The official language is Bahasa Indonesia, but there are many different dialects. English speakers are usually understood in Jakarta and tourist areas.

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Indonesia’s official currency is rupiah, which is broken down into 100 sen. You can exchange money, especially US dollars, at hotels, banks and exchange bureaus. Traveler’s checks aren’t always accepted, and cash usually gets a better exchange rate. Hotels, restaurants and stores that cater to tourists usually accept major credit cards. Main city centers have ATMs. It’s a good idea to hang on to small change and notes for small purchases like bus fares, drinks and temple donations.

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Indonesia’s international country code is 62. To call another country from Indonesia, dial 001 or 008. Most of the main towns and resorts have Internet cafes.

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If a service charge isn’t included in your bill, it’s customary to add 5 to 10 percent. You don’t need to tip taxi or rental car drivers, but if you choose to, 1,000 Rp is sufficient for taxi drivers with a bit more for rental car drivers.

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Be aware of security alerts, as there have been terrorism attacks in Jakarta. Avoid parts of Maluku.

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Consult with your doctor at least three weeks before traveling to Indonesia. Local medical care is very expensive and of poor quality. Make sure you have health insurance. You’ll need a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you’re traveling from an area infected with yellow fever.

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Indonesia’s electrical current is 120/230 volts, 50Hz and uses a variety of different plugs.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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