Here you will find the ABC about climate, money, visa etc. (the most important ones come first and in yellow)
Telephone number 112
HEALTH & SICKNESS
Ambulance telephonenumber 118 and 119
Siloam Hospital in Labuan Bajo (opened in December 2015) is the most modern hospital on the island, English is spoken. Second best is the Catholic St. Elisabeth hospital in Lela, 10 km south of Maumere. In Larantuka, Ende, Bajawa, Mbay, Borong and Ruteng are hospitals as well. If you have a choice then go for a Catholic hospital which are often better than the general hospitals ( RSDU = rumah sakit umum daerah).
Pharmacies (apotik) are plentiful in the towns. Doctors have their businesshours usually in the evening.
Buy a small bottle of minyak kayu putih (teatree oil) available in supermarkets. Cap Lang is an often sold brand. Minyak kayu putih can be used for many purposes like headache, nausea, mosquito bites, muscle pains etc.
kayu putih olie (Dutch)
Mosquito borne diseases > Malaria, dengue, cikungunya
Malaria occurs in Indonesia, occurs in Flores. That's for sure. Malaria is a serious disease with fluelike syptoms as fever, severe headaches and everything you eat has a bitter taste. There are many theories about malaria, many preventive medicines are sold to avoid malaria such as paludrine nevaquine, Lariam and Malarone. Considering to take them or not is not that easy as side effects can be serious. Keep in mind that there is no resident in Indonesia who takes preventive malariapills. The real problem in malaria areas is often the lack of money. I took malariapills for years and had to deal with the side effects of Lariam. In 2008 I got malaria (tertiana) and was sick for a few weeks but I was in good hands on Sumba and later on Jawa.
The best prevention is to avoid being bitten as preventive medication is not covered for 100%.
To keep mosquitos away you should use:
- Use Hit One Push (or an equal brand); indeed one push is
enough to keep the
moquitos away in your room (available in supermarkets)
- Mosquito repellent Sofell (the milky variant with
sereh, orange, flower and apple
scent available in supermarkets)
- Vitamine B1
- No perfumes
- Light coloured clothes which cover arms and legs
This is another serious disease, similar to malaria with pains behind the eyes. There is no cure for dengue so rest is the solution and avoiding being bitten. See above at the malaria chapter.
On Flores the Cikungunya virus is active. The virus, locally known as a malaria variety (which is not) is spread by mosquitos. Symptons resemble those of malaria with high fever, headaches, joint pain. There is no prevention drug.
A natural prevention used by locals is tea made from papaya leaves which is awfull bitter but
Be careful as the sun in the tropics is very strong. Solution: clothes that cover most of your body and/or use of sunscreen. Take your own favourite brand from home as sunscreen in Indonesia is more expensive and there is less choice.
Not uncommon on Flores. Take a slice of ginger (jahe), which you can buy at the local market to chew on during the trip.
Do not drink tapwater! Water from the tap is not always safe so stick to bottles of mineralwater (brands on Flores are Ruteng and Aqua) and also drink a bit more than you use to do at home.
What to take from your homecountry?
Although the pharmacies (apotik) are well stocked you might take some of your own specific needs and/or brands like:
· Contactlens liquid
· Herpescream (sometimes difficult to find)
· Medication with prescription
· Mosquito repellent (only if you are addicted to your own brand)
· Painkillers (ibuprofen, paracetamol)
· Sunscreen (small choice and expensive in Indonesia)
Since many hotels offer WiFi tourists hardly bother to find a warnet (warung internet = internet café). However, not all hotels offer free WiFi and when making an overland trip you will be on the road a big part of the day. If you have a smartphone you can buy credits (pulsa) for your Indonesian telephonenumber (see news and the chapter telephone here below) which you can use for an internet package. For one month you pay Rp 50.000 (Telkomsel € 3,50). You need to upload with Rp 100.000 first, then choose which package you want. De remaining pulsa you can use for sms and/or telephonecalls. For most travellers this will do during their stay in Indonesia.
Note: all Indonesian simcards have to be registered. When using Telkomsel this can be done at a GraPARI office. On Flores are offices in Larantuka, Maumere, Ende, Ruteng and Labuan Bajo. However maybe it is more practical to arrange this in advance for example on Bali. There is a GraPARI office on Sunset Road in Kuta.
The Indonesian currency is Rupiah. Except for your visa outside the airports or seaports where you enter the country it is not common to pay in other currencies.
Rp 1000 - Rp 2000 - Rp 5000 - Rp 10.000 - Rp 20.000 - Rp 50.000 - Rp 100.000
Rp 100 - Rp 200 - Rp 500 - Rp 1000
If possible try to pay in the exact amount, especially on angkot, buses and taxi’s.
