The big move to Pekanbaru...

Discussion in 'Newbie Corner' started by Shereen_92, May 11, 2018.

  1. Shereen_92

    Shereen_92 New Member

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    Hi!

    I'm heading to Indonesia in September to start a teaching job (all very exciting!) and thought I'd start trying to make connections in the area/ getting advice for the big move!

    I can't seem to find much info on Pekanbaru from an expat perspective (from what I can tell, it doesn't seem like there's a huge expat community there, which is fine, I've spent time in similar situations before so I'm sure it will be a great experience).

    I'd be interested to hear about recommendations for the move (job, accommodation, visa etc. all sorted, so more about practicalities, what to bring etc.)... I'd also be interested to hear about the practicalities of exploring via public transport while out there, as there are plenty of places I'd like to see throughout the country!

    So, yeah... excited to hear from those already out there! :D

    Cheers,

    Shereen
     
  2. Scooterindo

    Scooterindo Active Member Charter Member Cager

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    Most of the white faces you'll see will be oil workers flying in and out after working up in Riau.
     
  3. El_Goretto

    El_Goretto
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    Welcome to the forum @Shereen_92 !

    Exciting times! On top of my head, I don't know of anyone on our forum who's in Pekanbaru but I'm sure plenty of members will be able to offer help.

    Travelling around Indonesia is fairly easy and relatively cheap. There are many cheap airlines to take you around the main cities.

    It's possible to travel by train but I would be careful and take the usual precautions. Outside of the main cities and attractions, things are much more "analog". While I recommend to plan ahead, this situation makes it sometimes difficult and some on the spot improvisation may be required for more remote places.

    As such, I'd recommend you to acclimate yourself with the country, the way things work, the language, the people, etc by traveling to well known and well traveled areas such Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Bali, Lombok, Bromo, etc (far from exhaustive list and in no particular order).

    If you have more specific question, please do not hesitate!

    Oh, about stuff to bring, not quite the expert but I've read that tampons are not easily available so if that's your preference, better stock up. If there's anything you can't live without, let us know and we will tell you if it's available.
     
  4. steveandpenny

    steveandpenny Active Member Cager

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    Welcome shereen to a new adventure . I can't help you with that area sorry. Might I ask frist where you are coming from? In regard to getting around , here in North Sulawesi we either use the micro which are small buses (and I do mean small) , our motorbike or hire a car. Their is also alwas go-car .
    I would get a motor bike when you get here and explore your area. Goggle maps is a life saver for me.
    Hope this is a great adventure for you. We feel in love with this crazy country.
     
  5. Puspawarna

    Puspawarna
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    Welcome Shereen! I adore Indonesia and hope you will too. It sounds like this won't be your first post outside your home country. Where else have you lived?
     
  6. harryopal

    harryopal Active Member Charter Member

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    Good morning Shereen. September gives you enough time to get a motorbike licence even if you haven't yet ridden a bike. Then get an international permit before leaving. I have no idea about the police in Pekanbaru area but in Bali the police set up frequent blocks and foreigners are always a target as no one asks if you have a licence when renting a bike. And, touch wood, you never have an accident but if you have travel insurance you cannot claim against any accident costs if you don't have a licence. As stated above, scooters and motorbikes are the easiest way to get around.
     
  7. vocalneal

    vocalneal Active Member Cager

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    I used to live 70-ish km from there.But haven't been there for 10 years. So there are probably more shopping malls now than before.

    - There is the Pekanbaru Hash House Harriers but they run on Sundays at 7am. :mmph: So one
    can be half inebriated at 9:30pm arriving back at the hotel where
    everyone else is having breakfast:biggrin1: This is good to get a little bit out of town and run/walk
    in the countryside. Someone will give you a ride if you ask nicely. Very few expats ,mostly
    Chinese but they will all speak English and be friendly

    - There is Canadian Pizza if you ever get the urge. We used to pick some up when leaving to go home.

    - The golf course at the airport is Ok but I don't really play golf. Duri course is more scenic. But one can go to any golf course for lunch.
    - There are a couple of clubs for weekend dancing.:party:

    - There used to be a fair few expats families living at Caltex/Chevron. Not sure how many will be there now the price of oil ...They were not allowed to drive into
    town, when I lived there.So the ladies come to town on a bus for shopping? There is another golf course there ( deer park on the course) and a
    commissary there where one can buy all the comforts of home such as "Cheez Wizz", Coco Pops and the like. Just tell the security guard you are going to play
    golf!

