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laura
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hello. please be gentle, this is my first post.

my boyfriend and i are considering travel to many countries around the world, and beautiful indonesia seems an ideal place to visit.

i've read some topics on this site related to americans, and it seems that the sentiment towards them is generally somewhat negative. would any of you who have traveled/lived there be willing to share your thoughts on americans visiting indonesia? are we welcome? would you recommend against it?

specifically, we'd love to visit sumatra...unfortunately, the u.s. government strongly advises against travel to the exact place we'd like to go - aceh province, to visit gunung leuser national park. is it really as dangerous, especially for americans, as they make it sound?

any other suggestions are, of course, welcome. we are primarily interested in wildlife - orang-utans and tigers, other primates and such.

any input would be greatly appreciated.

cheers!



aliakbar
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Well it just sounds dangerous, But Indonesia and Indonesians will embrace you with a warm welcome, And dont be worried ....

Its safe and sound here....

well Aceh is the only province where you are not allowed to visit due to political tensions....

But other regions are all safe .....and you will have a wonderful time here .

Sumatra and sulawesi would be cool for wildlife tours and adventures ...nothing to worry there about .

Rgds
Aliakbar


www Jakarta through the Eyes of an Expat

Jeroen
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Dangerous? Your government can tell you what they want of course, but unless wild animals see that you are from the US of A and dislike you, there is not much to worry about. I guess it's more 'dangerous' to work on Wall Street or NYSE than being in the jungles of Gunung Leuser.



laura
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thank you, aliakbar, for your kind and quick response.

i didn't realize that travel to aceh was not allowed at all.

sulawesi is listed as another of the u.s. travel advisory's "trouble spots"...do you think they're over-exaggerating? is there unrest there, as well? and possible targeting of americans?

and, while on that topic, if we do travel there, would anyone recommend pretending to be canadian? i'd attempt british or australian, but don't think i can master the accent. i'm not the average flag-waving, loud, obnoxious american (though i think many of you would be surprised to learn that there are less of those kind of americans than you might imagine), and would have no qualms about discarding my nationality if it meant that i might have a more enjoyable experience.



Jeroen
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Sulawesi is perfectly safe. One region, the Poso region in central Sulawesi is less safe because of religious violence. Of course you avoid something like that, just because you can avoid it.

I was on Sulawesi last March and there was nothing violent about it. I'm Dutch, so probably they can see me as an American as well. Emoticon: Wink



laura
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Jeroen -

the animals are my primary interest, yes, but travel to any country is not complete without interaction with the people of that country...i was just curious as to whether the people would want to interact with me...i truly have no preconceived notions of indonesia or its people...i've only recently (as in tonight) began researching the idea...if the government (and make no mistake about this - it is not MY government) is wrong in advising against travel to a certain area, that is what i'm here to find out...believe me, i'd much prefer to ignore such advice or have it proved incorrect, but i harbor no delusions about america's popularity in the world right now, and i don't want to put myself in a position in which i would be targeted unjustly for a simple accident of birth...



laura
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p.s. thanks again for the advice...i think the best way to go about travel is to take everyone's suggestions with a grain of salt...is that an expression that translates? anyway...i'd no more put 100% of my trust in the government's advice than i would a stranger on the internet Emoticon: Wink

the truth often lies somewhere in between.



aliakbar
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Just learn some Polite words...like

Thank you - Terima Kasih....,, How are you : Apa kabar...

That would be enough for a tourist....Keep a smile on your face always...

Indonesians love people who are just polite to them...Respect them and they will respect you 100 times more.....

Well I dont think you have to pretend somebody , just be cool ..

If LINKIN PARK can have their concert here , what is there to worry for you...haha just a joke....

You are welcome here , I am not an Indonesian as well but Love staying here ....because these people are more kind than what you could just expect ...

Well the truth is infact, Just do some research before your trip....and join proffessional tours, they would take care of you well.....

Rgds
Ali


www Jakarta through the Eyes of an Expat

aliakbar
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On 04-08-2004 08:29 Jeroen wrote:
Dangerous? Your government can tell you what they want of course, but unless wild animals see that you are from the US of A and dislike you, there is not much to worry about..


Good One ,,,Jeroen ha ha ha ha ha ha




www Jakarta through the Eyes of an Expat

laura
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aliakbar - if i do go to indonesia, i won't be leaving for more than a year from now...plenty of time to learn some basic indonesian...and i am supremely polite and always smiling...no worries there...

the more i read about gunung leuser national park, the more i feel that i absolutely MUST go there...

is there no way for foreigners to enter the province at all? or is the park perhaps considered a separate entity from the province?

please, please tell me that this is possible...



Jeroen
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Well, the people are not hostile to you, if you aren't to them. Just don't wear a USA flag with you or something other which is related to politics as well. That should do it. O ya, dress properly of course, but that's more a general tip if you are abroad anyway.



Desi Clark
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Laura...Lots of Miners in Indonesia are Americans, and most of them live in mining fields.

Change your accent will not do anything. Unless you changed your identity on the paper that would be something. ( I strongly would not recommend it)

American government advises their people to take precaution before traveling to any places in the world that it is considered danger. They just do their duty to protect their people from any harm..you should be grateful for that. Of course,we are responsible for our own safety...

Be sure to register/report to the American embassy once you arrive.

And i think you will need a special permission or documentation to visit Aceh...(perhaps certain areas in Aceh). When are you planning on going? Have you applied a visa to enter Indonesia?

If you have any problem in getting your paperwork to visit Aceh, you can email me at pengurus_imcRemoved to prevent your adress from being spammed. Click this to go to the user profile.yahoo.com. I am currently serving as a President of Indonesian Mixed Couple Organization (Headquartered in Jakarta), but reside in Atlanta, Georgia. Recently visited Indonesia. Hopefully our organization can help your visit to Aceh.

Warm regards,
Desi Clark
www.indo-mc.com



Effort and Courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

aliakbar
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If you want to visit the park maybe you should consult the travel tours first and ask them the formalities,

In my opinion to visit the park would be no problems , as it is a tourist destination...

http://www.indah.nl/uk/sumatra.php

Maybe you can have a look at this and consult with them....personally I would ask some of my friends here as well .

Rgds,
Aliakbar


www Jakarta through the Eyes of an Expat


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