In a dramatic change to the current immigration rules, starting on January 26, 2010, foreign tourists from countries eligible for "visa-on-arrival" will now be given a 30 day visa that can be renewed for an additional 30 days.
As part of the new changes the 7-day visa at US$10 has been abolished, with the 30-day US$25 visa (renewable for an additional 30 days) being the only visa that can be issued to eligible tourists.
Full list @ VISA-ON-ARRIVAL LIST
Please be advised that Visa Free Short Visits may only be extended upon approval from the Minister of Justice and Human Rights/Director General of Immigration of the Republic of Indonesia based on natural disaster, illnes or accident, but cannot be transferred to another type of visa.
Overstay visitors incur to pay a penalty of US$ 20,- per day (for under 60 days stay) whilst over 60 days stay will be a 5 (five) year prison sentence or a fine of IDR 25.000.000,- (local currency)
COUNTRIES / PASSPORT EXEMPTED ARE :
1) Brunei Darussalam (ASEAN member)
2) Malaysia (ASEAN member)
3) Phillipines (ASEAN member)
4) Vietnam (ASEAN member)
5) Singapore (ASEAN member)
6) Thailand (ASEAN member)
10) Hong Kong SAR (Special Administration Region)
11) Macau SAR (Special Administration Region)
For countries not listed above, they will have to apply entry VISA at their respective country's Indonesian Embassy
Address of Indonesian Embassy in Singapore:
7 Chatsworth Road Singapore 249761
Tel : +65 6737 7422
Mon - Thurs: 8.30 am - 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm
Fri: 8.30 am - 12.30 pm, 2.30 pm - 5.00 pm
Update on Indonesian visa-on-arrival (as of July 2010).
Since beginning of 2010 only the 30 days visa-on-arrival to Indonesia is still available at 25 US$ per person. Exception for Bintan/Batam a 7-day visa at 10 US$ can be obtained for groups of 4 person or more. However this visa needs to be applied via your hotel in advance.
Countries that are elible for Indonesian visa on arrival are
13. Czech Republic
41. New Zealand
50. Saudi Arabia
53. South Africa
54. South Korea
60. Timor Leste
63. United Arab Emirates
64. United Kingdom
65. United States of America
Just outside the Bintan Ferry Terminal there is a huge Garuda Statue. It’s a national symbol of Indonesia. Though a Muslim country it reflects early Hindu influence. On our way we enjoyed scenic beauty of the Island.
Fondest memory: Prestine blue waters and beaches make this island an experience to remember. Perfect for those who are finding an escape from busy city life...Place for relaxing and to do soul searching.....
Favorite thing: Citizens of many countries have the eligibility for visa on arrival. 15 USD for a short stay is all you have to pay. It is a very short procedure and in 5 minutes you have your visa to enter Indonesia. However, citizens of some countries need to apply for Indonesian visa such as Turkey. I needed to pay 70 SGD for application and it took 3 days to get the visa from Singapore.
Clear Sea that is near the beach..
Nice food, friend staff..
water at the beach is comfortable..
Fondest memory: Snorkeling at the beach area, instead of going out with the boat to some places that they dive..
Don't have to go out that far.. just stay by the beach of ClubMed.. is good enought to snorkel.
After snorkel.. comes up to the club house and have free flow of beer, wine and food.. nice food..
The sea recedes few hundred meters away from the coastline at low tide time and the sea bed looks very ugly, with tons of sea weed lying all around. This is not a good time to take a stroll along the beach, as the view is awesome. When the high tide comes, lot of these sea weeds get carried away to the the white sandy beaches. The cleaners at the resort have a tough job to remove all these sea weeds and carry them to the waste disposal area every morning. I really pity those guys.
Just look at the third snapshot which shows how the sea looks during high tide. You can make out the difference.
The moment we come out of the Bintan Ferry Terminal (Bandar Bentan Telani) after clearing the immigration formalities, we noticed this huge statue of the eagle-‘Garuda’. Incidentally, the name of the Indonesian National Airlines is also 'Garuda' and probably this is the nomenclature source.
‘Garuda’ finds mention in the Indian Mythology, where it is name of an eagle which was used as a vehicle for transporting Vishnu-the God who preserves.
Fondest memory: This statue reminded me of a similar statue, which I had seen near the ferry terminal in Langkawi (see my Langkawi-Malaysia page).
From Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, there are ferry services available for going to Bintan Ferry Terminal (Bandar Bentan Telani) in Indonesia and Batam Ferry Terminal. The immigration procedures are similar to arrival/departure lounges at/from any international airport. There are check in counters for Bintan Resort Ferries and also for some other ferry companies. Make sure you are heading to the right counter.
There are duty free shops at arrival lounge. But you can do your duty free purchasing only when you have stayed overseas for more than 48 hours.
There is a bus service (#35) connecting Bedok/Tanah Merah MRT Station to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and the travel time is approx. 20 MTS.
Fondest memory: Excellant service efficiency at the ferry terminal
After clearing all the immigration formalities and collecting the luggage at the Bintan ferry terminal, one comes out at the arrival hall and the Resorts counters are located here. The Indonesian Taxi operator ‘Indorent’ also has a counter at the arrival lounge, where taxies can be arranged for local sightseeing in Bintan Islands. We approached the Nirwana Garden resort counter and handed over the heavy luggage to one of the person there who arranged to transport these luggage to the resort. The buses that transport the passengers to the Resort got filled up in no time and within few minutes of arrival of the ferry terminal, we were on our way to the resort. It takes 15 minutes to reach the resort.
