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Preface Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:49 PM

Man has woven a rich brocade of cultures among the far‑flung islands of the world’s largest archipelago. Most of Indonesia’s inhabitants trace their descent from Malay seafarers who left the Asian mainland long before the time of Christ. Chinese pearl fishermen and Indian holy men brought their influences—Hinduism survives on Bali, a storied setting of temples and rice paddies where an endless pageantry of festivals and dances placates attentive spirits. Arab mariners introduced Islam. The Dutch monopolized the rich spice trade of the Moluccas and with them brought Christianity.

Indonesia’s 17,000 islands stretch almost 5,000 km (3,100 miles) into the Pacific Ocean. Richly endowed with natural resources and hosting a phenomenal array of distinct cultures, for centuries they have been a magnet to Chinese and Indian traders, European colonizers, wayward adventurers, and intrepid travelers.

It is generally believed that the earliest inhabitants of the Indonesian archipelago originated in India or Burma. In 1890, fossils of Java Man (homo erectus), some 500,000 years old, were found in east Java. Later migrants (“Malays”) came from southern China and Indochina, and they began populating the archipelago around 3000 BC.

By the 15th century, a strong Moslem empire had developed with its center at Melaka (Malacca) on the Malay Peninsula. Its influence was shortlived, and it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. The Dutch East India Company, based in Jakarta, took control of Java by the mid‑18th century. The Dutch took control in the early 19th century, and by the early 20th century, the entire archipelago was under their control.

Burgeoning nationalism and the Japanese occupation in World War II weakened Dutch resolve. Indonesia declared independence in 1945, which the Dutch recognized in 1949.

Today, Indonesia is a vibrant, multiethnic nation comprised of more than 300 ethnic groups in the midst of an enormous democratic transformation after years of authoritarian government.

This is the official post report prepared by the post. The information contained herein is directed to official U.S. Government employees and their families. Any other information concerning the facts set forth herein is to be regarded as unofficial information.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 11/5/2003 1:32 PM

The Republic of Indonesia encompasses the world’s longest archipelago. From the tiny island of Sabang in the northwest to Papua (formerly Irian Jaya or West Irian) in the east, over 17,000 islands stretch some 3,400 miles along the Equator. The total land area covers about 736,000 square miles. The main islands, in terms of population and importance, are Java, Sumatra, Bali, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), Papua, and the Maluku. The landscape is highly varied with mountain peaks and volcanoes, some rising to over 15,000 feet. In central Papua, snow covers some peaks all year.

The tropical climate varies with location, season, and altitude. Jakarta lies in the lowlands. Spanning the Equator, Indonesia experiences no real seasons. However, a wet season begins in November and lasts until March, followed by a dry season from April to October. Days and nights each last 12 hours.

The tropical climate and rich soil support abundant flora and fauna. Mangrove swamps and marshes flourish along the coast; tropical rain forests cover most of the terrain up to 3,000 feet; and abundant subtropical vegetation, such as oak, pine, and hardwoods, thrives at higher altitudes. The abundant forest cover and favorable climate have stimulated a diverse animal life.

Many endangered and unique animals, such as single‑horn rhinoceroses, orangutans, saltwater crocodiles, Komodo “dragons,” Sumatran tigers, giant monitor lizards, and anoa, the pygmy buffalo of Celebes, still find a home in Indonesia. Many species of snakes, insects, and birds abound.

Population Last Updated: 11/5/2003 1:33 PM

Indonesia’s 220 million people make it the fourth most populous country in the world, as well as the most populous Muslim country. Some 63% live on overcrowded Java and the adjacent islands of Madura and Bali. Some 65% are under age 25; about 85% live in rural areas. Indonesia has over 300 ethnic groups. Roughly 45% of the population are Javanese. Other large ethnic groups include the Sundanese (West Java), Madurese, Balinese, Bataks (North Sumatra), Minangkabau (West Sumatra), coastal Malays, Dayaks (Kalimantan), Ambonese (Maluku), Makasarese‑ Buginese (Sulawesi), and Chinese.

Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), a form of Malay, is the official language. Many Indonesian leaders speak English. Some 87% of the population are Muslim; the remainder are Christian, Buddhist, or Hindu.

European and American Christian missionaries have been influential in certain parts of Indonesia, especially in northern Sulawesi, the Moluccas or “Spice Islands,” North Sumatra, the lesser Sundas (Flores, Timor, Sumba), and Papua. Currently both Catholic and Protestant minorities exist. Many ethnic Chinese are Catholic. The island of Bali is predominantly Hindu. The annual population growth rate is 1.6%. To reduce the growth rate, the government sponsors family planning. About 50% of eligible couples on crowded Java and Bali have enrolled.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 10/14/2004 7:29 AM

Indonesia is a unitary republic, divided administratively into 32 provinces. (The former province of East Timor gained independence following a referendum in August 1999.) The provinces are further subdivided into regencies, subdistricts, and municipalities. Since the collapse of Soeharto’s authoritarian “new order” regime in May 1998, the country has embarked on the road to democratization and decentralization. Under the transitional presidency of B.J. Habibie, freedom of expression was restored and political laws were rewritten paving the way for the June 1999 parliamentary elections, the first free and fair elections held in more than 40 years.

In October 1999, the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), the constitutionally highest governmental body, elected Abdurrahman Wahid (a.k.a. “Gus Dur”) to a 5‑year term as the country’s fourth president. Wahid was removed from office, however, amid allegations of corruption and misrule in July 2001, and succeeded by Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri. She in turn was succeeded by former Coordinating Minister for Security and Political Affairs, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in the country's first direct presidential elections, held in September 2004.

“Professionalizing” the military, which played important political, economic, and social roles under past governments, is a current goal, and so are justice sector reform and a fight against terrorism and corruption. Both the MPR and DPR have become very active, with the MPR addressing constitutional reform and the DPR exerting considerable influence on government policy and the budget.

The government is implementing new laws on regional autonomy aimed at devolving political and economic control to the regions. Success in this effort is seen as crucial in addressing grievances that have helped spawn separatist movements in some provinces including Aceh and Papua (formerly Irian Jaya). Most internationally known commercial, social, and philanthropic organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Red Cross, Rotary, Lions Club, and Scouts are represented.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 11/5/2003 1:35 PM

The arts in Indonesia reflect the perception and creativity of a people surrounded by great natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage. Art, like religion, is woven into patterns of daily life. It is an integral accompaniment to celebrations and religious rites, as well as a principal source of leisure time enjoyment. Various Indonesian art forms are based on folklore, but others were developed in the courts of former kingdoms or, as in Bali, are part of religious tradition.

The famous dance dramas of Java and Bali derive from Hindu mythology and often feature fragments from the Ramayana and Mahabarata Hindu epics. These highly stylized dances with elaborate costumes are accompanied by full “gamelan” orchestras comprising instruments similar to the xylophone as well as drums, gongs, and occasionally, stringed instruments and flutes.

One of the most fascinating types of Indonesian performing arts is the “wayang,” or puppet performance, accompanied by gamelan. Two main types of wayang exist: The “wayang kulit” features flat leather shadow puppets, and the “wayang golek” uses wooden hand puppets. In both forms, the puppets are used to narrate a story usually based on one of the Hindu epics, but they frequently offer veiled comments on contemporary political figures and events.

Indonesian crafts vary both in medium and in art form. Indonesians are artistic by nature and express themselves on canvas, wood, metal, clay, stone, and cloth. Painting in both traditional and contemporary styles is popular. Woodcarvings for ornamentation and furniture, silver engravings from Yogyakarta and fine filigree from South Sulawesi, and sculptures of clay, sandstone, or wood are just a few of the arts and handicrafts found in Indonesia. Indonesia is perhaps most famous for its batik, a process of waxing and dyeing fabric that originated in Java centuries ago. The classic designs have been modified by modern trends in both patterns and technology. Java has several batik centers; principally Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Peka‑longan, and Cirebon. Other provinces produce woven cloth with gold and silver threads, and silks or cottons with intricate designs.

Museums depicting the history and culture of Indonesia are found in major cities. They are interesting but unfortunately not generally well maintained, and they often lack guides or written materials to explain their collections. The National Museum in downtown Jakarta is perhaps the most comprehensive; a private museum, Gedung 28 in Kemang, presents an excellent selection of artefacts from Indonesia’s eastern islands in a state-of-the-art facility. Members of the Indonesian Heritage Society, an international organization designed to further the appreciation of Indonesian art, history, and culture, conduct English‑language tours. The Indonesian Heritage Society also offers weekly lectures in Jakarta at the Dutch Cultural Center by experts on Indonesian life and culture. The Indonesian Heritage Society is open to all applicants.

In Jakarta and other large cities, you can enjoy Western culture, including popular music and jazz at hotels and nightclubs. Hotels and foreign embassies occasionally sponsor dance, theater, and other performing arts. Many American films are shown in Indonesian theaters with Indonesian subtitles.

Jakarta has an active cultural center, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM). TIM has three theaters for the performing arts that are active nearly every night, several exhibit halls, a movie theater, and a planetarium. Prices are reasonable; however, the quality of performances varies greatly.

Indonesia is struggling with the traditional developing country’s problem of quality versus quantity in education. During the more than 300 years when Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands, the Dutch did very little to encourage higher education. On gaining independence in 1945, Indonesia had no universities and few primary and secondary schools. Since independence, Indonesia has tried to meet the challenge of providing public education, and currently most children receive at least 6 years of primary education. Entrance into secondary schools and universities, however, is highly competitive. Only the best applicants to government universities are accepted, so most Indonesian students attend generally less competitive private universities. Many Indonesians attend tertiary institutions abroad, particularly in Australia and the U.S.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 5/25/2005 3:06 AM

In the 1980s and 1990s, Indonesia enjoyed rapid economic growth during which the economy diversified away from oil and other natural resource‑based industries into a number of basic export industries such as paper, textiles and clothing, shoes, and electronics. Foreign direct investment and foreign lending helped fuel the economic boom. The result was an overall improvement in living standards, leading to a significant reduction in the percentage of the population living in poverty. Another result was extensive industrial development on parts of Java, where half of Indonesia’s population resides, though most other islands retained their focus on agriculture, natural‑resource industries, or tourism (especially Bali and, increasingly, Lombok).

In 1997, Indonesia proved vulnerable to regional exchange rate and financial market turbulence that led to a sudden loss of confidence in its economic system. A full‑fledged economic and political crisis arose in early 1998, leading to President Soeharto’s resignation in May 1998 after three decades in power.

In 2000, the government embarked on an ambitious economic reform program, guided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international financial institutions. They recognized that it would be years before the economy would reach previous growth rates because of the mountain of bad debts and legal disputes that government institutions were not fully equipped to handle. Even so, the natural recuperative powers of the economy were seen as improving conditions gradually, and foreign investors were known to be investigating potential projects again.

The Bali bombings in October 2002 and the bombing of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in August 2003 and the Australian Embassy in September 2004 led to a dramatic loss of tourist revenue nationwide, but the industry has begun to recover after the government took strong measures to identify, capture, and prosecute those responsible for terrorist incidents.

The American Chamber of Commerce remained active in Indonesia, with over 500 members as of 2000. An estimated 6,600 U.S. citizens live in Indonesia, with 2,800 in Jakarta. 80% of U.S. investment in Indonesia is in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. U.S. merchandise exports to Indonesia, adversely affected by the economic crisis, amounted to US$2 billion in 1999, while Indonesian exports to the U.S. reached almost US$10 billion.


Automobiles Last Updated: 11/5/2003 1:37 PM

Personal cars for work, shopping, social occasions, and trips to the mountains or seashore add a great deal of convenience and independence to life here. Please consider the following before deciding to ship or purchase vehicle locally.

Vehicles imported into Indonesia must be for the bona fide and exclusive personal use of employees. The Embassy must get advance approval from the Government of Indonesia before shipping a vehicle to Indonesia or purchasing a duty‑free vehicle locally.

The most commonly imported and locally available automobiles are Toyotas and other Japanese models, and to a lesser extent European and Australian models; few American models are imported due to limited parts and lack of repair facilities. Automobile resale values vary and are less favorable for large U.S. models. Smaller cars are easier to handle, as streets and highways are narrow and traffic is heavily congested.

Most people prefer air‑conditioned cars because of Jakarta’s heat, dust, and pollution from heavy traffic. Repairs for air‑conditioners are limited; spare parts are usually ordered from abroad. Repairs often do not compare with U.S. standards. However, several dealers servicing Japanese and European cars offer reliable if expensive facilities. Australian and Japanese model spare parts are available in adequate supply at high cost. Bring extra supplies such as fan belts, distributor points, radiator hoses, wiper blades, spark plugs, touchup paint, etc.

Direct‑hire employees may also purchase one duty‑free, locally assembled motor vehicle at any time in accordance with Indonesian approval procedures. However, this vehicle must be in the owner’s possession for 2 years prior to resale.

Post will register employee vehicles with the government and the traffic police.

Importing a car into Indonesia requires two separate permits and approvals from the Government of Indonesia: (1) Preliminary approval (PPI) before your car is shipped/ordered/or purchased; (2) Customs approval (PP‑8) when the car arrives at port. Post cannot obtain approval until after the employee has arrived at post and the government issues a diplomatic ID card and the employee receives a stay permit.

