Security in Indonesia

This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.

Indonesia cannot be called an ideal country. This country is not without problems – earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, terrorism, civil strife, plane crashes, corruption and crime – all this the country has experienced or is experiencing Indonesia.

However, guests who come to the country to relax rarely face serious problems. The local population for the most part is hospitable and friendly (with the exception of street merchants-buggers).

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has included Indonesia in the list of countries not recommended for visiting. This is mainly due to the fact that in recent years there have been clashes between local Christians and Muslims in different parts of the country - in the Moluccas, in the state of Irian Jaya (the western part of the island of Papua New Guinea), in the north of Sumatra (Aceh). These are sluggish ongoing conflicts, periodically flaring up or fading.


Indonesia is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

The overall crime rate in Indonesia is quite low – serious crimes such as murder and rape are rarely committed.

In tourist areas, cases of theft, pickpocketing, and sometimes robberies and fraud are often recorded. Thefts from hotel rooms are noted. Crime is common on local and intercity/international public transport (buses, airplanes, ships). Try to observe general security measures: do not carry money, documents, valuables, jewelry, cell phones, etc., especially at night or in crowded places; do not accept drinks from strangers; be careful when choosing a taxi, try to use a taxi from the hotel; keep money and documents in a safe close the hotel door with a latch; do not leave valuables unattended.

Keep in mind that not only local residents can commit crimes against you. You may well suffer even from the actions of your compatriots. For example, on the streets about. Bali you will often be stopped by street touts and offered to fill out a questionnaire first, then participate in a demonstration of the hotel, etc. And in the end you will be "selling timeshare" Russian consultants.

Traditional rules of conduct

There are many traditional rules that should be followed to avoid unnecessary trouble:

  • A person's head is sacred, so beware of touching someone's head, as well as standing next to someone sitting on the ground.;
  • passionate kisses in public, hugs and other violent manifestations of feelings are considered offensive to others;
  • items must be served and received with the right hand; the left hand is considered "unclean" here;
  • pointing at something should be done with the thumb of the right hand, while the elbow should be pressed to the side; in no case should you point at anything with your foot;
  • shirtless or in a swimsuit should only appear on the beach;
  • sunbathing in the nude is indecent and illegal;
  • there is a ban on the appearance in the temple of people on whose body there is bleeding of any origin. This taboo was not introduced for the purpose of discriminating against women and extends to followers of all faiths. Valid in all temples; entrance to temples in Bali is practically free; the only requirement is to wear a sarong that hides the exposed parts of the body, which can also be rented here;
  • When visiting a mosque, a woman should have her head covered and not have naked body parts; it is customary to take off her shoes before entering.

Prohibited by law

The laws of the country prohibit:

  • Import into the country, acquire, acquire or distribute narcotic substances. The punishment is the death penalty (for foreigners it is possible to mitigate the punishment – only 20 years in prison).
  • It is impossible to stay in Indonesia longer than the period specified in the passport. If there is such a need (for example, due to illness), it is required to obtain a certificate from a doctor about the state of health and enlist the support of diplomatic services.
  • Foreigners are allowed to spend the night only in hotels and boarding houses licensed by the authorities. The owners of these establishments are required to register customers with the police.
  • Rather strict laws have been introduced regarding smoking on the street and in public places (applies mainly to Jakarta).

Health, vaccinations

Indonesia you can find any disease that is known to mankind.

Before traveling, it is recommended to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, yellow fever, malaria if you are traveling to small islands and remote parts of the country. If you are traveling to the capital of Indonesia – Jakarta, Bali or Java, vaccination is not required.

As a prevention of malaria, it is recommended to use chloroquine and proguanil, or mefloquine.

It is recommended to use repellents, swim in rubber flip-flops in places where corals accumulate (corals cause very painful wounds into which infection can get). Also, very hot sun can cause damage to health – be sure to use sunscreen and wear a hat even in the shade, otherwise the likelihood of sunburn and sunstroke increases significantly.

You can not drink tap water! Bottled drinking water is recommended to be bought "in supermarkets". You can wash and brush your teeth using tap water.

There is no need to worry about the quality of food – everything that is served in restaurants and cafes is carefully checked and processed. The only thing that needs to be monitored is that the pieces of ice served in soft drinks have the correct square shape – this means that purified water, not tap water, has become ice in this case. You should not buy drinks on the streets, especially draft drinks – you can get an intestinal infection.

Medical insurance when entering Indonesia is simply necessary, as the likelihood of minor health problems is quite high.

On the islands of Bali, Java, Lombok, medical care is developed, there are hospitals and pharmacies, in each hotel, if necessary, you can call a doctor.

In non-tourist areas of the country, the level of medical care, even for simple diseases, is quite low. Indonesians who can afford it go to neighboring Singapore for medical help.

There is a 24-hour medical service SOS Indonesia (24-hour emergency line +62-21-7506001), which specializes in helping foreigners, but the prices there are quite decent. Indonesia has a low prevalence of HIV and AIDS, but other sexually transmitted diseases are quite common.


Traffic in Indonesia is left-handed.

Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death in Indonesia for unnatural reasons, because the rules, even if they are, are rarely followed. The appearance of wild animals on the roads is also possible. You should be very careful when driving (it is recommended to rent a car with a driver).

Useful phone numbers

Emergency telephones on the island of Bali: ambulance - 118; police -110; fire service - 113; information desk - 108.

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