Useful Applications in Indonesia

QR Code Scanner

QR Code Scanner. This is a requirement in Indonesia. Not a recommendation. Not a tip. QR code scan app is definitely a must have. Luckily most phones already have this built in application. During Covid pandemic, Indonesia requires everyone in the county to download an application for tracking and a QR code scanner is required when entering public places. Everything is scanned by QR code in Indonesia. From restaurant menu, receipts, product information and others that you may not expect.

Translator

Language Translator. English in not widely used in Indonesia. Even in the capital Jakarta it can be challenging to to talk with an Indonesian unless you are within an international community. Translator application is useful when asking for directions, and assistance from locals. I use Google Translate and is also useful when translating labels and talking directly to the application to translate. Download the Indonesian language in order to use the application even without internet.

PeduliLindungi

PeduliLindungi. This application is required during Covid pandemic. Vaccine certificate is uploaded to the application. Public places such as shopping malls require visitors to be vaccinated. Using the PeduliLIndungi application a QR code is scanned before entering building and it will show vaccination status. You can be denied of entering establishment if you do not have the application and cannot provide proof of vaccination.

GoJek

GoJek . This application the Indonesian equivalent of Uber or Grab. Gojek offers more than just a transportation hailing app, it offers delivery from restaurants and groceries, cleaning and repair services. The good thing about Gojek is that you can navigate the application in English and pre-empt messages with driver have English translation.

MyBluebird

MyBluebird. Bluebird is the official taxi service in Indonesia. Regular taxis are colored blue and you can use the application like Gojek. Inside the Bluebird application you have to option to book a fancier taxi called Silverbird which with vehicles such as Toyota Alphard, Toyota Camry and Mercedes E200

Tokopedia

Tokopedia. This application is the Indonesian equivalent of Amazon. You can find all sorts of product in Tokopedia from electronics, repair, household, entertainment, fashion and groceries. Option ranges from official brand stores to cheap sourced items. I prefer Tokopedia from Shopee and Lazada for the ease of use and bigger product range available.

Shopee

Shopee. Similar to Tokopedia. Navigating the app is more challenging. Customer service is less helpful than Tokopedia. Advantage of Shopee is that it has more option for fashion products such as clothes, shoes, and accessories. Shopee is mostly preferred by women.

Lazada

Lazada. Another all in online shopping application that is widely used in Indonesia. I haven’t used Lazada but it is commonly recommended. Original branded stores also have official Lazada account.

Happy Fresh

Happy Fresh. Mostly for grocery items. This application is useful for bulk buying of grocery items if you do not have time to go out. Delivery fee is higher and you have to pay for shopper fee. This is useful if you are looking for specific food products not available within your area.

Indonesia Travel Experience with a Baby

November 2021. Moving all our life from Morocco to Indonesia with a 20-month-old baby.  Carrying 6 large suitcases, 3 cabin luggage, 3 hand-carry bags. And a baby who refused to sleep on the 20 hours of travel.

We traveled to Jakarta Indonesia with a baby and this was our experience. Sharing some tips and advice for those who are planning to do the same. 

Travel Requirements

  • Covid vaccination is required upon entry to Indonesia.  1- 2 dose is accepted. 
  • Face masks are required in public areas. Including inside the plane.
  • Covid Vaccine Card with QR Code – Vaccine card translated in English. More important is the QR code.
  • Doctor certificate – Verifying Covid vaccination and certifying fit to travel. In English
  • PCR test on departure – valid for 72 hours from the date of release to the date of travel. They also required a PCR test for my 20 months old. Results should be in English.  Make sure that results reflect the address of the country it was done.
  • Visa – There are a lot of travel agents that assist in the visa application. We took a B211A which is a company-sponsored visa. If you do not have a company or person that can sponsor, you can contact a travel agent and they help in sponsorship.
  • Airline Ticket – We did a return flight booking . Usually, our airline booking is done with Expedia and they have a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you are not sure of your return this flight cancellation is useful. Make sure the airline has free cancellation available as it could vary per airline policy.
  • Travel insurance – We have international insurance and it was accepted
  • Hotel Reservation with QR Code – upon booking and payment of hotel quarantine. A QR code of confirmation of reservation will be sent by the quarantine hotel. Print the hotel quarantine confirmation with a QR code.

 Tips Before Booking Hotel: 

  • Check the current travel requirements for Indonesia as it can change day per day. Length of quarantine changes regularly.
  • See accredited quarantine hotels
  • Inform hotel that it is for travel quarantine
  • Book the number of nights as per quarantine requirement

In our case, the required travel quarantine period changed after our booking. We had to email the hotel several times and eventually they replied back stating that they will automatically change our booking as required. Make sure to ask the breakdown cost of changes (if there is). The hotel booking includes food and Covid testing in the quarantine package.  

  • PeduliLindungi – The Indonesian Covid tracking app. They checked the phone if the application was installed when we checked in at the departure counter. Download the app and register with an email. PeduliLindungi app will ask for a phone number, unless you have an already registered phone in Indonesia your phone sim will not work.
    • In the section of E-HAC input your flight and hotel details. 
    • Upload a copy of your vaccination card with a QR code. 

Arrival Process

  • Verification of Documents – Visa, Hotel Quarantine, Vaccination, PeduliLindungi
  • PCR Test at Airport Arrival – Registration. PCR test. Results will be sent to the hotel. Ask for a copy sent to your email. We have a baby and Little One was also required to have the nasal and throat swab. I asked if it is really required for babies and they replied yes. Swabbing for babies is not deep and was only a shallow poke at the nostrils and swab at the cheeks.
  • Immigration – checking of documents and taking of the photo
  • Customs declaration for high valued items if you have any
  • Luggage – By this time most luggage are taken from the assigned airline carousel and lined up next to it
  • Airport Pick-up by Hotel – Hotel welcome staff will check documents and passports. Photo before leaving the airport

Travel Advice

  • Print all documents and print extra copies. Put the extra copies in a separate bag in case one document bag gets lost.
  • Bring a large envelope or folder. There will be a lot of document checking. It is easier to give the whole folder and let the airline/airport/hotel staff sort out and look for what they need. 
  • Keep all papers with QR codes. Indonesia likes QR codes and is constantly used for verification and registration.

