The people in Indonesia, coming form very diverse ethnic backgrounds are, generally outspoken friendly and easy to get along with. You will find most of them are nice and relatively tolerant of other cultures.
Five religions are recognized by the Indonesian government: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Hindu. Mosques, churches, temples are found throughout the country. Although Indonesia has a predominantly Moslem population, some religious holidays of other religions are also celebrated as national holidays.
Indonesia has a fairly even climate all year round. Jakarta’s climate is quite hot and humid. The average temperatures range from 26º Celcius at night and early morning to up to 30º Celcius at noon. The rainy season is usually from November to April, with some regional variations. Jakarta has the heaviest rainfall from January to February.
Many people say that Indonesian food is tasteful and spicy. Spices and hot chillies are the ingredients of most cooking. The staple food rice is served with vegetables, tofu/tempe and meat/egg/fish. The popular side dish sambal- a fierly hot blend of chillies, spices and sometimes terasi (belacan), lemon juice and tomato for extra flavour -comes to an endless variety.
As the population of Indonesia is predominantly Moslem, pork is usually not served except in Chinese restaurants, non-Moslem and places serving international cuisine. Pork dishes are served in some non-moslem parts of Bali, Papua and the North Sumatra highlands and North Sulawesi.
The most popular Indonesian dishes are sate (skewered kebabs of meat or fish, grilled over a fire and served with spicy peanut sauce), gado-gado (half steamed vegetables salad dressed in a peanut sauce), nasi goreng (fried rice with shreds of meat and vegetables and topped with a fried egg), bakmi goreng (fried noodles) and Nasi Padang (hot and spicy cuisine of the West Sumatra cooked in thick curry of coconut milk).
Tap water is not safe to drink. Water coming out of taps may contain bacteria and therefore must be boiled or sterilized before it is consumed. Branded bottled water is readily available for sale in nearly all grocery stores and convenience stores.
Indonesian coffee is one of the finest in the world. You can enjoy the exotic taste of our coffee in the coffee shops commonly available in many entertainment centers or in any commercial areas of the cities.
Alcoholic drinks or local beers are available in major supermarkets and hypermarkets. Wine is sold only in major restaurants and hotels.
Embassies : Mon-Fri 8am-4pm
Banks : Mon-Fri 8am-3pm & Sat 8am-1pm
Malls/shopping centers : Mon-Sun 10am-10pm
Post offices : Mon-Thur 8 am -2 pm, Fri 8-11 am & Sat 8 am – 12.30 pm.
Airline offices : Mon-Fri 8 am – 4 pm & Sat 8 am – noon.
Other celebration affecting the business hours
(Government) offices close at 11.30 am – 1 pm on Fridays (Moslem mass prayer)
Ramadan (the ninth Moslem month or October 2004) is a month of fasting for Moslems. Food counters and restaurants are generally closed during daylights, while discotheques are totally closed. The starting of the business hours delays half an hour and close one hour earlier.
Indonesia is divided into three time zones: WIB/Western Indonesia Time (Sumatra, Java, West and Central Kalimantan) is seven hours ahead of GMT. Central Indonesia Time (Bali, South and East Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara) is eight hours ahead of GMT. Eastern Indonesia Time (Maluku, Irian Jaya) is nine hours ahead of GMT.