Below new money since December 2016
Every town has several atm’s (automatic teller machine) with most choice in Ende and Maumere. Before departure make sure your card is activated for international withdrawing money. Be careful: at most atm's money comes out first, then your card. Atm’s give Rp 50.000 and Rp 100.000 banknotes. Most atm's on Flores give a maximum of Rp 1.000.000 to Rp 3.000.000 with an average of Rp 2.000.000 and
Rp 2.500.000 at one time. However, you can repeat this several times with a maximum up to Rp 8.000.000 depending on your bank, the Indonesian bank and the place
where you are. Sometimes you have to insert your pin for every transaction even the machine still holds your debitcard.
Banks & atm's on Flores
· BCA (Bank Central Asia)
· BNI (Bank Negara Indonesia)
· BRI (Bank Republik Indonesia)
These can be used for purchasing tickets via the internet and sometimes for hotels however on Flores very few and only the more expensive hotels. There are also failures now and then, so don't rely on it and better to use cash.
Don’t use your provider/telephonenumber from home. It is cheaper to buy an Indonesian simcard like Simpati, kartu As or Kartu Halo from Telkomsel. There are other providers but the coverage of Telkomsel is one of the best, at least on Flores.
Since 1st March 2018 every simcard has to be registered, also for foreigners See also: tourists required to register prepaid simcards
Telkomsel Simcards can be registered at one of the GraPARI Stores. On Flores there are not so many GraPARI points. There is one in Larantuka, Maumere, Ende, Ruteng and Labuan Bajo. But as most visitors come from Bali maybe it is more convenient to buy and register your card on Bali. GraPARI, Jl. Sunset Road, Kuta-Seminyak. https://www.telkomsel.com/en/contact-us/my-grapari
Telkomsel has a complicated tarif system. Telephonecalls within Indonesia are cheap. For calling outside Indonesia use the special number 0017 or ask your relatives to call you with a budget number. Even better is making telephonecalls via the internet like What’s App, Line, Messenger or BBM. See also “Internet”.
For making telephonecalls from Indonesia add + as the international code, followed by landnumber and telephonenumber without the 0.
For a 30 day visit you don’t need a visa. You will get stamp on the international airport, seaport or landborder. For the total list check this website: https://wikitravel.org/en/Indonesia and scroll down to "Get in". This free visa stamp cannot be extended.
If you want an extendable visa you can buy a VOA (visa on arrival) for 35 US$ or the
equivalent in euro or Rupiah (no other currency).
A 60 day visa is available at one of the embassies or consulates abroad.
Visa Den Haag (The Netherlands)
Your passport must be valid at least 6 months upon arrival in Indonesia!
If you overstay your visa then the official penalty is Rp 1.000,000 per day you have overstayed. The maximum allowed time you can overstay is 60 days.
If you have overstayed your Indonesia visa for more than 60 days then you are in the country without valid visa (...). The
punishment for not having a valid visa is a maximum 5 years sentence or maximum Rp 500,000,000 penalty. (article #119 of UU 6/2011).
FOOD & DRINKS
Indonesia has a huge diversity of food. Every island, town or area has its own speciality. Common dishes like nasi goreng, soto ayam, gado2 or nasi padang are widely available and almost always in many varieties. In Labuan Bajo you will find some western restaurants in particular Italian eateries and also some bakeries.
See also the language list.
Here the favourites and widely avaible dishes
Flores has its own specialities like ikan kuah asam (fish in sweet-hot-sour sauce) but unfortunately hard to find in warung.
Vegetarian or vegan
The choice is very few. There are no alternatives like in western countries.
It will be:
nasi goreng (ask without terasi), gado2, fried tofu (tahu) and tempe, eggs and vegetables.
There is a lot of choice in drinks. Softdrinks in many varieties are available in supermarkets, minimarkets and small shops along the road. Juices like mango, pineapple, orange, melon etc are sold in eateries in touristy areas like Moni, Bajawa and Labuan Bajo.
Alcoholic drinks include local beer and radler (Bir Bintang, Prost), moke (arrack) produced by local farmers and tuak (fresh palmwine). Moke (Arrack) from Flores is safe to drink and tastes far much better than the one from Bali. Unlike the western part of Indonesia in Flores it is still easy to buy alcoholic drinks due to local rules and tradition. The best moke is from Adonara (Flores Timur), but widely sold in Larantuka and from Aimere and Boba (Ngada). The one from Aimere you will pass on your overlandtrip.
