian part, respectively.

Domestic airlines are quite well developed. For flights you can use the same Air Asia, Garuda Indonesia, Batavia Air, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air. However, tickets are not always available on the websites of airlines and you’ll have to use the services of an agent.

Trains in Indonesia – a comfortable and fast way to travel, but quite expensive, sometimes comparable in price to the airplane. Rail service exists only on the islands of Java and Sumatra, with the latter having three separate branches, which are of interest only to train fans.

There are three classes of trains, but they are all seated. The best boasts wide seats, individual outlet, and air conditioning. Cheap trains are like our electric trains with wooden benches opposite each other, only more people. Tickets should be purchased at least a few days in advance.

Indonesia Transport

Train in Indonesia

Buses, minibuses, bemos are the main mode of transport, and there are many routes in different directions. On the main routes and between major cities there are good air-conditioned buses, but on the periphery things are not so happy.

There is often no room for luggage, you have to keep it on you all the way, the Indonesians themselves are constantly smoking right in the cabin, the air conditioning, if it was there, has long since broken down…In addition, countless food vendors and musicians walk in the already narrow aisle.

The speed of travel also leaves a lot to be desired, at least in Java – the roads are narrow, you have to drag behind trucks for a long time, plus the local buses stop at every pole.

Anyway, you can and should take buses, but not for long distances.

Sea transport . All populated islands are connected to each other in one way or another by sea. The main carrier is the company Pelni, on their website you can see the schedule and ferry prices. There are also several classes on passenger ferries, depending on where you will be accommodated: on deck, in a common room or a private cabin.

Buses, coaches, bikes (becak) and motorcycle cabs (ojek) are also available.

Housing and Accommodations

You will find a variety of housing in Indonesia, from the most basic to the most luxurious. In general, if you compare for example with Thailand, the price-quality ratio is worse – for $10 in the land of smiles you’ll live more comfortably. The exception is the island of Bali (it’s understandable, the competition), where for the same $ 10 is quite a decent hotel / hosthouse with air conditioning, and for $ 13 we lived at a hotel with a pool.

Travel to Indonesia – a hotel in Bali

The more remote the province and the less developed tourism, the higher will be the prices of accommodation – an iron rule with rare exceptions. When checking in you can bargain, especially if you come in low season. On the other hand, the prices on the spot are stated more than if you book in advance on the Internet, we were convinced of that more than once on the islands of Java and Bali.

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The cheapest rooms are not equipped with a shower, but there is a so-called mandi – a container with cold water and a bucket nearby, with which to collect water and rinse. Of course the water in the mandi is cold, but it’s not a problem, because outside it is always over +30! The bathrooms can be private or shared, but for the most part they are pretty clean.

More expensive hotels have air conditioning, swimming pool, bathroom and all the amenities – most of these options can be found in Bali, and the prices are quite reasonable. For example, we lived in Ubud with a posh resort with a huge breakfast for only $25.

You can also book online in advance on the aggregator sites hotellook and roomguru.

Apartments and villas are best rented through Airbnb (register through the link and get a free $25 for your reservation).

Places of Interest and Attractions

Read detailed reports about the places we visited. This is only a small part on the island of Java:

Yogyakarta, the cultural capital of Java Island, is a very pleasant and peaceful city. From here it is convenient to travel to the surrounding area, de many interesting things.

Prambanan Temple Complex is a majestic complex a few kilometers away in Yogyakarta.

Dieng Plateau – volcanic plateau, mountains, sulfuric lakes, clouds of steam…unearthly beauty!

Waterfall Grojogan Sewu – one of the highest in Indonesia, the height of 81 meters.

Bromo Volcano – one of the most beautiful sunrises of your life!

Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali – guide

Bromo Volcano Indonesia

Trip to Indonesia – Bromo Volcano

Rice Terraces Ubud

Rice Terraces in Ubud, Bali


The Indonesians are very friendly and smiling people, but we thought they were too “poky”, but this is a plus. Most locals are honest and open, but the small part that is associated with tourism, was completely corrupted by money, and the overall impression is spoiled. In tourist places they cheat brazenly and without imagination, and cab drivers are clingy like nowhere else in Asia.

The official religion of Indonesia is Islam (it is the largest Muslim country in the world by population), although there are Buddhists, Hindus (in Bali, though there is a mixture of faiths), and Christians. Early in the morning you will probably be awakened by the cry of the muezzin calling for prayer – there are many mosques all over the country. Nevertheless, religious norms do not weigh heavily on society, and many women wear normal European clothes, jeans and T-shirts, sometimes combined with a hijab. Only a few wear the burqa. But this is in Java, and in the more Muslim state of Aceh in Sumatra, the picture is certainly different.

The language of Indonesia is called bahasa indonesia, it is quite easy to learn and has no tones like Thai or Chinese. The letters are all Latin, so you will immediately recognize the words you learn on the street and in conversation.

Health and Insurance

Indonesia is generally a safe country. But the chaotic and reckless traffic on the roads can be a real danger, and no matter if you’re riding in a car or walking on the sidewalk – you should always be careful. In some cities there are quite a lot of holes in the sidewalk or curb, you can find uncovered manholes. Be careful when walking in the evening, because the lighting is poor, you can not see.

Another real danger is diseases carried by mosquitoes – malaria and dengue fever. And not all mosquitoes are malarial, but only some. How not to get sick? The rules are simple: sleep with a mosquito net or under a fan, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants in the evenings. However, if you’re not going to hike for days through tropical forests and swamps, you don’t have to worry about these diseases.

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Also try to wear a hat and sunscreen, as the sun is very active here.

Another common problem is gastrointestinal disorders, especially if you’ve just arrived from Russia and the body hasn’t had time to readjust. We were fine, probably because at that time we had been in Asia for almost six months. Have on hand any sorbent, such as Enterosgel, which helps a lot.

Communication and Internet

Telkomsel is the most popular cell phone service provider and you should check their official web site for up-to-date information about prices for calls and internet. They are actively developing a 4G network, and the internet rates are approximately as follows:

1.1 Gb – 49000 rupees (6.5 $)

2.6 Gb – 89000 rupees

6 Gb – Rs 119,000

14 Gb – Rp 169000

In Indonesia, as everywhere else in Southeast Asia, it’s hard to stay hungry. You can choose from a variety of cafes, restaurants and simple street stalls. As a Muslim country, you will not find pork and other foods that do not meet the standards of Islam (all others are considered halal, you can often see the inscription “halal”), but in Bali, everything is.

The main dishes are rice (nasi) and noodles (mie), and their various modifications with additives: ordinary (putih), fried (goreng), with chicken (ayam), fish (ikan). A popular soup with soy meatballs, called bakso, is often found on the street.

The cafes are called warung in the local language, and the cost of all of course varies, but for a dollar and a half you can get enough to eat for one person.

Indonesian food seemed to us less tasty than Thai and Malaysian food, at least if you compare the food in the cheap places.

Of course, there is a lot of fruit in Indonesia, dozens of varieties at the market or in the supermarket, feel free to try, try to take seasonal – it’s tastier and cheaper. The locals drink tea (teh, there are cold and hot, sweet and not, with milk), coffee (the same variety), and juices, but in smaller quantities.

If your body doesn’t like local food you can go to McDonalds, KFC and their local counterparts, they have decent food which is difficult to poison.

There are several supermarket chains with a good selection of products, especially Indomaret and Circle, but in particularly touristy areas of Bali the prices there are higher than in the same stores in other places.

A trip to Indonesia will not leave you indifferent: you will surely fall in love with Balinese sunsets, smoking giants of Java, smiling locals…Good luck on your trip!

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