Auto insurance is available locally, and post will assist you in obtaining local coverage, but you are responsible for paying premiums and renewing coverage. You might also consider U.S. insurance coverage available through various companies before deciding. By law, you must have third‑party coverage in an amount equal to Rp 1,000,000. Full comprehensive coverage is recommended. Collision insurance is strongly recommended, as most Indonesians are financially unable to pay for damages. Additionally, government insurance plans pay only nominal amounts, and it may take months or even years to settle a claim.

Driving in Indonesia. Traffic moves on the left. Right‑hand drive is recommended but not required. A left‑hand‑drive car is less hazardous in Jakarta than on the busy, narrow two‑lane (or one and one‑half lane) roads leading from Jakarta to mountain and beach resorts. Driving in Indonesia requires care and vigilance to avoid accidents. Many employees hire a full‑time or part‑time driver.

Employees can drive in Indonesia using either an Indonesian drivers license, obtainable on presentation of a valid U.S., foreign, or international license, or an international drivers license validated by the Government of Indonesia. Keep in mind this license must be renewed annually. If you do not have a valid license, you must take written and driving tests for a fee.

The state‑owned Pertamina Company sells gasoline and diesel fuel through its outlets throughout the country. Unleaded fuel (called Super TT) is Rps 1,400 a liter. Higher octane leaded is Rps 1,300; lower octane leaded is Rps 1,000; and diesel fuel costs Rps 600 a liter. A few stations sell unleaded gasoline. However, unleaded fuel is now available in some major cities and on the toll road to Bogor and Puncak.

Traffic in Jakarta is extremely heavy, and during the evening rush hour, which lasts from about 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., traffic on the city’s major north-south and east-west axes is bumper-to-bumper; during the rainy season (November–March), streets become quickly flooded, increasing transit times still further.


Adequate asphalt roads connect major cities in central and east Java. A standard shift is preferable, and air‑conditioning is necessary. Heavy‑duty springs and shock absorbers, undercoating, and rustproofing are recommended. If your car has tubeless tires, bring at least one spare with a tube for emergencies.


Local Transportation Last Updated: 3/1/2005 7:37 PM

By Western standards, public transportation in Jakarta is overburdened and inadequate. Buses in particular are not maintained properly, are known to harbor pickpockets, and are considered so unsafe Embassy personnel are advised not to use them. The Embassy recommends several taxicab companies which operate fleets of metered cabs and have reliable, English-speaking reservation services. Taxi drivers speak limited English, and are not likely to know the names of streets other than major thoroughfares. “Bajajs” (motor‑driven, three‑wheeled vehicles) are unsafe and best avoided.

For these reasons, each agency provides home-to-office transportation Monday through Friday, for a fee; employees are billed monthly.

Surabaya. “Becaks” (pedicabs) are the most commonly used means of local public transportation for short trips. Various types of three‑ and four‑wheeled vehicles supplement the city bus system, but Consulate General personnel rarely use any of these motorized public vehicles. Metered taxi service is available.


Regional Transportation Last Updated: 11/5/2003 1:50 PM

The rainy season often causes the generally poor roads to become impassable. Otherwise, trucks, buses, animal carts, becaks, and pedestrians congest the roads. Depending on the season and local road conditions, you can possibly drive from Jakarta to the eastern tip of Java (about 800 miles) in 2–3 days. From there your car can be ferried across to Bali. The Indonesian State railway system serves major cities in Java. Accommodations, standards, and service vary from air‑conditioned comfort to steerage. Limited rail and road networks on Sumatra make traveling difficult.

Garuda Indonesian Airways, Bouraq, Merpati, and several other local airlines provide air service to major cities and outlying islands in Indonesia, including Denpasar on the island of Bali. Garuda also flies to major Asian, European, and Australian cities. Numerous daily flights to and from Singapore, 1 hour and 20 minutes from Jakarta, exist. The international airport is some 20 miles from downtown Jakarta. Several daily flights from Medan serve Jakarta and Singapore. One flight a day goes to Penang, Malaysia. Several weekly flights within Sumatra service Padang, Banda Aceh, and Pekanbaru. An almost hourly shuttle service connects Jakarta and Surabaya.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 12/14/2004 0:50 AM

A 24‑hour satellite‑telephone service connects Indonesia with the U.S. Reception on international calls is usually good, but local phone service is only fair. Cables and central exchange equipment are often saturated and sometimes inadequately maintained. All Mission‑owned or leased homes have a telephone, and occupants are charged for telephone service. Telephone rates include a basic charge plus a per‑call charge. An extra charge is also made for each minute over 3 minutes. The Embassy telephone number is (62) (21) 3435–9000. In‑country direct dialing is available throughout Indonesia. Embassy personnel can direct dial throughout Indonesia from their homes.

If you have a telephone charge card from a U.S. company, use it during your tour for cheaper rates on calls to the U.S. Many long‑distance companies provide reduced rates upon request for calls made with their calling cards. The CLO has information on companies with competitive calling card rates. Personal fax messages may be sent through the Embassy commissary during office hours. The Post and Telegraph Central Office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can be used during nonoffice hours.

Surabaya. Telephone service in Surabaya is comparable to that in Jakarta.

Fax Numbers:

U.S. Consular Agent Bali (62) (361) 222426

U.S. Consulate General Surabaya (62) (31) 5674492

U.S. Embassy Jakarta (62) (21) 3862259

USAID Jakarta (62) (21) 3806694

ODC Jakarta (62) (21) 3843339

NAMRU (62) (21) 4244507


Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 11/5/2003 1:54 PM

Fleet Post Office (FPO) service is available to eligible employees and their dependents. Inbound mail (to the FPO address) and outbound mail (addressed to the U.S.) is considered U.S. domestic mail and is charged U.S. postal rates. Individual country postal rates apply to outbound international mail. The FPO offers services comparable to those provided by U.S. Post Offices to include:

Inbound/Outbound Mail Special Mail Services, i.e., Express Mail (Outbound to U.S. destinations only), Registered Mail, Certified Mail, Insured Mail, and Return Receipt. U.S. Postal Money Orders Claims and Inquiries Customs declarations are required on inbound/outbound mail. Firearms of any type are prohibited. Information pertaining to customs forms, restrictions regarding content, preparation, and handling are contained in the pamphlet, Conditions Applied to Mail Addressed to Military Post Offices Overseas, available at your servicing post office. The maximum weight/size limits for parcels to and from the U.S. is 70 pounds and 108 inches length and girth combined. Weight and size limits on parcels to international addresses and other APO/FPO addresses vary according to destination. Average transit time for letter mail to and from the U.S. is 6–8 days.

Personnel receiving official mail should inform their correspondents to use the official (versus personal) address indicated below. Inbound official mail incorrectly addressed as personal mail must be forwarded or returned to sender if the addressee has transferred, even though the article may be official material. Inbound mail addressed to Surabaya and Medan FPO addresses is received at the FPO in Jakarta and forwarded to addressees through the pouch system.

Address official and personal correspondence as follows:

American Embassy Jakarta: Personal: NAME American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8129 (****) FPO AP 96520–8129

Official: OFFICIAL TITLE ATTN: Name American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8129 (****) FPO AP 96520–8129

(**** Indicate appropriate work section, e.g., Mgt, Pol, GSO, etc.)

American Consulate General Surabaya: Personal: Name American Consulate General Surabaya Unit 8131 FPO AP 96520–8131

Official: OFFICIAL TITLE ATTN: Name American Consulate General Surabaya Unit 8131 FPO AP 96520–8131

NAMRU-2: Personal: Name American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8132 NAMRU TWO FPO AP 96520–8132

Official: OFFICIAL TITLE ATTN: Name American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8132 NAMRU TWO FPO AP 96520–8132

OMADP: Personal: Name American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8133 OMADP FPO AP 96520–8133

Official: OFFICIAL TITLE ATTN: Name American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8133 OMADP FPO AP 96520–8133

USDAO: Personal: Name American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8134 USDAO FPO AP 96520–81343

Official: OFFICIAL TITLE ATTN: Name American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8134 USDAO FPO AP 96520–8134

USAID: Personal: Name American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8135 USAID FPO AP 96520–8135

Official: OFFICIAL TITLE ATTN: Name American Embassy Jakarta Unit 8135 USAID FPO AP 96520–8135

Personnel without FPO privileges must use either the Indonesian Postal Service or the State Department Diplomatic Pouch Service (if eligible).

Indonesian mail. Indonesian postal rates, mailing conditions, and restrictions apply to mail addressed to or from Indonesian addresses. International mailing addresses are as follows:

Jakarta: American Embassy Jalan Merdan Merdeka Selatan 5 Jakarta 10110 INDONESIA

Surabaya: American Consulate General Jalan Raya Dr. Sutomo 33 Surabaya, Jawa Timur INDONESIA

Pouch. Because of State Department pouch service limitations, persons posted to Indonesia and authorized to use the FPO should remind correspondents to use only FPO. Although letter mail may be received by pouch, it is much slower than FPO, and letters cannot be registered, insured, certified, or sent via special delivery. Periodicals and parcels addressed via the State Department pouch address will be returned to the sender. Therefore, all persons should use the FPO address in all cases for periodical subscriptions and parcels. The pouch address for Jakarta for those not authorized to use the FPO is:

Full Name (Agency affiliation: USAID, OMADP, etc.) 8200 Jakarta Place Washington, D.C. 20521–8200

Full Name 4200 Surabaya Place Washington, D.C. 20521–4200


Radio and TV Last Updated: 11/5/2003 1:54 PM

Commercial television was allowed by the government to begin operations in 1989, after many years of government television only. Indonesian broadcast television is in the PAL (European) format. Programming varies greatly, from locally produced dramas and game shows to U.S. sitcoms and dramatic series with Indonesian subtitles. There is daily English news on Televisi Republik Indonesia (TVRI), the government network. The local cable and satellite television services offer CNN, BBC, CNBC, Star News, and Australian news programs to subscribers, as well as HBO, Cinemax, ESPN, Discovery, National Geographic, C‑Span, Worldnet, and Star TV, and other educational and entertainment channels. Subscribers can receive up to 50 channels, in various Asian and European languages as well as English. Rates are comparable to those in the U.S. Jakarta has abundant TV, radio, and stereo equipment sales and repair services, although prices on new equipment can be high.

Vendors sell or rent DVDs, VCDs, laser disks, and PAL videotapes. Locally sold or rented videotapes are censored. Local power is 220v, 50‑cycle, AC but fluctuates widely. A voltage regulator, available locally, is recommended to protect audio and video equipment. U.S.‑standard NTSC videotapes are rented by the commissary and the AERA Club, so U.S.‑standard televisions and VCRs are useful to view these videos.

Radio keeps most of the population informed and entertained. In addition to hundreds of small commercial stations throughout the country, Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI), the government radio network, broadcasts nationwide via relay stations. RRI Jakarta broadcasts news and commentary in English for about an hour in the early mornings and evenings. Dozens of AM and FM stations broadcast in Jakarta, including several with English programming and Western popular music. Most are stereo. Since all newscasts come from RRI and all stations relay it, the top of the hour begins with the same voices on all radio stations at once. Some personnel might also want to have a shortwave radio receiver for VOA, BBC, and Radio Australia. Shortwave reception is generally good.


Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 5/25/2005 3:17 AM

The British Council, the Women’s International Club, and the Indonesia-America Friendship Society (PPIA) operate lending libraries with minimal membership requirements and collections of approximately 20,000 books. The library facilities of the Jakarta International School (JIS) are available to students and their parents. Anyone in the international community may use the library’s facilities on the school premises, but only families with students attending JIS may borrow books. Each elementary school library contains more than 20,000 books, and the high school library has almost 40,000. The mission’s library is an electronic reference service that provides information about the U.S. and U.S. Government policy to host country nationals.

English-language sources of news in Jakarta are readily available. The Jakarta Post is published daily, and carries political, economic, and cultural news. The International Herald Tribune, the Asian Wall Street Journal, and USA Today are sold in many major hotels. The Tribune is available for home delivery. A wide variety of international magazines in English are available commercially.

Many hotels and bookstores have a selection of English-language books at prices some 50% higher than those in the U.S. In addition, there are several English-language bookstores in major shopping malls and other central locations. The American Women’s Association (AWA), the International Community Activity Center (ICAC), the recreation association and the commissary all operate small bookshelves recycling used books. Bring basic reference works, particularly for children, and leisure reading material. Subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, and book clubs in the U.S. are possible via FPO.

Surabaya. The Jakarta English-language newspapers and many international newspapers and magazines are also available commercially. PPIA offers free memberships for a small English-language lending library.

Internet. A wide variety of home connections to the internet, including through high-speed digital lines, TV cable, and dialup services, are available at reasonable monthly prices. Cable modems are available for rent at less than $10/month. Additionally, there are large numbers of internet cafes throughout all major urban centers where customers can connect for nominal fees.

Health and Medicine Last Updated: 11/5/2003 6:33 AM

The Embassy in Jakarta operates a Regional Medical Office staffed by a physician, nurse practitioner, medical technologist, and several locally-hired, Western-trained nurses. This Health Unit serves as a first point of contact for American employees and family members, provides inoculations, and will make arrangements for specialized treatment at other facilities if required. Local medical care is frequently inadequate, and patients requiring treatment beyond the capability of local facilities are evacuated to Singapore. The Medical Unit also has a fully stocked pharmacy.

Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by a mosquito which bites during the day. After a five-to-eight-day incubation period, it can cause fever, headache, and body aches. The only preventive measure is to avoid contact with the mosquito vector. Use mosquito repellent and avoid perfume or aftershave, as these will attract insects.

The other major health concern is bacteria contracted from impure water or improperly prepared food. Only commercially bottled water should be consumed; this is provided in large drums to both homes and offices. Tap water is safe for bathing, washing clothes and dishes, etc., but not for drinking. All vegetables and salads must be washed in bleach before preparation, and all cooked food should be cooked well-done and served hot. Avoid buffets that keep the food only warm. The Health Unit regularly tests the food and sanitary conditions at the American snackbar, Indonesian snack bar, and AERA club.

Although malaria is not present in Jakarta, other regions of Indonesia are considered to have multiple drug resistant malaria, and either doxycycline or mefloquine is recommended for malaria prophylaxis when visiting these areas. For further information, consult the Medical Unit.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 12/14/2004 1:00 AM

The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta maintains a Health Unit staffed by three Foreign Service medical officers: a physician, a nurse practitioner, and a laboratory technologist. Office hours are scheduled Monday through Friday, with a medical officer on call after hours and during weekends. The Health Unit is an outpatient primary‑care facility with a laboratory. U.S. Mission employees whose agencies have agreements with the U.S. Department of State regarding health care may use this facility for themselves and their eligible family members, provided that they receive a medical clearance from the Department of State's Office of Medical Services.

The Embassy Health Unit has a small private pharmacy located on the premises, but if you take chronic medication, bring your own. This includes birth control pills, vitamins, blood pressure medication, and thyroid or estrogen hormones. Local pharmacies carry a range of products of variable quality, availability, and cost. Some chronic medications may be bought here, but make that decision after you arrive. Establish a supply source before coming to post. Those receiving allergy shots may continue to receive them at the Embassy Health Unit. However, the question as to whether or not these shots will be helpful against Indonesian allergens must remain open.

Local medical facilities are used selectively for specialty consultation and emergency hospitalization, but do not approach U.S. standards. Patients with problems that cannot be handled in Jakarta are evacuated to Singapore. The hospital used (whether local or regional) depends on the condition and urgency of the problem.

The Health Unit recommends that babies be delivered in Singapore or the U.S. Some expatriates choose to deliver in Jakarta, but this is a personal decision and should be discussed with the Health Unit. Indonesian facilities to handle high-risk obstetrics and neonatal care are very limited.

Dental care, such as cleaning, repairs of dental cavities, and root canal and bridge work, can be performed in Jakarta. Complicated dental problems can be referred to specialists in Singapore. There are orthodontists who work in Jakarta (regularly used by Embassy personnel), though the quality of their work is quite inconsistent. However, all personnel and their eligible family members assigned to Jakarta should attend to their dental needs before arrival. Although medical travel can be funded for management of serious dental problems, the limitation of per diem payments and the fact that follow‑up trips cannot be funded can make dental care in Singapore very expensive.

Jakarta has optometrists and selected ophthalmologists of reasonable quality. Lens work is satisfactory, but bring an extra pair of glasses with you.

Surabaya. The Consulate General has no Health Unit. A medical officer visits regularly, and employees should call the Jakarta Health Unit for necessary guidance and advice. Local physicians are used selectively, with variable satisfaction. No American or European doctors currently practice in the city. Hospitals are generally of a significantly lower standard than in Jakarta. Surabaya is not equipped to support significant ongoing medical problems, and persons posted in Surabaya must be aware of this. Concerns and plans regarding dental and optometric care and chronic medications should be considered and resolved prior to arrival. Local pharmacies carry a range of products of variable quality, availability, and cost.

Health and Medicine

Community Health Last Updated: 10/14/2004 7:32 AM

Community sanitation and public health programs are inadequate throughout Indonesia and subject to frequent breakdowns. Water and air pollution and traffic congestion have rapidly increased with the growth of major cities. Almost all maladies of the developing world are found here. Residents are subject to water‑ and food‑borne illnesses such as typhoid, hepatitis, cholera, worms, amebiasis, and bacterial dysentery. Mosquito‑borne dengue fever exists throughout Indonesia. Malaria is endemic in some parts of Indonesia, but not in metropolitan Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, and Bali. Respiratory difficulties are common and are exacerbated by the high pollution levels. Asthma problems are generally worse during a tour here, as are any other respiratory or skin allergies.

Health and Medicine

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 11/5/2003 1:58 PM

Everyone covered under the Department of State’s medical program must have proper medical clearance prior to assignment to Indonesia. Individuals with limited medical clearances for medical conditions requiring sophisticated medical surveillance or delicate laboratory monitoring should avoid assignment to Jakarta. The Health Unit can advise on local resources if there is a question.

Recommended immunizations for children include all of the standard pediatric immunizations of diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and hemophilus B, plus hepatitis B, hepatitis A, typhoid, and preexposure rabies for toddlers. Adults should be current on all recommended immunizations. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended for travel to endemic areas outside major cities. Check with the Health Unit before traveling. Additionally, use of screens, clothes that cover the body, and insect repellant for children and adults is important to decrease exposure not only to mosquitoes carrying malaria but also to those carrying dengue fever, a disease that is present in both urban and rural areas.

Because of evidence of hydrocarbon and other chemical contamination in Jakarta, the Embassy currently provides bottled water for drinking and food preparation. All water used for consumption should be bottled. Bottled water is also supplied in Surabaya. Factory‑bottled soft drinks and juices are generally safe. Milk sold in sealed containers is generally safe. Standard recommendations for preparing fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats apply here. Washing, soaking, and peeling and/ or thoroughly cooking are mandatory to minimize insecticide residue and bacterial and parasitic contamination. A wide variety of foods are available in local markets and supermarkets, and it is possible to eat a well‑balanced diet.

Car accidents are the primary causes of severe injury to foreigners living in Indonesia. Defensive driving and use of seatbelts are encouraged, and use of motorcycles is strongly discouraged. The Embassy and Consulate General maintain a list of available blood donors, but Rh negative blood may be difficult to obtain in an area with very few Westerners. Therefore, it is important to know your blood type and recognize that this may be a problem.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 12/14/2004 1:05 AM

There is no bilateral work agreement between Indonesia and the United States.

However, all agencies at the Embassy in Jakarta seek to employ qualified eligible family members for available positions within the Mission. The key words are “qualified” and “available positions.” Most employed eligible family members work in Mission‑sponsored positions; some have found employment with non-governmental organizations.

The Embassy also hires eligible family members on short‑term projects such as writing booklets or doing price surveys. In addition, the Embassy runs a summer‑hire program for teenage and college‑age dependents.

The U.S. Employees Association (USEA) commissary and the AERA Club offer occasional managerial, assistant managerial, and other positions. Some previous experience is usually required.

JIS accepts applications from dependents qualified to teach on a full‑time basis and maintains a substitute teacher roster from qualified applicants in the U.S. community. Interested applicants should write well in advance (prior to arrival at post) to:

Superintendent Jakarta International School c/o American Embassy FPO AP 96520

Obtaining local employment is difficult. The Indonesian Government maximizes employment of Indonesians by all firms operating in Indonesia. The Indonesian Government will not as a rule grant work permits to any holder of a diplomatic passport. Limited job opportunities are available through special arrangements with international schools and nonprofit groups such as foundations.

Volunteers are needed in many spheres of life in Indonesia. If you are an art historian, anthropologist, etc., you can keep your skills alive and, at the same time, help the country’s National Museum or universities. Social workers will find plenty of projects to keep them busy. Whatever your talents, you might find a place to use them here and get credit for it. Volunteer work may lead to a paying job.

Surabaya. The Surabaya International School and the Binational Center offer opportunities for teaching. Other employment opportunities in Surabaya are rare.

American Embassy - Jakarta

Post City Last Updated: 3/1/2005 9:19 PM

Jakarta — the capital, chief port, and commercial center of Indonesia — and its suburbs cover some 350 square miles. Over 11 million people live within this area. As seat of the central government, Jakarta is the center of political life, with the Presidential Palace, national government offices, Parliament, and the Supreme Court all located in the city center.

The main ethnic groups in Jakarta are Sundanese, who predominate in the surrounding province of West Java, and Javanese. However, the city is a melange of all main groups from throughout the archipelago, including a substantial Chinese population and tens of thousands of expatriates.

In the 16th century, Jakarta, called Sunda Kelapa, was the chief port for the Sundanese (West Javanese) kingdom of Pajajaran. Later, the Sultan of Bantam changed the name to Jayakarta, “Glorious Fortress,” in the Sundanese language. At the end of the 16th century, Dutch and Portuguese traders struggled for a foothold on Java. Since it was difficult for foreigners to pronounce Jayakarta, the name was changed to Jakarta.

Eventually, the Dutch won possession of Java and established a fortified trading post at Jakarta, which they renamed Batavia. For three‑and‑a-half centuries after the Dutch arrival, Batavia was the focal point of a rich, sprawling commercial empire called the Netherlands East Indies. In older sections, Dutch‑style gabled houses with diamond‑paned windows and swinging shutters are still found. The canals, narrow downtown streets, and old drawbridges will remind you of the city’s Dutch heritage and early settlers. Eventually, more modern sections of the city were built some 8 miles inland. Indonesia became a sovereign state on December 27, 1949; the next day Batavia was renamed Jakarta. The city has grown rapidly in population from about 600,000 in 1940 to over 11 million. Physically, Jakarta has changed much in the last decade. A modern center with hotels, restaurants, and tall office buildings now has grown up amidst the crowded “kampungs,” often with banana groves and rice paddies, reminiscent of rural Java. Infrastructure, roads, electric power, and water supply are vastly improved, and new housing and apartments have gone up. With Jakarta’s expanding boundaries, most Americans and other foreigners live in newer suburbs, such as Kebayoran, 5 miles from downtown, or Kemang, even farther to the south.

Like most Asian commercial cities, Jakarta has a large population of Chinese origin, many of whom have Indonesian citizenship. They constitute the country’s largest non‑Indonesian ethnic group. Many have lived in Indonesia for generations and no longer speak Chinese, but most maintain Chinese traditions and family ties. Most Chinese in Jakarta operate businesses. Their district, Kota (or Glodok), has a distinctly Chinese flavor.

Over 25,000 foreigners live in the Jakarta area. Over 60 nations now maintain diplomatic or consular missions. The U.S., Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, and Australia operate the largest. Over 6,000 Americans reside in Jakarta — members of U.S. Government agencies, the U.N., and private, nongovernmental agencies; business representatives; and missionaries. Jakarta is the main stop for an increasing number of U.S. business visitors, and many American, European, and Australian tourists visit Jakarta each year, usually on their way to tourist areas such as Bali or Yogyakarta.

Jakarta’s average temperature ranges from 78 °F to 87 °F. It seldom varies more than a few degrees all year. The average humidity, 82%, rises to 83% or 84% during the wet season. It rains about 125 days a year for an average of 70 inches. Although heavy rains occur during the wet season (November through March), they do not compare to the heavy monsoon downpours that characterize the rainy season in other tropical countries.

Western‑style clothes predominate in Jakarta, but many still wear Indonesian attire. English is understood by many higher level Indonesian officials, business representatives, and professionals, particularly the younger generation. However, some knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia, the national language, is needed by foreigners for everyday communication. The older, Dutch‑educated Indonesians can speak Dutch, especially those who grew up under the Netherlands’ colonial rule.

Security Last Updated: 10/14/2004 7:34 AM

On October 12, 2002 terrorist bombs detonated in Bali killed over 200 people, most of them Westerners, including seven American citizens. A much smaller terrorist attack rocked the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta on August 13, 2003, and a terrorist attack on the Australian Embassy on September 9, 2004 claimed ten fatalities. Since the Bali and Jakarta bombings, the Indonesian authorities have taken great pains to increase security at airports, hotels, and elsewhere, and tourists, to a great extent, have returned.

Nonetheless, the bombings have reinforced the reality that Americans can be the targets of terrorism anywhere in Indonesia, and the Embassy and its personnel remain alert for additional attacks, targeting U.S. interests in Indonesia, including U.S. government officials and facilities. The most recent Department of State travel warning cautions American citizens to defer travel to Indonesia. All American citizens in Indonesia have been warned to evaluate their security posture while in the country. Those who reside in or travel to Indonesia should exercise maximum caution and take prudent measures, such as avoiding crowds and demonstrations, as well as locations known to cater primarily to a Western clientele, including but not limited to: resorts, tourist sites, nightclubs, hotels, bars, restaurants, and places of worship. They should keep a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel, remaining acutely aware of their immediate environment, and notifying the Embassy or Consulate in case of any change in the local security situation.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 5/25/2005 3:20 AM

U.S. Foreign Service posts in Indonesia are the U.S. Mission in Jakarta; the Surabaya Consulate General, and the Consular Agency in Bali. Plans to reestablish an official presence in Medan are in process. The Embassy is also deeply involved in support and staffing issues for the liaison office in Dili, East Timor, which regained its independence from Indonesia in 1999. The U.S. Mission in Jakarta consists of the Department of State, USAID, the Defense Attache Office (DAO) (Army, Navy, and Air attachés), the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC), the Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU), the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the Library of Congress (LOC), the Department of Justice’s ICITAP and OPDAT programs, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining (OSM), the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Ambassador, assisted by the DCM, directs and coordinates all Mission activities.

