Indonesian Visa in Penang
NOTICE: PEOPLE WERE REPORTING THAT FROM AUGUST 2017-FEB 2018, THERE WAS SOME KIND OF QUOTA SYSTEM INTRODUCED FOR 60 DAY VISAS.
UPDATE @ MARCH 2018: THERE ARE SIGNS THAT THE RESTRICTION HAS BEEN REMOVED – see the last few posts in the comments section at the bottom of the page for some more info.
ANOTHER EDIT @ APRIL 2018. Some people are reporting that are still being rejected unless they have a sponsor. The current policy seems unpredictable.
Here are a few notes on visiting the Indonesian Consulate in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.
The consulate is on Jalan Burma, about 4km West of the Chinatown tourist area.
The details are :
467 Jalan Burmah, 10350 Penang
Tel: (04) 2274686; 2277412; Fax: (04) 2275887
The ‘just take a taxi’ folks can just take a taxi – it shouldn’t be too expensive. Cheapskates can take a number 101 bus for 1.40 MYR.
The bus starts at the Jetty (where the boats to Butterworth depart from). There is a bus stop on the corner of Love Lane and Lebuh Chulia (opposite the 7-11), which is nice and easy for Chinatown residents. Ask for ‘Gurney Plaza’ to get the right fare.
Jalan Burma / Burma road is a one way street (going the wrong way), so the Westbound bus goes along Jalan Kelewei. Jump off the bus near the Gurney Paragon and Gurney Plaza Shopping Malls (on the right), then skip left a block (about 200m) to Jln Burma (which has 4 lanes of one-way traffic, going from right to left). Turn right on Jln Burma and walk about another 200m West. You will pass another mall (the Midlands Park Centre) on the right (they do photographs and photocopying). The Indonesian Consulate is immediately after the big Adventist Hospital on the left.
The consulate opens at 9am Monday-Friday. I think that visa applications are only accepted in the mornings.
On arriving, sign-in at the security gate and collect your security pass.
The dress code at the consulate is ‘no sleeveless shirts, no shorts and no slippers (flip-flops, jandles, thongs)’. In the past, I have seen people there in long (below the knee) shorts but they were getting turned away in 2016. Wear long trousers..
The visa section is on the left.
The exact counter to line-up at changes from year to year. At my most recent visit in 2016, Malaysian/Indonesian people “queue” up at the counters near the front door, foreigners go halfway along the line of counters.,
Ask the folk behind the counter for a blank tourist visa form, go away from the counter to fill it in, then come back and hand it over with the visa fee. In 2016, a tourist visa was 190MYR. Plan to have the correct amount with you. When you have handed your form over, you will be issued a number.
When they call your number, they have checked your form and will give you a receipt which you will need when you collect your passport tomorrow.
Collection is from 2-4pm the next day. (in 2013. On another visit in 2014, collection was 10am the next day; then in 2016, they were back to 2-4pm next day.)
To head back downtown, you can get the 101 directly on Jln Burma (the bus stop is about 100m West of the consulate).
I got a 60 day single entry tourist visa. I had flights booked in and out, so I can’t help with questions about their attitude to ferry transport, I’m afraid. The form does say you need air tickets. (edit: some folk have had luck showing credit card statements in lieu of air tickets – see the comments, below)
It is notable that there is no field on the form for ‘length of stay’. If it is not obvious from your air tickets, you might want to point out to them how long you are wanting the visa to be for (e.g. 60 vs. 30 days).
I went to Penang for a visa because (around 2013) the embassy in Kuala Lumpur started getting stingy with issuing 60 day visas (they won’t issue one unless you have a sponsor in Indonesia). If you are travelling to Penang from KL – here’s a couple of travel tips:
A bus from KL to Penang is 5.5 hours and 40MYR. They leave pretty frequently from Pudu Sentral (formerly Puduraya Bus station) (near KL’s Chinatown) (edit: apparently bus departures to Penang have now been moved to Bandar Tasik Selatan terminal – see Doug’s comment below 5 Nov 2015).
Long distance buses to Georgetown arrive in Penang at the Express Bus station in the middle of nowhere (about 15km South of the tourist/accommodation areas). Taxi drivers there will try and tell you that a 30MYR taxi is the only way to get downtown. That is not true – there is a local bus stop at platform 1. Bus 401 goes to downtown for 2MYR. You might have to wait half an hour for one to show up.
If you can get a long distance bus that is going to Butterworth (on the mainland side) (rather than Georgetown, on the island), it is very easy to then take the ten minute ferry journey over to Georgetown (1.20MYR). Often, buses for Penang/Georgetown continue on to Butterworth, so check with your driver if you can stay-on the bus for the ten minute ride to Butterworth. If not, you might be able to just hop-on any passing big-bus from the Penang Express Bus Station to Butterworth station.
Georgetown’s Chinatown district (where most of the accommodation is) is a short (ten minute) walk South West from the ferry terminal where the ferries from Butterworth arrive.
Being a UNESCO Heritage area, Chinatown has some rather expensive accommodation, but there are also a few cheapies around if you hunt around the Love Lane area. One option is ’75 Travellers Lodge’ ( at 75 Lebuh Muntri) which has dorms for 18MYR and doubles for 42MYR; or Western Oriental, next door for 15/30MYR (rates correct at 2016). There are a few others with similar rates, but the average place in Georgetown is more ’boutiquey’ and costs double that.
There is lots of great (and cheap) food all around the Chinatown/Little India area.
You can rent bikes for about 15MYR and motorbikes/scooters for about 30MYR.
Info on local buses.
Feel free to post any useful additions in the comments below. Please note that I am not an expert in Indonesian visas – it is probably best to post visa questions on travel forums like Travelfish or Thorn Tree.
Written: June 2014 Last Updated Aug 2017