How to get Indonesian visa in Penang, Malaysia

If you want to stay in Indonesia more than 30 days (what you can do with “Visa on arrival”), you can apply for another visa type, which allows you to stay in Indonesia for 60 days.

If you want to get “Tourist visa” or “Social Budaya visa” you should apply for it outside of Indonesia. Most travelers till August said that the best place for it – Penang island in Malaysia (here is information how to get to Penang). Because of the quick, 2 days, process and possibility to get 60 days visa (in some other countries the visa making takes 7 working days and can be given only for 30 days). Unfortunately after 1st of August, 2017 – things changed:

Some travelers said that in Indonesian embassy in Penang they started to have a quota system. They could issue only a limited number of 60-day visas (per month or per week) – but nobody knows how many or who will get it. Others say, that there is no quota system and is giving 30-day visas for “Tourist visa” or “Social Budaya visa” (only with sponsor letter) if the sponsor is not family. The official seemed to imply that if the sponsor letter is from a spouse or other member of the family then they will get the 60 days. That, and the new RM10 KL + RM2 Penang room tax has we budget travelers giving USD$3.00 per day just in tax.

I didn’t try to make new visa in Penang after the system changed, so correct me, if there is any new changes or another place in any other country with better “conditions”.

Further information is about getting 30 days “Tourist visa”.

So, how to get Indonesian visa in Penang?

Here are some my advice and experience about applying for Indonesian 30-day “Tourist visa” in Penang island (I did such visa already twice but before 1st of August, 2017 and got 60 days visa).

Notice: all information prepared according 08 2017.

 

Contacts

Official website of Indonesian Consulate in Penang, Malaysia (but you won’t find much information there)

467 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang (about 4 km West of the Chinatown tourist area)
Tel: (+60) (4) 227 4686; (+60) (4) 226 7412;
Fax: (+60) (4) 227 4955
Email: penang.kjri@kemlu.go.id or info@kjripenang.org.my

Working hours:
Monday-Thursday – 9:00 am-17:00 pm
Break – 13:00-14:00 pm

Friday – 9:00 am-17:30 pm
Break – 12:30-15:00 am

Before going there, be sure that in Malaysia or Penang are not public holidays.

How to get to Indonesian Consulate
  • If you are in the hurry and don’t want search by yourself public transport – easiest way, just to take a taxi and say the address (in some hostels in Chinatown written that taxi price to Indonesian Consulate is 20 MYR).
  • If you want to save some money and explore Penang use public bus – number 101 from Lebuh Chulia street or 103 from Komtar bus terminal (the main buses terminal).
  • The bus 101 starts at the Jetty (where the boats to Butterworth depart from). There is a bus stop on the corner of “Love Lane” and “Lebuh Chulia” streets (it’s the best stop if you are staying in Chinatown).
  • This bus stop not marked like usual bus stops, but you just stand in opposite street of “7 eleven” mart entrance (you will see there all the time gathering people) and when you will see coming bus 101 just wave your hand to stop it.

How to get Indonesian visa in Penang - bus stop

  • One way journey takes ~20-40 min. depends on the traffic and one way ticket costs 1,4 MYR (but you should say to a driver that you want to go to “Gurney Plaza”).
  • Get out of the bus in front of “Gurney Plaza” shopping mall (it will be on your right side). You will pass on the way first mall “Gurney Paragon”, next stop – “Gurney Plaza”. If you scared to miss it, ask the driver to say when will be that stop (I saw many people do that and drivers says when time to get out :)).
  • When you will get out from a bus on your left side (when you stand face to bus stop) will be traffic light. Go straight to it and turn right (to street Lebuhraya Maktab). Go all the time straight (you will pass some small streets on your right and left sides) till you will come to one big street in front of you (with 3 or 4 one way lines) – Jalan Burma. Here turn right. Go straight, on your right side you will pass “Midlands Park Center” mall. After it, on left side you will see traffic light, cross the street there and still go straight. On your left side you will see Adventist hospital. Just after it, on the same left side will be Indonesian Consulate.

Not hard to find ;). Here is the map.

Malls pictures are taken from internet.