Nirwana Garden Resorts is basically a collection of five resorts, which are all located in the northern part of the island. All these resorts are located very close to each other and there is a regular shuttle bus service connecting them roughly at 30 mts interval.
Nirwana Hotel Resort
Banyu Biru Resort,
Mayang Sari Resort
Mana Mana Resort,
Indra Maya Resort.
Each of them provide different types of accomodation, varying from Deluxe Hotel rooms to fully furnished 2 bed room Hall sea facing duplexes with private pool, jaccuzzi and lot of other 5 star comforts.
At the Nirwana Hotel Resort, the reception was crowded with holiday goers, this being the super peak season of holidays. Deepawali and Hari Raya was falling in the same week and there could’nt have been a better time to go for holidays for Singapore residents. We arrived at the reception at 1300 hrs only to be told that the rooms are not ready till 1430 hrs (Check out time 1200 hrs, check in time 1500 hrs). We decided to have lunch at the poolside restaurant and comeback at 1430 hrs.
The immigration procedures at the Ferry terminal is same as in any international airports. The efficiency of service at the Tanah Mertah Ferry terminal is typical of Singapore’s well acknowledged efficiency of any Govt service and is comparable to that of Changi Airport.
At the Bintan Ferry terminal (Bandar Bentan Telani, as they call it in Indonesian Bahasa language) in Indonesia, upon arrival there are two queues-one for passport holders of South East Asia nations like Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Phillipines etc, and also some other nations like Chile, Peru, Morrocco, who don’t require visa to enter Indonesia. The other queue was for nationalities, who have the facility of ‘Visa on arrival’. These include following countries.
1. Argentina 2 .Australia
3. Austria 4. Belgium
5. Brazil 6. Canada
7. China 8. Denmark
9. Egypt 10. Finland
11. France 12 Germany
13 Hungary 14 India
15 Ireland 16 Italy
17 Japan 18 Kuwait
19 Luxembourg 20 Maldives
21 New Zealand 22 Norway
23 Oman 24 Poland
25 Portugal 26 Qatar
27 Russia 28 Saudi Arabia
29 South Africa 30 South Korea
31 Spain 32 Switzerland
33 Taiwan 34 United Arab Emirates
35 United Kingdom 36 United States of America
Rest of the nationalities have to apply for Visa with the consulates/Embassies in their country, before leaving for Indonesia.
‘Visa on Arrival’ fees
US$ 10.00 for 6 nights/7 days stay.
US$25.00 for one month stay.
At the Bintan Ferry terminal, they accept US$, Singapore $ and Indonesian Rupiah
Favorite thing: Bintan's weather mirrors Singapore's. The wettest months would be from mid November till early February, with the peak usually around late December/early January. There might also a brief rainy period between late May to late July. Other than that, it should be fair weather with the occasional Tropical thunderstorms for the rest of the months.
Favorite thing: The Indonesian national flag is called "Sang Saka Merah Putih. "Merah Putih" simply means Red-White. The official name however is Sang Saka, that is "Lofty Bicolor". Red represents the human blood, standing for the corporeal or concrete, white represents the spiritual. Together they are a pair, like the life on earth: day and night; man and wife; creation and individual.
Favorite thing: All resorts belonging to the Bintan Resorts Group accept Singapore Dollars, so there is no need for you to exchange for Indonesian Rupiahs...unless you intend to exit the resort grounds and enter Indonesia proper.
Save your $$$ for Phuket or Bali when it comes to eating out. Bintan's restaurants are too costly in all the resorts for what its worth. If you can form up to 8 members, find a Singaporean guy whose a Safra member to help book a villa for you. Problem is he may need to check in for you first. But if the villa costs just S$85/day it works out to just S$10 per person and that's dirt cheap.
Be prepared to lug along an icebox over the sea if you wish to cook decent meals. It's a lot cheaper to stock up first than to buy from the hotel later.
Fondest memory: If you are lucky as I was during my stay at the Banyan Biru villa at another nearby resort called Nirwana Garden, you could witness rows of crabs crawling into the sea as I did when I was having my early morning walk along the beach. Fascinating sight.
In another occasion at the said resort I saw a 2 m long monitor lizard lazily swimming across the lake right outside my window.
Rest and relax at the resort - at the beach or in a Spa or a massage on the pavillion by the beach. There are also services for Aromatherapy or massage in the hotel. Spa service in your room is possible too if there's a "basin" for spa in your room or villa.
There are many hammocks within Nirwana Gardens near the beach free for you to relax on or have a swing. I did not find hammocks by the beach at Bintan Lagoon though.
Fondest memory: There are many hotels and resorts for you to choose from. This picture is taken from within Nirwana Gardens. Within the Nirwana Resort, there are 4 types of individual hotels for you to choose from - Rooms and suites at Nirwana Resort hotel, one bedroom chalet at Mayang Sari, two or three bedrooms villa at Banyu Biru, or the two or three bedrooms villa at Indra Maya with a private pool. No matter where you stay, you will certainly be able to enjoy the warm and unique Indonesian's hospitality.
The villas in Indra Maya comes with a 4 or 6 seater buggy, depending on the size of the villa. The 2 bedroom villa and suites will have a 4 seater buggy, and a 3 bedroom villa will have a 6 seater buggy. The Indra Maya villas, and the suites are very exclusive as guests staying at other hotels within Nirwana Gardens will not be allowed into the Indra Maya compound.