Sunset viewed from the top of Borobudur

Borobudur sunset – Picture Jason Denning  

LAND CRUISE Tour Practicalities

We like relationships based on mutual respect

We believe in trust, fairness, and ‘doing the right thing’. We expect that travelers attracted by our LAND CRUISE small group tour of North Sumatra and Java will share these values of respect and responsibility.

We have stated on our website –

“Our tours best suit mature people [mainly over 60s] who want to experience different cultures and lifestyles, and to learn, understand and appreciate … Travelers who want to see great and famous attractions, but also wander off the beaten track – not too far, but far enough to add another dimension to our experience.”

Most of the guests we attract will be retired or semi-retired – many may even remember when major deals were executed and sealed with a handshake. A time when many citizens didn’t feel it necessary to lock-up their homes or cars.

Today, however, the lawyers are in the ascendency and most tour operators feel the need to issue long and jargon-laden Terms and Conditions documents minimizing their exposure to ANYTHING that could go wrong, and warning you of dire consequences for any sins of commission or omission on your part.

We prefer to respect our guests as adult ladies and gentlemen of goodwill. To see them as new friends who are joining our LAND CRUISE to experience, learn, and appreciate new places, peoples and cultures – and to have fun, and make new friendships with like-minded travelers.

We are confident that if we and our team deliver professional services and support while following these principles, we will earn and receive the respect of our guests in return.

When Things Go Wrong

We are all going to be part of a group, mainly of strangers from different backgrounds and places, who will be spending 21 days and nights together in a new and different cultural environment.  Inevitably, from time to time, things will go wrong.

When this happens our job is to communicate, mitigate and work closely with you to reach fair and reasonable solutions quickly, so that we can all move on.

However, when we confirm your booking for the LAND CRUISE small group tour of North Sumatra and Java we will together be entering into a legally binding contractual agreement.

We therefore do need a document in PLAIN LANGUAGE that sets out guidelines as to what we can expect of each other, and our rights, obligations and responsibilities.

Please read the following document carefully. As well as Terms and Conditions, it contains important and useful information about the LAND CRUISE Tour that you need to know. Should there be any sections that cause you concern, or that you do not understand, then please contact us for clarification. 

Sorry the document is a little long but we want you to be fully informed.


Terms, Conditions, Disclosures & Essential Tour Information

Who’s Who 

Your tour booking is with Douglas COLE (Australian Business Number 15391220103) trading as Better Tours Indonesia, also referred to in this document as ‘Better Tours’, ‘we’ or ‘us’ or ‘our’.

The pronouns ‘you’, ‘your’ and references to ‘guest’ or ‘guests’ denotes or includes yourself as the guest seeking a booking confirmation for the Better Tours LAND CRUISE  small group tour of North Sumatra and Java (also referred to in this document as ‘the LAND CRUISE’ or ‘the tour’).

If your booking includes other guests, the pronouns and terms above apply equally to each of them. All names in your booking document should be as per your passport.


By booking a tour with us you are accepting the terms and conditions laid out below, and acknowledge our terms and accept them.


The LAND CRUISE is of 21 days and nights. It begins in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and covers leading attractions in North Sumatra and Java, ending in your choice of Bali or Singapore.

The Tour itinerary is as described in the document ‘Descriptive itinerary for our LAND CRUISE North Sumatra and Java Adventure’ on the Better Tours Indonesia website (at The Itinerary is also available from the site as a downloadable PDF file.

Itinerary or Other Changes

Better Tours Indonesia warrants to do all things as described above and in the linked website documents, but reserves the right to make itinerary changes for reasons of safety, adverse conditions, or misadventure. You will be notified of any changes as soon as reasonably possible.

Where there are changes in activities or accommodations every effort will be made to arrange an alternative of similar attractiveness and standard.


Our tour pricing is modelled on the inclusive pricing practices common for ocean cruising and is a highly inclusive package.

As well as high-end accommodation, transport, and guiding services etc., it also includes most meals, frequent laundry services, baggage handling, all admissions, restaurant and hotel service charges, your Visa costs, and other ‘extras’ that most tour promotors require guests to pay.

The $US tour price advertised on our website and on our tour offer Landing Page (see link under Inclusions below) is based on international currency exchange rates as at May 2024.

