The Republic of Indonesia encompasses more than 3,000
islands that stretch 3,400 miles along the equator
between Southeast Asia and Australia. Tropical rain
forests cover most of Indonesia's terrain up to 3,000
feet. The tropical climate varies with season and
altitude. A wet season begins in November and lasts
until March, followed by a dry season from April to
Tourist services are plentiful in the major tourist
sites. In many areas of the country, the level of
community sanitation is substandard. Adequate private
medical care is available in Jakarta but is substandard
elsewhere. Advance planning for medical emergencies is
- Insects transmit a variety of diseases. Mosquitoes,
in particular, transmit malaria, dengue fever and
Japanese encephalitis. Personal protective measures
are important. Risk is significant in most rural
- Quite a few diseases, including hepatitis A, are
transmitted by unsanitary food handling procedures
and contaminated water. Bacteria that cause stomach
upset and traveler's diarrhea are quite common. Food
and beverage precautions are essential in order to
- Animal rabies presents a risk on some islands.
- HIV transmission is established.
- Influenza risk extends throughout the year.
- Common "childhood" diseases such as
measles and diphtheria pose a risk, and cases of
polio still occur.
- Freshwater lakes and streams in many areas pose
health risks due to pollution and the presence of
organisms that cause diseases such as
schistosomiasis. Ocean water may also be polluted,
so avoid it unless you know it's safe.
- Heat and sun can pose problems throughout the
country. Use appropriate sun protection and be
prepared to handle the heat.
- Consult a qualified health care provider before
traveling to Indonesia.
- Malaria: Determine whether you'll be at
risk for malaria and what preventive medicine you
should take if you are.
- Risk exists throughout the year in all areas
of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya) and in rural
areas of all other islands (exceptions are
metropolitan areas of Jakarta, Jogyakarta,
Surabaya, Medan, and Denpasar, plus contiguous
tourist areas of Bali). Risk is limited to areas
not usually visited by travelers; only travelers
likely to have evening or nighttime exposure in
risk areas should undertake chemoprophylaxis.
Limited risk in rural Bali; prophylaxis not
- Medicines that protect against malaria in this
area include mefloquine (Lariam), doxycycline,
or atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone). An
alternative medicine is chloroquine/proguanil in
areas outside of Papua. Each has potential side
effects and may be inappropriate for some
- Yellow fever: Although yellow fever does
not occur in Indonesia, proof of appropriate
vaccination may be required depending on your
- Requirement: A yellow fever vaccination
certificate is required from travelers coming
from infected areas. A certificate is also
required from travelers arriving from endemic
- Other vaccines: Immunization against
hepatitis A is generally recommended for travelers
to Indonesia, as is a one-time polio booster if you
haven't previously received one for travel.
Depending on your itinerary, the purpose for your
trip, and the length of your visit, your health care
provider may offer you vaccinations against
hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies or
typhoid. Routine immunizations, such as those that
prevent tetanus or "childhood" diseases,
should be reviewed and updated as needed.
- Visa: Visa applicants may need to meet
specific requirements. Review the application and
contact Indonesia's embassy if you have questions.
- Other preparations: Recent medical and
dental exams should ensure that you are in good
health. Carry appropriate health and accident
insurance documents and copies of any important
medical records. Discuss appropriate prescription
and over-the-counter medications to combat
traveler's diarrhea. Be sure to bring a supply of
these and any other medicines you regularly require
that will be adequate to last your entire stay.
Bring a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses
- If you have traveled in an area of malaria risk,
seek immediate medical attention for any flu-like
illness occurring within one year of your return
home. Be sure to tell your health care provider your
The material below is reprinted verbatim from the
U.S. Department of State. Information regarding health
measures, if given here, may differ from what is
presented elsewhere in this report.
Announcement - September 20, 2000
American citizens traveling or living in Indonesia
should exercise extreme caution. The U.S. Embassy in
Jakarta has had indications that the wave of recent
bombings in Jakarta may escalate and that American
companies and interests, not further identified, may be
targeted. On September 13, a bomb exploded at the
Jakarta Stock Exchange building, where a number of
American businesses have offices, killing 15 people and
injuring dozens of others. No Americans were hurt in
this bombing. Numerous smaller blasts have occurred in
various other parts of the country. There has been an
increase in the number and size of bombs, and several of
them have exploded at busy times of day in areas
frequented by expatriate residents of Jakarta. No one
has claimed responsibility for these blasts.
Announcement - September 8, 2000
American citizens traveling to Indonesia and East
Timor should exercise extreme caution, avoiding areas of
instability and potentially dangerous situations.
