From past experiences we have encountered many Scuba Diving Indonesia FAQ questions, but there is always a simple answer!
Please take time to read our scuba diving indonesia faq page. You may just find exactly what you're looking for!
1. What currencies should I bring?
2. Can I use my credit card in Indonesia?
3. Are there ATM's in Manado?
4. What can I expect the water temperature and the visibility to be like?
5. What wetsuite do you recommend?
6. What is the best season for diving?
7. How to get to Manado from abroad?
8. What can I bring to help the local village and children?
9. Are we allowed to bring souvenirs up from our dives?
10. Should I bring all my own diving gear?
11. Do you allow spear fishing?
12. What kind of clothing should I bring along?
13. Do I need vaccinations before I travel to Indonesia?
14. Do I need to worry about avian/bird flu when I travel to Wakatobi?
15. Do I need a passport or visa to visit Indonesia?
16. Do you recommend any special insurance?
1) What currencies should I bring?
Bring a strong western currency, either in cash or travel cheques. When bringing American dollars it is best to bring $ 100 notes (in good conditions and printed after 1999). Travel cheques are accepted at money chandergs and at hotel, but you will receive a reduced rate of exchange, this will also be the case for notes of lower denomination. All other major currencies are accepted in popular turist destination with less ruls about note denomination.
2) Can I use my credit card in Indonesia?
Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurant and shops. Visa and Master Card are the best credit card to bring. Most shops will insist on charging a 3% fee on using credit card. Hotel and restaurant will apply an additional 10 % tax and often a service charge of between 5% and 11%. Banks will give cash advances for a fee of 1% to 2% of the amount drawn in Rupiah.
3 ) Are there ATM's in Manado?
Yes, several, but not on Bunaken.
4 ) What can I expect the water temperature and the visibility to be like?
Typically the Northern shores are warmer (80-86 F), with clearer water, whereas the southern water are colder (70-75 F) with poorer visibility.
5 ) What wetsuit do you recommend?
This is always difficult question to answer because people have different reaction to temperature. For the northern shores are 3 mm suite or even a skin is fine. For the southern waters 5 mm is the norm.
6 ) What is the best season for diving?
All year round, it can rain on the mainland around Manado, but Bunaken usually has very little rain. In the rainy season, October to April, if it rains it is mostly at night. The rest of the year, the dry season can be wet during the day, but you get great star skies!
7 ) How to get to Manado from abroad?
Silk Air has three weekly flights directly from Singapore (Mon, Wed, and Sat; Departure Singapore 9:55 am). The only other international connection is from Davao/Philippines by Bouraq and Merpati (Mon, Fri). There are several daily flights from Jakarta & Surabaya and a daily connection from Denpasar/Bali via Ujung Pandang.
8 ) What can I bring to help the local village and children?
For the local children, we recommend anything educational or healthy. Notepads, pencils, erasers, maps, rulers, craft supplies, crayons or basic school or coloring books would be greatly appreciated.
9 ) Are we allowed to bring souvenirs up from our dives?
No, we do not allow anyone to bring corals, shells or animals out of the water and we make sure that our guests respect all aspects of our environment. If ever a guest would knock over a table coral, it might take 100 years for a new one to develop!
10 ) Should I bring all my own diving gear?
We recommend that all our guests to bring their own equipment so they're completely familiar and comfortable with its operation. The basic diving equipment recommended is a regulator, depth and pressure gauge, watch or dive computer, buoyancy compensation device, mask, fins and snorkel. However, we do have dive equipment available for rental. Please contact us before your trip to verify your requirements. We recommend you to bring a 5 mm (1/4") full-body suit but some guests are even comfortable in only 3mm(3/16") shorties. It is all up to what you are used to diving with, just keep in mind that it is nice to be warm.
11 ) Do you allow spear fishing?
No. We encourage all our guests to respect the marine environment, leaving it untouched so others may enjoy in the future.
12 ) What kind of clothing should I bring along?
Bathing suits and t-shirts are the order of the day. Dress is usually informal in Indonesia due to the warm, humid climate and lightweight fabrics are recommended. Light windbreakers, wraps, or sweatshirt should also be considered as it does cool down at night (or in case of the occasional rain storm)..
13 ) Do I need vaccinations before I travel to Indonesia?
When traveling in the tropics, it is wise to be up to date with Typhoid, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Hepatitis and a current Polio protection. As parts of Indonesia are in malaria zone (not the ones listed in this web site), please check with your physician or medical center on the type of prophylactic you should use.
14 ) Do I need to worry about avian/bird flu when I travel to Wakatobi?
The simple answer is no—for several reason. Let us explain.In recent news reports, you may have heard warnings or concerns about the avian flu and travel to Southeast Asia. While there is concern in regards to the avian flu, the great majority of concern is directed towards the possibility of the flu mutating into something that could spread from human to human. To this date, that has not happened.
The CDC does recommend sensible precautions when traveling abroad. Most of the known cases of bird flu involve farmers and livestock workers in direct contact with poultry, so avoid touching chickens and ducks (even those that appear healthy) and surfaces that might be contaminated with poultry feces or secretions. Wash your hands often to kill potentially infectious material; if soap isn't available, use an alcohol-based hand gel.If you're going to eat chicken, make sure it's been thoroughly cooked; flu viruses are destroyed by heat.The Centers for Disease Control web site is an excellent resource for more bird flu information, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/. In addition, the World Health Organization has a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/avian_faqs/en/index.html. When you travel with Scuba-4u, your safety and well-being are our foremost concerns. We are closely monitoring the situation and we will take proper precautions as events warrant.
15 ) Do I need a passport or visa to visit Indonesia?
Your passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months after your entry into Indonesia and must have at least one totally clear page for the visa sticker. The current regulations in full are thus:
11 countries and territories are eligible for a "Visa Free" facility. Those holding valid passports from the following countries will be granted a non-extendable 30-day Visa-Free Short Visit Permit upon arrival at an Indonesian international gateway without charge: Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore Nationals of the following 63 countries are now eligible to purchase a non-extendable visa on arrival for either USD 10 (for a maximum of 7 days) or USD 25 (for a maximum of 30 days).
All Wakatobi and Pelagian guests require a 30 day visa. Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Rep., Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Grece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstain, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zeland, Norway, Oman, Panama, People’s Rep of China, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Suriname, Taiwan, The Netherlands, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United states of America. If you are staying in Indonesia for longer than 30 days, you will need to apply for a 60 tourist visa in advance of your arrival inIndonesia.
All other nationals should apply for visas in their home country before departure for Indonesia. There will be no leniency for nationals of countries not listed above should they arrive without a valid visa - they will be sent home immediately. US citizens are entitled to buy a visa upon your arrival for 30 days for $25 USD. Since visa regulations change quite frequently, we strongly suggest that you check the above requirements with the airline you intend flying with.
Although many taxes and security fees will be included in the cost of your air ticket, Indonesia levies an international departure tax of Indonesian Rupiah 100,000 (about US$10.00). Please ensure that you have enough Indonesian currency available to pay this fee on the day of departure from Indonesia.
16 ) Do you recommend any special insurance?
Every effort is made to make sure your trip is holiday and carefree. However, we do recommend you purchase trip cancellation/interruption insurance in the event of unexpected changes in your travel plans. You should also have adequate medical insurance to cover any incidents. Check with your medical insurer before the trip to verify you're covered while traveling abroad and scuba diving.
We also recommend you consider purchasing supplemental dive insurance, offered by many firms such as Divers Alert Network (DAN), PADI, and Dive Assure. These companies offer specific dive-related policies that often include travel, gear and accident coverage all in one comprehensive policy.