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By No owner — last modified Apr 07, 2017 02:17 PM

 Indonesia - Formalities


NEW Indonesian CIQP procedures came into effect from the 27th February, 2016.

The CAIT, Green Book/Sailing Permit and use of an Agent to obtain clearance papers are no longer required.

AIS however is now mandatory and the authorities will want to know the MMSI associated with the unit. The new system should be quicker, easier, cheaper and more efficient.

Whilst this new online system is improving all the time, it will take time to filter down through the islands and numerous ports of entry. Feedback from cruisers however is good, and it appears to now be functioning in the majority of ports.

The below information is correct "officially", however it is important to bear in mind that Indonesia has thousands of outlying islands and it is very difficult for the government to enforce their Laws, with each port interpreting them in their own way. Formalities may be inconsistent from port to port.

New Regulation Requirements

  • Up to 24 hours prior to your arrival in a Port of Entry, log-in to the the new Yacht Electronic Registration System at Complete the necessary forms.
  • Print out the forms and present them to the authorities at your first port of entry (make several copies).
  • The forms are self-explanatory and require similar information to what was previously required with the CAIT, such as chosen entry port, list of ports you intend to visit, ETA/ETD and so on.
  • When listing your itinerary, it is wise to put down all the islands on the intended route (and any others you may have to deviate to for repairs/emergencies) as yachts may not deviate from the ports listed. Restricted areas are East Timor and Papua.
  • By registering on this system, the Indonesian authorities will look through the documents and decide whether a yacht is eligible to enter Indonesia or not. If a yacht is on their black list, they will be notified. If not, they may enter Indonesia and perform CIQP procedures at any Port of Entry of their choice.
  • Entry must be made at one of the 19 official Ports of Entry listed in the Cruising Declaration Form. (Note: Currently Jayapura, Papua is not on the list, but may be added in the near future).
  • On arrival at the Port of Entry, the Cruising Declaration Form (as printed out from the On-line system) must be submitted to the Harbour Authority within 24 hours along with your port clearance from your last port of call. You will then be issued with a Port Clearance form for Indonesia (SPB).
  • Should you arrive later at your first Port of Entry than the ETA stated on your online Cruising Declaration Form, your arrival date can be changed on arrival as long as you have not visited other Indonesian ports during the voyage from your last port of call.
  • Once cleared into Indonesia, yachts only need to visit the Harbour office at each port visited for a stamp on their SPB.
  • If for some reason you need to visit a port that is not on your declared itinerary, report to the harbour master in the previous port for authorisation.
  • The Vessel Declaration Form (again from the on-line system) acts as a letter of guarantee, therefore temporary import documentation is no longer required.
  • No agent is officially required for clearance.
  • The Indonesian government yacht commitee have agreed that "for the purpose of their safety and security, AIS is mandatory for all foreign yachts cruising in Indonesian waters". You will need the MMSI number associated with the unit to complete the registration forms.

  • Notes

  • Should the officials at your first port of entry not be fully aware of the new system in place for international yachts, it is recommended you print out a copy of the official notification memorandum (in Indonesian) to present should it be necessary.
  • Choose your first port of entry with care. Customs rules are that skippers must report to the Customs office at the first port of entry every 6 months. Whilst some permit this reporting to be done by e-mail, telephone or fax, others require a visit in person. See Customs section below for more details.

    Inward Clearance

    Ensure that your first port of entry is noted correctly using the online system All the information required is now entered on line and you will be prompted to print out the completed form for submission on arrival at your chosen port of entry. You may also want you to notify them via e-mail in advance.

    On arrival, fly the "Q" flag, anchor and wait for Customs, Immigration and Port officials to come to the vessel, during office hours (08.00-16.00 LOCAL TIME).

    Note that in addition the the "Q" flag, you may be required to fly the "N" flag also (the reason for this is not known). It is also required that the Indonesian courtesy flag must be larger than the boat's state flag.

    No one must go ashore or make contact with other vessels until clearance is complete. A small charge may be made for clearance outside of working hours. Arrival on a Friday afternoon should be avoided as many officials are Muslim and normally finish work at 11:30 on Fridays.

    Having waited on board for a reasonable time, if no official comes to the yacht, the captain should go ashore and contact the authorities. Usually the following offices have to be visited: Quarantine, Customs, Immigration and Port Authority, in that order. Occasionally Quarantine and Customs may insist on inspecting the boat personally. This procedure only applies to major ports as in smaller ports, the officials may ignore the boat altogether, especially if it is anchored out of their sight.