    - The Equator is about 120kms away. So you can go and stand there. No line on the road, no souvenir shop, no coffee shop. Just a monument.

    - Aryaduta Hotel has a nice pool, won't be the most modern hotel which price wise might be a plus. Most hotels have a fitness club one can join as non-resident

    - If you meet any 19 year-olds who ask you if you know their father the answer is no.

    Happy to answer any questions, if i can
     
  8. William King

    William King Well-Known Member Charter Member Cager

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    :becky::becky::becky:
     
  9. Puspawarna

    Puspawarna
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    I know it spoils the joke if it has to be explained, but I is stupid. Can some kind soul take pity on me and tell me what this refers to?
     
  10. steveandpenny

    steveandpenny Active Member Cager

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    Don' bother puspawarna its not worth it.
     
  11. vocalneal

    vocalneal Active Member Cager

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    That's the thing with levity. If it has to be explained it is usually never worth it.
     
  12. Anglian

    Anglian Well-Known Member Charter Member Cager

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    You made me laugh Puspa, but I’m not saying either
     
  13. vocalneal

    vocalneal Active Member Cager

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    :biggrin1: Sorry for the controversy.

    :peace:I am happy to help the OP as best I can with local knowledge.
     
  14. Shereen_92

    Shereen_92 New Member

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    Great, thank you! I'm excited to be able to explore on my days off- hoping to see as much of the country as possible while I'm there!
     
  15. Shereen_92

    Shereen_92 New Member

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    Haha, amazing, thank you! I will definitely look into that, as I have recently discovered long distance running! (Although in the heat, I imagine it will be much more challenging in Pekanbaru!)

    Is it easy enough to go exploring the area? I am determined to get some hiking/volcano climbing done!

    Another question I did have was regarding food... I'm vegetarian, which has historically been tricky on my travels... In the past I have tried to be flexible and introduce fish into the diet when needed (although this often leads to a few days of being very ill!)... do you think I should prepare myself for this? (i.e. get the Immodium at the ready!)

    Thanks again!
     
  16. Shereen_92

    Shereen_92 New Member

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    Thanks! Yes, I lived in the Philippines for a few months and Uganda :) I'm excited about Indonesia, this is my first long-term move! Whereabouts in Indonesia are you based?
     
  17. Shereen_92

    Shereen_92 New Member

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    Hi, thank you! I'm coming from the UK :)

    A motorbike sounds a little scary (particularly if I'm in control of it!).. I've always stuck to public transport, so am quite happy to squeeze into little buses etc. In most other places I have lived/traveled there have been little motorbike taxis (bodabodas or tricycles? I'm not sure what they would be called in Indonesia...), is there something similar in Indonesia?

    I'm hearing lots of very positive feedback about the country, so I'm super excited now! :D
     
  18. William King

    William King Well-Known Member Charter Member Cager

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    yes.
     
  19. vocalneal

    vocalneal Active Member Cager

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    Sorry no volcanoes in Riau, its a flat as a pancake. If you go to the Hash you will get some bush whacking. If you get some time off you can go to Lake Toba but you need one day there and one day back.

    If you can I would take the UK CBT motorbike course. It is not pass or fail. Then if you decide to get a cheap motor scooter in Pekanbaru it will not be strange. That is by far the best way to get around as "everyone " else will be doing it. The Hash will be outside town so bum a ride!

    Lots of these little vans around

    [​IMG]

    But they have fixed routes. OK for going to the school and back but not so good for shopping or relaxing by the pool on Sundays! You can even ride out of town to the odd park if you have a small scooter.

    There are lots of large buses to go out of town. You can get a bus to Bukittingi leave on Friday evening? comeback Sunday evening. Lots of small hotels, a disused silver mine etc..It is a bit more mountainous there.

    Do you know where your school is? I have one Kiwi friend who lives there he's a bit long in the tooth now. If you need some help there for any reason I'm sure he will be willing to help. But If you go to the hash regularly they will do the same.
     
  20. Puspawarna

    Puspawarna
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    Actually I live in Hawaii now. But I spent 17 years living in Jakarta between 1993 and 2018.
     
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