On September 6, a militia mob in Atambua, West Timor,
attacked United Nations offices, killing several UN
international staff. Until violent militia activity is
brought under control, similar incidents may occur in
other areas of West Timor. The militias have
specifically targeted foreigners. American citizens are
strongly advised to avoid all travel to West Timor.
Americans in West Timor should depart immediately by the
safest means available.
The Abu Sayyaf terrorist group has been active
throughout the islands in the extreme southwest
Philippines, near Indonesia. On April 23, this group
kidnapped several foreign citizens from the Malaysian
Island of Sipadan off the coast of Borneo, an area
bordering Indonesia. American citizens traveling to the
border regions in Northern Kalimantan and Sulawesi, in
particular the smaller islands closer to the
Philippines, are urged to review their security
procedures, remain vigilant to their surroundings, keep
a low profile, and vary routes and times of all required
While support for Indonesia's first democratically
elected government has led to a general decrease in the
level of civil unrest, political infighting continues to
contribute to a sense of uncertainty. At the same time,
unrest in various regions of Indonesia continues, and
security forces have had difficulties maintaining law
and order. Citing security concerns, the government of
Indonesia has restricted the travel of U.S. and other
foreign government officials to certain areas as
East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia in
an August 30, 1999 referendum and is currently under the
authority of the United Nations' Transitional
Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). Violence erupted
throughout East Timor after the United Nations-sponsored
ballot in that province. Although a measure of stability
has returned to the territory following the arrival of
international forces, crime and lawlessness remain a
major problem. Gang violence is on the increase in the
capital of Dili and elsewhere. American citizens are
strongly encouraged to exercise caution in East Timor,
particularly during nighttime hours, and to avoid areas
along the border between East and West Timor. Militia
incursions have occurred in a western and central
districts of East Timor, and travelers wishing to visit
these areas are encouraged to consult UN authorities in
Dili before departing.
In the Molucca Islands, serious communal violence
broke out on the island of Ambon in January 1999 and has
now spread throughout this island group. The intensity
of the violence compelled the Government of Indonesia on
June 26, 2000 to declare a "Civil State of
Emergency". American citizens are urged to avoid
all travel to the Moluccas, including the provinces of
both Maluku and North Maluku. Violence in the province
of Maluku, which includes the island of Ambon, is
particularly severe, and American citizens are
encouraged to depart immediately if they are already
there. In North Maluku tensions remain high, and
American citizens should avoid traveling to that
Although anti-Christian sentiment is not widespread
in Indonesia, inflammatory statements by community
leaders, as well as violence in the Molucca Islands,
have sparked some tension between Moslem and Christian
communities elsewhere in Indonesia. Serious communal
violence has also broken out in the province of Central
Sulawesi. On January 17, 2000, anti-Christian violence
broke out on the resort island of Lombok, leading to
looting and the burning of a number of churches.
Although there has not been a recurrence of major
violence since January, American citizens should take
this earlier unrest into account when planning travel.
Lombok is about 25 miles from the island of Bali.
Demonstrations in Bali have been infrequent and have
not been directed at American citizens. Violent
demonstrations of short-lived duration occurred in
October 1999, but did not target foreigners or the major
tourist areas. Conditions in Bali quickly returned to
Political changes have given new impetus to
aspirations for independence in Aceh and Papua (formerly
known as Irian Jaya) where violent incidents continue to
occur. American citizens are strongly urged to defer all
travel to Aceh. Violence has targeted American companies
with growing frequency. American citizens resident in
Aceh should consider departing. In Papua, violence has
been less frequent. The government of Indonesia, citing
security concerns, has restricted the travel of U.S. and
other foreign government officials to the provinces of
Aceh, Papua, and Maluku. American citizens should take
this into account when planning travel to these regions.
Americans should remember that many parts of
Indonesia, including many tourist destinations, can be
isolated and difficult to reach by available
transportation or communication links. In cases of
unrest, medical emergency, or logistical problems,
travelers may find it difficult to depart quickly.
Americans also should be watchful while in urban areas,
where demonstrations and other violence can occur
Travelers and residents should ensure that passports
and important personal papers are in order in the event
that it becomes necessary to leave the country quickly.
Because the situation is uncertain and new outbreaks of
violence are possible, American citizens are advised to
consult the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and the U.S.
Consulate General in Surabaya for the most recent
security information and generally to exercise caution.
The Department of State encourages American citizens
considering travel to Indonesia to carefully review the
information available in the State Department's Consular
Information Sheet, available on the Internet at
www.usembassyjakarta.org or on the Bureau of Consular
Affairs' home page at travel.state.gov. All Americans
resident or traveling in Indonesia are encouraged to
register with the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta (telephone
62-21-344-2211), the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya
(telephone 62-31-568-2287), or the U.S. Consular Agency
in Bali (telephone 62-361-233-605) and to obtain updated
information on the security situation. Registration may
be completed in person, by fax, or through the U.S.
