Customs and etiquette
Indonesians are generally laid-back, yet there are some dos and don'ts to be aware of so as not to offend. Shoes should always be removed before entering temples, mosques, and even some shops. Ensure shorts and skirts cover the knees when in town, avoid pointing, and don't eat with your left (toilet duty) hand.
Also avoid smooching in public with your partner or local and keep any temper in check, even in the most trying of situations. Jakarta is not tip-heavy, although a gratuity at a non-service-charging restaurant and the rounding up of a cab bill is usually expected.
The local currency is the Indonesian rupiah (Rp), with notes ranging from Rp500 to Rp100,000 and coins of up to Rp1,000. Changing money at banks is the best bet, with hotels having the worst exchange rates.
Jakarta is fairly credit card-friendly, with shops, restaurants and hotels all generally accepting Visa and MasterCard. Beware of high ATM charges and remember cash is king in the inexpensive markets.
Jakarta's close proximity with the equator means that it remains hot year round, with little deviation in the seasonal sense. The monsoon season goes from October to February and is particularly wet, while June through September is generally boiling hot and the best time to visit is between March and June.
Jakarta is huge and the need to use public transport is high. There is a new monorail system (Jakarta Monorail) in use to the more colorful and touristy parts of town, as well as a fairly recent bus network. All districts are served by bus with dedicated lines, while minibuses take in localized routes. In addition, trains run to Ancol from downtown Jakarta and motorized rickshaws (bajaj
) and metered taxis are also on hand.
Hotel shuttles are the best bet for transfers from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK), if indeed your hotel has one. Taxis are a little tougher to negotiate but there is a useful limousine desk and a desk for ordinary taxis at the airport. There is also an airport shuttle bus to select downtown destinations and cheaper DAMRI shuttle buses.
Population: 10 million; 23 million including greater Jakarta
Nickname: also known as the ‘Big Durian'.
Spoken languages: Bahasa Indonesian (official), Dutch, English.
Electrical: 240 Volts, 50 Hertz
Phone/calling code: +62 21. Find more information about Jakarta and hotels in the area: Jakarta hotels
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