The U.S. maintained consular establishments in the Netherlands East Indies for several decades and, following Indonesian independence, officially opened an Embassy on December 30, 1949. The U.S. was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with the new Republic. Diplomatic relations have been maintained since then.

The Mission in Jakarta and the Consulate General in Surabaya are open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 4 pm, with 30 minutes for lunch. After working hours and on weekends and holidays, the Embassy in Jakarta provides a Mission duty officer to handle emergency situations. The Chancery is located at Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan 5, near the Jakarta downtown and business district. The telephone number is 3435–9000. The Chancery switchboard serves all U.S. Government agencies in Jakarta except LOC, and is staffed twenty-four hours a day. LOC’s telephone number is 3102127. NAMRU2 can be reached through the Embassy switchboard or on a direct line, 4214457. USAID is in a separate building on the Chancery compound. Economic and technical assistance to Indonesia began in October 1950 when USAID’s predecessor agency, the International Cooperation Administration, opened an office in Jakarta. The successor agencies, including the present Mission, have supported Indonesia’s economic development and growth. The Mission director and deputy director head the office in Jakarta.

DAO, headed by the Defense Attaché is located in the Chancery.

ODC, located on the Chancery compound, administers a military assistance program to the Indonesian Armed Forces. ODC is directed by a full colonel whose title is military attach‚ for Defense programs. Other military organizations under the DAO umbrella include a NAMRU element and the FPO.

NAMRU began operations in Indonesia in 1970 and conducts medical research in vaccine and drug development and the epidemiology of tropical infectious diseases in collaboration with government health authorities throughout Southeast Asia. Offices are located at the Indonesian Department of Health, Jalan Percetakan Negara, Jakarta.

LOC in Jakarta, headed by a field director, has regional responsibilities for Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Its principal function is to acquire Indonesian and Southeast Asian publications for the Library of Congress and American research libraries. It gathers important publications and information in English and Southeast Asian languages for distribution to the Library of Congress, other U.S. Government agencies, and selected libraries in North America. LOC is located at Jalan H.O.S. Cokroaminoto 65, Jakarta.

FAS, located on the Chancery compound, develops and expands the market for U.S. agricultural products and reports on agricultural conditions in Indonesia to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Justice administers the ICITAP program to provide training for the Indonesian police force. It is also located on the chancery compound. The OPDAT program, to provide training for prosecutors, is collocated with the Foreign Commercial Service.

A Community Liaison Office (CLO) was established in 1978. CLO offers services to all Mission members including single and married employees, spouses, and other dependents. CLO welcomes newcomers and their families. It also sponsors tours and social events to support the interests of Mission families and foster positive morale. CLO acts as an ombudsman and is a collector and coordinator of ideas and information to make life at post easier and more enjoyable. It also offers educational counseling and preventive mental health care referral and advice. CLO also acts as a liaison between various Embassy sections and community groups and organizations.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:02 PM

Every effort is made to assign employees to their permanent quarters as soon as possible after arrival. Employees are housed in temporary quarters for overlapping assignments, necessary renovations, lease expirations, etc.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 5/25/2005 3:21 AM

Designated housing is provided only for the Ambassador, DCM, Marine detachment, and principal officers in Surabaya and Medan. The post’s Inter‑Agency Housing Board makes all other housing assignments, following worldwide guidelines based on position grade and family size.

Housing consists of government-owned and -leased quarters, in a variety of single-family homes, townhouses, apartment buildings, and gated communities. Over 90% of employees are housed in some form of clustered housing.

Employees assigned to permanent quarters normally remain in those quarters for their entire tour. Exceptions are made for justifying circumstances, such as significant changes in the number of dependents or position requirements and the needs of the Government. These would include such factors as having to give up the property because of a lease expiration or sale of the property and, in rare circumstances, the need to move an employee who is “over‑housed” into smaller quarters to make room for another employee with a larger family. Employees assigned to adequate quarters will, however, not be reassigned to other quarters merely for personal preferences.


Furnishings Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:03 PM

Mission personnel live in furnished quarters. The quantity and types of furniture vary depending on house size, number and size of rooms, and number of occupants. Basic furnishings include living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture, and draperies, lamps, gas range, refrigerator, hot water heater, automatic washing machine, clothes dryer, and air‑conditioners for the living room, dining room, and bedrooms. Queen‑size beds are standard issue for the master bedroom, and twin beds are standard for the other bedrooms. The post provides an upholstery allowance after arrival. You can have rattan chairs, stools, tables, and bars made to order in Jakarta at your expense.

Bring your own blankets, pillows, linens, kitchenware, glasses, china, silverware, iron and ironing board, and other personal accessories. Although you must surface ship most of these, include a few in your airfreight or send them via FPO to use until your household effects (HHE) arrive. Mission Welcome Kits are loaned for a short time, but ship most basics in your airfreight.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 11/6/2003 6:19 AM

In most Government quarters, lights and small appliances run on 220v, 50‑cycle, AC. Exceptions are the houses in the FOA complex at the American Embassy Recreation Association compound which are wired for 110v/50hz appliances, so check your housing assignment before investing in 220v‑110v stepdown transformers. All heavy appliances such as air‑conditioners operate on 220v. The Embassy provides one or two transformers per home for personally owned appliances. Stereos, clocks, tape recorders, and timers (on washers, etc.) must be built for or adapted to 50‑cycle operation to obtain the right speed. Local appliance prices are reasonable. All Government quarters have a telephone; fees are nominal. Kitchen gadgets such as mixers, blenders, and pressure cookers vary in value. Most household help, unfamiliar with them, prefer not to use them.

Food Last Updated: 5/25/2005 3:23 AM

Most food can be purchased in Jakarta. Local markets and grocery stores have a good variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (locally produced and imported), beef, pork, chicken, and fish available. Western convenience foods and snack items are readily available in local stores, albeit at prices higher than in the U.S. Most Mission personnel use a combination of local markets and grocery stores, duty‑free stores, and the commissary to supply their everyday needs. If you have a strong attachment to particular brands of U.S. goods, such as shampoos, toilet paper, personal hygiene products, etc., you might want to ship some in your household effects (HHE). Imported brands of toiletries are expensive but available here. Otherwise, with a little initiative, you will be able to find everything you need in Jakarta.

The Commissary and American Snack Bar. The American Embassy Commissary and Recreation Association (AECRA) is a cooperative which operates a commissary and the American snackbar on the Embassy compound. The commissary stocks basic items imported from the U.S. and Australia, which are not available or prohibitively expensive locally. The snackbar is open for breakfast, lunch, and snacks Monday through Friday from 7 am to 2:30 pm. A standard American‑style grill/café menu is supplemented by daily specials, which provide variety and take advantage of local produce. The Embassy Medical Unit inspects the snackbar frequently to ensure high standards of hygiene are maintained. The menu is priced in Rupiah, as the Snack Bar is also open to FSNs.

The commissary stocks a range of U.S. brand groceries and other “dry” goods and frozen foods. As alcohol is subject to high duties in Indonesia, the commissary stocks a selection of duty‑free U.S. and Australian beers and wines, as well as most major brands of spirits. A limited selection of over‑the‑counter medicines, toiletries, and cleaning products is also stocked. It endeavors to stock seasonal items (e.g., Valentines, Halloween candy), but the selection is often much greater in the local department stores and supermarkets. Most items on the shelves are imported from the U.S. The commissary necessarily carries fewer brands than the average supermarket, due to the long distance from suppliers and space limitations. Think of it as a 7‑Eleven or convenience store.

Commissary hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 3:30 pm, and closed on Embassy holidays, which are announced in the post newsletter. (When a large shipment arrives, the commissary also closes for a half or full day to unload the goods.)

Services available in the commissary:

Sale of grocery items, frozen foods, fresh produce, beer, wine, and liquor Travelers checks Video (VHS) rental library Hardcover book lending library Pack and wrap service Personal fax service Film processing drop-off point Drycleaning drop-off point Special Order Service (please see below) AECRA Membership. Your membership deposit is based on your family size and in some cases the duration of your tour. Your membership deposit should be paid in full upon opening your account. The full amount of your membership fee is refunded when you close your account and/ or depart post.

Current USEA membership joining deposits are:

Single (no eligible family members $100 Family $200 Marine Security Guards $50 Temporary duty personnel (90 days’ $50 temporary duty and longer)

Note: Personnel assigned for TDY periods of less than 90 days may make purchases on the account of their sponsoring section/ agency if that section/agency has an account.

Members operate a shopping account in the commissary. No cash is taken at the register but your purchases are entered into your account. You will be asked to keep your shopping account with a zero or credit balance. Most people find it convenient to deposit a certain amount of money, using personal checks, travelers checks, money orders, or cash, into their account and then shop against that balance, replenishing it as needed. If you prefer, you may pay for each purchase as you make it, keeping a “zero” balance on your shopping account.

The commissary’s prices are all in U.S. dollars. It is important to note that the commissary pays freight and handling fees on all goods it imports, so prices are significantly higher than in the U.S. (but often lower than competitors in the local economy!).

If you are stationed outside Jakarta and have commissary privileges you may shop by proxy (by prior arrangement with the commissary). The commissary can package and send items to Surabaya, etc., provided you agree to meet the airfreight cost (which is quite reasonable) and exempt commissary staff from responsibility for any damages.

Special Orders. If there is a brand or item you just can’t live without, the commissary will be happy to place a special order for you through one of its regular suppliers. Special orders must be made in whole caselots. You agree to purchase the entire case on arrival. Plan on a 3-month wait. All special orders over $300 must be paid for in full, less shipping charges, at the time of placing the order.

Clothing Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:05 PM

Men, women, and children wear cotton and other lightweight clothing year round. Due to frequent, hard washing, clothing does not last as long as in the U.S. Launderers generally do satisfactory ironing and pressing. Adequate drycleaning costs considerably less than in a major U.S. city. Shoes wear out sooner than in U.S. due to the dampness and rough terrain. Locally made men’s and women’s shoes are adequate to good, but large sizes are sometimes difficult to find. There is a very wide range of price and quality available locally.

Imported shoes for both men and women are available at many shops and department stores, but larger sizes are rare even in imported shoes. Several places in Jakarta sell moderately priced made‑to‑order shoes. Athletic shoes are more readily available in larger sizes, especially at outlets for the many name brands that are manufactured locally. For children and young teens, sandals, cloth shoes, and tennis shoes are available. Imported fabrics are available locally but are expensive. Indonesian batik, with its distinctive patterns, is popular for dresses and sportswear. Prices for batik vary widely depending on the quality and intricacy of design. Many Mission personnel take advantage of inexpensive tailoring to have clothing made. Tailors and seamstresses do not work from patterns, but can copy based on a picture or a sample item. Bring some warm clothing for travel to Tokyo, Hong Kong, or the U.S. in winter months.


Men Last Updated: 12/14/2004 1:50 AM

Lightweight, washable clothes are recommended. Most Foreign Service Officers wear standard business attire (tropical weight suits, long- or short-sleeved shirts and ties, and equivalent for women). Some Embassy personnel do not wear jackets. Men who will attend representational functions may wish to bring a tropical black‑tie evening suit with either white or black jacket and dark trousers. Few, if any, occasions require black tie. However, the Ambassador and the DCM must bring a black dinner jacket. A dark suit or batik shirt is recommended for diplomatic functions. Many men wear batik shirts (long and short sleeves) for social affairs. Indonesians consider long‑sleeved batik shirts formal attire; you may wear them to official functions. Batik shirts can be purchased readymade or tailor made. American sport shirts are usually worn only for casual affairs and at private parties. Bring an adequate supply of shoes. Only a few exclusive, expensive shops sell Western styles and sizes. Some have found sandals desirable for informal wear. Bring your own golf shoes or buy them in Tokyo, Hong Kong, or Singapore for better quality and more reasonable prices. For evenings in the mountains, men will need a light jacket or sweater. Bring sports clothes, including tennis or golf shorts and swimming trunks.


Women Last Updated: 5/25/2005 3:24 AM

Office wear for women is similar to that in Washington, D.C., during summer. Since offices, cars, and most indoor places are completely air‑conditioned, most lightweight summer fabrics, including knits, are suitable. Sleeveless tops are sometimes worn within the Embassy, but for appointments outside the Embassy, women should wear clothing that covers their shoulders. Some women wear nylon hose. Casual dresses or long pants are suitable for nearly all daytime occasions. Evening wear is usually casual. Special occasions are dressy or formal. Both long and short casual dresses are appropriate for informal events. Indonesian dressmakers are skilled in copying clothing from pieces you already have or from a picture.

A wide variety of fabrics, both local and imported, is available locally. You may also order clothing from mail‑order catalogs and Internet sites after you arrive. Women who wear smaller sizes will not have trouble finding attractive and affordable clothing locally, but larger sizes are rare. Bring two casual long or short evening dresses with you, as it may take several weeks for airfreight to clear customs (see Notes for Travelers). Bring some shorts and sleeveless shirts. Shorts are worn primarily for golf and tennis and at the AECRA Club. Also bring swimsuits, tennis and golf clothes, and sports clothing.