From time to time our prices will vary to reflect currency fluctuations or costs. We also will make seasonal adjustments.

The current LAND CRUISE Tour price is that shown on the Booking and Payments pages of our website at (LINK TO BE ADDED HERE)

Tour Price Inclusions

Inclusions covered by your booking are detailed under the heading ‘The Better Tours LAND CRUISE Package’ on the Better Tours Indonesia website at –

Items Excluded       

Our tour pricing excludes –

    • International air fares from your home to Kuala Lumpur and for your return to your home country from Bali or Singapore.
    • Alcoholic drinks, except for the Medan welcome luncheon, Surabaya farewell dinner, and Lake Toba day cruise.
    • Travel Insurance.
    • Discretionary personal spending – Extra tips, personal shopping and services, cell phone charges, excess baggage fees etc.

Note that it is possible some Guests may have paid more or less than others for their tour. This usually arises when travel agents or resellers offer discounts for promotional purposes or to fill incomplete groups.

Booking Processes

You may book your LAND CRUISE tour directly through the booking and payment pages on our website (LINK to page to go here), or through an authorized travel agency or affiliate re-seller.

Bookings must be accompanied by a deposit of 30% of the tour price.

The balance of the full price (70%) is payable 42 days prior to the tour commencement date. We will invoice you regarding payment of this balance 10 business days before it falls due.

If you do not make the payment within 14 days of the due date your booking will be cancelled and the booking deposit payment will be forfeited.

If you are booking within 56 days of the date of the tour starts, the full price is payable with your booking.

We use the STRIPE International Payments Gateway to ensure your payments are secure. Payments may be made directly from our website payments page using major credit or debit cards (including Unionpay), bank transfer, or approved digital wallets.

We reserve the right to decline a booking application.

Be aware that booking information you provide (other than payments information) will be passed to third-party suppliers or others as necessary for the provision of your accommodation, transport or other services.

The information also will be provided to Immigration, Customs, or other public authorities if required by them, or as required by law.

Price Adjustments

Your tour price will be locked in and will not change after you have paid your 70% final balance at 42 days (6 weeks) prior to the start of the tour. Likewise if you pay in full at the time of booking. We will absorb any cost increases or the impact of currency fluctuations.

However, if there is a major currency fluctuation or unexpected cost increase between the time of your booking and the date your final balance payment falls due, we reserve the right to notify you of a price supplement.

You have the option of accepting the price adjustment or cancelling your booking and receiving a refund. If you do not cancel within 10 days you will be considered to have agreed to the increase.

Bookings for Partners or Groups

If you make a booking for anyone other than yourself, you are considered the designated contact person for the other guest(s). You warrant that you are authorized to act on behalf of all members of your party, have obtained all required consents, and that you will inform them of these Terms, and warrant that they accept and agree to them.

You are also responsible for making all payments due for all guests included in your booking, notifying us of any changes or cancellations, and keeping the other guests in your party informed of all relevant tour information.

Booking Confirmation

On accepting your booking we will email a confirmation together with an invoice/receipt. The email will contain a link to a secure inter-active and confidential Guest Information Form asking you to provide information to help us enhance your tour experience and ensure your wellbeing.

Guest Information Form.

The confidential Guest Information Form is to be completed for each guest. It provides an opportunity for you to tell us about:

HEALTH ISSUES – Chronic illnesses (e.g. – diabetes, shortness of breath, arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, allergies, other). 

SPECIAL NEEDS – Any disability or condition that may require extra support.

DIETARY CONCERNS – Any dietary restrictions or food allergies and special food requests.

FITNESS RATING Your rating of your current fitness level (so we can plan for suitable itinerary options for you if necessary).

EMERGENCY CONTACTS – Details of at least one and preferably TWO people you want us to contact in the event of any medical or other emergency.

The information you provide will be held in confidence in our files and not disclosed to third parties without your prior permission, except in a medical emergency or in response to an official request from authorized Government agencies. 

A member of our support team may telephone you to discuss the information you have provided with a view to clarifying the itinerary or other options we can provide to enhance your tour experience.

