Indonesia Country Info – The Compact Indonesia Guide

country info FAQ

What is Indonesia and where is Indonesia located?

Indonesia Is the largest state in Southeast Asia. It is also the largest island nation of the world and on the Zahlle at inhabitants seen also the fourth-largest country of the the world. In addition, Indonesia is the country where most Muslims live in the world.

Indonesia consists of over 17,500 islands. The main islands are Sumatra, Java, Borneo (aka. Kalimantan), Sulawesi and New Guinea. Also the popular vacation island Bali belongs to Indonesia.

What language is spoken in Indonesia or what is the national language of Indonesia?

The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian). The language is closely related to Malay. Due to the long colonial period, some of the older generation and also legal scholars sometimes also Dutch, because some laws of Indonesia until today are still only available in Dutch. Most Indonese speak besides Indonesian also other languages typical for the region. Altogether there are over 700 spoken languages in Indonesia, many of which have indigenous roots. have.

What religions are there in Indonesia?

Indonesia is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country. It is even the country in the world most Muslims live. An exception is the popular vacation island of Bali, which is predominantly Hindu. Mainly immigrants from China practice Confucianism and Buddhism in Indonesia. Christian religions also have a certain spread. A rather subordinate role is played by indigenous nature religions.

Generally the Indonesian Constitution grants freedom of religion. Only in the autonomous region of Aceh  at the northern end of Sumatra does parts of it apply the Sharia law, which is also applied to non-Muslims there.

How much time difference does Indonesia have and what time is it in Indonesia now?

Indonesia has no time change between summer and winter time. 

Indonesia lies by its large geographical extent in the time zone UTC +7 – +9. Germany lies in winter in the time zone UTC +1 in the summer in the time zone UTC +2.

The Time difference from Germany to Indonesia is therefore after  German summer time 5-7 hours and after German winter time  6-8 hours. 

When it is 12:00 noon in Germany according to German winter time it is already at least 18:00 in the evening in Indonesia. 

When it is after German summer time 12:00 noon in Germany, it is already at least 17:00 in the evening in Indonesia. 

What is the capital of Indonesia?

The capital of Indonesia is Jakarta. Because of drastic overpopulation and regular flooding in the city, however, there have been efforts to replace Jakarta as the capital for several years.

What is the currency of Indonesia?

The currency of Indonesia is called Rupiah (IDR, Rp).  It is very weak, so prices are usually in the thousands to millions.You rarely see the currency names. Usually the last three digits of the prices are instead simply abbreviated with a K (abbreviation for 1000), so for example if the price is 15,000 IDR (about 1€) you will simply see 15K on the price tag.

For change amounts in the hundreds, you sometimes get a candy instead of change (and that’s a very good deal! 😉)

For some some time, a currency cut has been under consideration, which is supposed to shorten these used in everyday life should shorten hundreds digits. So far this was not however implemented. After a currency cut it is to be assumed that the subdivision of a Rupiah in 100 Sen gets again more relevance in the everyday life.

What do you call the inhabitants of Indonesia?

The inhabitants of Indonesia are called Indonesians (the Indonesian, the Indonesian)


The flag of Indonesia

Flag of Indonesia
The flag of Indonesia is red and white

Security in Indonesia:

How safe is Indonesia?

Indonesia consists of. 31 provinces, two special regions and the capital district. The security situation is far from homogeneous.

In addition to the security situation, the different legal situations in different Parts of the country should be noted. In the semi-autonomous province Aceh Sharia law has been in effect since 2001. There also openly professing atheism, violations of dress codes, and premarital sex, alcohol consumption, etc. can be punished with penalties such as caning. Women must wear headscarves and tight pants and may not leave the house alone after 11 p.m. alone after 11 p.m. Tourists are also affected by these restrictions.

In the rest of Indonesia, one does not encounter such extreme Islam by far. Homosexuality is not punishable in the rest of Indonesia not punishable, alcohol can be consumed without problems and of and women are not expected to dress in a particular way outside religious buildings expected (but fashion is not as permissive). Especially in the Ramadan. however, rather discreet “covering” clothing should be worn out of courtesy. Also on food, drinking and smoking on the street one should do without then rather (it is not forbidden, but impolite). Stores and authorities may have may have limited opening hours. Since Bali is mostly Hindu, it is less affected by Ramadan. it is less affected by Ramadan.

A risk that is difficult to avoid in Indonesia is traffic. The People drive without a sense of risk and there are many traffic fatalities. Sidewalks where available are often in poor condition and frequently have insidious holes because, for example, manhole covers are missing.

The app Geosure rates the Indonesia with values between 73-77 (0 safe, 100 dead, 34 Germany). This puts Indonesia well behind its neighbors Malaysia and Thailand but at about the same level as the Philippines. Also, in the subcategories of safety for women (~70) and safety for LGBTQ persons (~78), Indonesia performs accordingly. The data for Indonesia is rather spotty, however; for example, the popular resort island of Bali vacation island, for example, has no score of its own.

