Tips for Staying Safe in Indonesia

by Katie Hammel on June 28, 2011

by Katie Hammel | June 28th, 2011  

While travel to Indonesia should not be undertaken lightly, it is possible to travel safely around the area.  The main tourist areas of Java, Bali and Lombok are generally safe, though terrorist attacks have happened in recent years, with foreigners sometimes the targets.

Before traveling to Indonesia, check the latest travel alerts and warnings and be sure to register your travels with your government in case of problems. If you’re going to purchase travel insurance ( a good idea when traveling to Indonesia) check to see if emergency evacuations due to political unrest or terrorist attacks are covered.

A terrorist attack is possible, but unlikely for the most part. Violet crime is also rare; most crime is petty theft, timeshare scams, identity theft and credit card fraud, and drink spiking. Petty scams from touts and helpful “tour guides” are also common.  Watching out for touts and hawkers who might help you part from your money is recommended. Not all are bad, but many will offer to “help” you find your way to your hotel, carrying your bags, and then demand a large tip to return them. Other will offer to guide you around a city, ensuring you purchase from their friends at very inflated prices or offer you some of the worst travel advice ever – advice that serves their own needs and not yours. While not dangerous, this could make your trip more annoying and more expensive than it needs to be.

Finally, when changing money, use only an authorized money changer or get your money from an ATM within a bank. One of the most prevalent forms of crime in Indonesia is the short-changing of clueless tourist who change money from unauthorized dealers.

Overall, Indonesia is a safe and beautiful place to visit. Just stay tuned to current events, keep your wits about you and use common sense when traveling here.

Photo zsoolt


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