How to apply
  • First of all – dress properly. In the security post you will see the sign how you should look (no flip-flops, short shorts, T-shirt with sleeves and etc.). Some people don’t follow it and still pass inside. My advice, just dress in polite way, you are not going to a beach, yeah?.
  • For visa applying you should come in the morning (9:00-12:00 am.). By the way on Mondays it’s more people than on other days.
  • On entering the visa hall go to the table just inside the door. The lady will give you the form, fill it in and return to the table.The application form should be filled with black pen, if you don’t have, borrow it from workers.
  • The lady will check it briefly and give you a number. Then when the time will come they will announce the number and you will need to go to window 7. Give the papers and pay 205 MYR in cash (such price was in the end of July, 2017). If you don’t have cash in the “Midlands Park Center” mall (that you passed on the way) you can take money from ATM, as well make documents copy, take a picture – if needed. Important: Like in consulate will take your passport, don’t forget before make a copy of it.
  • After giving everything and pay, you will get a number. Then you need to wait till your number will appear in TV screen. Go to the counter and there you will get receipt. With it you will need to come back next day at from 14:00 to 16:00 pm (the same receipt you will need to show for a security when you will enter consulate next day).
  • When you will come next day, go to a counter 7 again and show your receipt – you will get your passport back. Important: in the evening of the day when you will apply check your e-mail. Because I had interesting experience, that in the evening I got e-mail from consulate, with information that I should come next day on different time that was written on receipt. Like some responsible person will be in the meeting and won’t be able to issue my visa earlier. If I wouldn’t check that day, I would need to go to consulate twice next day.

Beware of the day counting trap! The way the immigration officials’ count stay period is: the day of arrival counts as day one. The day of departure also counts. For example you have 30-days visa, you arrive on the 1st day, you must leave on the 30th day (not the 31st or the first of the next month). Even if you leave 5 min. after midnight, it will be counted as a full new day. If you overstay you will have to pay a penalty of 200 000 Rp per day. Up to 3 days is usually no problem, you will simply pay the fee at the immigration counter.

How to fill the application, what to have with you

The first few questions on the form (what type of visa, your name, passport details etc.) you should fill.

This lines you don’t need to fill if you apply for Indonesian 60-day “Tourist visa”

  • Occupation in Indonesia
  • Address of office/occupation
  • Address of residence in Indonesia
  • Name of sponsor/reference
  • Address of sponsor/reference
  • In the “Reason for applying” section write Tourism

For the supporting documentation I provided:

  • A photo (even if in a form written that it should be in red background, I gave without – and everything was fine, they accepted)
  • A photocopy of passport (info page only)
  • A photocopy of return ticket from Malaysia (when I will leave to Indonesia)
  • I read that I should give the photocopy of returns ticket from Indonesia but I didn’t have it yet on 1st time, so I brought photocopy from my bank account where shown that I have enough money to buy a ticket out of Indonesia (I just log in to my e-bank, made print screen and printed it). 2nd time I brought flight ticket, when I’m planing to leave Indonesia.

I didn’t got any extra questions or asking to bring something more.

If you didn’t make copies of needed documents, you can do it in Midland Park Center that you passed on the way to Indonesian embassy.

What to do after applying?

  • If you want to come back to Chinatown you should wait for the same bus 101 in front of “Midlands Park Center” mall.
  • But my advice, after consulate go further to explore Penang island, for example:

Here is official website of buses in Penang: routes, journey planner and etc.

 

By the way, during two my trips to Penang I stayed in 75 Traveller’s lodge. I found this place quite affordable, with good location and quite good condition. But there are many other places to stay in Penang.

 

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SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  • Have you tried to make Indonesian visa in Penang island? How was it?
  • Did you make Indonesian visa in any other country? What was your experience?
  • If you have any update to add, feel free to do it in comments

 

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The beauty of getting lost in Georgetown, Penang

My trips were good organized before coming to Indonesia. Expression “get lost” wasn’t in my vocabulary or I even couldn’t think that it can happen to me :). But Indonesia changed me and my traveling habit a bit (I believe that many people who stay longer in Indonesia or other South East Asia countries changed at least a little bit).