    Under Indonesian law there are no fees for clearing in or out of the country, however, at some ports it may be difficult to avoid having to give "a gift". Be prepared to bargain over how much it needs to be.

    A Boat Stamp is very much a requirement here for all the paperwork generated.

    See Customs for details of permitted length of stay for visiting yachts.

    Domestic Clearance: Yachts only need to complete full clearance procedures at the first Indonesian Port of Entry and at the Exit Port before leaving Indonesian waters. When visiting other ports, only a visit to the Harbour office for a stamp on the SPB is required (although some cruisers have reported that even this is not enforced).

    Outward Clearance

    Only a visit to Customs and Immigration is required on departure.

    Last updated December 2016.

    We would appreciate feedback from cruisers who use the new system. Contact


Passports must be valid for more than six months after date of entry.

New Visa Regulations - February 2016

Nationals of 90 countries are now eligible for a visa-free visit of up to 30 days. This cannot be extended.

If a visa on arrival is requested, then the initial 30-day visa can be extended for another month. Note however that visa on arrival is not possible in every port of entry (Sorong being one of them). So if you arrive without a visa and want to stay more than a month, you will need to exit Indonesia (for East Timor for example) and obtain a proper visa before re-entering.

Tourist visas are easy to obtain prior to arrival for 2 months and can be extended every month for a maximum of 6 months (so 8 months in the country in total).

Note: There are two types of 211 Social Visas, a 211/60 visa and a 211/30 visa.

The 211/30 visa is usually given for conventions or meetings that are short term and the 211/60 is given for Social/Cultural purposes. Be sure to ask for a 211/60 visa which will enable you to stay in the country for at least 60 days.

Requirements for this visa are: Passport, Copy of passport Photo page, Passport-size photo, Copy of bank account showing funds to be able to leave Indonesia (state that you are travelling on a boat).
Application forms are in English.

Visa Extensions

These tend to be slow; expect to have to wait 5 or more days to get this done. It is wise therefore to allow time in your schedule for processing. Ambon and Tual immigration offices have reported to be efficient however, processing extensions in 24 hours.

For a visa extension bring passports, original Sponsor Letter and a photocopy of your sponsor's ID. There is a standard 300k charge per person for extensions.

It really is useful to obtained a visa before arrival.  A good place to obtain them is at the Indonesian Consulate in Darwin.

- Indonesian Embassies in Malaysia tend to be very customer friendly.
- Even with a tourist visa, some nationalities my only be granted a 30 day visa (some South American countries).
-  If you don't renew before the 30 days have expired (so overstay the 30 days), you will be charged a hefty fine. So if you see 30 days printed on the visa, renew it 7 days before the 30 days is up to avoid any problems.
- Sometimes the Sponsor's letter will not be enough and Immigration will want to see the actual sponsor. To try and avoid this be sure to carry the original sponsor's letter (not a copy) and a photocopy of the sponsor's ID. 
- Cruisers have reported that in Bali, when going for a 3rd or 4th visa extension, the sponsor must be present and must be a Bali resident. The same applies in Lombok.

Retirement Visas

Indonesia also offers retirement visas for 12 months, so people can stay in the country, fly home and re-enter Indonesia whenever they like.

Arriving and/or Leaving by Air

Crew wishing to join a boat - or - leave Indonesia by air - may find that Immigration officials want them to leave by the same means that they arrived.

Their intentions should be made clear on the visa application and again on entry into the country.

It usually simplifies matters, if the skipper intends to temporarily leave the boat, to sign himself on as crew.

Crew arriving by air should have a copy of the cruising permit so as to avoid the need for a return ticket. This won't however prevent possible problems when checking-out of Indonesia on board the yacht. Cruisers have reported being unable to leave Indonesia with guests on board who have flown into Indonesia to meet the yacht, and have been told they must leave Indonesia using the same mode of transport by which they arrived. Rather inconvenient. The use of an agent may help if intending to have crew fly into Indonesia to join the yacht and depart the country on board.

Crew that needs to be signed off the boat while in Bali, must leave Bali on an international flight. Those who need to fly via Jakarta, thus leaving Bali on a domestic flight, need to be accompanied by an Immigration officer, the person who leaves being responsible for the return fare to Bali of the Immigration official.


  • One should carry a large quantity of photocopies of documents, especially the cruising permit and yacht registration document, enough to be given to officials at all ports of call. Note however that many offices are now becoming "paperless" and scanning documents, which is a good thing.
  • A list of offices where visa extensions can be obtained can be found at
  • There is a $20/day fine for visa over stays.