Embassy home page. Although a U.S. liaison office will
open in East Timor in the coming months, there is
currently no official U.S. presence there.
This Public Announcement expires on January 11, 2001.
Information Sheet - February 18, 2000
Country Description: Indonesia is an
independent republic consisting of more than 13,500
islands spread over 3,000 miles. Indonesia's economy is
developing, and tourist services are plentiful in the
major tourist areas. East Timor voted for independence
from Indonesia in an August 30, 1999 referendum and is
currently under the authority of the United Nations'
Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
UNTAET was established by a unanimous vote of the UN
Security Council on October 25, 1999, for the purpose of
rebuilding East Timor and helping to establish a new
government. Its initial mandate expires on January 31,
Entry Requirements: A passport valid for six
months beyond the intended date of departure from
Indonesia/East Timor is required. A visa is not required
for tourist stays up to two months in Indonesia. Entry
into East Timor is currently controlled by UNTAET, which
can be difficult to reach due to limited communications
infrastructure. American citizens wishing to enter East
Timor can contact the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta for
current guidance. For additional information about entry
requirements for Indonesia, travelers may contact the
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, 2020 Massachusetts
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, telephone (202)
775-5200, Internet address www.kbri.org.
Safety and Security: After over 30 years in
office, the government of President Suharto came to an
end in May 1998 amid widespread demonstrations, rioting,
and looting throughout the country. Peaceful
parliamentary elections were held in most parts of the
country on June 7, 1999 and were followed by the
election of President Abdurrahman Wahid on October 20,
1999. These steps revitalized Indonesia's political
institutions and restored a measure of stability and
security in most of the major cities, some of which
experienced violent demonstrations under the interim
government in 1998-99. Nevertheless, the political
situation remains fluid as the new government faces
continued civil strife in some important outlying areas,
most notably Aceh, Papua (the province formerly known as
Irian Jaya), and Maluku. Violence in these areas, that
continued throughout 1998 and 1999, has occasionally
targeted American citizens. Travel to these areas can be
dangerous and in some cases is to be avoided.
Over the past year, there has been widespread
violence in the Molucca Islands and Aceh. Past violence
in Aceh has sometimes targeted American companies.
Travelers should consult the most recent Public
Announcement on Indonesia for updated information on
travel to these areas.
Violence erupted throughout East Timor after the
August 30, 1999, United Nations-sponsored ballot in that
province. Although stability returned to the area with
the arrival of international forces, American citizens
are strongly encouraged to exercise caution in East
Travelers may need permits to visit certain regions
in the province of Papua. In 1996, a group of foreigners
was taken hostage for several months in Papua (then
known as Irian Jaya) by the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
U.S. citizens should exercise caution when traveling in
Demonstrations in Bali have been infrequent and have
not been directed at American citizens. Violent
demonstrations of short-lived duration occurred in
October 1999 but did not target foreigners or the major
tourist areas. In January 2000, however, serious rioting
directed against Chinese and Christians broke out in the
nearby resort island of Lombok, forcing the evacuation
of virtually all foreigners from Lombok, including the
resort areas. American citizens should consult the most
recent Public Announcement on Indonesia for updated
information on travel to Lombok.
For more specific and up-to-date information on the
safety of travel to these and other areas of Indonesia
and East Timor, please consult the most recent Public
Announcement on Indonesia, which can be found on the
Bureau of Consular Affairs' home page at travel.state.gov.
Americans can also contact the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta
or the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya for updated
information. American citizens in all parts of Indonesia
should exercise prudence and common sense, and avoid
demonstrations and other situations that could turn
Travelers and residents should always ensure that
passports and important personal papers are in order in
the event that it becomes necessary to leave the country
quickly for any reason. Americans traveling in Indonesia
should remember that much of the country, including many
tourist destinations, is isolated and difficult to reach
by available transportation or communication links.
Crime Information: The crime rate in Jakarta
is moderate but rising. Minor crimes, such as
pickpocketing and thefts, occur in popular tourist sites
throughout the country. Incidents of robbery have been
One common technique involves puncturing automobile
tires so that the occupants of the car can be robbed
while changing the tire. The number of beggars and
vagrants at intersections has increased, and thefts and
robberies from cars stopped at traffic lights have been
reported. American citizens are advised to keep car
doors locked and windows rolled up.
