Quick facts about Indonesia

Territorial boundaries: North: Malaysia, Pacific Ocean; South and West: Indian Ocean; South-East: Australia; East: Papua New Guinea

Area: 1 904 569 km2

Most important waterways: Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean

Capital: Jakarta

Important cities (main aiports): Jakarta, Yogyakarta (Java island), Denpasar (Bali island), Maumere (Flores island), Medan and Padand (Sumatra)

Highest point: Puncak Jaya (5 030 meters)

Lowest point: Indian Ocean (0 meter)

Time zone: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Montreal)

Environment – current issues: Deforestation; water pollution from industrial wastes, sewage; air pollution in urban areas; smoke and haze from forest fires

Climate: Tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands

Tourist seasons: Mai to October (opposite than South-East Asia)

Political regime: Republic

Population: 256 876 239 (1 new-born every 5 seconds: http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/indonesia-population/)

Languages: Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects

Ethnic minorities: 40,6% Javanese, 15% Sundanese, 3,3% Madurese, 2,7% Minangkabau, 2,4% Betawi, 2,4% Bugis, 2% Banten, 1,7% Banjar, 29,9% other

Religions: 86,1% Muslim, 5,7% Protestant, 3% Roman Catholic, 1,8% Hindu (mainly on Bali island), 3,4% other

Main sources of revenue: petroleum and natural gas, textiles, apparel, footwear, mining, cement, chemical fertilizers, plywood, rubber, food, tourism (mainly in Bali and Java)

Currency: Indonesian roupiah NPR (1 CAN $ = 9 650 Indonesian roupiah) – xe.com

Gastronomy: Indonesian dishes are spicy (hot chilly peppers). Rice is the most important part of a meal for the majority of people. In the eastern islands, corn and sweet potatoes replace rice. The surroundings seas, oceans and fresh water fisheries provide an abundance of seafood. Indonesians are predominantly Muslim, so pork is usually not served except in Bali (Hindu religion) and Papua where they will avoid beef instead. Exotic tropical fruits and vegetables can also be found year-round

Accessibility from Montreal (main airlines): A wide range of flights is offered – Most of them will do a stop-over in another country in Asia before – Between 1600-1800$. Prioritize a Asian or Middle-Eastern airline: Japan (JL), Korean (KE), Qatar (QR), Singapore (SQ), Emirates (EK), Cathay Pacific (CX), Eva (BR), (+ or – China CI) European airlines : TK, AF, BA, LX, KL AY – North American airlines: AC, UA, DL, NH – Other Middle-Eastern: EY, RJ, 9W

Entry requirements:

Valid passport

Tourist Visa: ›Still required – BUT ABOUT TO CHANGE AT THIS MOMENT, valid 30 days and easy to get at the arrival at the airport – 35$US

Safety issues: Terrorism: There have been terrorist attacks in Jakarta and in Bali resulting in death and injuries. The most recent significant attacks occurred in 2009 in Jakarta when bombings occurred at two high-profile Western hotels. While effective counterterrorism measures by Indonesian authorities have reduced the risk of terrorist attacks, terrorist cells are still believed to exist and have the capacity to carry out attacks anywhere in the country. High-profile Western facilities or businesses and places frequented by foreigners may be considered potential terrorist targets. Exercise caution in choosing accommodations, places of worship, shopping venues, restaurants, clubs and tourist facilities. Opt for accommodation facilities with adequate security arrangements.

Crime: Armed robberies are reported regularly and criminals are increasingly using weapons. Petty crime, including pickpocketing, bag snatching, and forced cash withdrawals from automated banking machines (ABMs), remains a serious concern. Use reputable taxis from major hotels or book in advance by phone. Be aware that, in some cases, police who stop motorists or others may request the immediate payment of fines.

Demonstrations: Large and occasionally violent protests have taken place in many parts of the country over a wide range of issues. Sporadic ethnic and religious tensions in areas of Indonesia have resulted in violence and civil unrest. Avoid all demonstrations and monitor local news.

Transportation: Many remote parts of Indonesia have poor transport links, and departure from these areas may prove difficult or impossible in times of crisis. Road travel in Indonesia can be very challenging. Traffic drives on the left, driver discipline is poor, traffic rules are not consistently adhered to and streets are generally congested. Road conditions, particularly outside major centres, are substandard. Night driving in rural areas is dangerous, as most rural roads are unlit and some drivers do not use lights. If you plan to rent a car, consider hiring the services of a driver for a nominal additional fee. In the event of an accident, Indonesian law requires drivers to stop and exchange information and assistance. There is a possibility of mob anger if the accident has caused serious injury. In such cases, remain in your vehicle and drive to the nearest police station to report the accident. Avoid travelling by ferry. Maritime accidents are common and are often caused by poor safety practices or extreme weather conditions. Do not board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy. Some local airlines do not maintain their aircraft to international maintenance and safety standards. In the past several years, a number of commercial aircraft have crashed in various parts of Indonesia, often as a result of failing to meet such aviation standards. Carefully evaluate implications for your safety before deciding to undertake domestic air travel.

Health issues: Tap water is not good to drink

The sun can be very strong, risk of insolation – Recommend use of a sunblock 30 – Wear a hat

During the monsoon, mosquitos can be very annoying and carry malaria in certain areas – Recommend a mosquitos repellent with at least 30% of DEET

Reminder about food: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it! 

Vaccines to consider:

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Influenza (flu)

Rabies – Dogs are mainly active at night


Good medication to bring for:

There is no malaria in most of the regions, except sometime in Kerala during rainy season

Antibiotic to treat diarrhea (Cypro)

Antibiotic to treat salmonella


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