Change of Guest

You may transfer your booking to another person at any time up to 14 days prior to your tour departure date. By accepting the transfer, the new guest will be agreeing to be bound by the Terms and Conditions set out in this document.

The new Guest will be required to complete a Guest Information Form.

Change of Tour Date

You may transfer your booking to a LAND CRUISE tour on a different date (subject to vacancies being available) at any time up to 42 days prior to your originally booked tour date.

Should you wish to transfer within 42 days of your original tour date, we will attempt to accommodate your wishes, but cannot guarantee we will be able to do so. If you are unable to travel as booked it will be treated as a cancellation by you.  

Cancellations by Guests

Better Tours Indonesia applies the deposit monies you pay to in turn pay advances or deposits to third-party providers to secure their services during our tour (such as accommodation, coaches, train and plane tickets, guiding services etc.). We will not be able to recover some of these payments. 

Therefore, if you cancel your booking you may forfeit a proportion or all of your payments depending on how much written notice you provide prior to your tour departure date, as follows:

Prior to 56 days – full refund or CREDIT (towards future tour)

Prior to 42 days but less than 56 days – 15% forfeited or full CREDIT

Prior to 35 days but less than 42 days – 25% forfeited

Prior to 28 days but less than 35 days – 50% forfeited

Any cancellations after 28 days prior – 100% forfeited

NOTE: We reserve the right to automatically consider your booking cancelled if the balance due has not been paid prior to 28 days before your tour departure date.

We recommend you seek cover against cancellation risks in your Travel Insurance package.

Cancellation by Us

The LAND CRUISE Tour requires a minimum of 16 guests (8 couples) to operate and we reserve the right to cancel or reschedule due to insufficient demand. If we cancel for this reason we will notify you on or before your final balance payment date and offer alternate dates or a refund.

Refunds will be processed and paid as promptly as possible. If we need to recover funds already paid to third-party providers for tour services, your refund will be issued after those funds have been recovered. Refunds for payments made by credit card will be credited to that card, or they will be paid by bank transfer.

We do not accept responsibility for any incidental expenses or consequential losses that you incur as a result of a cancelled booking, including loss of earnings, loss of enjoyment, non-refundable connecting flights, accommodations, airport transfers, Visa fees, vaccinations, travel insurance excess, or other services associated with your tour.

Where possible, we recommend that you wait until after your final balance payment date to purchase or confirm these services.

Force Majeure

We also reserve the right to cancel or reschedule a tour due to unsafe conditions or other events beyond our control.

Unexpected circumstances may arise, such as major weather events, pandemics, border closures, acts of governments or authorities, wars, political uprisings or civil disturbances, riots, strikes, the threat of terrorist activities, criminal acts by third parties, equipment breakdowns, or Acts of God (earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires etc.).

These are events beyond anyone’s control, and typically force cancellations or disruptions of services. These circumstances are considered a force majeure.

Better Tours Indonesia warrants to provide all practicable support to guests in the event of a Force Majeure event. However, we will not be held responsible or liable in any way for the consequences of such events, including death, bodily injury, illness, damage, delay, or extra costs incurred by guests due to disruptions arising from the emergency.

We also reserve the right to modify, suspend or cancel the tour in these circumstances.

In the event of a cancellation due to a Force Majeure event during a tour, we will refund pro rata your payment for the remaining days of the tour less irrecoverable costs we have already paid.

We also will refund your payment on the same basis where a Force Majeure cancellation happens prior to a scheduled tour if rescheduling is not practicable.

Age and Fitness

Our LAND CRUISE is designed to suit retirees or semi-retirees aged 60 and over. This does NOT mean younger guests are excluded, but rather that they need to be aware that the pace of our program and the activities we include may differ from those of a tour designed for a younger demographic.

Some parts of our tour itinerary require reasonable levels of fitness – for example trekking to see Orangutans in the wild at Bukit Lawang, the ascent of the Borobudur Temple, and the staircase ascent to the rim of the Mount Bromo volcano. Where guests feel these activities may be beyond them we will usually arrange alternatives.

Special Needs Guests

Unfortunately, we are not yet able to cater for wheelchairs or to provide carer support for special needs guests (walking, dining, boarding and exiting coaches, or assisting with personal needs).