Hotel Check-in

  • Registration
  • Give a copy of the hotel booking with a QR code
  • Papers from airport
  • Pieces of Luggage are disinfected. Make sure all are closed properly as they can get slightly wet (or very moist)

Hotel Quarantine – Most hotel quarantine food is not amazing.

Tips on Travelling to Indonesia with a Baby

  • Bring your favorite snacks. 
  • Choose a hotel with a balcony – some fresh air and change of view can be good for adults and childrens’ mood
  • Download baby’s favorite videos on phone or tablet – I do not usually allow a lot of screen time but this was very helpful
  • PeduliLindungi  – Download on phone using email, Put necessary information specially the E-HaC section that requires travel information and upload of covid vaccination card
  • QR code scanner – Download QR code scanner on phone. Almost all services in Indonesia uses a QR code
  • Whatsapp – Download Whatsapp messaging application. Indonesians like WhatsApp messaging. Almost everyone uses Whatsapp. Service confirmations such as hotel and delivery are also using Whatsapp.
  • Phone registration –  Foreign phones are locked in Indonesia. Meaning if you have a phone bought from outside of Indonesia the signal of a foreign sim card (even if your phone is on roaming) and the use of a local sim card is blocked. You can connect to Wi-fi with your phone with messaging applications. Only after quarantine, you can go back to the airport to register and unblock the phone. I heard some say that they were able to register and unlock phones from some telecom (sim card) shops. However, we chose the safest way to go back to the airport after quarantine to unlock the phone.
  • Airline requirements – Upon booking your airline ticket carefully check the travel requirements of the airline before departure. Airlines also post on their websites the travel requirements of destination countries to prepare for arrival.  

Travel requirements are often changed and it is better to visit official Indonesia travel sites to get updates. There are several online group discussions for Indonesia where travelers share their experiences, tips, and updates on traveling. See the links below for some suggestions.

Useful Travel Sources:

Indonesia Immigration https://www.imigrasi.go.id/en/bebas-visa-kunjungan/#1627290530498-6bc9566d-1f1c

Accepted Visas and Requirements

Facebook Group

Visa & Law in Indonesia

facebook.com/groups/369666893613733/

Sherpa Travel Restrictions

https://apply.joinsherpa.com/travel-restrictions

Garuda Airlines (Indonesia Airline Carrier)

https://www.garuda-indonesia.com/id/en/news-and-events/kebijakan-operasional-terkait-covid19

Quiet Casablanca Street

Morocco: Accidents Happen

TrA useful tip in traveling is — Know and save emergency numbers. Always be prepared and save useful numbers in your contacts —  emergency response number, embassy number, insurance number. Especially when you do not know anyone.

Traveling can be fun. Relocating to a new country can be interesting. Getting into an accident in a foreign country where nobody knows and understands you is scary.

Morocco: Casablanca Sandstorm

October 2020 Sandstorm experience in Casablanca Morocco felt like being in an end of the world movie.

Sands from Sahara desert has reached as far as Casablanca and even further north of Morocco.

Morocco: Travel Experience During COVID-19 Pandemic 2020

Experience of traveling to Morocco during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Traveling experience has changed. since the Covid-19 pandemic. There are more travel requirements and restrictions. Morocco has opened its borders with several travel conditions. Foreigners can enter Morocco with a PCR test, vaccination card, and hotel reservation (updated as of August 2021).

Ethiopian New Year : Enkutatash

Ethiopia celebrates new year differently from the rest of the world. New year at Ethiopia is between September 11-12.

Ethiopian New Year is called Enkutatsha in Amharic (Ethiopian language) which means gift of the jewel. Ethiopia is predominantly Christian Orthodox and the new year is considered a religious holiday.

Ouazzane Morocco

Morocco: Ouazzane

Travel to Ouazzane, Morocco if you are going to Chefcheouen and you like dried figs, dates and have an authentic Moroccan robe souvenir. Stop by Ouazzane to have a quiet and peaceful time away from the tourist.

Ouazzane is a province north of Morocco. It is near the more popular city of Morocco – Chefcheouen.

Essos of Game of Thrones film location at Morocco

Game of Thrones film location at Morocco

Where to find Game of Thrones film location at Morocco. Know travel tips on how to go and what to see.

There are several film location for Essos of Game of Thrones. One of the film locations in Morocco is at Ait Ben Haddou.

The Game of Thrones film location at Ait Ben Haddou is portrayed as Slaver’s Bay (Bay of Dragon) in the series. This location was used in the episode where Daenerys freed the Unsullied (slave) army.

ETHIOPIA: Tourist Visa

Ethiopia tourist visa application is available online to all countries.Ethiopia has eased its regulation for tourists entering the country. Online visa application and visa on arrival has been made easier. As Ethiopia is promoting the country’s tourism. It is now easier to go to Ethiopia as a tourist. Since June 2018 Ethiopia has opened online visa application to all countries.

Morocco: Spider Bite

Morocco has several spiders, bugs and insects that could be found in the city. Common house spiders in Morocco could bite.   House spiders in Morocco are not all harmless. The spider could crawl into your clothing or bedding and can bite. House spider are not deadly but if bitten and not treated it could spread infection. If spider bite infection is left untreated it could be eventually be threatening.