AIR: Merpati is the only domestic airline flying to or from Lombok. There are numerous daily flights to and from Mataram to Denpasar (Bali), Sumbawa Besar and Bima (Nusa Tenggara) and Surabaya (Java). Bali is easily accessed by air. Many international airlines fly there directly. Others fly there via Jakarta. Domestic airlines operate between Bali and towns in Java and Sumatra.
SEA: There are frequent ferries between Lembar in Lombok and Padangbai in Bali. The crossing takes at least four hours. Ferries to Sumbawa depart from Labuhan Lombok and arrive at Poto Sano. The trip takes less than two hours.
All travelers to Indonesia must have a passport valid for 6 months. Proof of onward or return journey must be submitted. No visas are required from nationals of certain countries. (Please check with your travel agent for a complete list of these countries). Visa free entry is also allowed for registered delegates attending a conference which has received official approval. For nationals of other countries, visas can be obtained from the local Indonesian embassy or consulate. New Visa Policy - Republic of Indonesia
Nationals of following 11 countries and territories are given visa free of charge upon arrival: Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam, Macao, Morocco, Chile & Peru. Nationals of following 21 countries can obtain a visa on arrival after paying US$25 visa fee: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and United States of America. Nationals of countries not stated above are required to apply for visa at the Indonesian Embassy in their country of domicile.
Duty-free allowances for visitors are limited. Cameras, typewriters, and other valuable equipment must be declared on entry and taken out on departure. Television sets, radios, narcotics, arms, pornography, printed matter in Chinese and Chinese medicine are prohibited. Advance approval is required for transceivers and movie films.
The official unit of currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah (IDR). There is a limit to the amount of Indonesian currency you can bring into or take out of the country. Major foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks, exchange offices and large hotels. Credit cards are accepted, but cash transactions are often preferred.
Being an equatorial country, the climate remains hot for most part of the year. The rainy season starts in November and extends till April. December is usually the wettest month. Temperatures range from 26 to 33 degrees Celsius, while humidity hovers between 60 and 90%. Bali and Lombok can be refreshingly cool in the evenings.
The best way to dress in Bali and Lombok is to go informal. Light clothing (remember to carry plenty of spares to change into during the day) like bikinis, halter-neck tops, shorts and mini skirts are ideal for women on the beach, while shorts with singlets should suit men.
A jacket and tie are required for official calls or for more formal occasions. Long sleeved batik or handwoven shirts are acceptable for evening functions. For ladies, dresses, blouses, and long pants are appropriate. You could travel light, as there is usually a wide range of beachwear available in Bali. In the hilly regions, a sweater usually suffices. Sandals are the most comfortable form of footwear.
Bahasa Indonesia, a version of Malay, is the official language in Indonesia. In Bali, however, it co-exists with Balinese. Among international languages, English and Dutch are preferred. Interestingly, the Indonesian language uses the Roman script and alphabet.
Indonesia has many public holidays. Shops may close and other services may not operate on these days. The most important dates are Independence Day on 17th August and Nyepi Day (travellers must stay within their hotels / resorts on Nyepi Day). In addition, many shops may close for up to five days in conjunction with this holiday.