Last updated April 2017.


All forms now required are generated by the new on-line system.

Vessel Declaration Form

Under the new regulations, temporary import documentation (PIB) for foreign yachts arriving in Indonesia for Customs purposes has changed. It has now been replaced with the requirement to submit a Vessel Declaration Form to Customs via the new online system in advance of your arrival. This will be forwarded to the Customs Office at your chosen first Port of Entry.

The Vessel Declaration Form can be used as a protection document during your cruising in Indonesia. The Declaration is valid for 6 (six) months and automatically extends every 6 (six) months up to a maximum of 3 (three) years, as long as you report to a Customs Office every 6 months for renewal.

This is where the confusion begins. Feedback from cruisers and officials has resulted in varying answers as to how this reporting should be done:

  • Return to Customs at your original POE every 6 months (Benoa).
  • Report to Customs at your original POE by e-mail, phone or fax every 6 months (Sabang and Tual).
  • Report to ANY Customs office every 6 months (yacht agent).

With so much confusion as to how this reporting should be done, it is recommended you check this procedure with Customs at your first port of entry. Use of an agent may also help.

The time-limit for the Vessel Declaration applies to the yacht only. The crew must adhere to their visa regulations.

Firearms may be left on board if they can be locked and sealed. If not, they will be taken ashore and bonded until the yacht leaves. This can involve Military Intelligence and other problems, so having a sealable locker is advisable.

It is also advisable to declare any alcohol and have Customs seal that in a locker too.

Bringing spare boat parts into Indonesia
There is a clause in Indonesian customs that recognises that your boat and parts are under temporary import from Customs thus negating the need to pay any taxes or duty on any items associated with the vessel. Ask your agent for details.

Last updated September 2016.


Malaria prophylaxis is advised, although the risk is generally low.
Cholera is a risk.
Jakarta water should not be drunk so if you fill your tanks here best keep it for washing or dose it with chlorine. Drinking water is much cheaper to buy here than in Singapore.

The biggest danger is infected cuts and bites, but local doctors offer good treatment.

Cruisers checking into Sorong in June 2016 reported that this was the first country they had visited where officials wanted to see the crew's international vaccination cards.


Surat Jalan - a permit specific to travel in Papua

For sailors in Papua and West Papua, police currently require a surat jalan. This is a local travel permit which is not provided in advance, but can be obtained from police at your port of entry in Papua or West Papua. The police are very serious about this paperwork being acquired.

See Jayapura for more details.

Note: Since the introduction of the new Clearance System for yachts in Indonesia, we have not received confirmation that this paperwork is still required.

Last updated December 2016.


Under Indonesian law there are no fees for clearing in or out of the country, however, at some ports it may be difficult to avoid having to give "a gift". Be prepared to bargain over how much it needs to be.

Overtime is charged outside of working hours.

There is a harbour departure charge in Bali.

Visa-on-arrival fee is approx. US$35, valid for 30 days (NOT 1 month) and the day of arrival and the day of departure both count.

The 60-day Sponsored Social/Cultural Visa ("Sosbud") costs about US$45.

Last updated June 2016.


Yachts are strictly prohibited to charter during their cruising in Indonesian waters. The yacht and crew are only permitted one voyage through Indonesian waters as stated on their cruising declaration form, from their first port of entry to their port of exit with the time period being the same as that on their visitors visa..

Travel to Irian Jaya requires a special permit from the State Police. Violence is possible in Northern Sumatra and South Maluku.

Local Customs

As a rule, Indonesians are courteous and understanding. Visitors should be the same. Like other countries of SE Asia, a calm attitude is highly admired, especially if things are going wrong. Keep calm and cool when bargaining, or when delayed.

Indonesia is largely a Muslim country. Dress modestly (no shorts, short skirts, sleeveless dresses or shirts). Public nudity and topless bathing are not acceptable.

The following are considered disrespectful:
- touching the head (especially those of children).
- using the left hand to give or receive, when eating with fingers, use the right hand only.
- pointing with fingers, use your thumb.
- beckoning (a bus or person) with your hand raised, use a flapping motion of your right hand down by your side.
- crossing your legs when sitting.
- putting your feet on tables.
- entering a house with your shoes on.

A great website that has some excellent articles on Balinese culture (symbolism, dances, offerings, calendar etc.) is produced by Murni's (hotel, restaurant in Ubud). Go to Our thanks to SV Totem for passing this on.