Indonesia is not yet geared to meet these requirements. However, we will consider bookings from guests who require such support where they are accompanied by a qualified companion who is also a paid guest, subject to prior discussions regarding facilities needed.

Vaccinations and Health & Safety Precautions

As of May 2024, no COVID-19 vaccinations are required for entry to Indonesia. The one required vaccination is for Yellow Fever in the event you have recently visited any of a limited number of countries in tropical Africa and South America where this disease is endemic.

Some Internet sites recommend updating various vaccinations when visiting Indonesia. Please remember these recommendations refer to the country as a WHOLE. The places we will be visiting represent risks similar to what you would expect for Bali.

Malaria still occurs in Sumatra but for the places we will be visiting the risk is rated zero-to-low. (See the Indonesian Malaria Map at>) Health authorities are aiming for Indonesia to be free of Malaria by 2030

Dengue Fever, another mosquito-borne disease, is prevalent in Indonesia (5 to 10 cases per 100,000 people January to March 2024). Hotels and resorts regularly use fogging to keep mosquito populations in check. We recommend you wear long pants as a protection if outdoors in the early evening. Also consider using repellant (provided in your complimentary Goodies Day-Pack).

As a special health and safety measure, our Tour Manager, Tour Leader and members of their support team are trained in first aid and resuscitation, and a professional First Aid Kit and a defibrillator are carried with each tour group.

 Assumption of Risk

We strongly believe that adventure can be undertaken in comfort and safety and have designed the LAND CRUISE tour accordingly, particularly taking into account that we are catering for older guests.

We expect that before booking you will have read the Descriptive Tour Itinerary on our website setting out where and how we will travel and the activities we will undertake. See it at (

The itinerary provides an opportunity for you to consider any potential risks, dangers and challenges, taking into account your own personal capabilities.

In making your booking you assume responsibility for all such risks.

You also agree to follow prudent safety measures while traveling, including the proper use of seatbelts, harnesses, flotation devices, and other safety equipment. You also undertake to obey instructions and warnings issued by our support staff during briefings and elsewhere.

In the absence of any negligence on our part, we will not be held liable for any claims arising from any losses, damages, injuries, or death due to failures to comply with safety instructions or warnings, or inherent risks arising from the activities described in or associated with the tour itinerary.

Travel Insurance

You must arrange Travel Insurance coverage (including evacuation cover) and advise us of the provider, policy details and the insurance company’s 24-hour emergency contact number prior to joining the tour.

Alternatively, you may provide a Statutory Declaration or notarized document indemnifying Better Tours Indonesia against any claim for compensation arising from medical, hospital, pharmaceutical, or evacuation costs, death, personal injury, loss of luggage or personal effects, delays or other related costs in the event of illness, accident or misadventure.

Please contact us if you would like details of Travel Insurance providers catering for seniors.

Guest Accommodation

All LAND CRUISE tour accommodation is in twin or double rooms in 4-star or 5-star rated hotels or resorts except at the remote village of Bukit Lawang.

Accommodation there will be the best available (usually the Ecolodge Bukit Lawang Cottages, which typically receives glowing reviews).

We select hotels for their historic back-story or cultural significance and/or their convenient location.

Solo Guests

Inquiries from solo guests are welcome. We will try to assist in matching you with other solo guests if you wish, or confer with our accommodation providers to secure a fair single supplement rate.

Smoking Restrictions

By default the rooms we book are non-smoking. When booking please advise us if you require rooms in which smoking is permitted.

Our coaches, flights, and train services also are non-smoking. Our coach crews stop for periodic comfort breaks during which smokers can disembark for a quick cigarette.

Passports and Visas

Indonesian border controls require that your passport is valid for six months beyond the date of your arrival.

Tourist Visas (VOA) providing for stays of 30 days (29 nights) are available to nationals from 97countries and can be obtained on arrival at designated entry points or online in advance of your travel.

The VOA (Visa-on-arrival) costs 500,000 Indonesian rupiah (about US$35, 30 Euros, or AUD$50). It can be extended once for a total of 60 days on payment of a further Rp500,000.

However, obtaining a VOA online can be messy. For your convenience we have arranged for bulk processing of Visas for our tour guests. The cost is included in your tour price.