You can often use a wool sweater and slacks during the cool mountain evenings. Ready‑made maternity clothes are not available. Most women bring an ample supply of underwear. Women rarely wear hats and gloves; they are not required in churches or for calling. Bring plenty of shoes and sandals. Some prefer closed (canvas‑type) shoes for shopping and sightseeing during the rainy season. Bring your regular size if you know your feet don’t swell in hot weather.


Children Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:07 PM

In general, bring enough of everything for 6–12 months. This will give you time to place mail orders once you have had a chance to look around and ask questions. Again, cotton and polyester/cotton washable clothes are recommended.

At JIS, all children in grades 7 thru 9 must wear uniforms (available for purchase at the school) and tennis shoes for physical education classes. Most children wear shorts at home and at the pool. Local shops sell children’s shoes, but a proper fit may be difficult to obtain. Western‑style clothes are popular with young people in Jakarta. Jeans and denims are sold everywhere.


Office Attire Last Updated: 11/6/2003 6:28 AM

Office attire for both men and women is the same as that worn during the summer months in Washington, DC.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 11/6/2003 6:30 AM

Most basic toiletries are available locally, but if you rely on a particular U.S. brand, you should pack a supply in HHE. Several websites selling toiletries, vitamins, and other drugstore items are used regularly by Embassy families. Bring special medicines or vitamins and reorder them by mail. The commissary sells a few basic toiletries such as face cream, deodorant, shampoo, feminine hygiene articles, etc. The commissary also stocks U.S. toilet paper, detergents, laundry soap, starch, and disinfectants. Local stores carry most of these, including expensive American brands. The Health Unit has a pharmacy, and similar drugstores are available in all major shopping malls.

Bring the usual household repair tools (such as screwdrivers, hammers, etc.). American garden hoses do not fit Indonesian faucets, but adequate quality hoses are available in local shops at slightly higher than U.S. prices. The commissary carries name brand cigarettes, pipe tobaccos, and cigars. They are also sold locally at reasonable prices. Ace Hardware, at the Pasaraya Department Store, stocks the full range of American hardware, gardening, and cleaning products. Prices are higher than in the U.S., but selection is exceptional.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:08 PM

Each household has a washer and dryer and many families have household staff do laundering. Drycleaning is generally deemed adequate. Shoe repair facilities are fair. Prices are less than in the U.S. A few beauty shops are recommended; some are small and simple, others are more luxurious. They offer the usual services at low, reasonable prices. Color rinses, perms, and dyes are available but expensive. You provide your own perm and dye supplies. Major hotels and shopping areas have barbershops. The usual services are reasonable.

Automobile repairs range from poor to good, depending on the type of car. Repair shops do not carry spare parts for American‑made vehicles, especially for newer models with many gadgets. Local mechanics are not trained to repair American cars. If you plan to ship an American made car to post, bring spare parts. Several dealers service Japanese and European cars. Most parts are adequate and expensive, but labor costs are reasonable. Very few service stations exist. Some, but not all, of the stations provide such basic services as tire repair, compressed air, and battery services. All stations sell gasoline.

Generally, radio, TV, and household appliance repairs do not meet U.S. standards. However, several shops perform adequate repair services; parts are usually imported and expensive. Good quality batik floor cushions and draperies can be custom made at reasonable prices. Picture framing is inexpensive and quality and selection varies. Several upholstery shops offer good work at reasonable prices.

Jakarta has many dressmakers, but prices and competence vary greatly. Some will visit your home for fittings. Establish a dressmaker’s competence before providing an expensive piece of fabric. Tailors are available and, again, their competence and prices vary greatly. They make shirts, shorts, and suits.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 11/6/2003 6:40 AM

As in most of Asia, household help is not a luxury, but a necessity — not to provide a life of ease, but to help a family live a normal life and maintain a good level of security. You must take extra precautions when preparing food and must thoroughly scrub and peel vegetables before cooking, or soak them in disinfectant and rewash them in bottled water if you eat them raw. Marketing can be time consuming, although the preponderance of Western‑style supermarkets makes shopping easier, albeit at a higher price. In many households, the cook shops for food in local markets at a considerable savings to the family. Domestic staff cannot shop in the commissary.

Aside from being practical, household help is customary in this part of the world. Even Indonesians of moderate circumstances have them. Most households require at least two household staff, and you may need more, depending on your family size. You may have to replace staff members, or even the whole staff, before you achieve the right combination. Staff management can be difficult and requires patience and good nature.

The number of household help needed and their salaries differ according to individual households, with varying emphasis on their responsibility and ability. Below are examples of staff responsibilities. Salaries are paid in Rupiah and are considered quite affordable by western standards. CLO conducts an annual staff survey that identifies salary range and duties. The survey is available from the CLO office in either hard copy or electronic form.

Cook. Plans the meals with you; informs you of what is on the market and does shopping; keeps a kitchen account book, which you should check; cleans the kitchen; and does the dishes.

Maid/Houseboy. Serves at table, mixes drinks, and cleans living and dining rooms; may also prepare meals on the cook’s day off or if she or he is the only servant in a small household.

Nanny. Takes care of children, cleans their room, mends their clothing, and sees that it comes back from the launderer in good condition. May help with general housework if the family is small.

Driver. Acts as chauffeur, purchases gas and oil, and keeps your car in good operating condition.

Gardener. Tends the lawn, shrubs, flowers, etc. Most common is a combination gardener/watchman who watches the house during the day while he tends the yard.

Night Watchman. Guards your house.

Many families employ one or more “all in one” helpers who combine the functions of cook, maid/houseboy, and nanny.

Domestic staff in Indonesia depend on their employers. The employer customarily provides uniforms and/or clothing, a Lebaran or Christmas bonus (1 month’s salary if the employee has worked at least a year, prorated for shorter periods), and some employers provide uniforms and/or clothing as well as some basic food stuffs and some medical expenses. Additionally, employers must provide a bed (including the mattress), sheets, pillows, and towels for each employee that lives in. A bed, mattress, and pillow (at minimum) purchased locally costs between $25 and $35. Sheets and towels are very expensive on the local market. Some people prefer to bring some extra inexpensive ones for their staff.

All household staff should have a preemployment physical examination and annual stool tests and chest x‑rays. As of February 2000, the range in cost for full physicals was $8–$20; x‑rays were $15. Domestic employees who are dismissed by you for any reason other than wrongdoing (e.g., if you leave post or your needs change) should be given severance pay at the rate of 1 month’s salary for each full year worked and a prorated portion of a month’s salary for employment periods of less than full years. If the employee resigns, you are not obliged to give severance pay but may want to give “service pay,” something like a thank‑you bonus. Prevailing practice in business is to give one‑half a month’s salary after 5 years of employment. But should you choose to give “service pay,” the amount is at your discretion. Some staff require constant supervision, especially on cleanliness, market prices, storage and use of food supplies, and personal effects. Depending on house size and your individual preferences, one or two domestic staff normally live in. Most houses have staff quarters.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 11/6/2003 6:38 AM

In Jakarta, churches of several denominations hold regular services in English: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, interdenominational Protestant, Lutheran, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. There are also two active Christian youth groups: Friday Night Live for teens and preteens and International Christian Youth for high school students. There is an informal Jewish network that plans observations of high holidays and holds some social events.

Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, and Muslim employees will find a wide range of religious activities and institutions. Religion plays an important role in daily life in Indonesia, and non-Muslims will want to familiarize themselves early on with social norms. During the month of Ramadan, some entertainment venues may close and domestic employees may spend their evenings at the local mosque.


Dependent Education Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:13 PM

In Jakarta, most dependent American children from kindergarten (prep 1) through grade 12 attend JIS. JIS enrollment for the 2000–2001 school year was 2,526. Currently, more than half of the 227‑member teaching staff is American. The high school is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the European Council of International Schools. All instruction is in English.

JIS has three campuses, two of which are elementary schools, in two locations. For elementary level students, campus assignment is based primarily on area of residence. All Embassy housing areas are nearest to Pattimura Elementary, although space limitations may require that an Embassy child attend Pondok Indah Elementary. To ensure that your child is able to attend the campus of your choice, it is important to get applications in to CLO as early as possible.

Pattimura is located in Kebayoran Baru and houses prep 1 through grade 5. Completely reconstructed in 1986, Pattimura now consists of 23 classrooms; a library with more than 20,000 volumes; a computer lab; a theater; a gymnasium; and special rooms for art, music, English to Speakers of Other Languages, and reading. All indoor facilities are air‑conditioned.

Pondok Indah Elementary (PIE) is located in Cilandak, behind but not connected to the middle and high school campuses. PIE houses prep 1 through grade 5. Located on 9 acres, it includes 47 classrooms, a library with more than 30,000 volumes, two computer labs, a science lab, a gymnasium, a theater, a cafeteria, a covered play area, a swimming pool, and extensive fields for outdoor recreation. All buildings are air‑conditioned.

The Cilandak campus houses the middle school (grades 6 to 8) and high school (grades 9 to 12), in addition to the administrative offices. The 23‑acre campus includes 115 classrooms, 2 libraries totaling more than 37,000 volumes, 9 computer labs, 2 theaters, 2 gymnasiums (with a third under construction), covered tennis courts, sports fields, a swimming pool, and a cafeteria.

The JIS elementary curriculum gives students a solid foundation in basic skills. The school offers up‑to‑date programs in math and science, using discovery and inquiry methods, and places a strong emphasis on language arts. Students have specialist teachers for music, art, computer studies, library science, and physical education. In grades 3, 4, and 5, students also have specialist teachers for Indonesian language and culture.

The middle school curriculum includes a balanced emphasis on basic skill development and content. A variety of teaching methods are employed. The school’s program of studies and daily schedule provide a gradual transition from the largely self‑contained school structure of the elementary school to the departmental organization found in the high school. Students receive instruction in English/language arts, mathematics, history/social studies, science, and physical education. There are also a variety of exploratory and elective options in the areas of visual and performing arts, computer studies, practical arts, and modern languages. Each 7th–8th grade student also must complete required courses in computer applications, Indonesian language, and health.

The high school curriculum offers a modified American curriculum as well as the International Baccalaureate (IB), fulfilling admission requirements for both American universities and those of other countries. Normally, six subjects are taken each year, including a sequential progression of courses in English, mathematics, science, and social studies. The following foreign languages are offered: French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Japanese, Korean, and Indonesian. One semester of Indonesian Studies is required for JIS high school graduation. Electives include music, drama, fine arts, practical arts, business, computer studies, physical education, yearbook, and journalism. Advanced courses are offered in selected areas to prepare students for Advanced Placement (AP) exams, the AP International diploma, the IB diploma, and the IB certificate.

To supplement the academic program, JIS provides a variety of extracurricular activities designed to encourage physical well‑being, intellectual interchange, and participation in social activities. Boys and girls can participate in a varied after school sports program. There are also special‑interest clubs such as photography, chess, and handicrafts. Community leagues in soccer, basketball, baseball, and competitive swimming are available.

At the high school level, JIS participates in the Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asia Schools (IASAS), a regional organization that offers competition in sports and cultural events. Club activities are available at all levels, as are Boy and Girl Scout programs.

The school year begins in mid‑August and ends early in June. There is a 3‑week vacation between semesters and a 1‑week break during the second semester. The school observes Indonesian holidays. School hours are:

Prekindergarten (Prep Junior): 7:30 am–noon Kindergarten (Prep Senior): 7:30 am–noon (1st semester) 7:30 am-1:45 pm (2nd semester) Grades 1-5: 7:30 am–1:45 pm Grades 6-12: 7:30 am–2:40 pm

A catering service sells sandwiches and hot lunches on campus. Ice cream, bottled drinks, and various snacks are also available at the student stores on campus. School uniforms are worn only for physical education; however, clothing should be clean, neat, and comfortable. Shoes must be worn at all times for health reasons.

JIS does not have the facilities to deal with children who have serious learning, emotional, or physical disabilities. Parents of prospective students are advised that the school is able to serve only those mildly learning‑disabled (LD) students who are able to function in the regular program with minimal support. If a child is receiving special services, such as LD instruction, remedial teaching, speech/language therapy, or seeing any educational specialist outside the regular classroom, parents are advised to contact the school and discuss the child’s situation before making a decision to come to Jakarta.

There are several other schools in Jakarta, including schools following the British, French, and Australian educational curricula, as well as a Montessori school. The Australian International School (AIS) is a smaller, relatively new school in southern Jakarta that offers special needs programs.

Personnel assigned to post should send completed application forms and copies of transcripts for their children directly to CLO, which will act as liaison with the schools on their behalf. Students wishing to enroll in prep 1 (kindergarten) at JIS must reach their 5th birthdays prior to October 31 of the current school year. Contact CLO regarding any questions about enrollment.