As another source for an assessment of the danger situation in Indonesia, we would like to refer to the information of the German Foreign Office on Indonesia. Many travelers avoid the Foreign Office site, as it has a reputation for scaremongering. However you will find the most solid information there – which must be valid for business travelers as well as for uninformed package tourists. Therefore our guiding principle is always: Read to know what can happen in the worst case, keep in mind to be able to react correctly, but don’t let it make.  

→ Travel advice of the foreign office

Following we have compiled the highlights of the Trip and safety tips summarized for you (as of 12/2019)

  • A travel warning is in effect for Papua and West Papua due to political unrest. There are also currently Demonstrations. Avoid demonstrations widely and do not take photos under any circumstances, Videos or sound recordings of demonstrations or crowds. The Internet is currently blocked in the provinces.
  • In Central Sulawesi, in Lombok. and in the Sunda Strait, earthquakes and tsunamis have caused infrastructure damaged. Some volcanoes are active there. Buildings and bridges may be at risk of collapse be at risk of collapse, as cleanup efforts have not yet been completed.
  • Terrorism: Unfortunately, mainly non-Muslim targets such as tourist hotels, discos, Shopping centers, Christian churches, etc. repeatedly targets of attacks. Special caution is required around important Muslim holidays (including Ramadan), around Christian holidays and around political events such as elections are required.
  • Pickpocketing and robbery: can happen as usual anywhere. However, it comes with pleasure to the robbery from the Scooter from, forced withdrawals at the ATM, withdrawal of credit cards at the ATM and robberies in cabs. Put important documents in the safe, take only the amount of cash and valuables you actually need. you need. Take only cabs from Bluebird, Silverbird or Express or Grab Drivers with a sufficient number of ratings.

We ourselves were unfortunately allowed to make bad experiences in Bali in 2016, when. a passing scooter driver Max on the road snatched the cell phone from his hand. Our subsequent visit to the police station was characterized mainly that the police did not even have their own copier and the PC was from the 90s. PC came from the 90s.

Guide to Safety Abroad

  • Drugs: Contact with drugs of any kind is severely punished. Leads therefore before also for prescription drugs, such as psychotropic drugs. always prescriptions (also in translation) with and take only the amount that you on site actually needed.
  • Fraud: Whether gambling, changing money on the street or seeking help or Flirt attempts via email – Dubiose offers of this kind, you will reliably bring around your savings.
  • Natural disasters: Indonesia is located at the seismically active zone of the circumpacific Fire Belt. Here there are numerous active volcanoes, regular earthquakes and it can come to tsunamis. If in doubt, listen to security guards.

Here you will find a summary of the most important behaviors during earthquakes.

  • Tropical diseases: There are many infectious diseases in Indonesia that do not exist in Europe exist (dengue, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, etc.). Before your trip Check your vaccinations and get medical advice before you travel. Both take measures against mosquito bites both during the day and at night. If you should fall ill after a trip, please inform your doctor about the possible on the possible infection with tropical diseases.

Flights to Indonesia

Indonesia has several international airports. The most important airport Indonesia is Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK). Other major airports are located in Denpasar on Bali (DPS), Surabaya (SUB), Pekanbaru on Sumatra (PKU) and Yogyakarta on Java (JOG). In addition, there is a large network of regional a large network of regional airports.

The country’s main airline is Garuda Indonesia.

Direct flights to Indonesia are rather dir exception. The flight time from Frankfurt to Jakarta is about 14 h. Flights with a stop and a travel time of approximately 20h there are to selected dates, however, already from 265€.

Entering Indonesia

On the plane you usually get the entry document for Indonesia. Forget so do not take a pen with you. The document contains only scarcely the most necessary information, such as place of residence (indicate first address) and whether you have goods to declare.

The Entry is possible with a German passport for a tourist stay up to 30 days without a visa. The Passport should still be valid for 6 months upon entry. The Residence permit can not be extended. Also visa hopping – So the and re-entry within a few days is not possible and can in the worst case and in the worst case can be considered as a violation of the residence permit. the residence permit. At some small border posts visa-free entry is not possible. possible. Info about this you can find at the Indonesian foreign mission (link below).

Anders behaves if you buy a Visa on Arrival for 35 US$ at the entry. acquires. This is also valid for only 30 days, but can be extended up to 7 days before expiration for 30 US$ for another 30 days. The processing time lasts in in reality often longer than a week and depending on the place you have to several times, depending on the location. Therefore, it is best to go directly after your entry to avoid problems later on. With visa on arrival, actual visa hopping is also possible – it can be done on departure be issued again on departure and re-entry.