Imported drinks like whisky, gin, wodka, liquors and wines (especially from Bali and Australia) are available in Labuan Bajo (there are special wineshops but prices are better in the supermarkets like Roxy), Ruteng (shop on jalan Kelimutu), Maumere (Winehop, Jalan J. Sudirman 1) and in Mbay. Probably also in Ende and Mbay but I didn’t met them yet.
Note that imported drinks are (far more) expensive
(than in Europe). For a Johnny Walker Red Label expect to pay anything between Rp 500.000 and Rp. 1.000.000
(...) for a 750 ml bottle (between € 33,00
and € 65,00). A bottle of Australian red wine is around Rp 325.000 (where in Europe € 6,00) for the cheapest one. A good alternative is Two Islands, a
Bali/Australian production for around Rp 225.000 (€ 14,00) but only
available in Labuan Bajo.
A choice of drinks:
The official language is Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) with Malay language as a base. However there are some 750 dialects and languages all over the country. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Indonesia
It's a little unclear how many languages exactly are spoken on Flores. One is talking about 19 languages including Komodo, Manggarai (West Flores), Ngada, Nage, Keo, Ende (Central Flores) Lamaholot, Lio, Nagi, Palue (East Flores). Fact is that they are languages, not just dialects or tongues. Most people speak Bahasa Indonesia. To learn Bahasa Indonesia is not too difficult since you can choose between simple “pasar Malay” without bothering with grammar and the official “read a paper” version. At least try to learn some simple words and you will make friends.
A typical an universal word on Flores not to be translated. People on Flores use the word when they meet each other, when they agree, when the ask permission to go.
Een typisch woord op Flores, dat niet te vertalen is. Mensen gebruiken het als ze elkaar groeten, als ze ergens mee instemmen, toestemming vragen om te gaan. te gebruiken op gevoel dus.
Selamat pagi - good morning (from dawn till 10.00 am)
Selamat siang - good day (10.00 am - 15:00 pm)
Selamat sore - good afternoon (15:00 pm -dusk)
Selamat malam - good evening
Selamat tidur - good night
Selamat makan - enjoy your meal
Selamat jalan - have a good trip
Selamat can be literally translated into “be safe or safely” and is multi useful.
Terima kasih - thank you
Sama sama - you’re welcome
Sampai ketemu lagi - see you again, untill we meet again
Forms of address in Indonesia are quite complicated for foreigners as there are dozens of them depending on the island, the situation, manners and local customs. These are the most common ones.
Ibu - misses (literally mother)
Nona - miss (in the east only, eg Flores, Maluku etc)
adik/dik - for a boy/kid which is (much) younger than yourself
Bapak/om - mister *(literally father/uncle)
The other way around: almost everyone on Flores will call you mister, even if you are a woman...
LINKS (which could be useful)
https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulau_Flores (Bahasa Indonesia)
http://www.florestourism.com/ (Swiss Contact)
NATIONAL PARKS ENTRANCE FEES
Indonesia, and Flores also has a complicated system for entrance fees and you need at least a calculator. Don’t shoot the messenger… Here below actual fees for the national parks. They are due to change frequently. These fees apply to non-Indonesian citizens. Indonesian citizens pay only a very small fraction of it.
Komodo National Park
Prices below are for foreigners, eg non residences from Indonesia *
Entrance ticket Rp 175,000 per person working days
Entrance ticket Rp 275,000 per person Sundays and National Holidays
Tourism Tax Rp 50,000 per person
Ranger fee Rinca Rp 80,000 per group up to 5 people
Ranger fee Komodo Rp 80,00 per group up to 5 people
Entrance ticket Boat Rp 100,000 per boat
Fishing fee Rp 25,000 per person
Toilet fee not yet known
Hiking fee Rp 5,000 per person
Wildlife observation fee Rp 10,000 per person
Canoeing fee Rp 25,000 per person
Diving fee Rp 25,000 per person
Snorkeling fee Rp 15,000 per person
Entrance ticket Komodo National Park 5.000 rp (7.500 rp) per person
Seventeen Islands National Park (Riung)
Entrance ticket Rp 100,000 per person
Entrance ticket Rp 150,000 per person Sundays and National Holidays
Car Parking Rp 10,000 per car
Kelimutu National Park
Entrance ticket Rp 150,000 per person workingdays
Entrance ticket Rp 275,000 per person Sundays and National Holidays
Car Parking Rp 10,000 per car
Bus Parking Rp 50,000 per bus
All tickets are valid for 1 day. No discount for children. Note that prices are due to change often.
Ramadan is the holy month of Islam and muslims are considered 30 days fasting. It is one of the five obligations according to the Qur'an (the holy book of Islam). The other four are the shahada (creed), pray five times a day, zakat (alms for the poor at the end of Ramadan) and a visit to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. The fasting lasts from dawn until dusk (in Indonesia depending on the place somewhere between 3.30 and 4.30 in the morning until somewhere between 17:30 and 18:30 in the afternoon). During the day/daylight muslims are not allowed to eat, drink, or smoke and they are not allowed to have sex.
