Security and health
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller site provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Indonesia. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.
It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.
It is also recommended that Australian travellers consult Smartraveller to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.
Drink only bottled water and avoid ice cubes.
Avoid seafood on your first visit to Indonesia and always ensure that everything you eat is freshly cooked.
Chilli and spicy food is commonly enjoyed across the archipelago, ask to separate the chilli or say upfront ‘no chilli’ when ordering food.
Indonesians prefer sugar to be used in drinks such as tea, coffee and juice often in the composition of half glass sugar and half glass the real drink, ask to separate the sugar from your tea, coffee and juice when ordering.
Although Java and Bali are considered malaria free, there is malaria in other parts. If travelling to other areas, ask your doctor whether malaria exists and what medication is best to bring with you. Other mosquito borne diseases such as Dengue Fever are prevalent, bring your usual medical kit such as paracetamol, allergy pills or other medication suitable to sooth acute stomach upset.
Prepare your immune system with sufficient Vitamin C intake prior to travelling as weather and temperature changes might affect your stamina.
Below are some common terms to use if you are sick:
- an upset stomach is ‘sakit perut’
- a headache is ‘sakit kepala’ or ‘pusing’
- masuk angin’ means you feel bloated
- if you feel nauseous say, ‘saya mual’
- a ‘dokter’ is a medical practitioner
- a ‘dokter gigi’ is a dentist
If you are travelling outside the city, carry tissues or wet towelettes to keep your hands clean after using bathrooms, as there may be no soap, towels or toilet paper.
It is common for hotels to have a doctor on call.