If you have been in Georgetown, Penang island (Malaysia) or will go there, you will see that get lost there something unbelievable. But it happened to me. I got lost even with a map in my hands. And it was probably the most exciting experience there.

My honest advice, if you are planning to go to Georgetown, Penang – forget anything that you read, marked what you want to see. Just go with the flow and follow the intuition. Because Georgetown so cozy and not big area that each corner, street, place will offer you something inspiring. As well (I believe) even if you let yourself to get lost, you will pass all “must to see” places, just open your eyes, wonder around and enjoy the walk or ride.

Why you should get lost in Georgetown, Penang?

It will get you of the beaten track.

Just let yourself be curious and enter each street, corner, shop that looks interesting for you.

Beauty of getting lost in Georgetown, Penang

Funny, but I was trying to find few street art murals with the map on first day but didn’t manage (like it was a bit hidden from the main road). But when I get lost I found it!

Georgetown, Penang - shoes tree

Getting lost most probably will give you best memories and stories.

Because you will be more open to speak with the strangers, hear their stories, maybe they will show you something unique, hidden.

Gerogetown, Penang - barber shop

Somewhere (like I get lost, so I don’t know exact street :D) I saw very nice barber shop and I ask the worker if I can make a picture. We started to chat and I got a lot of interesting information about Penang.

Getting lost may help you learn how to relax, be flexible and go with the travel flow.

 

A photo posted by I’m Ria – (@lifeinbigtent) on

When I realize that I get lost I saw one coffee place and decided to take time and think what I will do next. And it was just amazing place.

You can learn more about area where you are.

Just open your eyes widely and you will see things that maybe in other case you would pass.

Georgetown, Penang, island - offering place

Getting lost in Malaysia - bar decoration

I was looking around and trying to remember all the details that I saw, places that I pass in a case if I will make a circle around. And I found little Chinese offering place, some cute decoration in the street and etc.

You can enjoy finding some unique eating places that is far from main street.

Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia-coffee tarik

In this place was the most delicious coffee tarik I have tried during my trip in Penang. As well cheaper, like not a lot of travelers goes through that place.

Getting lost can give you opportunity be more “brave” to try something new.

Getting lost in Georgetown, Penang - ice-cream

Coconut ice-cream with corn, beans and something else (I didn’t identify the taste). Would you try it? Usually I like food combinations that suit together. But this time I just tried my luck and was nicely surprised.

You can see different view of already visited places.

Travel photos from Asia - Penang

Day before getting lost, I was visiting Jetty clan (during daytime). But only because I get lost I saw this beautiful Chinese temple on the water in the evening.

 

After getting lost in Georgetown, Penang I started to believe that “getting lost is the best part of travel.” Do you agree or disagree? Have you been lost somewhere on purpose or not? How did you find yourself in that situation – enjoyed or felt a bit stressed?

Getting lost Georgetown, Penang pinterest
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P.S. we stayed in 75 Travellers Lodge, Central Georgetown. It’s good location, nothing fancy, rooms are quite small but cheap place (dormitory and private rooms). Or you can find any other place to stay:

Interesting? Great! :) You might also like these:

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How to get to Penang island in Malaysia?

There are many options how to get to Penang island in Malaysia. Everything depends on your travel habits, how much time you have and how much money you want to spend. Here are possible options how to get to Penang:

Hich-hiking

The cheapest and most adventurous way to get to Penang from any other country or any city in Malaysia. But can take some time. Nomad Travellers did that, so you can read about their adventures or ask advice.

AirportBy plane

The quickest way (from Kuala Lumpur to Penang ~1 hour) but as well the most expensive one (comparing with other travel ways).

Penang Bayan Lepas International Airport (IATA: PEN) is ~ 1 hour from George Town. This airport has direct flights with 8 countries.

Flights operated by Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, China Airlines, etc. For cheaper alternatives – Air Asia, Firefly Airlines, SilkAir, Korean Air, Wings Air, etc.

Sometimes you can get cheaper tickets in flight search sites like: 

Usually I check all of those sites (and more) before buying the flight ticket. Yeah, it takes time, but only in this way I can find the cheapest ones. Most often I buy (if long distance flight) one direction from one website, another from another. Sometimes the cheapest ticket price doesn’t mean that you will pay such amount – like in the last “pay” step – some sites put over their service taxes which rise the ticket price higher than possible to buy in another site.