We will ask you to email us a scan of the details page of your passport together with a passport-size photograph. The approved Visa document will be emailed to you.

Should you not require our Visa assistance, we will discount your Tour cost by the equivalent of IDR500,000 Visa Cost (about US$35).

Extended Stay in Indonesia

Please advise us if you wish to extend your stay in Indonesia beyond 30 days and we will contact you to help arrange an online Visa with extended validity. This will save you the trouble of going through the extension process.

Stays or Transits in Malaysia and Singapore

You do not need a Visa* to transit or enter Malaysia for a tourism or business visit of less than 90 days. Airport Immigration checkpoint officials will simply stamp your passport with a Social Visit Pass (Visa) authorizing your stay.

(*Note: Nationals from Israel do require a Visa.)

Singapore is open to all transit travelers with no specific regulations or requirements. Nationals of most countries** also do not require a Visa to spend time in Singapore but you will be required to complete and submit a Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC).

To avoid delays at the Checkpoint on arrival you can submit your SGAC up to three days prior using the free MyICA Mobile Application. It can be downloaded from The App Store (IOS) or Google Play (Android).

(**Nationals from 34 countries do require Visas to enter Singapore – these countries are listed at

Third-Party Providers  

Better Tours enters into contract arrangements with local tour operators, accommodation providers, transport companies, local guides, attractions, activity organizers and other independent ‘Third-Party Suppliers’ to assist in running the LAND CRUISE tour. Some may engage sub-contractors to assist them.

We take great care in sourcing providers whom we believe will provide our guests with first-rate service and experiences. However, we do not supervise or control these suppliers and cannot ultimately be held responsible for their actions or omissions.

We will assist in seeking a settlement of any disputes arising between you and any third-party provider, but ultimately differences are to be resolved between you and that party.

Authority on Tour

The LAND CRUISE tour is headed by a Tour Manager, supported by a Tour Leader. On all matters potentially affecting the safety or well-being of guests or tour staff, the decisions of the Tour Manager and/or Tour Leader are final.

Guests failing to comply with their decisions or acting in ways adversely impacting the group may be asked to leave the tour immediately, with no right of refund of their tour payment or of expenses they may incur by their departure.

By booking with Better Tours Indonesia you undertake to behave in an orderly manner and not disrupt the enjoyment of others traveling with you. We cannot accept discord within our group due to incompatible behavior.

Our Tour Manager will act where behavior of guests is judged as causing, or as being likely to cause, danger, distress, or material annoyance to others.

Medical Emergencies

Should any medical condition arise leaving you unable to provide the required consent for emergency treatment, we will communicate with your travel companions or call your designated emergency contact for permissions.

If our Tour Manager or Tour Leader believes, that time or circumstances do not permit such communication, you authorize them to consent on your behalf and arrange any medical treatment deemed advisable by, and to be rendered under, the supervision of any physician, surgeon or other qualified medical professional.

You also authorize the Tour Manager or Tour Leader to arrange ambulance transport, evacuation, or other emergency services considered necessary for your well-being. All treatments and services will be at your cost.

You agree also not to hold us or our support team responsible for actions relating to such medical or emergency treatment.

Guest Unable to Continue

If our Tour Manager or Tour Leader considers that your physical or mental health may make it unsafe for you to continue to participate in the planned itinerary, they may ask you to avoid certain activities. In extreme cases, they may ask you to leave the tour.

In this event we will make reasonable attempts to transport you to the appropriate airport or other departure point. You will not be entitled to a refund for unused services and, apart from transport to the departure point, you will be responsible for costs you incur.

You grant us permission to discuss your situation, including your physical health or mental condition, and share any information we deem relevant, with your travel companion, family members, medical professionals, designated emergency contact, or others we consider necessary or appropriate.

Unused Services

If you leave the tour for any reason after it has commenced, we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services. Likewise, no refunds will be made should you fail to join the tour, join it after departure, or leave before its completion.

Electricity Voltage & Adapters

The electricity service in Indonesia operates at 230V and with a frequency of 50 Hz. This power supply will be available in all the places we visit.

Power connections are usually by 2-pin European style plugs and sockets or the heavy-duty 3-pin British connections. We will provide universal adapters in your complimentary Day Packs.

