Tim's Encyclopedia
Indonesia Travel Tips

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Balinese temple gateBalinese temple gate (18 June, 2004)

Indonesia is a sprawling island nation in Southeast Asia. It was largely created from the former colony of Dutch East Indies. It covers 1,919,440 sq km (735,355 sq mi), making it the 16th largest country in the world in terms of area.

Comprising over 17,000 islands, which range from huge land masses such as Borneo and Sumatra, to many much smaller islands, some no bigger than uninhabited islets and outcrops in the tropical sea, Indonesia is home to close to 240 million people, an overwhelming number living on the densely populated island of Java. Indonesia shares a land border with the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, and with Papua New Guinea on the island of Papua.

Indonesia is the 4th most populous country in the world. Islam is the main religion in Indonesia. 87% of the population are Muslims while 6% are Protestant, 3% are Catholic, 2% are Hindus, 1% are Buddhists and 1% are Animists.

Travel Tips of Major Cities in Indonesia

Batak houses in AmbaritaBatak houses in Ambarita (29 April, 2006)

Regions of Indonesia

Funeral in Tana TorajaFuneral in Tana Toraja
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Funerals_in_Tana_Toraja#mediaviewer/File:Tana_Toraja,_Salu_funeral_(6823105668).jpg
authorshipArian Zwegers
photo licensing

World Heritage Sites in Indonesia

Bena Village in FloresBena Village in Flores
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flores_Bena_traditional_village.jpg
photo licensing

Despite its size, Indonesia shares land borders with only three nations: Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and East Timor. It also shares sea border with Singapore, the Philippines, Australia and the Indian territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim country. Nevertheless it is an ancient land where older religions have arrived on its shores and germinated, allowing one to appreciate the ruins and monuments from past cultures. Today claiming Hindu and Buddhist faiths are severely outnumbered by the Muslim, which account for close to 90 percent of the population. A minuscule percentage within the hinterlands still observe indigenous beliefs and animistic traditions.

Of all the places within Indonesia, most visitors are best acquainted with Bali, which incidently has a predominantly Hindu population. Other destinations include Borobudur, Prambanan and Mount Bromo in Java, Lake Toba and Pulau Nias in Sumatra, and the smaller islands of Sumba, Flores and Komodo. What I like very much about Indonesia is its architecture. Each region seems to have its own architecture, and I hope to be able to showcase these differences in this website.

In this Indonesia travel guide, I want to take you on an armchair tour of the major travel destinations of this huge country. I hope you will enjoy reading about Indonesia as much as I have in assembling the information. To begin, please select any of the thumbnails above to visit a destination in Indonesia. If you are planning a visit there, I hope you find the travel information on this page to be helpful.

Mount Bromo and Mount SemeruMount Bromo and Mount Semeru
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Mount_Bromo#mediaviewer/File:Bromo-semeru02.jpg
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Indonesia is spread over 3 time zones. Java, Sumatra and West/Central Kalimantan observe Western Indonesia Standard Time, 7 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+7). Bali, Lombok, East/South Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and West Timor observe Central Indonesia Standard Time, are 8 hours ahead of UTC. Maluku and Irian Jaya, observe Eastern Indonesia Standard Time, 9 hours ahead of UTC.

The official currency of Indonesia is the rupiah (IDR). The official language is Bahasa Indonesia, although numerous other languages and dialects are also spoken. Traffic is driven on the left, as in Malaysia and Singapore. The phone IDD code is +62. The electricity is 220V/50Hz although in some remote areas it is 110V.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan during the blue hourPura Ulun Danu Bratan during the blue hour
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Pura_Ulun_Danu_Bratan#mediaviewer/File:Ulun_Temple_at_blue_hour_(7750197798).jpg
authorshipJimmy McIntyre
photo licensing

Indonesia Entry Points

By Air
The two major airports for foreign visitors to Indonesia are the Sukarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) in Jakarta and the Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Bali. In addition, a few Indonesian cities have air links to the cities in the neighbouring countries. These include Medan, Sumatra, with flights to Penang and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Pekanbaru, Sumatra, with flights to Malacca, Malaysia and Singapore; Padang, Sumatra, with flights to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore; Pontianak, West Kalimantan, with flights to Kuching, Malaysia; Tarakan, East Kalimantan, with flights to Tawau, Malaysia; Manado, North Sulawesi, with flights to Davao, Philippines; Kupang, West Timor, with flights to Darwin, Australia, and Dili, East Timor.