Clearance Agents

Asia Pacific Superyachts Indonesia
Offices in Surabaya, Bali and Lombok but coverage is nationwide
Tel:+62 361 736610
Sail and Motor yachts, generally in 20m+ range
Frenky Charles
Jl Taruna Rt 05 Rw o3 Kelurahan Tode Kisar, Kupang
Yacht service Agent in Kupang. Speaks good English. Clearance for Indonesia and West Timor (plus organises food delivery, fuel, tour and money change). Sponsor for cultural visa 30 USD/person.
Hellen Sarita de Lima, S.H.
Jakarta & Ambon
Tel:+62 813 4304 3600
Clearance and shore support services.
Isle Marine Services
Serangan (just north of Bali Marina) , Benoa Harbour , Bali
Tel:+62 361 996 74 51 - Mobile: +62 (0) 81 238 478 50
Contact Ruth. Clearance, Visas, Moorings available, Guardinage.
PT. Indonusa Segaramarine
Contact: Stephanus S. Djajasaputra
Established in 1996, superyacht agents based in Bali.


Animals must remain on board on most islands. There are severe penalties on Bali for landing animals.

Share |
jkcoolbaugh says:
Apr 06, 2017 09:06 AM

Regarding the new visa regulations, we just applied for the 2-month social visa (extendable after in monthly increments upto 6 months) in Penang at the Indonesian Consulate. The process was totally painless, and the staff were very helpful. We went on a Wednesday morning just after 0900, and the place was not busy at all. We were given applications to fill out, and a number in the queue. We were seen within 15 minutes, paid our RM205 each, and were told to return the following day after 1400. We returned at 1530 on Thursday, and immediately collected our passports. Requirements were:
Copy of passport Photo page
Passport-size photo
Copy of bank account showing funds to be able to leave Indonesia (we stated that we were traveling on our boat, and they did not require an onward flight ticket).
The application provided was in Bahasa and English. The counter clerk was helpful if we had questions about the form.
Kudos to the staff at the Consulate for a smooth process.
Jim & Katie
s/v Asylum

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 03, 2016 12:48 PM

Posted on behalf of EMcE on 29th October 2016

Here I would like to publish my experience in Indonesia. We obtained our 60 day visas in Davao (Philippines )) and planned a cruise south to Australia. When our little boy suffered seasickness we decided to check in at Bitung. The Immigration officials we dealt with were the most obliging, friendly, welcoming officials I have ever experienced throughout the parts of the world I have been to. Full marks Indonesia. You have a beautiful country, largely unspoiled and a friendly welcoming people. My sadness is my need to leave before seeing more.

Carolyn Goodlander
Carolyn Goodlander says:
Aug 20, 2016 04:01 AM

Don't know if Australian LPG bottles are the same. Newer American LPG bottles have a safety press fitting inside the tank fill. We hired someone to gravity fill our bottle 9 kg, and it would only fill 6kg with old fitting on his hose.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 08, 2016 11:40 AM

In Tanjung Pandan on Belitung you can have US-style LPG tanks filled.
Contact Harun at +62 8117178895 or Harun is a very interesting and nice man and will be happy to help you with sourcing parts or any other assistance. If you are anchored at Kelayang on the NW corner of the island, Efan who runs a restaurant and yacht services on the beach at the foot of the pier (Phone +62 81278344854 or +62 81977781455) can arrange transport for your LPG tanks to Tanjung Pandan which is about a 35 minute drive. Efan also rents cars and motorbikes and can get diesel.
I believe the tank fittings for US tanks are the same as Australian. But I haven’t filled my tanks in Australia so I can’t say for sure. I know I could fill my US tanks in NZ.
s/v Migration

cruiser45 says:
Apr 06, 2016 05:20 AM

We are going to join the Sail2Indonesia Rally this year and have heard about some problems with getting LPG bottles filled as the Indonesians do not have the same fittings as we do in Australia. If anyone can offer me advice,send me a pic of said fitting or supply me with the specifications of said fitting I have someone who can make an adapter for me

zholland says:
Jan 16, 2016 06:13 PM

Opportunity to help in Komodo.

