Indonesia travel guide (Bali and Sulawesi)

While there is good medical care in the big cities and tourist centres in Indonesia, there only is basic care in rural areas and medicine is not always available. This is why, if you plan your trip well, you should always have sunscreen, mosquito protection, pain medication, antipyretics, medicine against diarrhoea as well as ear and eye drops with you.

A lack of hygiene in the whole country is to be expected, which is why diarrhoea is relatively common. To prevent “Montezuma's revenge”, you should follow a few simple rules: You should only eat food that is well cooked and has not been stored unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours. Raw milk and eggs (ice cream, dessert cream, mayonnaise) should generally be avoided. Fruit and raw vegetables should only be eaten if they have been peeled or thoroughly washed with clean water. Ice cubes should only be used if they were made with previously boiled water or mineral water.


If you take a non-stop flight from Europe, you are not required to be vaccinated before entering the country. However, even if you only plan on spending your holiday in tourist centres or big cities, you should get vaccinated against hepatitis A. If you plan on going up country, a vaccination against hepatitis B, rabies and cholera is recommended as well as against Japanese encephalitis and meningococcus if you backpack through the country or plan the trip yourself. In any case, you will need the standard vaccines (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) before going to Indonesia.

Malaria and other illnesses

You can get malaria all year on Bali or Sulawesi. Although there is only a small to medium risk of infection on Bali and Sulawesi, which is why you do not need to take a medication-based prophylaxis, it is recommended to take a stand-by medication such as Malarone with you. In some areas in Indonesia, however, there is a high risk of infection for malaria. You should therefore consult with a physician before going on holiday. It is important to limit exposure to mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeve shirts, using repellents such as NoBite, insecticides and impregnated mosquito nets.

With such a pre-exposure prophylaxis, you can also prevent dengue fever, which is carried by diurnal and nocturnal mosquitos. People who have gotten infected show flu-like symptoms with strong headaches and joint pain. If you have already had dengue fever, it is more likely that it will become life-threatening in form of hemorrhagic fever with shock syndrome.

Swimming or being in standing waters should be avoided completely because of the risk of being infected with schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by parasitic worms affecting the internal organs. People become infected when larvae living in fresh water penetrate the skin.

Since Indonesia is a big and diverse country with different risks depending on the region you are in, we recommend that you get a travel medical consultation, for instance through the aqua med diveline.

Hospitals and hyperbaric chambers

If you have a medical emergency, it is recommendable to go to one of the bigger hospitals on Bali if you have the possibility to do so. There you will find a medical standard which can compare to European standards. Since many diving spots in Indonesia are relatively remote, you should ask your dive centre about the nearest hyperbaric chamber and an emergency plan a before leaving for your holiday.

In case of emergency

We recommend you save our emergency hotline +49 421 240 110-10 in your contacts and, if possible, always have your dive card close by when you are on holiday. Even if it is something seemingly harmless, you can always call our hotline, whether you have a medical question or problems settling a claim. You should always call us in more complex cases, especially when the costs are high or it seems necessary for you to be treated in a hyperbaric chamber or a hospital. You can handle simple insurance cases yourself if you feel up to it and have enough money with you. However, we also recommend contacting us if an invoice seems unreasonably high.

(February 2018)