How to go to the city from the airport
You can either take taxi. Takes ~45 min. to reach any place in downtown. Taxi counter is on the right side of the arrival doors.
Or you can take a bus, takes ~ 1 hour to George Town. Bus lines 102, 306 and 401E are Rapid Penang operated bus services, of which the 102 service goes to Teluk Bahang from Penang Airport via Komtar Shopping Center and the 306 service connects Penang Airport with Penang General Hospital via Air Itam, while the Rapid Penang buses from Penang International Airport all go to George Town and Balik Pulau.  The bus will stop at a number of halts until it gets to Komtar Tower and Shopping Center. Due to the many stops, this service is not as fast and if you are in a hurry you should take a taxi rather than the bus. As well buses come every ~30-40 min.

You can find Rapid Penang bus stop just after arrivals exit, passing couple of streets on the left side.

I found useful poster inside airport:

how to get to Penang from airport by bus
Click on photo to enlarge it

Important: in the buses you need to pay exact amount for a ticket (to George Town 2.70 MYR), drivers don’t have change. So before going to the bus stop change money in the airport any kiosk. Also inside the buses is quite cold – just have a jacket or something else to cover yourself. 

TrainBy train

Probably the safest way to get to Penang. But not so quick and not the cheapest way (depends what kind of class seats you will take).

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), the national train company, serves a daily route to Butterworth from Kuala Lumpur. Daytime train from Kuala Lumpur will take ~6,5 hour, night train – 9,5 hours. If you travel to Penang by train you will need to stop at Butterworth station. From there you can take the connecting ferry (information about it below) to the island. You can also take a taxi at Butterworth train station, but it’s quite expensive. You can book train tickets online and get some discount.

The North south line starts in Singapore and goes all the way to Bangkok in Thailand.

  • More information about how to travel by train between Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang & Bangkok here.
  • Travelers experience using night train from Kuala Lumpur to Penang here.
  • Experience on traveling from Bangkok to Penang by train here.

CarsBy car (or motorbike)

Most flexible traveling way but costs and timing depends on the company with whom you are traveling, traffic on the way.

Most probably you will rent a car/motorbike? There are numerous car rental companies in Kuala Lumpur and also at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. For example you can check Easybook. If you are planning a one-way road trip to Penang, it’s best to find a rental company with an office at Penang. For motorbike you can check here.

The road from Kuala Lumpur to Penang is in very good shape. The North-South highway connects Penang to major cities on the West side of Peninsular Malaysia. Travel by highway can take anywhere from 4-5 hours with toll charges in between.

Once you reach Butterworth, which is the island’s main entry point from the mainland, you may take either the Penang Bridge or the ferry to cross over to the island, which still operates from Butterworth to Weld Quay and will transport your vehicle too at a small charge. Return trips from Penang via the bridge is free of charge.

BusBy bus

One of the cheapest and often quickest way to get from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. The trip by bus usually takes around 5,5 hours. The prices (35 to 60 MYR) depends on which day you leave, at what time and which operator you choose.

Buses depart at the main terminal in Kuala Lumpur, Puduraya bus station (known as well like Pudu Sentral station), to the central bus station Sungai Nibong in Penang (as well known like Express bus station).

There are almost 100 bus operators, offering regular bus services in Malaysia. Here, most of the bus services are operated by the state-run bus company intercontinental that covers wider bus route services in Malaysia. There are a number of renowned agencies that have a large fleet of buses operating on diverse routes on a daily basis. In Malaysia, buses are considered as a quite affordable medium of traveling. You will not only feel comfortable but also reach a particular destination promptly.  The most popular coach operators are Plusliner/Nice, Transnasional, Konsortium and Mutiara. The most luxurious and most expensive operator is Aeroline (but you will travel in a very comfortable manner to Penang).

You can also take the bus from numerous other locations within Peninsular Malaysia to Penang Island. For example there are daily buses from Kota Bharu, Johor Bahru (Singapore) and even Bangkok.
There are minivans/minibuses that drive between many places in Thailand to Penang, same goes for the trip between Penang and Kuala Besut (Perhentian Island). Minibuses are more expensive than regular buses, but offer a direct route to many destinations.