Please note the adapters are NOT step-down power converters. If you are coming from a country with 120V system we recommend you pack a step-down converter with sufficient capacity for the appliances you are bringing.

We will have a limited number of low-output voltage converters to loan to guests who are unable to bring their own (sufficient for phone charging, hair dryers, laptops etc).

Internet Access

Reliable Internet access will be available in all of the regions we visit with acceptable download and upload speeds. All of the hotels at which we stay will have complimentary WIFI access. Cheap data services are available from Indonesian cell phone network providers.

Mobile Phone Access

All guests with smart phones, are urged to download the messaging application WhatsApp. It can be downloaded FREE from The App Store (IOS) or Google Play (Android).

With this app you can send texts, make audio calls, video calls, and group calls, and transfer scans, photographs, and documents locally and internationally, all for FREE.

Providing you have Internet access (WIFI) you can do all of this without registering your phone for access to the Indonesian telecommunications system. However, you can only connect with other WhatsApp users.This is why you also need to urge family members, friends and colleagues to also install the app – you will then be able to stay in touch with them for free throughout your tour.

This is important to us too, because WhatsApp is a convenient and inexpensive way we can stay in touch with you (and you can easily talk to us) in the lead-up to your LAND CRUISE adventure. We and you can also use it for document transfers.

We will use WhatsApp to easily message or call you while on tour and it will allow you to quickly and easily call us if you need assistance. You also will be able to send texts or make free calls to other members of our tour group.

WhatsApp is owned by Meta (the Facebook people) and all messages are encrypted. There are now more than 2 billion users worldwide and it is extremely popular in Indonesia and Southeast Asia with both businesses and the general public.

It is the principal telecommunications tool we use at Better Tours for international and local messaging and calls. We also use it for inter-active chat on our website.

However, you may wish to consider using a VPN (virtual private network) as an extra layer of protection against hackers when making calls or texting with WhatsApp from free public WIFI hotspots (airports, McDonalds, Starbucks etc).

Phone Network Registration

To be able to make and receive local or international calls or send data over the regular Indonesian phone network your phone must first be registered.

As a short-stay visitor the registration is free (for up to 90 days – longer stays incur substantial import duties). However, the visitor registration must be completed within 24 hours of your arrival.

The process can be messy. To make it easy we arrange for a phone company representative to attend our hotel soon after our arrival in Medan to complete the paperwork for all guests who wish to register.

You will be offered a ‘Tourist SIM Card’ providing access to Telkomsel (Indonesia’s widest cellphone coverage) for IDR150,000 (about US$10) loaded with 25GB of data and 25 minutes of voice call time. You can top up the call time or data later (called quota in Indonesia) should you need to.

So long as your phone is not locked, we strongly recommend that you register it – doing so will mean you can use free WhatsApp calls and texts to stay in touch with loved ones or colleagues from anywhere even when you do not have access to a WIFI connection.

It also means you will be able to send and receive traditional texts or calls to and from people who do not have WhatsApp.

Luggage Allowance

We allow one checked bag of up to 20kg plus a carry-on bag and a personal item such as a handbag, camera bag, or laptop per guest (double for couples). Please contact us should you need to exceed or vary the permitted luggage allowance.

Please bear in mind that we will be providing regular FREE professional laundry services throughout the LAND CRUISE TOUR (about every three days). This should help you to pack less clothing than you would otherwise need.

Complimentary Day Pack

When packing, please bear in mind that you also will receive a complimentary Better Tours GOODIES DAY-PACK’ on arrival in Indonesia. This will include many of the useful items you will need on tour, meaning you do not have the inconvenience of buying them before departure and you can save even more space in your luggage. 

You can see a list of the contents by scrolling down to the heading A Special Bonus – the BETTER TOURS GOODIES PACK at

Luggage Handling Service

Luggage can become a pain when moving between towns and cities on tour. Therefore we make special arrangements for handling and transporting your bags to take the burden out of luggage handling on coaches, and at airports, railway stations, hotels etc. Our support crew will provide details at our briefings.

 While we warrant that our providers will take all due care in handling and transporting your luggage, we provide this service at your risk.