Indonesia Airport Tax:

International departures: Rp 17,000
Domestic departure: Rp 3,500

Nias Island war danceNias Island war dance
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tari_Perang_Nias_3.jpg
authorshipDoni Ismanto
photo licensing

Entering Indonesia By Road

The only possible route into Indonesia by land, from a neighbouring country, is on the island of Borneo, where the Entikong-Tebedu crossing connects West Kalimantan with Sarawak, Malaysia. There are no visas upon arrival facilities at this crossing, so nationalities who do not qualify for visa-free entry will need to get their visas beforehand.

Entering Indonesia By Boat

There are ferry services connecting various ports in Indonesia with Malaysia and Singapore.

From Malaysia, ferry services are available between:

  1. Penang and Belawan, the port for Medan, Sumatra.
  2. Port Klang, Kuala Lumpur, with Dumai, in Riau, Sumatra and with Tanjung Balai Asahan, North Sumatra.
  3. Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, with Dumai.
  4. Malacca with Dumai and with Pekanbaru, Riau, Sumatra.
  5. Kukup, Johor with Tanjung Balai
  6. Johor Bahru with Batam and Bintan
  7. Tanjung Belungkor, Johor with Batam
  8. Tawau, Sabah, with Nunukan and Tarakan
From Singapore, ferry services are available to:

  1. Sekupang, Batu Ampar, Nongsa, Marina Teluk Senimba and Batam Centre on Batam Island
  2. Bandar Bintan Telani Lagoi (Bintan Resorts), Bandar Sri Udana Lobam and Tanjung Pinang on Bintan Island
  3. Tanjung Balai on Karimun Island.
  4. Tanjung Batu on Kundur Island.

Car-free day in JakartaCar-free day in Jakarta
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jakarta_Car_Free_Day.jpg
authorshipGunawan Kartapranata
photo licensing

Indonesia Customs

Each adult visitor may import a maximum of 2 litres of alcoholic beverages, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 grammes of tobacco. Photographic equipment and computers must be declared. Import and export of Indonesian currency above Rp 500,000 is prohibited.

Indonesia Public Holidays

  1. New Year Day: January 1
  2. Lunar New Year (Tahun Baru Imlek): January/February
  3. Nyepi (Hindu New Year): March/April, day after new moon
  4. Good Friday: March/April, Friday preceding Easter
  5. Ascension of Jesus: 40 days after Easter
  6. Waisak Day: May (full moon), birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha
  7. National Independence Day: 17 August
  8. 25 December: Christmas
  9. Hijriyah (Islamic New Year): varies
  10. Ma'ulud (Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad): varies
  11. Isra Mi'raj (Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad): varies
  12. Idul Fitri (End of the Muslim fasting month): varies
  13. Idul Adha (Muslim day of sacrifice): varies

Making Calls from Indonesia

If you are calling home from Indonesia, note that different service provider has a different Call Prefix:

  1. PT Gaharu Sejahtera (SLI-01019) : 01019 ( http:/www.gaharu.co.id )
  2. PT XL Axiata Tbk (XL): 01000 (VoIP)
  3. PT Indosat: 001, 008 or 01016 (VoIP).
  4. PT Telkom: 007 or 01017 (VoIP).
  5. PT Bakrie Telecom: 009 or 01010 (VoIP).
  6. Axis: 01012 (VOIP).
The International Call Operators are also dependent on Service Providers.

  1. PT Indosat: 101
  2. PT Telkom: 107

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Thank you for visiting my website. I started it in 2003, and today it has over twenty thousand pages of information. My name is . You can call me Tim. I have been writing my website full time since 1 November 2007, and I am enjoying every moment of it. I write my website to satisfy my own curiosity, but I am glad if the information is useful to you.

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