Americans in Jakarta who require taxis are advised to
engage a taxi either from a major hotel queue or by
calling a taxi company, rather than hailing one on the
street. Sporadic roadblocks and robberies have been
reported on the toll roads leading to the International
Airport in Jakarta.
Maritime piracy is a persistent problem in some
Indonesian waters, targeting both pleasure and
commercial vessels. Pleasure yachters are advised to
review the current security situation with their local
agent when planning itineraries and to exercise
particular care when sailing in the Straits of Malacca
between Riau Province and Singapore and in the waters
north of Sulawesi and Kalimantan.
Poaching and illegal logging are serious problems in
Indonesian parks and nature preserves. Those involved in
these activities have sometimes threatened tourists and
others in order to discourage travel to these areas.
In the aftermath of the August 1999 vote for
independence, East Timor was swept by violence that
included widespread looting and burning and, in some
cases, murder. One foreign journalist was shot to death
and several others were beaten. Although UN peacekeeping
forces have restored a measure of stability to the
region, violent incidents remain possible in border
areas. Elsewhere in the territory, theft is a potential
Lost or stolen passports should be reported to the
local police and the Embassy or nearest
consulate. Useful information on guarding valuables and
protecting personal security while traveling abroad is
provided in the Department of State pamphlet A
Safe Trip Abroad, which is available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402 or via the Internet at www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs.
Medical Facilities: The general level of
sanitation and health care in Indonesia is below U.S.
standards. Some level of routine medical care is
available in all major cities, although most expatriates
choose to leave the country for serious medical
procedures. Medical care in East Timor is extremely
limited. Serious medical problems requiring
hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and
hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health
Medical Insurance: U.S. medical insurance is
not always valid outside the United States. U.S.
Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment
for medical services outside the United States.
Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas
may face extreme difficulties. Please check with your
own insurance company to confirm whether your policy
applies overseas, including provisions for medical
evacuation. Please ascertain whether payment will be
made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you
will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for
psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in
the event of death. Useful information on medical
emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance
programs, is provided in the Department of State's
Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad,
available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page
Other Health Information: Information on
vaccinations and other health precautions may be
obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's hotline for international travelers at
1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747), fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at www.cdc.gov.
Other Health Sies: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/health/
Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a
foreign country, Western citizens may encounter road
conditions that differ significantly from those in their
homeland. The information below concerning Indonesia is
provided for general reference only and may not be
totally accurate in a particular location or
- Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
- Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Variable
- Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
- Availability of Roadside Assistance:
All traffic operates on the left side of the road,
and most vehicles use right-hand drive. Roads in major
cities and toll roads are good. Roads are narrower and
may be more poorly maintained in rural areas and remote
regions. Driving at night outside major cities can be
hazardous. Taxis are an affordable means of
transportation but should be called directly or hired
from the taxi queue at a reputable hotel. Make sure the
taxi driver agrees to take you to your destination.
Never get into a taxi already occupied by another
passenger, and always insist on using the taxi meter.
For specific information concerning the operation and
rental of motor vehicles in Indonesia, please contact
the Indonesian Directorate General of Tourism via the
Internet at www.tourismindonesia.com.
Aviation Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of
Indonesia's civil aviation authority as Category 1 - in
compliance with international aviation safety standards
for oversight of Indonesia's air carrier operations. For
further information, travelers may contact the
Department of Transportation within the U.S. at
telephone 1-800-322-7873 or visit the FAA's Internet web
site at www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.htm.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately
assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as
official providers of air services. For information
regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers
may contact the DOD at telephone (618) 256-4801.
Customs Regulations: Indonesia's customs
authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning
temporary importation into or export from Indonesia.
This is true for both commercial and personal use items
(such as prescription medicines). It is advisable to
contact the Embassy of Indonesia in Washington, DC at
(202) 775-5200 or one of Indonesia's consulates in the
United States for specific information regarding customs
Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country,
a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and
regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from
those in the United States and do not afford the same
protections available to the individual under U.S. law.
Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than
in the United States for similar offenses. Persons
violating the laws of Indonesia or East Timor, even
unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Criminal penalties for possession, use, or trafficking
in illegal drugs in Indonesia and East Timor are strict,
and convicted offenders can expect severe jail sentences
and fines. UNTAET is responsible for security and law
enforcement in East Timor.
Disaster Preparedness: Indonesia is located in
an area of high seismic activity. Although the
probability of a major earthquake occurring during an
individual trip is remote, earthquakes can and will
continue to happen. General information regarding
disaster preparedness is available via the Internet at travel.state.gov/crisismg.html
and from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
home page at www.fema.gov.
Children's Issues: For information on
international adoption of children or international
parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet
site at travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.