Indonesia is an archipelago of over 17,000 islands with a population of more than 200 million, scatterd over a land area of some 2.02 million square kilometers. Lying across a region of immense volcanic activity, Indonesia has some 400 volcanoes, with at least 70 still active.
Bahasa Indonesia is the official language. English is frequently used in commerce. The people are predominantly Muslim, minority religious groups being Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.
|The Department of Justice and Human Rights has officially determined that as of 1 February 2004:
Although Indonesia is hot and humid throughout the year, the official wet season runs from October to August and is marked by heavy, short rainstorms after which the air is fresher. Temperatures range from 21 to 33°C in the lowlands. Higher altitudes enjoy cooler conditions.
Airport Tax and Transport
Passengers departing on international and domestic flights have to pay Rp. 50,000 and Rp. 11,000 airport tax respectively.
Metered taxis are available only at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta. At other major Indonesian airports, taxis operate on a fixed rate basis.
From Jakarta airport, all taxi fares include a surcharge of Rp. 2,300 and a highway toll of at least Rp. 4,000, depending on destination. The surcharge does not apply to trips to the airport, though the highway toll does. In both directions, airport taxis offer a 25 percent discount on the toll fee.
On entry to Indonesia, each adult is allowed to bring in tax-free a maximum of one liter of alcoholic beverages and 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco.
Cameras, video cameras, portable radios, cassette recorders, binoculars and sport equipment are admitted provided they are taken out of the country on departure. They must be declared to Customs. Prohibited are firearms, narcotics, pornography, Chinese printing and medicines, transceivers and cordless telephones. Films, pre-recorded video tapes and laser disks must be screened by the Censor Board.
There is no restriction on the movement of foreign currencies or travellers checks in and out of the country. However, the import and export of Indonesian hard currency exceeding Rp. 5 million is prohibited.
Long-distance telephone calls within Indonesia are by direct dialing. International Direct Dialing (IDD) is available in all 26 provincial capitals and in more than 320 cities throughout the country. For the business travellers, facsimile, telex and email services are available in most hotels and at service outlets.
Exchange facilities for the main foreign currencies are available in banks or at authorized moneychangers in major cities of Indonesia. Rupiah comes in denominations of 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 500 and 100 in bank notes, and 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5 coins.
Indonesia is divided into three time zones. Western Indonesia Time (Sumatra, Java, West and Central Kalimantan) is seven hours ahead of GMT, Central Indonesia Time (Bali, South and East Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara) is eight hours ahead, and East Indonesia Time (Maluku and Irian Jaya) is nine hours ahead.
50Hz at either 110 or 220 volts.
Most government offices are open from 8 am to 3 pm. On Fridays, they close at 11:30 am. On Saturdays, they are open until 2 or 3 pm.
Business offices open from 8 am or 9 am to 4 pm or 5 pm. Some work half day on Saturdays. Banks open from 8 am to 3 pm on weekdays. Banks are closed on Saturdays. Money-changers open longer hours till the evening.