All About Jakarta
Conveniently located on the western side of Java, this capital of the Republic of Indonesia is a sprawling cosmopolitan city that offers more culture, entertainment, shopping and sightseeing than any other places in Indonesia.
Being the main gateway to Indonesia, Jakarta has grown into a major industrial, business and trading centre and spreads over an area of more than 650 sq.km (410 sq miles). It is also designated as a special territory (DKI), means that it is administered by a governor and enjoys the same status as a province. The population of over nine million is of diverse ethnic and cultural groups from different parts of Indonesia, including Chinese, Arab and Indian descents in some commercial areas.
During the Dutch colonial times, Depok was surrounded by a 4,000-hectare forest, which was perfect for water-absorption area. This has made Depok Indonesia’s first nature reserve. Now the remaining six-hectare nature conservation area plays a great environmental role especially because it is located close to Jakarta and Bogor, where air pollution is abominable.
Sharing a border with South Jakarta, today, Depok is a small fast-growing town and well furnished. As the number of private boarding houses rises, new businesses are growing almost every month, especially along the main road jalan Margonda Raya. Restaurants, shopping centers, bookstores, hotel, hospital, internet and telecomunication centers are available. Private dormitories began as local people’s initiative to provide an accommodation option for UI students who came from outside Jakarta. Now students can enjoy studying without worrying too much about their accommodation and leisure.
The relocation of UI campus to Depok has undoubtedly accellerated this development. Some private universities have also confidently established their campuses in Depok or surrounding areas.
Depok is easy to reach from any directions. It is well served by road and railroad. Buses and trains operate regularly. Those who enjoy train ride from Jakarta can get off at either one of the two stations right on the edge of the campus, UI station or Pondok Cina station. Those who drive a car or ride the bus may find busy traffics sometimes.
The people in Indonesia, coming form very diverse ethnic backgrounds are, generally outspoken friendly and easy to get along with. You will find most of them are nice and relatively tolerant of other cultures.
Five religions are recognized by the Indonesian government: Islam, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Hindu. Mosques, churches, temples are found throughout the country. Although Indonesia has a predominantly Moslem population, some religious holidays of other religions are also celebrated as national holidays.
Indonesia has a fairly even climate all year round. Jakarta’s climate is quite hot and humid. The average temperatures range from 26ºCelcius at night and early morning to up to 30ºCelcius at noon. The rainy season is usually from November to April, with some regional variations. Jakarta has the heaviest rainfall from January to February.
Many people say that Indonesian food is tasteful and spicy. Spices and hot chillies are the ingredients of most cooking. The staple food rice is served with vegetables, tofu/tempe and meat/egg/fish. The popular side dish sambal- a fierly hot blend of chillies, spices and sometimes terasi (belacan), lemon juice and tomato for extra flavour -comes to an endless variety.
As the population of Indonesia is predominantly Moslem, pork is usually not served except in Chinese restaurants, non-Moslem and places serving international cuisine. Pork dishes are served in some non-moslem parts of Bali, Papua and the North Sumatra highlands and North Sulawesi.
The most popular Indonesian dishes are sate (skewered kebabs of meat or fish, grilled over a fire and served with spicy peanut sauce), gado-gado (half steamed vegetables salad dressed in a peanut sauce), nasi goreng (fried rice with shreds of meat and vegetables and topped with a fried egg), bakmi goreng (fried noodles) and Nasi Padang (hot and spicy cuisine of the West Sumatra cooked in thick curry of coconut milk).
Tap water is not safe to drink. Water coming out of taps may contain bacteria and therefore must be boiled or sterilized before it is consumed. Branded bottled water is readily available for sale in nearly all grocery stores and convenience stores.
Indonesian coffee is one of the finest in the world. You can enjoy the exotic taste of our coffee in the coffee shops commonly available in many entertainment centers or in any commercial areas of the cities.
Alcoholic drinks or local beers are available in major supermarkets and hypermarkets. Wine is sold only in major restaurants and hotels.
Electric power supply is usually about 220 volts/ 250 circle in big cities, but 110 volt is still used in number of regions. In general, rounded-end stacker with two pins is usually used.
Embassies : Mon-Fri 8am-4pm
Banks : Mon-Fri 8am-3pm & Sat 8am-1pm
Malls/shopping centers : Mon-Sun 10am-10pm
Post offices : Mon-Thur 8 am -2 pm, Fri 8-11 am & Sat 8 am – 12.30 pm.
Airline offices : Mon-Fri 8 am – 4 pm & Sat 8 am – noon.
Other celebration affecting the business hours
(Government) offices close at 11.30 am – 1 pm on Fridays (Moslem mass prayer)
Ramadan (the ninth Moslem month or October 2004) is a month of fasting for Moslems. Food counters and restaurants are generally closed during daylights, while discotheques are totally closed. The starting of the business hours delays half an hour and close one hour earlier.
Indonesia is divided into three time zones: WIB/Western Indonesia Time (Sumatra, Java, West and Central Kalimantan) is seven hours ahead of GMT. Central Indonesia Time (Bali, South and East Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara) is eight hours ahead of GMT. Eastern Indonesia Time (Maluku, Irian Jaya) is nine hours ahead of GMT.