Arriving to Jakarta
Arriving to Jakarta, you will be entering Indonesia
through the Soekarno-Hatta International
Airport also known locally as “Cengkareng”
(because of its location) provides you with a glimpse of what is
to follow. That is to say the airport looks like a modern, international
airport. However, with few exceptions, it is not as convenient and
organized as it may appear or you may expect.
The International Arrival Hall is clean and pleasantly decorated
with artifacts from around the archipelago. Upon disembarking you
will proceed directly to immigration.
Visitors and tourists entering Indonesia need a valid passport,
visa and a completed disembarkation card and customs declaration
(given to you on the aircraft and filled out prior to arrival at
the immigration desk) and onward/ return tickets to your next destination.
Upon successful presentation of these item to the immigration official
visitors will be granted access to the country for 30 days.
Some Asean countries are given a free visa upon arrival, all others
will be required to obtain a visa in order to enter the country.
Some nationalities may apply and pay for the visa upon arrival most,
though, will need to apply, pay and obtain the visa prior to arriving
to Indonesia. For more information on visa rules and requirements
Once past Immigration you will find luggage carts available free
of charge. The carts are not well maintained so be prepared. As
you make your way to the luggage claim area you will pass restrooms,
banks, duty free shops, moneychangers and ATMs etc. If you don't
have any local currency now is the time to change a bit. (Unless
the company car is picking you up, you will need it for the taxi
ride into town). The rate may not be the best, but you at least
won't be fumbling with your luggage while surrounded by a crowd
hawking rides and whatnot.
Once you have claimed your luggage you proceed to Customs.
Present your “Customs Declaration” to the attendant and place all
carry on bags or parcels on the conveyor that passes through an
X-ray machine. For the record you are allowed 1 liter of alcohol
and up to 200 cigarettes (or 50 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco)
Computers, cameras, video cameras, cassette recorders and sports
equipment are allowed provided that they are taken out of the country
when you leave. Such items are supposed to be declared to Customs
officials but this requirement is difficult to enforce and is often
ignored by officials and visitors alike.
Prohibited items include: Firearms,
narcotic drugs, Chinese medicines and anything with Chinese printing.
Also films, video tapes and laser discs must be screened by the
Board of Censors (but truth be told this is seldom - if ever - happens).
There is no restriction on the import or export of foreign currencies
and travelers checks. However, importing or exporting Indonesian
Rupiah in excess of 10 million is prohibited.
Once past Customs, you walk through the glass door and it's "Selamat
Datang !" (Welcome to Jakarta). You will be "greeted"
by hundreds of people offering "transport". If you will
be picked up by the hotel or company car the driver will be waiting
for you with a sign with your name on it. If not, read on. Getting
to your hotel and then around Jakarta safely and stress-free is
so important to a successful business trip that we devote an entire
page to the subject - click
That said, if you do take a taxi from the airport, you can now choose
the taxi. Our choice is Blue Bird (blue Toyota sedans) or its upmarket
equivalent Silver Bird (black Volvo sedans). Either way, in addition
to the amount displayed on the metre you will also need to pay an
airport 'taxi fee' of Rp. ----- as well as road tolls. Currently
(as of Oct. 2005) the total amount of tolls from the airport to
the centre of Jakarta is Rp. 8,500. You can pay this when you reach
your destination or give the driver Rp. 10,000.- or Rp. 20,000.-
at the first toll booth and he will keep the change until the second
toll booth, pay the second toll and then return to you the balance.