Tips for traveling in Asia

So far all my tips for traveling in Asia in one place. Hope it will be useful for your travels.

Tips for traveling in Asia Indonesia

Tips for traveling in Asia Malaysia

Tips for traveling in Asia Vietnam


Have more questions? Need more tips for traveling in Asia, especially in Indonesia? Contact me and I will try to help you :)

 



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.

 

How to get Indonesian visa in Penang - Pinterest
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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:

Disappearing and resurgent street art in Penang
How to get to Penang island
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