Who work wants to work, is planning a stay of more than 60 days, or does not want to stress about visa renewal, needs a “real” visa (Visit Visa), which can be obtained in advance from a Visa), which must be applied for in advance at an Indonesian mission abroad. must be applied for. The visa is valid for 90 days after issuance. Within these 90 days you have to enter the country – it is not the date of departure! Note that there are different durations of visas and visas for single or multiple entry. entry. Since the rules can change at any time, please ask for more detailed information directly at the Indonesian representation. The processing of the visa can take several weeks.

Page of the Indonesian mission abroad in Germany

Entry into Indonesia the detailed article

Violations against the residence permit are punished severely. Each day of overstaying the residence permit costs 1 million rupiah fine to be paid in cash. For overdrafts of more than more than 60 days, there is the threat of deportation detention. In the case of more severe violations, prison sentences of up to of up to 5 years. Even working without a visa is often considered a violation.

No matter which way of entry one chooses, one must always show an exit ticket. The passport should still have at least two (for visas 4) free pages and still be valid beyond the planned stay.

For one-way flights. to Indonesia, the airlines usually ask for an onward ticket at check in. If you have not yet organized your onward travel, it is therefore recommended that you an onward ticket, if you want to enter without a visa. In case of an entry from yellow fever areas, proof of a yellow fever vaccination may be required. may be required. For longer visas, proof of assets (bank statement) demanded.

Climate & Weather in Indonesia

Indonesia hastwo seasons: Rainy season (October to April) and dry season (May to September). The Temperatures, however, show themselves unimpressed by this and remain relatively relatively constant hot.

Actually, you can travel Indonesia all year round. Travel well throughout the year. In some regions, especially in the east of Indonesia, it can be however, floods can occur during the rainy season. Also some roads are then impassable.

It gets especially crowded in the popular Vacation areas such as Bali and Java at the typical peak times. These are around Christmas, at the end of Ramadan (domestic tourists), and during the summer vacations in the USA and Australia, and when students graduate in June and Graduations in June and July.

Sightseeing In Indonesia

Indonesia is insanely versatile. Especially nature lovers can really get their money’s worth here. Costs come. Also, especially Bali has understood the hip life – Who in the who wants a vegan gluten-free smoothie bowl on vacation, will find nowhere so as quickly as here. In addition, there are megacities as well as untamed rain forest rainforest, sandy beaches and reefs.  Yet there are there are so many islands and sights that a list would go beyond the scope of this article. would go beyond the scope of this article. Below you will find an overview of the most important tourist regions and cities.

Regions resp. Islands

  • Borneo: Largest island in Asia and habitat for many endangered species. Lots of rainforest.
  • Java: Center of Indonesia. Most populous island in the world. Metropolitan Jakarta but also rural areas and nature.
  • Moluccas: Archipelago. Known for nutmeg and clove cultivation. Tourist hardly developed.
  • Raja Ampat:  Archipelago with many coral reefs
  • Sulawesi: Nature reserves, various landscapes and diving
  • Sumatra: Great biodiversity, which is, however, massively threatened by overexploitation. Strictly religious areas.
  • Little Sunda Islands: Versatile small archipelago. The islands are divided into the provinces of Bali, West Nusa Tenggara (eg Lombok) and East Nusa Tenggara (eg Komodo).
  • West New Guinea / West Papua: diving trips, bird watching, trips to indigenous groups, virgin forests. Currently political unrest. Strong travel regulations.


  • Jakarta: Capital, population around 30 million. Center of the metropolitan area Jabodetabek, the second largest metropolitan area in the world – mixture of top modern and completely run down.
  • Bandung: Provincial capital of West Java, city of flowers
  • Bogor: Botanical Garden of 1817, Palace of 1744
  • Surabaja: Port city in East Java. Shipping center. Multicultural
  • Yogyakarta: Central Java, many historic buildings and temples. Was briefly capital in the 40s
  • Pelabuhan Ratu: South Java.  Fishing village. Many resorts. Supposedly magical bay.
  • Manado: Dive sites on offshore islands

Transportation in Indonesia

The two main means of transportation, due to the geographical location of Indonesia, are the Airplane and the ship.

On foot in Indonesia

Indonesia stands out partly by its extremely ill-conceived pedestrian routes. One should in Indonesia always look for it that in the sidewalk no holes open up open or the sidewalk spontaneously ends in a stream. Pedestrian traffic lights, as far as sometimes lead over traffic islands with massive hedges and end in flower beds. in flower beds. Gully covers are often simply forgotten. On many streets there are simply no pedestrian paths at all or the paths are not continuous. continuous.

Rental cars and scooters in Indonesia

In Indonesia, left-hand traffic prevails. The Indonesians mostly drive freely without the slightest Risk consciousness. Accordingly, traffic accidents occur frequently and there are three times as many traffic fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants as in Germany – despite the fact that although there are far fewer cars on the road per capita. Overall, Indonesia is the country with the 5th most traffic fatalities per year worldwide. Even holiday islands vacation islands like Bali are not exempt. In larger cities is mostly continuous traffic jam.

