World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of countries
Map of South East Asia

Indonesia Travelling Guide
Indonesia Travelling Guide

General background: The world's largest archipelago, Indonesia achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1949. Current issues include: implementing IMF-mandated reforms of the banking sector, effecting a transition to a popularly-elected government after four decades of authoritarianism, addressing charges of cronyism and corruption, holding the military accountable for human rights violations, and resolving growing separatist pressures in Aceh and Irian Jaya. On 30 August 1999 a provincial referendum for independence was overwhelmingly approved by the people of Timor Timur (East Timor). Concurrence followed by Indonesia's national legislature, and the name East Timor was provisionally adopted. On 20 May 2002, East Timor was internationally recognized as an independent state.

Area comparative: Slightly less than three times the size of Texas

Climate: Tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands

Terrain: Mostly coastal lowlands; larger islands have interior mountains

Population: 231,328,092 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Javanese 45%, Sundanese 14%, Madurese 7.5%, coastal Malays 7.5%, other 26%

Religions: Muslim 88%, Protestant 5%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, Buddhist 1%, other 1% (1998)

Language: Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects, the most widely spoken of which is Javanese.

Government type: Republic

Capital: Jakarta

Legal system: Based on Roman-Dutch law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts and by new criminal procedures code; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: Indonesia, a vast polyglot nation, faces severe economic development problems, stemming from secessionist movements and the low level of security in the regions, the lack of reliable legal recourse in contract disputes, corruption, weaknesses in the banking system, and strained relations with the IMF. Investor confidence will remain low and few new jobs will be created under these circumstances. In November 2001, Indonesia agreed with the IMF on a series of economic reforms in 2002, thus enabling further IMF disbursements. Keys to future growth remain internal reform, the build-up of the confidence of international donors and investors, and a strong comeback in the global economy.

Communication/Telephone system: Domestic service fair, international service good.

Places of interest:

Travel tips: Australian, UK and US governments warn their citizens to avoid demonstrations of any kind, due to strong anti-Western sentiment. Extremist groups have made threats against US interests in the country, and Jakarta has seen numerous bombs explode in the past several years. The Philippine terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf, known for kidnapping tourists, is said to be active in Indonesia.