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The Indonesian Consulate


Though better than most, the real benefit of the dormitory at the 75 Travellers Inn was that perversely the large uncurtained windows and street noise always ensured you woke suitably early and so got stuff done. My mission for today was to hit the Indonesian consulate, ostensibly to ascertain whether a double entry visa was obtainable, hopefully to also surreptitiously establish whether they enforced the complicatory ticket out requirement. A short bus ride away past some excellent architectural wonders such as vast mansions and churches, it was a cinch to track the place down, and though busy enough it transpired that the throng of locals were apparently there on different business. It was most unexpected certainly that the visa window was devoid of a queue and the clerk even beckoned me over. It took all of 2 seconds to discover that a double entry visa was a thing of fantasy in Indonesia and that yup, I would need to show a ticket out. Taking 5 minutes to consider all the considerable pros and cons then, it was almost whimsical that beyond expectation I ended up going for it and making an application there and then. Though it was possible to receive a visa upon entry, only 30 days were issued and a consular application would net me 60. It was imperceptible whether my tentative plans of travelling from Banda Aceh to the Sarawak border were feasible in a month and bagging 60 days would afford me peace of mind and a gentler pace. The other thing which crossed my mind was that if I had 60 days and therefore had a ferry ticket for the same duration, I could use the same ticket to back up a second subsequent visa application as was my intention after visiting Malaysian Borneo. I had had to nominate my intended date of entry and not even having established the processing time I played it safe and gave myself a few days grace. Remarkably the guy said to come back the very next day with proof of a ticket out and that would be it. Apart from having had to hit an ATM for the not unreasonable 170 Ringit (about 27 quid) it took literally minutes to lodge the application, fortunately having had the foresight of bringing along passport photos and photocopies just in case, and a fated Starbucks just across the road was the obvious reward for a super efficient morning. It just remained for me to bus it back to Georgetown centre and then leg it to the ferry agents near the jetty. Wary of another reputed scam reported here, I still somewhat dubiously trusted the advice of the official tourist office and another pricey 220 Ringit later had my return ticket secured. I'd also managed on the way to find some soon to be depleted surgical spirirt too, I couldnt be sure whether such stuff would even be available here but it rounded of a successful day nicely.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Malaysia

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