Practical information

Local Time
There are two Standard Time zones:

  • Sumatra, Java and West & Central Kalimantan are 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+7)
  • Bali, Nusa Tenggara, South & East Kalimantan and Sulawesi are 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+8)

Electricity
Electricity in Indonesia is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Indonesia with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.
Outlets in Indonesia generally accept 2 types of plug: Two round pins and two parallel flat pins with ground pin.

Water
It is advisable to drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes, although ice served in all the restaurants in Bali are controlled by the government and safe.

Telecommunications
Indonesian telecommunications are of a high standard and generally available. Hotels offer international direct dialling, facsimile and, often, Internet connections.
The government has also established a nationwide network of small business people operating "WARTEL" or telecommunication kiosks offering international and domestic telephone communications at competitive rates.
Indonesia has several mobile telephone servers that, depending on agreements in place with your home service supplier, should provide roaming support for your hand phone brought from home.

Transportation
Due to the nature of Indonesia’s geography, getting around by plane may be the easiest option.  There are 186 airports with paved runways in Indonesia, making a large number of domestic flights possible each day. The Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta is Indonesia’s largest airport. Other busy international airports include Juanda International Airport, located outside of Surabaya, and Ngurah Rai International Airport, located 13 kilometres outside of Denpasar in Bali.
Due to the sudden and considerable population surge in cities such as Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya, the road transportation system in general has suffered. Despite substantial work on the road and transportation infrastructure, progress is still slow.
Many Indonesians who do not have a car own a tuk tuk instead. During your time in Indonesia, don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a ride on one of the dozens of these traditional tuk tuks, motorcycle-like vehicles with a top and several seating options – but make sure it’s in a relatively quiet and safe area rather than in Jakarta’s rush hour traffic.

Driving
Indonesians drive on the left-side of the street. Most of them are narrow, enough for two cars, one in each direction. Some people also park their cars on the street (no room for garage), making it more difficult to drive. On top of that, you have to be careful with motorcyclists, people walking (also jaywalking) on the streets, and public transportation cars or buses which stop and cut you in an unpredictable manner.
To drive a car or a motorcycle you need a driving license. Many countries issue International Driving Licenses which are valid in Indonesia. Nevertheless, visitors are advised not to drive as it can be quite confusing and dangerous if you're not used to the road network.

Food
Indonesian food reflects the country's diverse cultures and traditions. In general, Indonesian food is rich in spices. The indigenous cooking techniques and ingredients have benefited from trade and influences originating in places as far away as India, China, the Middle East, and Europe.
Rice is a staple food for the majority of Indonesians. It holds an important place in the country’s culture. It shapes the landscape, is served in most meals, and drives the economy. Plain rice is known as nasi putih. Often, it is accompanied by a few protein and vegetable side dishes. Rice is also served as ketupat (rice steamed in woven packets of coconut leaves), brem (rice wine), and nasi goreng (fried rice).