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Practical A to Z

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Practical A to Z

Eating out

Small restaurants and snack bars

There is no shortage of itinerant food sellers and little booths and stalls (warung, rumah makan, etc) selling all manner of local dishes to be eaten on the go. You will in fact run less risk of food poisoning from these modest, but highly popular establishments (whose food is thus invariably fresh) than from some more upmarket restaurants.


Some establishments add a standard 10% service surcharge onto the bill (in addition to the 11% government tax in tourist restaurants). If this is not the case, leave the equivalent amount as a tip.


Most towns have switched to 220 volts but some rural areas still run on 110 volts, where power cuts are also frequent. Standard two round-pin sockets.

Embassies and consulates

British Embassy – 75 Jl .M.H Thamrin - Jakarta 10310 - t 021 2356 5200 - www.ukinindonesia.fco.gov.uk

Irish Embassy – Travellers are advised to contact the Irish embassy of Singapore - 541 Orchard Road - Liat Towers - 8th Floor - Singapore 238881 - t 65 6238 7616 - www.embassyofireland.sg

Getting around

Apart from buses (the cheapest and simplest way of getting round town), lots of other rudimentary forms of transport for short distances are also available, such as taxi-motorbikes (ojek), three-wheeled pedal pushed rickshaws (becak) and motorised rickshaws (bajal), minibuses (bemo) or horse-drawn carriages (dokar, andong, bendi) in rural areas.

Between the islands

You can choose between the state-run ferries or speed boats and wooden boats run by private firms such as Perama.


Also see Know before you go.


Turista or stomach upsets can range from mild to severe diarrhoea. Mosquitoes carry chikungunya, malaria and dengue fever and it is advisable to protect yourself correctly and take anti-malarial medication. Indonesia is one of the country’s the most affected by avian influenza. Avoid markets with live poultry, wash your hands regularly and avoid eating raw or little cooked food. The countless stray dogs on the island of Bali have been responsible for cases of rabies.


The tap water is not drinkable. Only drink bottled water and use chlorine tablets.

Health care

The quality of health care depends largely on where you are. In case of problems, contact your embassy, a large hotel or a traditional doctor.


Police – t 110

Fire brigade – t 113

Ambulance – t 118 or 119.



The currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah (Rp or IDR).


Rupiahs can only be bought in Indonesia. Ask for small banknotes, preferably in good condition.

Credit cards

The major tourist establishments accept Visa and Master Card (rarely American Express), adding on a 3% commission. The country is not equipped with ATMs.


A double room in a pleasant hotel: Rps500 000-600 000

A meal in a decent restaurant: around Rps80 000

A scooter for a day: Rps35 000-50 000

A litre of mineral water: Rps5 000.

Public holidays

Fixed public holidays

1 January – New Year

17 August – Independence Day

25 December – Christmas.

Moveable public holidays

There are so many religious feast days and holidays it would be difficult to list them all.


You will no doubt find the widest range of articles – sourced from all the archipelago’s islands – and the most competitive prices in Bali and Java.


An institution that cannot be avoided in many circumstances.


Countless art and craft objects will make wonderful holiday souvenirs ranging from puppets and masks to baskets, woven rugs, hats, bags, batik, ikat, sculpture and jewellery. It is illegal to export objects over fifty years old.

Social etiquette

Greetings are exchanged with a handshake and slight nod of the head. Wear decent clothing: trousers, knee-length skirts and covered shoulders. Remove your shoes on entering private houses or mosques. Use your right hand to eat, greet or touch someone, offer or accept something. Do not kiss in public. If invited, take a small gift that your hosts will undoubtedly open after you have left. Finishing your plate or glass means asking for more. To take your leave, do not say that you have to leave but where you are going.


To call Indonesia from abroad

Dial 00 + 62 + regional code (without the 0) + number of the person.

To call home from Indonesia

Dial 001 + country code (UK 44 and Ireland 353) + number of the person (without the first 0).

National calls

To call another number in the same province or a mobile phone: dial the number without the regional code.

To call another province: dial the number with the regional code (including the 0).

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