We would not voluntarily get behind the wheel of a car in Indonesia’s streets voluntarily behind the wheel of a vehicle and certainly not on a scooter. certainly not on a scooter. The roads are too chaotic and the risk of being involved in an accident is too great. the risk is to be involved in an accident and to be taken into the liability. be taken.

Luckily, you can get a vehicle with driver already for about 50US$ per day.

If you still would like to drive yourself, this goes with the international driver’s license.

Trains in Indonesia

There are several Train routes in Indonesia. In the past, on some islands the rail network was well developed. Today, only on the island of Java is there a continuous route network. On Sumatra, there are three unconnected track networks. Passenger trains Are usually more comfortable than buses.

Taxi in Indonesia

The most important cab provider in Indonesia is Bluebird and its premium brand Silverbird. Cabs of other Companies are not recommended. Alternatively, also working in Indonesia is the Asian UBER alternative Grab works very well and is mostly cheaper than the Cabs.

Buses in Indonesia

Many of Indonesia’s islands have good bus systems. However, the buses are often not necessarily nice or comfortable. You can also get an overview of premium buses in Indonesia using the app easybook. You can also search for connections in the app Rome2Rio.

Flights within Indonesia

Indonesia has numerous airlines. Due to the price war between the airlines, this is partly at the expense of security. Therefore, many airlines are not allowed to fly to airports in the EU. The list of airlines that are classified by the EU as unsafe can be found here

Hotels in Indonesia

The hotel standards in Indonesia are by far not as high as in Germany. Three stars does not mean by far that the hotel rooms are are really pretty. On the other hand, you can also be absolutely lucky and for small get very nice hotels for little money. It is important that you do not rely only on the booking sites or the hotel itself, but also to take a look at Google Maps and Look in Google Maps throws and reads the reviews there.

Typical for many islands like Bali, however, are not the hotels, but rather Villas, which are usually privately owned. These are often much nicer and cheaper than hotels. A good selection of villas can currently be found especially on Airbnb. The selection on the hotel agency sites is usually worse.

Food in Indonesia

Typical Indonesian Food consists of rice, various vegetables and chicken. Often there is in addition still hot sauces with chilli and often also peanuts. A typical dish is Nasi Lemak, a mixed plate that also includes sate skewers. are part of it. In the street kitchens you can get Bakso, a noodle soup with meatballs. meatballs. Gado gado is also a typical dish. It consists of vegetables, hard-boiled egg, tofu and tempeh, and peanut sauce. Peanut sauce.

As you can see the Indonesian cuisine rich in vegetables and partly also absolutely for vegetarians suitable. However, you should point out that you are a vegetarian, because sauces are sometimes contain fish sauce or shrimp paste.

In tourist regions and larger cities, you can now find international cuisine of all kinds. In addition, the hip cuisine has spread on many vacation islands. From gluten-free smoothie bowl to vegan poke bowl, there is something for everyone. thereby.

Conclusion: Is it worthwhile a trip to Indonesia

Indonesia is an extremely diverse country. Compared to Malaysia, it is a bit cheaper, but also a bit harder to travel if you want to travel further distances in the country.  Holiday islands such as Bali are now popular destinations for many short holidaymakers from Europe. We can’t necessarily relate to that. Yes Bali is undeniably beautiful and has a very hip atmosphere. However, Bali is now very tourist overrun. The short vacation time to waste for the arrival and departure together to spend two full days on the plane, we find little sense. Significantly cheaper you can reach by bus in the same time numerous absolutely gorgeous beaches on the Mediterranean.

But Indonesia is more than Bali. Jakarta, for example, is a city that you have to experience once. It is neither beautiful, nor relaxing, but it is gigantic in many ways.

The rainforests and reefs of Indonesia are among the most biodiverse regions of the world. Those who take the time to explore them can discover animals in the wild discover animals in the wild that others haven’t even seen on television and that may may soon be gone from our planet forever.

However, Indonesia is also a country where one should always be always be aware of the political situation on the ground, so as not to get suddenly get problems, because one meets demonstrations or is wrongly dressed the wrong way. But that’s only because Indonesia is so incredibly diverse and the regions diverse and the regions are culturally, politically and ecologically very different. differ.

All of this makes Indonesia a country for people who, on their their travels still really want to feel like they are discovering something – Be it Hikes through the deepest jungle to visit indigenous villages, boat trips island regions or climbing tours in glacier covered volcanic landscapes. volcanic landscapes. At the same time, Indonesia is also a country where you can relax your dangle your soul on white sandy beaches in vacation resorts. Indonesia can do just about anything.

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