Gifts and Souvenirs

Many items are amazingly cheap in Indonesia. We make opportunities for you to browse local markets, shops and arts and crafts venues where you can buy for yourself or find gifts for family and friends.

But we detest the practice of tour guides herding guests into a stream of souvenir shops and outlets so they can get kick-back commissions, and we ensure our contracted local guides know how we feel about it.

If you ask, our support team will give you tips on reputable places to go and bargains to consider. But their suggestions are not to be taken as a warranty as to the quality, authenticity, or value of the merchandise. You remain responsible for the purchases you make.

We recommend you comparison shop to gauge prices and thoroughly inspect items before leaving the premises.

 Respecting Local Laws

You must always comply with the laws and regulations of Indonesia during your visit. It is easy to do so – simply always remember we are guests in this country, exercise common sense, be respectful, and be well-mannered. Do this and you will be fine.

If you do commit an illegal act it may result in your removal from the tour and put you at risk of fines or punishment by local authorities, for which we cannot be held responsible and have no capacity to provide assistance.

Remember particularly that Indonesia, like other countries in Southeast Asia, has very strict drug laws, and it enforces them.

Also always avoid any altercation with Indonesian citizens – if you feel that you have been wronged then walk away and ask our Tour Leaders to handle any issue on your behalf. They will do so appropriately.

Cultural Awareness

Please remember Indonesia is a largely consensus society – conflict is generally frowned upon and those who show anger are considered to lose face.

Despite an extraordinary ethnic mix, Indonesians are noted for being calm, gracious, and polite. Usually, they also have an inborn sense of fun.

Indonesians also are particularly respectful towards older people – around 80% of Indonesia’s 19 million seniors are cared for by family. Retirement villages and care homes are rare. As recently as 2018 there were only 4 aged care nursing homes in the whole of Jakarta.

However, Indonesians follow different cultural norms to those of your home society – this is part of what makes The Real Indonesia such an interesting place to visit.

We urge you to take a little time to learn about what Indonesian people consider to be good manners and what they view as impolite. This will enhance your tour experience and may prevent you from causing unintended embarrassment for yourself and your hosts.

We will send notes on Indonesian social etiquette prior to your departure and provide reminders of some aspects during on-tour briefings. If you would like to get started you can check articles on our sister website at –

And Part 2 at –

Environmental Awareness

We visit important natural features and heritage-listed man-made attractions during our LAND CRUISE Tour.

You will be briefed on the environmentally appropriate rules we expect you to follow when we visit places like Bukit Lawang and the Gunung Lauser National Park to see orangutans and other wildlife. Likewise when we explore magnificent Lake Toba with its traditional Batak villages.

We equally ask that you exercise appropriate respect when we visit Iconic monuments like the famous Borobudur and Prambanan temple complexes of Yogyakarta, left for us by the civilizations of Central Java from more than a millennium ago.

Indonesia, and many individual Indonesians, can be seen to fall well short in caring for their environment. Regardless, we expect our Tour guests to always act with due care and responsibility.

Tour Video and Photo Album

As a memento for guests, we engage videographers and photographers to create personalized presentation photo albums and a video of highlights of our tours. You will be presented with your photo album at our Surabaya farewell dinner (and forwarded a digital copy of the pictures).

The video also will be sent to you digitally after editing and production (up to a month). Excerpts from the video, surplus footage, and selected photographs will be posted on our social media (mainly Facebook, YouTube and Instagram).  

Unless you lodge a specific objection, you consent to being included in the photographs and video and freely grant us permission to also use the pictures and video on social media and other medium for marketing and promotion. Better Tours warrants to treat such material with appropriate respect and avoid knowingly causing embarrassment for you or others.

Complaints and Feedback

We welcome feedback – ideas and suggestions from our guests can help us make the LAND TOUR even better.

Our Tour Leader and support team will conduct a short daily briefing and feedback session, usually before or after dinner. Guests are urged to use this forum to comment on activities, air any concerns or complaints, and suggest possible improvements. This is intended to allow any problems to be rectified promptly, as well as a chat about plans for the next day and giving you some advance tips on making it a memorable experience.

BETTER TOURS INDONESIA – Last updated May, 2024