The thought behind this is to cleanse and renew the body and mind and to empathize with the poor.
After a month of fasting Idul Fitri is celebrated for 2 days followed by a (short) holiday. Ramadan moves each year (because of the Islamic calendar) about 10 days forward on. During the fastingmonth it can be difficult in Indonesia to find a place to eat during the day because many warung and restaurants are closed. Also, transport can be a problem. Because the majority of Flores is Roman Catholic travelers will have not much trouble to find food during the day.
However, keep in mind that many muslims turn home shortly before Idul Fitri to visit their family (pulang kampung) and flights can be more expensive or sold out.
Ramadan 27 May-24 June*
Idul Fitri 25 and 26 June, followed by Lebaran until the end of June*
Ramadan 16 May-14 June*
Idul Fitri 15 and 16 June, followed by Lebaran until around 24 June*
Ramadan 5 May-4 June*
Idul Fitri 5 and 6 June, followed by Lebaran until around 13 June*
*dates can vary one day later or earlier.
Ramadan 24 April-24 May*
Idul Fitri 24 & 25 May, followed by Lebaran until around 2 June*
*dates can vary one day later or earlier.
Indonesia is divided in three timezones
WIB Waktu Indonesia Barat = West Indonesian Time GMT + 7
WITA Waktu Indonesia Tenggara = Central Indonesian Time GMT + 8
WIT Waktu Indonesia Timur = East Indonesian Time GMT + 9
Flores is in WITA and 6/7 hours (summer/winter) ahead from European Central Time (Amsterdam, Madrid, Paris, Rome) and GMT +8.
TRAVELGUIDES & MAPS
Worldwide many travelguides are offered in well stocked bookshops as well on the internet. Most writings about Flores are part of an Indonesian guide. However on the island itself you can purchase yourself wonderful guides and a map published by Swiss Contact.
The most complete map of Flores (2012) with maps of the small towns and some trekkingareas.
The first edition is full of information with practical info and small maps of the most important touristcentres.
This is a diving special with detailed descriptions of divingspots between Labuan Bajo and Sumbawa. A must have for divers.
The third one is for naturelovers, trekkings and mounteneers.
Sometimes there are maps and brochures available of the seperate regencies. I found them of Sikka, Manggarai Barat and Manggarai Timur.
VISITING THE NATIONAL PARKS
Komodo National Park
Labuan Bajo has dozens of agents, small offices and people on the road offering trips to Komodo NP.
What expect to pay?
To be honest, I really don' t know.
Every time I come to Labuan Bajo (which is at least twice a year) I am suprised about prices which have increased the last decade. For a daytrip the prices are between
Rp 350.000 and Rp 650.000 per person for a normal open deck boat. For a private boat prices can be anything between Rp 1.500.000 (1,5 million) and Rp 4.000.000 (4 million) for exact the same type of boat. Nobody can explain why these prices are that high. Back in 2012 I paid Rp 550.000 for a private boat for a trip Rinca and a "snorkling" Island on the way back but in January 2016 I had to bargain hard to pay 1,7 million instead of the asked 2,3 million for a trip Padar and Komodo. The lowest price I have heard in 2018 was 1,5 millon (Rp 1.500.000) for a full day, starting at 5.30 am untill late afternoon.
These days there also speedboats for rent starting around 5 million a day. You also can go by speedboat on a shared trip. So the message is: shop around and bargain hard.
A few things to keep in mind:
See also RENTING A BOAT FOR KOMODO NP
Prices for boats is one thing, but at all times SAFETY FIRST
Riung National Marine park 17
This national park is smaller, more laid back and less touristic. The park is not as impressive as Komodo NP but many guests like the simple environment without the hectic of Labuan Bajo.
You can hire a boat from the harbour for Rp 400.000 to Rp 600.000 on a shared trip but as there are less visitors this is not always possible. A good alternative is to arrange a boat via your hotel or guesthouse which is private but maybe you can share with other guests of the hotels. Expect to pay between 1 and 1,6 million for a boat depending on how many people (this is usually including the entrance fee for the national park), the season and if a snorklingguide comes with you or not. Many guests are satisfied when taking one of the private boats. Riung is also very small so to arrange everything is easy.
You also can camp on one of the islands; campinggear is available in a few accomodations. Registration by a local guide or guesthouse is required. As this is a tailored trip there are no fixed prices as everything also depend on what the guests want. The sea in this area is more calm than in the Komodo NP area.