Preschools: There are several good English‑language preschools at post. Many families of young children take advantage of part‑ or full‑time preschools, including Bambino, Tutor Time, Discovery Center and Jakarta Montessori School. JIS has a preschool program for 3‑ and 4‑year-olds; however, most Embassy families find the JIS program to be too expensive. It is not necessary to register for preschool before arriving at post. Contact the CLO for information about programs and prices.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 11/18/2003 6:19 AM The Jakarta International School (JIS), with three campuses totaling 46 acres in South Jakarta, is one of the finest international schools in the world, offering a complete program of instruction from pre-Kindergarten through International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) programs. Its air-conditioned facilities offer students a curriculum based on North American and other models, complemented by outstanding 19 science laboratories, 7 computer laboratories, 4 libraries (with over 100,000 volumes), 4 theatres, 3 cafeterias, 3 tennis courts, 6 gymnasia, 6 playing fields, 2 swimming pools, a design technology facility, and art, music, and dance studios. It also offers its international student body courses in Indonesian language and culture, and field trips emphasizing the rich diversity of the archipelago. JIS is fully accredited by the Western Assocation of Schools and Colleges and the European Council of International Schools. The school's website is

JIS, founded in 1951, is a private, coeducational day school, governed by an 11-member School Council, 9 of whom are elected by parents. The enrollment is approximately 2400, of whom over 500 are American citizens. There are over 200 faculty members, 123 of whom are American citizens.

In addition, there are Australian, French, Korean, and other foreign schools in Jakarta, intended primarily for students who have already begun study elsewhere in these systems and who have the requisite foreign language skills.

For pre-Kindergarten students, there are a number of options; up-to-date references may be obtained from the Community Liaison Office Coordinator.


Special Needs Education Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:14 PM

Children with special needs are mainstreamed, with full‑time Indonesian classroom assistants assigned as necessary. A special needs coordinator works with the children individually several times per week. Speech therapy is sometimes available, though not guaranteed. School facilities are basic, but class sizes tend to be small. The school offers classes from preschool through grade 12, operating on the Australian school calendar which means that the school year goes from January–December. For more information, contact the school at, or phone 62–21–780–5152.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:14 PM

Indonesian language training is available through a number of local resources, including the Lembaga Indonesia‑Amerika (Yayasan LIA) and ICAC. The Embassy also has a language program that is open to employees and spouses. Ask your administrative officer for information on eligibility and cost. The Indonesian Heritage Society offers various opportunities to study Indonesian culture in depth through its study groups, lecture series, and museum volunteer program. Although several Indonesian colleges and universities exist, all instruction is in Indonesian.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 5/25/2005 3:31 AM

Jakarta hosts a variety of recreational and sports facilities, from fitness clubs to golf driving ranges to tennis courts to riding stables. Many Mission personnel join the AECRA Club, located in Kebayoran Baru and surrounded by Embassy housing. AECRA provides a variety of activities to enhance the morale of American families both within and outside the official Mission. Facilities include dining areas, a Western‑ style bar with large‑screen TV, a pool table, video games, NTSC video rental, a satellite dish, tennis courts, swimming pool, a fitness center, and multipurpose rooms used for fitness and children’s classes and available for special‑purpose rental.

The club conducts a summer camp for elementary school-aged children, organizes activities for adults and children, and hosts programs for American holidays and other special occasions. It also provides catering services for members. Membership fees include a reasonable initiation fee and monthly dues. Charges for food, video rentals, etc., are payable on a monthly basis. Mission families are given membership priority.

There are several other clubs that expatriates join, including the Jakarta American Club (not affiliated with the Embassy or the AECRA Club) and the Mercantile Athletic Club. Several large hotels make their facilities available on a daily or membership basis. In addition, the Mission housing pool includes some apartment complexes and housing complexes that have swimming pools, tennis courts, and other amenities.

Golf. Golf enthusiasts can choose from 18‑ and 9‑hole golf courses and driving ranges. Some are open to casual players, but others require memberships. Membership and green fees are moderate. Courses are generally well maintained and are open from sunrise to sunset. Most have pro shops, snack or meal service, locker room facilities, and instruction. Golf equipment is available locally but is more expensive than in the U.S.

Tennis. Most clubs have tennis courts, including the AERA Club, the Hilton, the Senayan Sports Complex, and JIS. Several housing compounds also have tennis facilities. Although tennis equipment and balls are available locally, prices are generally higher than in the U.S.

Swimming. In Jakarta, most clubs, hotels, and apartment or townhouse complexes have swimming pools. Many hotels charge daily fees for use of the pool. Ancol and Pondok Indah offer public swimming and water park facilities. These tend to be crowded on weekends and public holidays. Saltwater bathing is available at beach resorts and nearby islands. Beach lovers should note, however, that the closest beach is some 3½ hours by car from Jakarta. Pelabuhan Ratu (Samudra Beach) on the Indian Ocean, south of Jakarta, is about 4½ hours by car, and Anyer, Carita, and Sombola, on the Sunda Straits west of Jakarta, are about 3½ hours by car. Pulau Seribu or Thousand Islands is a system of small islands in the sea north of Jakarta. There are several basic but pleasant resorts that offer scuba, snorkeling, swimming, and various sports.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 12/14/2004 2:04 AM

Snorkeling and Scubadiving: Snorkeling and scubadiving are available both near and far from Jakarta. Several islands of the Thousand Islands area have popular sites for viewing coral, highly colored tropical fish, and other sea life. Some are reachable by boat in several hours. Pulau Putri and other islands have beaches and full tourist facilities, including cottages for rent. Scuba courses are available, and informal groups organize trips to the islands. For travel further afield, several other islands and resorts offer both activities, including Sulawesi, Sumatra, Lombok, Bali, Kalimantan, Maluku and Papua. Most dive shops/tour operators rent tanks and weights. Most also sell equipment, but it is expensive compared to U.S. prices. It is advisable to bring your own regulator and BCD.

Horseback Riding: Several high‑quality English‑style equestrian facilties offer regular lessons for all levels, including jumping and polo; costs of lessons are cheaper than the equivalent in the U.S. Horses can be leased long term, which is the best arrangement if you plan to ride more than a couple of times a week.

Photography: Picturesque villages, colorful native dress, street scenes, mountains, and beaches provide a variety of photo opportunities. Film and slides, mostly Japanese and U.S. brands, are available locally at reasonable prices. Film may be sent via FPO for processing in the U.S., particularly black and white. Local processing of color film is good and reasonably priced.

Sightseeing: In and around Jakarta, there are several museums, including the National Museum, which houses a large collection of Indonesian antiques, cultural displays, and one of the world’s finest Asian porcelain collections; Gedung 28, a private collection of artefacts from Indonesia's eastern Islands (Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papua, West Timor), displayed in a purpose-built facility; the Museum of the Armed Forces; Museum Wayang, which houses a collection of puppets representing various regions and eras in Indonesia; Museum-Tekstil, containing a collection of Indonesian textiles; the Adam Malik Museum, containing some of the late statesman’s collection; the Ceramic Museum; and the Jakarta Historical Museum.

Taman Mini, located about 13 miles southeast of Jakarta, has several theme museums, exhibits of traditional houses of the 27 regions in the country, amusement rides, an orchid garden, and various other attractions. Taman Impian Jaya Ancol is located in the north of Jakarta and has a water park, an amusement park, an art and handicraft market, and Seaworld. Many consider visiting the various market areas as a sightseeing trip in itself. Jakarta also has a zoo and planetarium. Newcomers often enjoy city tours arranged by major hotels and travel agencies. The Indonesian Heritage Society has an Explorers Club that organizes regular tours to a wide variety of local landmarks and historic areas. It is an interesting way to see the city and meet new friends.

To learn about Indonesian culture, take trips outside the city. The Puncak Hills and the nearby town of Bogor offer a pleasant climate and scenery change. In Bogor, the famous Botanical Gardens feature a 275‑ acre park with a zoological museum, scientific library, and laboratory. The orchid collection is a special attraction. Puncak Pass, on the road to Bandung, is 5,000 feet high. Jakarta residents often rent cottages in the Puncak on weekends. A Safari Park, where you can drive through and view wild animals, is located here. There is also a children’s zoo on the premises.

Bandung, a 4‑hour drive from Jakarta or a pleasant train ride, offers good hotel accommodations and pleasant mountain views. Several modern artists live and work in Bandung; one of Indonesia’s art schools is here. About 15 miles north of Bandung is the Tangkuban Prahu Volcano.

Yogyakarta and Solo are interesting cities on Java. Yogyakarta is of historical and cultural interest‑here are some of Indonesia’s best‑preserved Hindu and Buddhist monuments and temples, among them the famous Borobudur Temple. At the magnificent Prambanan Temple, between Yogyakarta and Solo, a Javanese dancedrama is performed twice a month at full moon during the dry season. Both Solo and Yogyarkarta are Javanese cultural centers and offer a variety of events and shopping opportunities. Good hotels are available.

The Island of Bali is one of the most popular vacation spots for tourists. It has beautiful beaches and striking volcanic scenery. Accommodations range from four‑star hotels to simple guest houses and bungalows. Balinese culture is particularly interesting. As Islam swept through Indonesia, many Hindus fled to Bali, where Hindu and Indonesian culture and customs mix in an interesting fashion. The island abounds in cultural activities and performances and shopping opportunities. Bali is about 1 hour and 20 minutes by air from Jakarta.

The island of Lombok also continues to be popular. Considered similar to Bali of 30 years ago, this still‑unspoiled island has lovely beaches and is famous for its weaving and pottery. There are flights from Jakarta, via either Bali or Yogyakarta.

The Island of Sumatra offers Lake Toba, a beautiful volcanic lake in the north; Padang, central Sumatra’s largest city and center of the Minangkabau people (a matriarchal society); Palembang, site of a refinery and large oil installations; and an elephant training center near Lampung in southern Sumatra. Visiting many of these places requires a car, but travelers must be wary of poor road conditions and hazardous local driving. Some travel agents and hotels offer packages that include tours onsite with a rented vehicle and driver.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 5/25/2005 3:31 AM

Jakarta offers a large variety of restaurants ranging from international-standard restaurants, generally housed in major hotels, to moderately priced, family-style restaurants, to most popular American fast-food restaurants. A 10% government tax and 11% service charge is included in the bill at nicer restaurants.

The city offers a variety of nightlife, including clubs both in major hotels and as independent establishments. There are several discotheques that offer both live and recorded music. For security reasons, American employees and family members are cautioned against going to establishments known to cater to Westerners.

Expatriates frequent several Jakarta cinemas; they are air‑conditioned, clean, and wide screened. American films are shown in their original English language version with Indonesian subtitles. Admission is usually about $2.50. American movies shown here tend to be several months old and are subject to government censorship.

Americans occasionally attend Indonesian dances, music performances, and puppet shows. Local artists frequently hold exhibits throughout the city. Several amateur theater groups present English language plays and musicals. There are classical music evenings and an occasional ballet, usually at Gedung Kesenian in Central Jakarta. Stage plays are rare, but the number of rock concerts is increasing.

Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), the Jakarta Cultural Center, has an enclosed theater, an open‑air theater, a cinema, exhibition rooms for art shows, and a planetarium.

There are no real public libraries here, and although popular English‑language books are available in several bookstores, prices can be double what they are in the U.S. The British Council, ICAC, and AWA operate small lending libraries, and parents of JIS students can use the high school library. The AECRA Club and the commissary operate small, informal used book exchanges. Many families order books from Internet bookstore sites.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:26 PM Most social life centers around private homes and includes cocktail parties, buffets, dinners, and card parties. Heavy traffic patterns frequently determine the timing and frequency of such entertaining.

AWA organizes social and charitable activities for women and their families. Monthly meetings are held with guest speakers or other activities. Twice a year, AWA sponsors major craft bazaars, which are very popular. It publishes Introducing Indonesia, an excellent guide to expatriate living in Indonesia, as well as the Jakarta Shoppers Guide and other useful books. It also maintains a center that houses a thriftshop, a used book section, a lending library, and a servants registry. The organization also organizes group tours within and outside of Indonesia.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, commonly known as AMCHAM, is an association of businesspeople abroad and is concerned with U.S. trade, investment, and community services. AMCHAM holds monthly luncheons with guest speakers and sponsors some social activities.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

International Contacts Last Updated: 12/14/2004 2:07 AM With a large international community, social activities include Indonesians, Americans, and other expatriates of many nationalities. A great deal of entertaining occurs among international representatives and Indonesians. The Women’s International Club (WIC) has members from many nationalities. It was organized in 1950 to promote friendship and understanding among different nationalities. It sponsors social activities and classes and is active in social welfare programs. It sponsors an annual Christmas Bazaar that is very popular with both expatriates and Indonesians.

ICAC is a nonprofit organization that provides workshops, activities, professional counseling services, a lending library, a small craftshop, and a newcomers resource center. It conducts orientation programs quarterly and smaller luncheons and discussion groups to help newcomers meet each other and begin their adjustment to Jakarta.

The International Allied Medical Association (IAMA) is an informal group of English‑speaking health professionals interested in keeping up with current developments in the medical field. Monthly meetings with guest speakers are held.

The Indonesian Heritage Society is an organization of volunteers interested in learning about the history, art, and culture of Indonesia. Volunteers assist in the museums of Jakarta and sponsor a public lecture series and smaller study groups.

A multinational community chorus, the PPIA choir, presents concerts twice a year and is open to all. In addition to these groups, there are many other organizations based on specific interests and needs, such as Rotary and Lions Clubs.