There are a number of online sites which offer e-ticketing. Here, you will get discounts on each booking which save your time as well as money. But you need to keep in mind: first, always book ticket from reputed online web portal for example Easybook (they as well provide car rental and other services), second boarding a bus, do check the current schedule of it, so that you’re late in reaching your preferred destination.

By the way, Sungai Nibong bus station in Penang is about 15 km South of the tourist/accommodation areas. Taxi drivers will try to convince you that the only way to go to downtown only by taxi. It’s not true – there is a local bus stop at platform 1. Bus 401 goes to downtown for 2 MYR. You might have to wait half an hour for one to show up.

My experience going from Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Penang by bus.
In my case,  we went to buy bus ticket to Pudu station 1 day before the journey (but you can go there just at time when you want to leave). Like there were many operators we just went to the nearest one. We told that we want to go to Penang port (Butterworth). The seller told that the ticket price is 55 MYR, I was surprised like I knew, it cost less. They tried to convince me, that the price higher because of National holidays. Official National holiday was held only 1 day (we wanted to go after this celebration) but he told us that holidays are all weekend. I thought “let it be”. But when they show the ticket it was written 30 MYR, when I asked about different prices, the guy suddenly changed the price by hand. I thought OK, maybe they included ferry price as well.
But I was surprised when they bring us to Penang Express Bus station, not Penang port (Butterworth), even if it was written on the ticket the final destination port. When I asked bus driver that we paid for a ticket till port, he just smiled and told that all buses stops here. So people in bus station was cheating with a prices (because real price was 30 MYR and National holiday was only 1  day, not all weekend) and final destination – they sold us what we needed but not what they provide :(. We overpaid and needed to find the way to get to George Town. So be careful buying tickets in Pudu Sentral station!

In general the trip with bus was OK, the bus not the newest one, but seats (even if already old and a bit damaged) quite spacious. But there is no toilets or electricity plug in (at least in the bus which we take). Only on the way, I don’t know why, we stopped and needed to go to another bus with all our stuff.

FerryBy ferry

Except if you fly, go by car or bus through bridge, to get to Penang island you will need to take a ferry.

Penang Ferry Service is the oldest ferry service in Malaysia. The Ferry operates a fleet of 4 ferries, with the first ferry departure from Butterworth (Sultan Abdul Halim) at 05:20 am, with the last at 00:40 am; and the first departure from Penang island (Raja Tun Uda) at 05:40 am, with the last at 01:00 am. You can reach Penang by ferry in ~15min. and the service runs every 20-30 min. You can buy tickets as well online.

Terminal location on Butterworth side

The Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal is right next to Butterworth train station and the bus station.
  • If you are arriving by train, keep to your left after leaving the platform and follow the covered walkway up a slope. It will only take you 1-2 min.!
  • The bus terminal is now located in front of the railway station.

Terminal location on Penang side

Ferries depart from the Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal at Weld Quay otherwise known just as Jetty.

From here you can catch a bus to anywhere on the island as the RapidPenang Jetty bus terminal is on both your right and left as you exit the ferry area.
You can also catch the “Free Cat” (CAT) Penang bus here which takes you around the old part of George Town past many of the George Town hotels and onto KOMTAR.
The free Penang bus now leaves from the new Terminal B, on the left hand side as you come down from the ferry. They depart every 15 min.

Coming down from the ferry, taxi drivers will offer rides but it’s easy to reach George Town even by walk. Even if  you are going to Batu Feringgi or somewhere else outside Georgetown you can use public buses.

Ferries from Penang International Airport depart in George Town, located ~16 km distance from the airport. A regular bus service operates between the airport and city center locations, as well as the bus terminal in Victoria Street, which is near the main Ferry Weld Quay. More information about ferries from Penang International Airport here.

 

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SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  • Which the most convenient way for you to travel?
  • Have you been in Penang island? What was you experience traveling there?
  • If you have been in Malaysia, did you find easy to travel inside the country?

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Some information and pictures used from internet sources.

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

How to get Indonesian visa in Penang
Disappearing and resurgent street art in Penang
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