Indonesia travel guide with all the things to know for holidays and travel in this vast archipelago of Southeast Asia with capital Jakarta.
Indonesia in short
- Capital: Jakarta
- Area in sq km: 1,948,732
- Number of inhabitants: 231,626,979
- Religion: mainly Muslim (ca. 80%). The rest is made up of minorities of Christians, Buddhists and Hindus.
Where Indonesia is located
Indonesia is made up of a vast archipelago that extends into an immense expanse of sea that goes from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific with a width of 2000 km and a length of 5000 km.
The only land borders are Malaysia to the north, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the east.
The territory includes in addition to the major islands of Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan (most of the island of Borneo), Celebes (or Sulawesi), Irian Jaya (Papua, the western half of New Guinea), numerous archipelagos and minor islands, among including Timor (the western part), Sumba, Sumbawa, Lombok, Flores, Bali, the Moluccas archipelago and others (they are over 13,000 islands).
The islands of Sumatra, Java and the Sunda islands are located close to each other and form like a large arch arranged from north-west to south-east.
In the sense of length they are crossed by a volcanic mountain system (volcanic activity and earthquakes are frequent in this country).
Sumatra has a large flat area in the eastern part. Celebes is mainly mountainous, Kalimantan is mountainous in the central and flat part of the coast.Recommended readings
- Bali (Indonesia): what to see on the island
- Indonesia: useful information
- Jakarta (Indonesia): what to see in the capital
The territory of Irian Jaya (the western sector of New Guinea) is mainly mountainous in the northern and central part, while in the south it is flat.
The rivers of Indonesia, abundant with water, in the rainy season often overflow flooding large areas.
The rivers (the longest are on the island of Sumatra and Borneo), are navigable by small boats, which are used to reach the villages and non-coastal cities, which are located on the edge of the rivers.
The archipelago of Indonesia, located astride the equator, has a hot and humid climate, with high temperatures throughout the year (25-27 ° C) and heavy rains.
Keep in mind that generally, at night the climate is more temperate than the day and that on the hills the temperature drops.
Precipitation is influenced by monsoons which cause an alternation between a dry season (June-October) and a rainy season (November-May), with more marked rainfall in the months of January and February.
Different ethnic groups live in Indonesia. The largest group is represented by the Malaysian stock that descends from the peoples who migrated, in various waves, from China and Indochina.
Another large group is the Melanesian group, based in eastern Indonesia.
Other groups present are: Javanese, Balinese and Chinese; many tribes who live isolated within the country. The population is concentrated mainly in Java and in large cities.
In Indonesia there are three time zones: In Sumatra, Java, western and central Kalimantan there are 6 hours more than in Italy.
Nusa Tenggara, eastern and southern Kalimantan, Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi, 7 hours more; Moluccas and Irian Jaya, 8 more hours.
When daylight saving time is in effect in Italy, 1 hour less.
The official language is Bahasa Indonesia (closely resembles Malay). Many people prefer to speak their dialects, especially Javanese, followed by Sundanese, Madurese, Malay and use the official language as a second language.
Indonesia, a developing country, has an economy supported by the wealth of natural resources, represented by oil, natural gas and mineral resources such as tin, copper and gold.
Agriculture, which occupies the majority of the population (including animal husbandry, fishing and forestry) supplies with large tropical plantations, products for export and is a source of survival for the rural population.
The main products are: rice, tea, coffee, spices and gum. To overcome dependence on raw materials, the manufacturing sector has been boosted in recent years.
The industries are present with chemical, mechanical and refinery plants.
Tourism is a very important sector for the economy, especially in the islands of Java and Bali, destinations of international tourism.
When to go
The best time to visit Indonesia is during the dry season, in the months from June to September. In some areas, traveling is a problem during the rainy season.
To enter Indonesia, Italian citizens need a passport with a residual validity of at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country and a return or onward travel ticket.
A visa is required for stays longer than 60 days. Up to 60 days of stay, upon entering the country, a tourist permit is issued, stamped in the passport.
The permit is not renewable, in order to obtain another permit you must exit and re-enter the country, through an airport or authorized port.
- The international prefix for calling from Italy to Indonesia is: 0062
- The international prefix for making calls from Indonesia to Italy is: 00139
The GSM telephone network is good and constantly expanding.
The electric current is 220 V, 50 Hz. Sockets type C, E, F. Therefore an adapter is required for the input of the plugs to the socket.
In some villages the current is still 110 V, but is being converted.
The official currency of Indonesia is the Indonesian rupee.
For payments in Indonesia it is better to use travelers checks and cash (preferable US dollars because they are more easily convertible).
In the most important centers it is possible to withdraw from banks, with Visa or Master Card credit cards, which are accepted in tourist establishments, but cannot be used for common expenses; they can rarely be used as debit cards and in any case, if used, they are never lost sight of because of the risk of scams.
How to get
Some airlines offer flights from Italy to Indonesia with intermediate stops (one to three), including Garuda (Indonesian flag carrier), Lufthansa, Klm, Thai Airways, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Qantas Airways, British Airways.
The main arrival points are in Jakarta, Bali, Manado.
No vaccination is mandatory, unless you come from an infected area, in which case vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory.
Vaccinations against hepatitis A, antitifica, antimalarial, tetanus are recommended. It is recommended to observe some hygiene rules: drink only bottled water without adding ice, do not eat raw food and vegetables, eat fruit only if peeled personally.
In addition, before leaving, it is good to take out international health insurance.