The Wine and Spirits Circle holds monthly meetings, usually held at major hotels, featuring the wines of a specific country or countries, often with a representative of the winery(ies) or distributor(s) present. The final meeting of the year is a black-tie champagne evening.

Official Functions Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:27 PM

Jakarta is relatively informal, with few strict protocol requirements. Specific guidance on local social customs and practices can be easily learned after you arrive. Except at the counselor level and above, few or no formal calls are required. However, prompt informal calls on diplomatic and Indonesian counterparts are encouraged.

Officers at counselor level and above will need formal, engraved calling cards as well as informal cards. You can bring these from the U.S. or have them printed here. Other officers will find it useful to have calling cards. Both the Indonesian and international communities expect the exchange of cards. Invitations can also be printed in Jakarta. Costs are reasonable and quality is acceptable.

Special Information Last Updated: 11/6/2003 6:47 AM

Military personnel are cautioned that not all sections of the post report will pertain to them. The post report is a good general information source, but military personnel should correspond directly with their prospective commands and their sponsors for more definitive information concerning their assignments, housing, medical and dental care, importation of privately owned vehicles, etc. Military and assistant military attaches and ODC officers will need calling cards, which can be bought in Jakarta. Spouses may also wish to order calling cards.

DAO Personnel. Military uniforms are worn by attachés to official functions and social events where Indonesian officers are expected to be present and when calling at offices of the Indonesian Armed Forces and military representatives of foreign governments; otherwise, civilian clothing is worn. Officers normally wear summerweight, short-sleeved uniform shirts or civilian clothing at the office, depending on their scheduled activities. Dress uniforms are worn for formal affairs and on ceremonial occasions. Enlisted personnel wear washable, short-sleeved shirts, slacks, and all accessories. Most social events attended by both officers and enlisted personnel are informal. Batik shirts and slacks are normally worn for these social events.

ODC Personnel. Short‑ or long‑sleeved civilian shirts with ties are worn by ODC officers. Service dress and mess dress uniforms may be required for some official events. All personnel should bring one or two lightweight uniforms. Most social events are informal and specify sport shirts/ batik shirts and slacks; however, each officer and enlisted person should bring a dark summerweight suit.

NAMRU and FPO Personnel. NAMRU and FPO personnel wear washable, short‑sleeved shirts and slacks, but bring a few service dress, mess dress, and tropical uniforms. Most social events are informal and specify sport shirts/batik shirts and slacks; however, each officer and enlisted person should bring a dark summerweight suit.

Marine Security Guards. All members of the Marine Security Guard detachment are provided with furnished living quarters. Marines wear uniforms only on duty and on formal occasions such as the annual Marine Corps Ball. The Department of State provides Marines with a civilian clothing allowance prior to their departure from the U.S. For further information, see the annual Marine post report for Jakarta.

Post Orientation Program

Newcomers receive a welcome book with information on checking in, currency exchange, health and medical information, pertinent administrative memorandums, shopping, and other subjects related to the Mission and life at post. CLO offers orientation tours, advice, and information on living in Indonesia.

The Embassy holds an orientation program for all new Mission employees and their adult eligible family members. Speakers, including the Ambassador, the DCM, and appropriate Mission officers, discuss American interests in Indonesia and the political, psychological, and cultural situations encountered in Indonesia. Individual briefings are also held by the Regional Security Office, the General Services Office, and the Medical Unit.

Consulate General - Surabaya

Post City Last Updated: 3/1/2005 6:45 AM

Surabaya, with a population of about 3.5 million, is Indonesia’s second largest city and the provincial capital of East Java. Surabaya is on the northeastern coast of Java opposite the nearby island of Madura. The city itself is thickly settled along the Brantas River Estuary. The area around the city to the west and south is marshy, coastal plain. In recent years, the abundant rice cultivation in the south has given way to steady development of industrial sites. The southern plain gradually rises to a range of volcanic mountains, the nearest of note being about 31 miles south of the city.

Surabaya’s climate is very hot and humid, with an average humidity of 75%, average rainfall of 60 inches, and average temperature of 81 °F. The rainy season begins in November and ends around April. The rest of the year, particularly June through October, is drier. The periods when the monsoons change direction (usually March–April and November–December) are characterized by harsh rains and often result in some flooding in East Java and in greater Surabaya. The months of July and August are the most comfortable of the year.

At the turn of the century, Surabaya was the leading port of the Dutch Indies and Indonesia's largest city. The city exported rubber, tobacco, teak, kapok, sugar, and fibers. Despite the impact of the two World Wars, the 1930s depression, the 1945–49 revolution, and subsequent periods of civil turbulence, Surabaya remains a major agricultural and industrial center and is Indonesia’s second largest port. Provincial and municipal government has taken on an increasingly important role as Indonesia implements a far-reaching political decentralization program.

The city’s present population is mostly indigenous Indonesian (primarily Javanese and Madurese), with a visible ethnic Chinese minority which is very prominent in the business community, smaller ethnic Indian and Arabic communities, and several hundred other foreigners, including Japanese, Koreans, Australians, Europeans, and Americans. About 180 Americans live in the greater Surabaya area, primarily engaged in teaching and social service work. Japan has the only other fully staffed Consulate General in the city. There are also a British Council, a French Cultural Center, a Goethe Institut, a Western Australia Trade Office, and several honorary consulates. Few American tourists visit Surabaya, but many visit Bali and Yogyakarta, which are also in the consular district.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 3/1/2005 6:48 AM

The Surabaya consular district includes East Java, Central Java, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, North Maluku, the District of Yogyakarta, and the four provinces of Sulawesi. About half of Indonesia’s population resides in the Surabaya consular district. The U.S. consular presence in Surabaya dates from 1885. The office was upgraded to a full Consulate in 1918 and became a Consulate General in 1990. The Department of State is the sole USG agency represented in Surabaya.

The Consulate General is located in a residential section of the city near the CBD. The address is Jalan Raya Dr. Sutomo 33; phone numbers is 295-6400, fax 567-4492. All Consulate General staff undertake consultations at the Embassy in Jakarta prior to arrival in Surabaya. New arrivals are met by an American member of the Consulate General staff if advance notice is given. If you are not met, telephone or take a taxi directly to the Consulate General. HHE and automobiles are normally shipped directly to Surabaya. Customs clearance for HHE and automobiles takes 2–3 weeks, and clearance can begin once the bill of lading and packing list arrive at post (by fax or mail). Airfreight can be shipped directly to Surabaya; customs clearance takes one week.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 5/10/2005 0:24 AM

All personnel are assigned to government‑leased housing.

The principal officer has a large two‑story leased house with three bedrooms, three baths, and a study upstairs. A living room, dining room, kitchen, TV room, bathroom, storage, and garage are downstairs. A screened porch and a fairly large backyard are suitable for representational purposes. China, silverware, glassware, linens, and well as most appliances are furnished.

Other officers occupy three- to four‑bedroom detached houses with small yards or two-to-three-bedroom apartments, depending on family size. Houses generally require domestic staff, and some personnel hire night guards as well. Apartments are located in secure, high-rise facilities. All attempts are made to house new arrivals in permanent housing, but if make-ready work or transfer dates conflict, the Consulate General will make arrangements for temporary hotel accommodations.


Furnishings Last Updated: 3/1/2005 6:52 AM

All houses are furnished with basic items, including furniture, refrigerators, some lamps, air‑conditioners, water heaters, gas stoves, freezers, washers, and dryers. Some furnishings are available locally, as are drapery and upholstery materials. Although post personnel may use Embassy ordering facilities for these materials, the distance to Jakarta makes a trip there for purposes of decorating a house impractical. Linens, blankets, china, glassware, tableware (service for 12), and kitchen utensils should be shipped, since these items are not provided (except some items for the consul general’s home), or they can be purchased locally at reasonable prices. Plan to buy locally kitchen appliances such as toasters, blenders, and mixers. An electric iron is a must. Electricity is not constant and each house is supplied with a minimum number of transformers. Cheap electrical appliances are available locally.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 3/1/2005 6:52 AM

Cold and hot water, toilets, and showers are standard in all Consulate General houses. All houses have telephones, and air‑conditioners are in all bedrooms. Low and erratic voltage problems sometimes occur, especially during the rainy season. Standard local current is 220v, 50 cycles. Dial-up internet connections are available through local vendors, but do not yet meet U.S. speed and quality standards.

Food Last Updated: 3/1/2005 6:54 AM

An increasing number of Western‑styled supermarkets ease the grocery shopping experience in Surabaya. And though you can generally get everything on your list (from olive oil to Swiss Miss instant cocoa), you may have to visit two or more stores and/or wait a matter of weeks for that hard to find item to turn up again on the shelves. A wide variety of local seafood, chicken, beef (often tough and dry), pork (including bacon) and mutton are available. In addition, sausages, lamb and a better quality beef are imported from neighboring New Zealand and Australia but are more expensive. Most dairy products are also imported: cheddar, mozzarella, Edam, Gouda, Parmesan, Camembert, Brie, and feta cheeses. Baking supplies are available, although sporadically. Some Americans join the commissary in Jakarta and order some foods as well as duty-free liquor from there.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 3/1/2005 6:56 AM Dependent American children in Surabaya attend the Surabaya International School (K-12). The school occupies a large site on the western side of the city, and was built in 1995 to accommodate 600 students. The economic crisis of 1997-98 and subsequent tumultuous political transition led many expatriates to leave Surabaya, and SIS enrollment declined significantly. Enrollment figures have recently stabilized, and even grown a bit. 2004-2005 enrollment is around 230. The school is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and all instruction is in English. The campus has four computer labs, three science labs, a gym, a 50-meter swimming pool, a soccer field, music and art rooms, and over 40 classrooms. More than 20 nationalities are represented, with students from Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Great Britain, the Philippines, India and Indonesia being the largest groups in the student body. The school's website address is

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 3/1/2005 6:58 AM

Surabaya offers a wide variety of restaurants, including Western, Indonesian, and other Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.) cuisine. Surabaya also has several nightclubs and discos. Film is available locally. Local printing and developing service is inexpensive and satisfactory. Surabaya has several air‑conditioned theater complexes that show subtitled American films, including first‑run movies. The video system in this country is PAL, and the format in Surabaya is primarily VCD, followed by DVD. VHS choices are extremely limited. Most Americans belong to one or another of the local country clubs and use their golf courses, health clubs and pools fairly regularly. There are also a variety of mountain-view golf courses about an hour south of the city, as well as a "Safari Park" housing exotic animal species.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities Last Updated: 3/1/2005 7:00 AM

Social life in Surabaya is centered around the home and generally informal. Dinner parties at home and at hotel restaurants are the most common forms of entertainment. Although social obligations are not normally heavy, the principal officer must attend many official functions as the Consulate General representative. Several local firms provide catering services for private parties. The Consulate has a set of dishes, glasses, and silverware that is available for borrowing by any staff member to support entertainment needs. Two international organizations, the Expatriate Women’s Association of Surabaya (EWAS) and the Women’s International Club (WIC), meet regularly. The post has no employee recreational association. A local company prints excellent calling cards and invitations. The post hosts an annual Fourth of July celebration, which all officers support.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 12/14/2004 2:12 AM

The usually traveled route to Indonesia from the U.S. is by air via the Pacific. This usually involves a stop in Singapore due to the lack of onward air connections.

Newcomers are met on arrival in Jakarta and assisted through customs and immigration formalities. Inform the Embassy Management Section early of your travel plans, including the number of accompanying dependents, date of arrival, flight number, and airline. If plans are changed en route, inform the Embassy immediately. Use official Foreign Service post communication channels. If you are not met at the airport, call the Embassy’s Human Resources office at 3435–9021. If you arrive after office hours, call the Marine Guard at the Embassy at 3435–9221. Take a Blue Bird or Silver Bird taxi from the airport to the Embassy. It takes about an hour. Embassy personnel will meet and assist employees going on to Surabaya.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 12/14/2004 2:15 AM

Both diplomatic and official personnel attached to the Embassy or Consulate General have free‑entry privileges for airfreight and HHE. Clearance sometimes is slow but is improving, averaging 21 days for total import and customs clearance. In order to complete customs clearance procedures, forward as soon as possible an advance bill of lading for HHE or an airway bill for unaccompanied baggage and copies of all packing lists. Accompanied baggage may be brought right in. Shipments can be cleared and temporarily stored pending arrival of the employee, except for vehicles. Nondiplomatic civilian and enlisted personnel are officially limited to 6 months of duty‑free import. (However, the post normally has no difficulty with customs clearance even after the 6‑month period has expired). Ensure packers pack HHE in sturdy liftvans with sheet metal caps. Address liftvans as follows:

American Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia For (Employee’s Name)

Shipping HHE and vehicles normally takes 6–7 weeks from the U.S. west coast. Shipping documents and/or bills of lading will normally be forwarded by your post or the U.S. Despatch Agent.

Airfreight normally takes 2–4 weeks, but vehicles require up to 2 months for clearance, beginning with your arrival. POV documents—i.e., bills of lading and/ or invoices for receiving posts—must contain both the serial and engine numbers of the POV’s. The GOI Vehicle Registration Department (or Traffic Police) does not accept a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) only. POV documents that do not contain both serial and engine numbers will delay the vehicle registration process.

