Last updated: July 20, 2012
Hints and tips for travelling in Indonesia during/after the Muslim fasting month.
Ramadan officially starts today in Indonesia. All good Muslims do not eat, drink, smoke or have marital relations between sunrise and sunset for the next 30 days.
The end of Ramadan on 19-20 August is called Idul Fitri, where Muslims return to their village/home town and exchange gifts with their families. (While not a religious requirement, Indonesian Muslims also like to broadcast loudly from every mosque that God is great, all night long.)
The large number of travellers is only matched by the days before Lunar New Year in China, and the days before Christmas in Europe and the United States. Tickets for trains and flights are already sold out, hotel rooms are often booked out and traffic jams move from cities to everywhere else in the country.
Some travel guides (e.g. Lonely Planet) discourage travel within Indonesia in the days before and after Idul Fitri, but unfortunately some tourists cannot be so flexible.
Mau Ke Mana is happy to help visitors in a bind, but – seeing banks are closed on 16-22 August – has the following limitations:
- If you want to book flight tickets between 15-31 August, you need to book and pay before 10 August.
- If you want to book train tickets between 15-31 August, you need to book and pay before 10 August and collect the tickets from your hotel or airport before 14 August in one of these cities: Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar (Bali) or Mataram (Lombok).
- If you pay for train/flight tickets after 10 August, you may need to wait until 23 August to receive them. This is because banks are closed on 16-22 August and Paypal’s processing time is 2 working days. We will buy customers tickets on a basis of first in, first served. If there are no funds in the bank account, there cannot be any more sales until more funds arrive, on 23 August. If the flight ticket’s fare changes, we will give clients the choice of paying the different or getting a full refund.
- As per usual, all flight enquiries must be for a flight departing 10 days in advance, and train ticket enquiries for a train departing at least 7 days in advance. For example, an enquiry on 1 August could ask about a flight on/after 11 August, or a train on/after 8 August.
- Most clients pay with Paypal from their home country. Paypal payments made within Indonesia (or anywhere outside the credit card’s “home country”) are often blocked or reviewed, to prevent credit card fraud. If this happens, client will need to use an alternate payment method, e.g. contacting a trusted friend in the home country or making a cash deposit at an Indonesian bank branch.
However, hotel bookings are automated and done online by the client alone, so no changes to report there. Make sure you have booked your accommodation in advance, or you may get a nasty surprise.
You can book flight tickets, hotel rooms and train tickets here.