Travelling tips

The Country
Indonesia contains17,500 islands stretching over 5000 kilometers. The equator passes through Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Maluku. It spreads across three time zones: Western Indonesian Standard Time (GMT+7) is used on Java, Sumatra, West and Central Kalimantan while Bali, Lombok, East and South Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara are on Central Indonesian Standard Time (GMT+8), Maluku and West Papua (Irian Jaya) are on Eastern Indonesian Standard Time (GMT+9)
The People
It is estimated that there are over 210 million Indonesians with 60 percent of them concentrated on Java and Bali island. About of 87 percent of the population is Muslim, six percent are Protestant, three percent Catholic, two percent Bali Hindu and one percent each are Buddhist and Animists. Nearly 600 languages and dialects are spoken but the official language is called Bahasa Indonesia and is adapted from Malay

Business Hours
Generally business hours are Monday through Friday 9a.m to 5p.m. though some offices are open until noon on Saturday. Banking hours are Monday through Friday 9a.m. to 3p.m. Shops and restaurants in large tourist destinations are open seven days a week

Measurements, Electricity & Temperature
Indonesia uses the metric system. Most hotels use 220volts, 50 cycles and round, two-pronged plug. There are two climates, wet and dry, varying by region but typically the heaviest rainfalls are in December and January. Temperatures average 21-33 degrees Celsius (70-90 degrees Fahrenheit)

Money Matters
In cities, travelers checks and credit cards are widely accepted though a 3 percent surcharge may be charged for credit cards. ATM machines are widely available. However, in outlying areas, be prepared with cash in small denominations in rupiahs, the national currency

What to Pack
There are so many goods to buy to be found in Indonesia, pack only the essentials; insect repellent, sunscreen and prescription medicines and plan on buying t-shirts, sarongs and light-weight, tropical clothes upon arrival. Especially in Muslim areas, modest attire is required, with women keeping their knees, midriffs and armpits covered. Comfortable footwear sandals or sturdy walking shoes is essential. In mountain regions, a light jacket may be needed.

Government and private wartel (Warung Telekomunikasi or Telkom Cafes), offices facilitate local, interlocal and international calls, send and receive faxes, sell telephone card, etc. A list of telkom wartels are available throughout Indonesia. Internet connections generally can be made in-room from hotels with IDD, or from the hotel business center. Internet Cafes abound throughout Indonesia and often noted as Warnet (short for Warung Internet or Internet Cafe)

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