Since the post provides a Welcome Kit with linens and cookware, delay in clearing airfreight is normally not a problem.

FPO mail does not go through customs and therefore usually arrives sooner than airfreight. Urgently needed items may be sent via FPO, insured for the value of items included. Those who opt for airfreight must pay for shipping via FPO.

All permanently assigned employees are permitted duty-free entry of one car during their term of assignment.

A locally purchased car may be sold after 2 years or upon transfer. Motorcycles, motorbikes, and motor scooters are considered to be “motor vehicles” and may be imported duty free by diplomatic passport holders only and would be in lieu of, not in addition to, a sedan, subject to the above limits.

You can use either left‑hand or right‑hand‑drive vehicles; however, right‑hand drive is recommended. Ship all removable outside accessories, such as windshield wipers and arms, mirrors, headlights, hubcaps, and emblems, and cassettes separately.

Indonesian rupiah may not be imported. Since all official personnel are met on arrival, local currency is not necessary for immediate expenses. Although Indonesian regulations require that foreign currency be declared on arrival, persons carrying diplomatic or official passports are not required to do so and should not declare any U.S. currency or travelers checks they may have with them.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Passage Last Updated: 12/14/2004 2:17 AM

Everyone must have an Indonesian visa, which should be applied for through the Department of State’s Passport Office for those in Washington, D.C. In case of direct transfers or visits, visas must be obtained at Indonesian consular offices in other countries. It is imperative that visas for employees and all accompanying family members be obtained in advance before arrival. Apply for the maximum validity available. Entering on the 30‑day airport visa is not an option. Persons entering using the airport visa must leave the country to obtain a diplomatic visa and this travel will be at the employee’s or dependent’s own expense. After arrival, the Embassy arranges for visa revalidation and obtaining exit and reentry permits from the Indonesian Foreign Office.

No shots are required for entering Indonesia unless you come from a country suffering from an outbreak of cholera, smallpox, or yellow fever. Keep immunization records current for these diseases, as countries en route may require them and requirements may change. The Foreign Office issues identification cards to U.S. Government employees, their spouses, and their children over age 17. Carry this card at all times, especially when traveling out of town, meeting new arrivals at the airport, and visiting Indonesian Government offices. The following number of photographs are needed:

Employee-three passport size; two 1½” by 2” Spouse-two passport size; two 1½” by 2” Children‑two 1½” by 2” Bring the correct number and size of photographs so that the arrival note can be sent to the Foreign Office immediately. Without the arrival note, processing of HHE, car, and airfreight cannot begin. Photographs are also required for an identification card, which must be issued before your car can be released from customs. Additional photographs are needed for club membership cards, visas for the Philippines and other countries, and school identification cards.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Pets Last Updated: 12/14/2004 2:20 AM

Effective March 5, 2005, the Government of Indonesia will ban the importation of pets into Java. The Embassy has requested information regarding either exceptions for diplomatic and administration and technical staff, or availability of quarantine facilities. At present, no provisions for either exist.

For employees intending to import a pet into Indonesia prior to March 5, 2005, the following procedures apply. For employees contemplating bringing a pet to post after March 5, 2005, please consult post first.

Except for a prohibition against importing birds, pets are admissible into Indonesia. All animals must have a certificate of health issued by a veterinarian. Owners must produce evidence that within 6 months to 30 days before arrival the pets were inoculated against rabies. No quarantine is required. There are two ways to bring pets to Jakarta. The first method is as accompanied baggage (excess baggage) since the pet travels with you on the same flights. Your pet can be immediately cleared through Customs if all documentation is in hand and is valid. The airline determines the excess baggage costs and these are a personal, non‑reimbursable expense.

The second and often most expensive method of shipping a pet is as airfreight. In the freight system, the pet is transported unaccompanied by the owner. Animals are loaded into pressurized holds along with other cargo. Fees for this type of shipment vary according to your country of origin, the number of pets, and the airline handling the transport. You can find airfreight forwarders through your local yellow pages, the worldwide web or through your veterinarian. Some airlines limit pet transport to only certain portions of the year due to high temperatures. Upon arrival in Jakarta it will take about 3 hours to clear your pet through Indonesian Customs.

Pet owners must notify the post prior to arrival to obtain an import permit. Do not route your pet (alone or accompanied) via Australia, where it will be confiscated and destroyed. Personnel bringing pets through Hong Kong or Singapore must have prior authorization from those governments to do so. This authorization is required regardless of the carrying airline and must be obtained directly from the governments of those countries. Instructions for applying for this authorization can be obtained at any British (for Hong Kong) or Singaporean embassy. The desired transit time must be stated on the authorization. If pets arrive without the authorization (even if only in transit), they will be quarantined at your expense or destroyed.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:40 PM

Personal weapons in Indonesia present a problem due to the difficulty of obtaining import licenses and certificates of registration. Therefore, the Mission strictly prohibits the importation of firearms to Indonesia by Mission employees. In no instance should an employee ship a firearm in his or her HHE. Direct inquiries concerning this policy to the regional security officer, American Embassy Jakarta.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 12/14/2004 2:21 AM

The monetary unit is the rupiah. The rate of exchange changes constantly (as of December 2004, Rp 9,000 = US$1). The international metric system of weights and measures is used in Indonesia. Gasoline and other liquids are sold by the liter (1.0567 liquid quarts); cloth, by the meter (39 inches); and food and other weighted items, by the kilogram (2.2 pounds). Distance is measured by the kilometer (0.625 miles); speed, in kilometers per hour (40 kph =25 mph).

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:42 PM


U.S Government personnel are exempt from local income and certain other taxes. Direct consumer taxes and service charges, such as those imposed on hotel and restaurant bills, gasoline purchases, and airport departure, are paid. All items imported duty free by U.S. Government employees must be for the exclusive use of the employee or dependents. Such property may not be imported for the sole purpose of sale, barter, or exchange. Personal property imported with free-entry privileges is not normally authorized for sale to persons without free-entry privileges until within 90 days of departure for home leave or transfer. Certain exceptions are listed in a U.S. Mission regulation furnished to each new employee on arrival at post. All sales of motor vehicles must be authorized by the Foreign Office and therefore must be arranged through the General Services Office of the Administrative Section.


Citibank maintains a cashier at the Embassy. Hours are 8:30 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday. All personnel should establish and maintain a U.S. checking account. To ensure regular salary payments during transfer, make a net allotment to the bank before coming to post and continue it after arrival. Allotments may be initiated after arrival when the Authority To Pay has been received by FCS Charleston, the payrolling office for State Department personnel in Indonesia. Allotments for USAID personnel can be processed by the USAID Finance Office.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 11/5/2003 2:45 PM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

Prehistoric Indonesia Bellwood, Peter. Man’s Conquest of the Pacific, The Prehistory of Southeast Asia and Oceania. Oxford University Press: New York, 1971.

Van Oosterzee, Penny Van. Where Worlds Collide, the Wallace Line. Cornell University Press, 1997.

Indian, Islamic, and Dutch Influence Geertz, Clifford. The Religion of Java. Free Press of Glencoe: New York, 1960.

Jall, D.G.E. A History of Southeast Asia. 4th ed. Macmillan: London, 1981.

Ricklefs, M.C. A History of Modern Indonesia: C. 1300 to the Present. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 1981.

Steinberg, David Joel, ed. In Search of Southeast Asia. Praeger: New York, 1971.

Sutherland, Heather. The Making of a Bureaucratic Elite. Heinemann Educational Books (Asia): Singapore, 1979.

The Revolution Kahin, George McT. Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1962.

Reid, Anthony J.S. Indonesian National Revolution, 1945–50. Longman: Australia, 1974.

Feith, Herbert. The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1962.

Anderson, Benedict R.O’G. “The Idea of Power in Javanese Culture.” In Holt, Claire, ed., Culture in Politics in Indonesia. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1972.

Castles, Lance. “Notes on the Islamic School at Gontor.” Indonesia. No. 1, April 1966.

Feith, Herbert. “Dynamics of Guided Democracy.” In McVey, Ruth T., ed., Indonesia. Yale University Press: New Haven, 1963.

Hughes, John. Indonesian Upheaval. McKay: New York, 1967.

Jones, Howard. Indonesia: The Possible Dream. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: New York, 1971.

Gardner, Paul. Shared Hope, Separate Fears: US‑Indonesian Relations. Westview Press, 1997.

Baker, Richard et al. Indonesia: The Challenge of Change. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 1999. (

Schwarz, Adam. A Nation in Waiting: Indonesia in the 1990s. Allen and Unwin (Australia), 1994 and revised edition 1999.

Anderson, Benedict R.O’G. “Cartoons and Monuments; The Evolution of Political Communications Under the New Order.” In Jackson and Pye, eds., Political Power and Communications. University of California Press: Berkeley.

Anderson, Benedict R.O’G., and Kahin, Audrey, eds. Interpreting Indonesian Politics: Thirteen Contributions to the Debate. Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University: Ithaca, 1982.

CIA. Indonesia 1965: The Coup That Backfired

Crouch, Harold. The Army and Politics in Indonesia. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1978.

McDonald, Hamish. Suharto’s Indonesia. Fontana/Collins: Blackburn, Victoria, Australia, 1980.

Polomka, Peter. Indonesia Since Sukarno. Penguin: 1971.

Sundhaussen, Ulf. The Road to Power: Indonesian Military Politics, 1945–1967. Oxford University Press: Kuala Lumpur, 1982.

Indonesian Art and Culture Adyatman, Mara. Indonesian Ceramics. Himpunan Keramik: Jakarta, 1981.

Dumarcay, Jacques. Borobudur. Oxford University Press: Kuala Lumpur, 1978.

Gittinger, Mattiebelle. Splendid Symbols: Textiles and Tradition in Indonesia. The Textile Museum: Washington, D.C., 1982.

Heuken, Adolf. Historical Sites of Jakarta. Cipta Loka Caraka: Jakarta, 1982.

Holt, Claire. Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1967.

Lindsay, Jennifer. Javanese Gamelan. Oxford University Press: Kuala Lumpur, 1979.

VanNess, Edward and Sita VanNeus. Wayang Kulit. Oxford University Press: Kuala Lumpur.

Bali Bandem, I. Made and Fredrick Eugene deBoer. Kaja and Kelod: Balinese Dance in Transition. Oxford University Press: Kuala Lumpur, 1982 (revised edition: 1995).

Covarrubias, Miguel. Island of Bali. Oxford: 1937. (Reprinted by Oxford: Asia, 1972).

deZoete, Beryl and Walter Spies. Dance and Drama in Bali. London, 1938. (Reprinted by Oxford: Asia, 1978)

Geertz, Clifford. Negara: The Theatre State in Nineteenth Century Bali. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1980.

Ramseyer, Urs. The Art and Culture of Bali. Oxford University Press: Kuala Lumpur, 1977 (reprint: 1986).

Rhodius, Hans and John Darling. Walter Spies and Balinese Art. Terra Zutphen: Amsterdam, 1980.

Novel and Short Stories Aveling, Harry, ed. and trans. From Surabaya to Armageddon: Indonesian Short Stories. Heinemann Educational Books (Asia): Singapore, 1976.

Baum, Vicki. A Tale From Bali. Oxford University Press: London, 1972.

Koch, C.J. The Year of Living Dangerously. Sphere Books, Ltd: London, 1981.

Lubis, Mochtar. Twilight in Jakarta.

Multatuli, Max. Havelaar. University of Massachusetts Press: Amherst, 1982.

Toer, Pramoedya Ananta. Buru Quartet. Penguin Books, 1985 and after. (Fiction; English translation of major Indonesian author.) This is the full set of books.

Toer, Pramoedya Ananta. A Heap of Ashes. University of Queensland Press: St. Lucia, Queensland, 1975.

Toer, Pramoedya Ananta. This Earth of Mankind (Bumi Manusia). Ringwood, Penguin Books Australia, Ltd: Victoria, 1982.

Travel Guides Bacon, Derek. Culture Shock! Jakarta At Your Door. Graphic Arts Center Pub. Co, 1999 A thorough, relevant, and highly entertaining introduction to life in Jakarta, aimed at newcomers planning to stay long-term.

Dalton, Bill. Indonesia Handbook. Moon Publications, 1995. Arguably the best “all‑in‑one” travel guide to Indonesia. Especially good for travel to remote destinations and budget travel.

Turner, Peter. Lonely Planet Guide to Indonesia. Lonely Planet Publications, 1997.

Smith, Holly. Adventuring in Indonesia: Exploring the Natural Areas of the Pacific’s Ring of Fire. Sierra Club Books, 1997. Great information on trekking, biking, and other outdoor pursuits with a special emphasis on environmentally friendly activities.

Local Holidays Last Updated: 12/14/2004 2:39 AM

The following Indonesian holidays, as well as authorized U.S. holidays, are observed by the U.S. Mission.

New Year’s Day January 1 Idul Adha January 21 Chinese New Year February 9 Muslim New Year February 10 Nyepi Day March 11 Good Friday March 25 Mohammed's Birthday April 22 Independence Day (Indonesia) August 17 Ascension of Mohammed September 2 Idul Fitri November 2-3 Christmas Day December 25

Exact dates for these holidays change each year (except for Independence Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day). Dates given are for the year 2005. Most stores and offices are closed on these holidays.

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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