Indonesia: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Indonesia

Overview

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world with over 17,000 islands, consisting of lush tropical forests, active volcanoes and vibrant culture.  Situated in southeast Asia between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Indonesia is a hotspot of diversity from its black sand beaches in the north to its rugged limestone cliffs in the south, and more than 10,000 temples and monasteries, many dating back to the 8th century. These unique and beautiful complexes, with their shrines, their intricate architecture and their immaculate, well-tended gardens attract worshippers and tourists alike. From surfing and scuba diving in turquoise waters to street food and ancient wonders, Indonesia truly has it all.

 

Capital City: Jakarta

Population: 280 million (2022 est.)

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Time Zone: Central Indonesia Time - WITA (UTC/GMT -8)

Emergency Number: 112

Java-Temple
Padang-Padang-Beach-Indonesia

Packing List

Speak the Language

Language:  Indonesian (locally referred to as Bahasa Indonesia)is the official and national language of Indonesia.

 

  • Good morning - Selamat pagi 
  • Good afternoon - Selamat siang 
  • Good night - Selamat malam 
  • Good bye (if you are the person leaving)  - Selamat tinggal 
  • Thank you - Terima Kasih 
  • How are you? - Apa Kabar 
  • I’m fine - saya baik-baik saja
  • I’m sorry - Saya minta ma’af 

 

Google Translate: Download the Google Translate app or click here 

Mount-Merapi- Indonesia

Weather

JAKARTA WEATHER

Fun Facts

  • With five major islands and thousands of smaller islands situated between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world! Officially, there are over 17,500 islands that comprise Indonesia, but only 6000 of those islands are inhabited.
  • Situated on top of where two mammoth tectonic plates meet, Indonesia is a hotbed of seismic and tectonic activity, giving rise to one of Indonesia's most defining geological features; volcanoes. Indonesia is home to about 400 smoldering volcanoes, of which 127 are active right now. 
  • Indonesia is the world’s 10th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity.
  • The country’s economy centers around agriculture and oil, with approximately 90% of the population involved in agriculture.
  • Kopi Luwak is coffee made from coffee beans eaten and defecated by an Indonesian cat-like animal called the palm civet. Allegedly the action of the civet’s stomach enzymes gives the coffee an unrivaled richness of flavor without any of the usual bitterness. As a result, Kopi luwak is the world’s most expensive beverage, costing around $1,000 per pound.
  • Indonesia has a lot of gold! The Grasberg mine, located near Puncak Jaya, is the third-largest gold mine in the world.
  • The Borobudur temple on the island of Java is the largest Buddhist monument in the world, decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. It resembles a nine-tiered “mountain,” rising to 113 feet (34.5 m) tall. It is said to have taken 75 years to complete.
  • Java is the most populous island in the world, with over 140 million people. Indonesia has the fourth-largest population in the world, with over 240 million people.
  • Papua Island belonging to the Indonesian island has the most diverse flora and fauna with over 200 animals, 2300 types of different orchids, and 600 breeding birds.
  • Although there are many restaurants along the streets, eating while standing or walking on the street is inappropriate.
  • In Central Java, a dukun, or folk doctor, might be called when someone is ill. He writes Islamic prayers on pieces of paper that are dipped in a glass of water. The patient drinks the water, which is thought to fight the demon that is causing the sickness.

Tipping

Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers and restaurants are not included. There may be a 10% service charge added to the bill in some restaurants, check your bill for this additional charge. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated.  If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $5-10 per person/per day
Drivers USD $1-2 per person/per day
Restaurants  USD 10% of the total bill

 

FAQ

Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up to date information on safety while traveling.

 

Is the water safe to drink? Tap water should be avoided by travelers. You should also avoid brushing your teeth with tap water when possible. For drinking water, make sure to drink treated water which can be found at all lodging accommodations.

 

Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.

 

What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here

 

Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner, worldnomads.com or from a provider of your choice.

 

How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.

 

What does public transportation look like? The most common means of transport for the locals is the bus because it is very cheap. On the smaller islands, it's easy and cheap to rent a motorbike or a car. It's great if you want to go off exploring by yourself, at your own speed. Finally, there is also the train if you are on the islands of Java and Sumatra.

 

Is Uber or Lyft available? Not anymore, however, there is a replacement ride share called 'Grab' which uses an app, screens their drivers, allows payment through the app and tends to be cheaper than normal taxis. FYI: hotels have restrictions on what taxi companies or if Grab can pick up at their location.

Luggage Restrictions

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Luggage restrictions purple – mobile – 1

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