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Indonesia - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

To travel around Jakarta, taxis give the most comfortable service. The Blue Bird and Silver Bird companies are the most recommended ones. There are Golden Bird services that could be hired by day for $100 in average.
Maps of urban networks: Maporama

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

Indonesia is well served by airlines. Buses, and in Java the train, are also practical.
Rail companies: Website of PT Kereta Api
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Garuda Indonesia Major Yes Yes
Batavia air Low cost Yes -
Citilink Low cost Yes -
Air Asia Low cost Yes -
Lion Air Low cost Yes -
Mandala Low cost Yes -
Sriwijaya Air Low cost Yes -

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: The roads and highways are jammed but they are generally in good condition.  In the event of an accident with corporal damage, the police must be called. Car insurance is not compulsory, but it is better to subscribe to an insurance policy covering your liability as much as someone else's. It is strongly recommended that you hire a car with driver.

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: Old Batavia (Kota), Taman Fatahillah, and the chicken market bridge, the old port of Sunda Kelapa; Glodok, the district given to the Chinese in 1741; Lapangan Banteng Square and its superb colonial architecture; the Wayang Museum.
The Daerah Istimewa of Jogjakarta and the sultan's palace.
Cultural: The temples, the National Museum, the cultural and artistic communities of Yogyakarta and Ubud, the shadow theater wayang, the traditional gamelan orchestra, the Balinese dances.
Nature: Terraced rice fields (Bali), volcanoes (Java, Lombok), beaches (Bali, Nusa Tenggara), forest (Kalimantan),  the flora and fauna of Sumatra.
Religious: Hindu temples (Prambanan, and many temples in Bali), Buddhist temples (Borobudur)
Thermal: Hot springs at Ciater (Java)
Beach: As Indonesia is an archipelago, there are very many beaches. In Bali we can mention Lovina Beach, Jimbaran, Kuta.
Winter sports: no
Outdoor activities: Jet ski, diving, windsurfing, surfing, hiking
Shopping: Among others, the factory outlets of Bandung, and the crafts of Bali
Tourism organizations: Indonesian Tourism Board

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for passengers coming from affected areas. There is a risk of malaria everywhere, except in Jakarta, large cities and the main tourist resorts of Java and Bali.
Indonesia is experiencing a fresh outbreak of dengue fever, which can be hemorrhagic. You must take measures against traveler's diarrhea. Drinking water must be boiled or filtered.
Bathing in fresh water can expose you to the risk of bilharziosis (or schistosomiasis) found on the western bank of Lake Lindu (Sulawesi).

Avoid all contact with poultry and birds because of the epidemic of avian flu.

For further information on sanitary conditions: Website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Jakarta (GMT+7), Denpasar (GTM+8), Jayapura (GTM+9)
Summer time period: None
Climate: The climate is equatorial, hot and very humid all year. The temperature varies between 24° and 34° C and the rate of humidity reaches 80%. There is a dry season (from April to October) and a rainy season (from November to April).

Eating

Food specialties: Pork and buffalo grilled in bamboo pipes and basted with tuak (palm alcohol) in Sulawesi. Kalimantan shrimp, ayam goreng (fried rice and chicken), bakmi (rice noodles), babur ayam (a usually sweet porridge, made of chicken, sticky black rice or mung beans), gado-gado (steamed bean sprouts with vegetables and a spicy peanut sauce), krupuk (a preparation based on shrimp and manioc flour, sliced and fried), nasi goreng (fried rice with vegetables or meat), satay (meat on skewers with peanut sauce).
Drinks: Beers brewed locally (Angker and Bintang), rice wine brem, lassi, a drink of Indian origin based on yoghurt, coffee prepared "Turkish style", tea (with jasmine, ginger...), fresh fruit juice, and green sands, a very refreshing fizzy drink made with apple and lemon.
Dietary taboos: Culinary restrictions vary with the religion practiced.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: Different websites which give an introduction to Indonesian are listed on the website Living in Indonesia.
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