Travel Tips and Information
As from 2015, citizens from 90 countries can obtain a 30 day free visa from Medan Airport, Kuala Namu. However, you must show onward travel otherwise Immigrations is likely to charge you the standard $35 for a VOA 30 day visa. This visa can not be extended and you have leave on the 30th day. The day you arrive counts as your first day.
Visa On Entry
This visa is for anyone wanting to stay longer than 30 days, as it can be extended without leaving Indonesia, hence visitors can stay for 60 days. Citizens from 62 countries can apply for VOA at most Indonesian airports, costing $35. If visitors are wanting to extend then this needs to be done a week for the visa expires at the local immigration office. Here that is Medan. Visa extention now costs IDR 500,000 for another 30 days.
Visa Prior to Arrival
A 60 day visa can be obtained prior to travel to Indonesia. Visitors can apply at the local Indonesia Embassy/Consulate in their country, or within Asia, the only place is the Indonesian Consulate in Penang, Malaysia. However, they require that you have a sponsor letter.
The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival and have a valid return ticket.
Currency and Money
The currency in Indonesia is Rupiah.
Banknotes: 1000 rp, 2000 rp, 5000 rp, 10,000 rp, 20,000 rp, 50,000 rp and 100,000 rp
There is NO ATM in Bukit Lawang or next village so all visitors should take money at the airport when arriving.
The maxium amount visitors can withdraw at one time is 2,500,000 rp if the note demonination is 100,000. There are two ATMs in Bahorok (about 30 minutes) but these ONLY accept MasterCard & Maestro. Visa cards can be difficult to withdraw money from and regularly there are issues with them.
It is best to bring a couple of cards with you in case this happens. In an emergency, money can be taken from a couple of offices in Bukit Lawang, but there is a 7% charge on foreign cards. Money can be also be exchanged in Bukit Lawang, but do not expect a great rate!
Note: In the surrounding villages and attractions, people generally only accept cash.
What To Bring
Shorts and T-shirts
Long trousers, leggings and long sleeved top for the evenings.
Swimming trunks (for men), swimsuit, shorts & singlet (ladies) - this is a muslim country, its polite to be respectful
A day backpack, 20 - 35 ltrs for trekking
Pair of walking shoes, trainers or boots with socks
Sandals or flipflops
Raincoat or poncho
Plastic bags or sealable bags to keep electrical items in
Hat or cap
Insect repellent (can also buy here), suncream, hand sanitizer
Head torch or torch can be useful
Personal medical kit - items can be bought here like, paracetemol, plasters etc.
Reusable water bottle, cultlery and straw to help reduce to the plastic in here
Container or something to put cigarettes butts in if you're a smoker
Optional: Camera, Mobile Phone, Binoculors, Go-Pro/Action Camera