Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Things To Know Before Traveling To Indonesia

AsiaIndonesiaThings To Know Before Traveling To Indonesia

Electricity in Indonesia

Indonesia uses a 220 volt and 50 Hz system. The sockets have two European-standard round pins, either the CEE-7/7 “Schuko” or “Schuko” plugs or the compatible but ungrounded CEE-7/16 “Europlug” types.

Within Java and Bali, electricity is on 24 hours a day. This is generally also true for most populated areas outside the two islands, although they can be more prone to power outages. In the remote or less populated villages, electricity may be on for only a few hours a day or even not at all.

Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates in Indonesia

The KementerianLuarNegeri (Kemenlu) or Ministry of Foreign Affairs is maintaining a complete searchable database on the diplomatic establishments. All embassies are located in Jakarta (see this article for a listing), but some countries maintain consulates general and honorary consulates elsewhere, mostly in Surabaya, Bali and port cities (e.g. Malaysia in Pekanbaru, Philippines in Manado, etc.).

Time in Indonesia

Indonesia stretches a long way from west to east and is therefore divided into three time zones. Due to the country’s equatorial location, the amount of sunshine is fairly constant throughout the year, so there is no daylight saving time.

  • GMT +7 West Indonesian Time (WIB, Waktu Indonesia Barat): Sumatra, Java, West/Central Kalimantan
  • GMT +8 Central Indonesian Time (WITA, Waktu Indonesia Tengah): Bali, South/East/North Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara
  • GMT +9 East Indonesian Time (WIT, Waktu Indonesia Timur): Maluku, Papua

Cigarettes in Indonesia

Many Indonesians smoke like a chimney, and the concepts of “no smoking” and “passive smoking” have not yet caught on in most parts of the country; however, some TV stations now hide cigarettes in the TV programmes and films they show. Western cigarettes are known as rokok putih (“white cigarettes”), but the cigarette of choice is the ubiquitous kretek, a clove tobacco cigarette that has become something of a national symbol and whose smell you will probably first notice when you come out of the airport. Popular brands of kretek include Djarum, Gudang Garam, Bentoel and Sampoerna .A pack of good kretek costs around Rp 17,000. Some brands do not have filters because the kretek cigarette traditionally does not have a filter and the taste is different in the kretek filter cigarette. The legal smoking age in Indonesia is 18, although most shops, especially non-convenience shops, do not check ID. By law, all cigarette packets carry a label with pictures showing the effects of smoking.

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Kretek contain less nicotine but more tar than regular cigarettes; an unfiltered Dji Sam Soe has 39 mg of tar and 2.3 mg of nicotine. Most studies suggest that the overall health effects are about the same as with traditional western cigarettes.

A ban on smoking in public places in Jakarta was recently introduced. Those who violate this ban can be fined up to 5000 USD. If you want to smoke, check with the locals by asking: “Boleh merokok di sini?”.

All large restaurants outside shopping centres in big cities usually offer smoking and non-smoking areas in different rooms (sometimes the smoking area is on the terrace of the restaurant). With rising cigarette taxes, up to 20 per cent per year, and more AC areas, cigarette sales have declined by up to 10 per cent per year.

Education in Indonesia

Foreign students from many countries study various subjects at specific universities in a number of cities (mainly Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Denpasar). The cost of studying at Indonesian universities is usually much lower than in the West, but for many subjects you need to be fluent in Indonesian, and some subjects also require a knowledge of English (such as medicine and IT) or another language.

The Darmasiswa Programme [www] is a scholarship programme funded by the Indonesian government. Available to all foreign students coming from countries that Indonesia has diplomatic relations to study Indonesian languages, arts, music and crafts, as well as even some other subjects, which include IT, science and photography. Participants can choose to study at any of the state universities and colleges participating in the programme. There are currently over 50 participating campuses. Visit [www] for a list of current subjects and participating universities.

For university education in English, you can consider studying at Swiss-German University, Universitas Pelita Harapan or President University, among others. Some famous Indonesian institutes are University of Indonesia, Bandung Institute of Technology and GajahMadaUniversity.

Work in Indonesia

In Indonesia, salaries for locals vary from US$150 to more than US$25,000/month, with the national average being a meagre US$175. The differences in earnings are very large. The shop assistants you see in luxury malls like Plaza Indonesia are likely to earn between US$175 and US$200 per month. Some adults in their 20s, especially those who are still single, stay with their parents to save money; however, the main reason they stay with parents is that it is the cultural norm, although some consider it rude to leave parents alone. In some cultures, the eldest is expected to help the parents and you often find married couples living with the parents and even in multi-generational homes, as extended families are still the norm.

Since many Indonesians live on a very low income, they accordingly endure their living conditions with sometimes considerable deprivation, especially in places with a high cost of living like Jakarta. In the poorer provinces, they may have very limited agriculture-related prospects and essentially can only work at subsistence level. In this situation, many choose to leave their homes and families and seek work as migrant workers and servants, either in Indonesia’s sprawling urban areas or overseas. In most cases, most of the money they earn is sent home.

Expats often earn higher salaries than their local counterparts doing similar jobs. An English teacher could earn between Rp 7,000,000-25,000,000, which is quite high to wealthy by local standards.

According to the law, a foreigner is only allowed to work in a company for 5 years in a certain function and they are obliged to train a local to replace them, but in reality this does not happen often. Also, foreigners are not allowed to work in any job, even as a CEO dealing with human resources and personnel. Businesses that don’t make money in Indonesia can be done on a business visa, such as sales calls to shops and customers. Clergy use a religious visa, and a diplomat can get a diplomatic visa, but most others must have a work-related visa (or a spouse visa if you married a local), Izin Tinggal Sementara/Tetap {ITAS/ITAP} (temporary/permanent residence permit), which last 1 and 5 years respectively, and a work permit. Working outside without the employer’s permission or working in a position other than the one stated is also considered illegal, and penalties can range from fines and/or imprisonment to deportation, and even blacklisting is possible (though usually only for six months). In May 2011, a new law UU 6) was passed that brought some improvements for immigration, especially for expats married to locals and for investors; unfortunately, the government regulations regarding employment that should have been enacted a year later are still unresolved, but the Immigration Department tends to treat them as if they were there, while the Ministry of Labour is generally uncooperative.

You should really research the labour laws in Indonesia to make sure you get your rights fulfilled. Besides the UU6/2011 on immigration, you should look at the UU13/2003 on labour [www] and, if you want to teach, the PerMen (Ministerial Decree) 66/2009. Some laws are available in English, but you have to search.

As of 1 January 2015, Indonesia is a member of Masyarakat Ekonomi Asean (MEA) or Asean Economy Community (AEC) as an early European Union with some restrictions, but tends to be released freely or will release some rules related to AEC. To realise that goods and services will be “free” across borders, the government will introduce the Test of Indonesian as a Foreign Language (TOIFL) as TOEFL for all foreign workers (not just Asean workers) in February 2015, but a few months after that, TOIFL will no longer be required for foreign workers. Because of the rapid change in the rule, it may be better to learn Bahasa Indonesia in advance, at least the basics, because Bahasa Indonesia is relatively easy. The other rules that have been introduced are at least a bachelor’s degree and a competitiveness test for the positions. In 2014, there are about 65,000 legal foreign workers (not including English teachers, who could be illegal, etc.) in Indonesia.