Komodo is a beautiful island to visit -- uncrowded, fine snorkeling, and of course the awesome Komodo dragons in the national park. There is also a village near the park, and the delightful people there could use your help if you have some electrical expertise. They have a small solar-powered reverse osmosis desalination system that was built for them a few years ago, so they wouldn't have to walk 7 kilometers to get fresh water. But the system no longer works, and the folks who built it are nowhere to be found. When the system is turned on, its circuit breakers immediately trip off. If you are bound for this area and think you can help, contact me for more details --

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 22, 2015 03:02 PM

Transiting through Indonesia - stopping to refuel.
Posted on behalf of Robert Geier / SY China Dolphin

While in transit from Darwin to Malaysia I needed to refuel, but did not have a visa or CAIT for Indonesia, so was not sure what kind of reception I would get when I stopped in Bali looking for diesel. There is was an Indonesian Marine Police boat stationed in Benoa Harbour, and after explaining my problem to them they were extremely helpful in letting me tie up alongside, calling their fuel supplier who turned up with a barge about an hour later and charged a very low rate for diesel, and drove me to an ATM to get cash for payment. I am not sure if all cruisers will get this kind of help when stopping in Bali to refuel without visa or CAIT, or if I just got lucky, but worth trying if anyone else is in a similar situation.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 15, 2015 09:59 PM

Hi Daniel, Jimmy does talk about routes to and from Indonesia in chapter 18 of WCR. His "World Cruising Destinations" goes into more detail about the cruising season there. In a nutshell; yachts usually cruise the islands from east to west and if this is planned to coincide with the SE monsoon (May to September) this will benefit from favourable winds. Yachts arriving from the north, should encounter more favourable winds during the NW monsoon (December to April), but this is not necessarily the ideal time as the weather is rainy and squally (plus is the cyclone season in the Timor and Arafura Seas). Jimmy recommends planning a voyage for the transitional period - head south during the spring (March to April) and north in the autumn (September to October).
Suggest you also read the cruiser reports adjacent as this will give you a good idea of timings.
You might also want to post your question on the weather and routing forum - link to it from top left of noonsite below the Pantaenius logo.
Finally - try taking a look at various cruiser blogs - there are heaps listed on the cruisers websites page (under general tab above) - go to the SE Asia section and check them out.

Daniel Baydreamer
Daniel Baydreamer says:
Aug 15, 2015 05:36 AM

Hello guys!

Does anyone know where to find information about when to sail in Indonesia? Is it ok to leave the Pacific late november (just before the cyclone season kicks in) and straight up to Indonesia towards Thailand? I have the "BIBLE" (world cruising routes) onboard but I fond no information about this area!


Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 21, 2015 08:05 AM

Posted on behalf of SY Yindee Plus:
We arranged our CAIT for Indonesia with Lytha in Jakarta ("PT. Kartasa Jaya": email It was superbly efficient and we received the documents by email within the 30 days she stated. The original CAIT was posted to us by courier and should have arrived 'next day' but took two, so pretty good.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 29, 2015 06:30 PM

Posted on behalf of Rebecca Childress:
Update on our experience using our Indonesia Social Visa (Visit Visa) from Timor Leste

We were surprisingly stamped in for 60 days when we checked in to Kupang, even though our visa said 30 days on entry, and then renewable up to 6 months. Unfortunately, when we went to renew the visa after 45 days, we were told that it was our fault that we were 15 days overdue, and there would be quite a large fine (almost $1000 USD!). We were able to negotiate out of this fee, but by the time this was complete we only had 3 days left on the 60 days. Not enough time to renew the visa again in Lombok, so we were forced to check out and leave Indonesia.

SO if you see 30 days printed on the visa, renew it 7 days before the 30 days is up to avoid any problems ...even if the stamp says 60 days! Does any of this make sense? Of course not, but such is Indonesia paperwork.


Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 25, 2015 04:46 PM

Posted on behalf of SV Villa G:
I would like to report on a very fine area for cruising in eastern Indonesia. It is Triton Bay and the surrounding areas south of Kaimana Western Papua, Indonesia. Very few yachts have been noted in this area, but it has beautiful waters for diving, friendly people and virtually no tourism at this time. A few liveaboard dive boats come through, but little else.

This is a great place for people traveling between Raja Ampat and Australia. We spent 3 months in the Raja Ampat area and two months in the Triton Bay area. Both to be recommended.

For immigration and customs in the Triton Bay area, the closest port is Tual. Both agencies are very helpful. The nearest town to Triton Bay is Kaimana. It has the basics including food and fuel and flights to other areas of Indonesia.

We have prepared a section on our website. The relevant page can be found here:

cruisingguideindonesia says:
Mar 19, 2015 04:34 AM

Sabtu 7 February, 2015.

Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - Indonesia plans to ease the processes involved in the issuance of entry permits for foreign-owned yachts, to boost the yachting tourism sector. Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said here on Saturday, "It is hoped that it will, soon, take only two hours to issue a permit." He made the statement here while visiting Nongsa Point Marina in Batam, Riau Islands province, in Sumatra.

The government will adopt an online system of issuing permits known as the Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territory (CAIT Online), he stated, adding that it also plans to extend the stay permit for yachters from three months to six months.

Andy Scott
Cruising Guide Indonesia

Hans Peter Gaspers
Hans Peter Gaspers says:
Sep 06, 2014 10:41 AM

We have build a small Marina for motor boats and catamarans in Jepara near Semerang. Long term storage in Marina or on the dry is available. 24 hour security, very good short and long term rental rates. For information please email to info@

Dana Fowlkes
Dana Fowlkes says:
May 27, 2014 05:06 PM

Coming into Indonesia from the southeast (Darwin) needs to be completed by the end of November. The Arufura sea between Darwin and Timor can be nasty as the cyclone season approaches. Once north of Timor, Flores etc the northwesterly winds will make the sailing a bit rough between late November until April, but at least safe from cyclones. As you get north of the equator the winds become more favorable for heading on to Thailand as the northeast monsoon winds will be coming across the Malay peninsula.

Daniel Baydreamer
Daniel Baydreamer says:
Mar 20, 2014 08:29 PM


I am wondering about the seasons in Indonesia! Is it possible to sail in Indonesia during the cyclone season in South Pacific? Possible to sail directly from Fiji to Indonesia and continue up north towards Thailand during the cyclone season?

Feelhip says:
Mar 11, 2014 09:03 AM

Pork and beef can be found everywhere in Indonesia, may be not in deep country villages.... Beef in Bali (Hindu) is either local or imported from Australia.Pork is generally available in super-market and conditioned in plastics bags to avoid contact by Muslim people.
Bali marina is a mess. I leaved in Bali for 5 years and I have seen this "marina"getting worst and worst by every month.

svpelican says:
Feb 27, 2014 05:36 AM

Don't bother attempting to get anything freighted to Jayapura from overseas. Waste of money & time. I ordered a new anchor winch motor from Defender US and paid for priority international FEDEX to be deliverd to main post office here. Cost $170 then when it had not arrived found that Fedex agent in Jakarta had not informed me of the Customs charges. I paid these ($140) and sent copy of receipt by email. It took 3 days and numerous phone calls to so called customer service to get them to acknowledge receipt of payment. They promised package would be in JP the following day but no. Package is now in Sulawesi office but this morning told that it wpould take maybe one week to get here in JP. Now they say I have to pay MORE money to get it here and not sure when!!! Customer service refuses to put me through to management and manager does not answer multiple emails. Manager is "sick, at lunch, not here yet" and will call back but never does.
I have called Defender in US but they say it is Fedex problem. I have emailed Fedex but no reply. DO NOT USE FEDEX FOR PACKAGES TO WEST PAPUA. jAYAPURA would rank as one of the worst places to be stuck in Indo - heavy traffic, smog and over powering police & military presence.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 25, 2013 03:35 PM

"Gifts" or Bribes

We have now cruised in Indonesia twice for 3 months on each occasion and have never been asked for a gift or a bribe by any official or anyone.

We have offered money where a service has been carried out for us and have probably paid a bit too much for fuel where it has been brought and carried for us, hardly a bribe. We have given goods to locals where they were obviously poor such as an old dive mask and even a very old pair of binoculars on one occasion but equally we have been given fish and coconuts with no expectation of payment. It is not a bad idea to have some sweets handy for the kids and if you are feeling generous beer and cigarettes are what most of the fisherman want although I usually point out that they are Muslim ...and they look a bit sheepish! We carry a variety of goods as giveaways, including fishing line and hooks, toothbrushes and soap, condensed milk, coffee in sachets, various canned goods etc and these are well received.We do however usually try to make it a “trade” even if the trade is only that we are allowed to take their photograph...which in any case they like.

However we have never been asked for any sort of financial inducement but have been entertained to dinners and even on two occasions were asked to family a wedding breakfast and one a circumcision celebration! The more remote the venue the greater the welcome and you will be continually asked if you mind having your photo taken. The welcome can be a bit too much sometimes but most Indonesians can take a hint that it is time for you to sleep, eat or, we are told an effective excuse, is that it is time to pray.

SY Gryphon 2

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