Indonesia at a glance
Indonesia Republic or the Indonesian abbreviation is a country in Southeast Asia, is located on the equator and located between Asia and Australia and between the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Because it lies between two continents and two oceans, he also called Nusantara (Archipelago Between). Consists of 17,508 islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelago country in the world. With a population of 222 million people in 2006,  Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and the country’s largest Muslim population in the world, although officially it is not an Islamic state. Form of government of Indonesia is a republic, the House of Representatives and the president directly elected. Jakarta is the capital city. Indonesia is bordered by Malaysia on Borneo island, with Papua New Guinea on the island of Papua and East Timor on the island of Timor.?Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India.
Indonesian history has been influenced by other nations. Indonesian archipelago became an important trade region since at least since the 7th century, when the Srivijaya Kingdom religious relations and trade with China and India. Kingdoms of Hinduism and Buddhism have developed in the early centuries AD, followed by the traders who brought Islam, and various European powers fought one another to monopolize the spice trade in the Moluccas during the era of ocean exploration. After about 350 years of Dutch rule, Indonesia declared its independence at the end of World War II. Indonesia next challenged by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, the process of democratization and the period of rapid economic change.
From Sabang to Merauke, Indonesia consists of various ethnic, linguistic and religious differences. The Javanese are the largest ethnic group and most politically dominant. Indonesia’s national motto, “Diversity single ika” ( “Diversity remains one”), means the diversity that shapes the country. Besides having a large population and a dense region, Indonesia has a natural area that supports the level of biodiversity in the world’s second largest.
Indonesia has 17,504 islands large and small, around 6000 of them are uninhabited, which spread around the equator, which gives a tropical weather. Indonesia’s position is located at coordinates 6 ? N – 11 ? 08′LS and from 95 ? ‘W – 141 ? 45′BT and is located between two continents, Asia and the continent of Australia / Oceania.
Indonesian territory extends along 3.977 mile between the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Indonesia is a land area of 1,922,570 km ? and the area of waters 3,257,483 km ?. The island is densely populated island of Java, where half the population of Indonesia live. Indonesia consists of 5 major islands, namely: Java with an area of 132,107 km ?, Sumatra, with an area 473,606 km ?, Borneo with an area of 539.460 km ?, Sulawesi, with an area 189,216 km ?, and Papua with an area of 421.981 km ?. Indonesia border in the direction of the wind directions, namely:
- North: Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and South China Sea
- South: Australia, East Timor and Indonesia Indian Ocean
- West: Indonesia Indian Ocean
- East: Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Pacific Ocean
Politics and government
Indonesia runs presidential republican government of a democratic multiparty. As well as in countries other democracies, the political system in Indonesia is based on the Trias Politica is the legislative, executive and judiciary. Legislative power is held by an institution called the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) which consists of two bodies of the Parliament, whose members consist of representatives of political parties and the DPD, whose members represent the provinces in Indonesia. Each region is represented by 4 people directly elected by the people in their respective regions.
People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) is the highest state institution. But after the 4th amendment to the Assembly is not the highest anymore. Membership of the Assembly changed after the 1945 Amendments to the 1999-2004 period. All the members of the Assembly is a member of the House, plus the members of DPD (DPD).  DPR and DPD members elected by popular vote and was sworn in five-year term. Since 2004, the Assembly is a bicameral parliament, after the creation of the DPD as a second bedroom. Previously, members of the Assembly are all members of the House plus the messenger class. MPR currently chaired by Taufik Kiemas. Members of the Assembly now consists of 550 members of Parliament and 128 members of the DPD. Parliament currently chaired by Marzuki Alie, whereas DPD currently chaired by Irman Gusman.
Executive institutions centered on the president, vice presidents, and cabinet. Cabinet in Indonesia is that the Presidential Cabinet of ministers responsible to the president and do not represent political parties in parliament. However, the current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the Democratic Party carried by a number of leaders also pointed to political parties to sit in cabinet. The objective is to maintain stability given the strong government of the legislative position in Indonesia. But the important posts and strategically generally filled by the party’s Minister without portfolio (coming from someone who is considered an expert in his field).
Judiciary institutions since the reform and the 1945 amendment executed by the Supreme Court, the Judicial Commission, and the Constitutional Court, including administration by the judges. Nevertheless the presence of the Minister of Justice and Human Rights will be retained.
Indonesia has about 300 ethnic groups, each ethnic culture that has evolved over the centuries, influenced by Indian culture, Arabic, Chinese, and Europeans, namely termasuklah Malays own culture. An example of Javanese and Balinese dances have a traditional and cultural aspects of Hindu mythology, such as shadow puppets featuring stories of incidents of Hindu mythological Ramayana and Baratayuda. Many dances also containing Islamic values. Some of them can be found in areas such as Sumatra Meuseukat dance and dance Rat?b Seudati from Aceh.
Art rhymes, gurindam, etc., from various regions like rhyme Malays, and other rhymes rhymes-often used in certain events of the event, performing arts, and others.
In the field of fashion famous cultural heritage around the world is batik. Some areas are famous for batik industry include Yogyakarta, Solo, Cirebon, Pandeglang, Garut, Tasikmalaya and Pekalongan. Batik is also claimed by Malaysia with batik industry.] Clothing native to Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke is recognizable from other features that apply in each area include baju kurung with songketnya from West Sumatra (Minangkabau), ulos cloths from Sumatra North (Batak), fashion kebaya, fashion typical of Dayak in Kalimantan, clothes bodo from South Sulawesi, fashion berkoteka from Papua and so on.
The most dominant influence in the architecture is the architecture of India Indonesia; but there are also influences from the architecture of China, Arab, and Europe.
The most popular sports in Indonesia are badminton / badminton and football; Indonesia Super League is the league major soccer clubs in Indonesia. Traditional sports include sepak takraw and karapan cattle in Madura. In areas with a history of inter-tribal wars, fighting contest is held, as caci in Flores, and Festival in Sumba. Pencak silat is a martial art unique from Indonesian territory. The martial arts are sometimes displayed on the show events that are usually followed by a traditional Indonesian music of the gamelan and other traditional musical arts in accordance with the homelands. Sports in Indonesia are usually oriented to men and spektator sports gambling is often associated with illegal in Indonesia.  Art music in Indonesia, both traditional and modern is very much stretched from Sabang to Merauke.
Every province in Indonesia have a traditional music with its own trademark. Including traditional music from kroncong Portuguese descendants in the Tugu, Jakarta, which is known by all the people of Indonesia and even to foreign countries. There is also a populist music in Indonesia known as dangdut music influenced by Arab, Indian, and Malays.
Traditional musical instrument which is typical of Indonesian musical instrument has a wide variety of various regions in Indonesia, but many of the traditional Indonesian musical instruments ‘stolen’ by other countries for the benefit of the addition of culture and art to patent his own music with the copyright of the cultural arts Indonesia. Indonesian traditional music instruments include:
- Gandang Tabuik
- Gendang Bali
- Gendang Karo
- Gendang Melayu
- Gong Kemada
- Gong Lambus
- Kecapi Flute
- Kendang Java
- Seurune Kale
- Suling Lembang
- Suling Sunda
- Tifa…..? and so on
Indonesian cuisine varies depending on the region. Rice is the staple food and is served with side dishes of meat and vegetables. Spices (notably chili), coconut milk, fish and chicken are an important ingredient. Indonesian film industry’s popularity peaked in the 1980s and dominated cinemas in Indonesia, despite its popularity diminished in the early 1990s. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of Indonesian films released each year increases.
Evidence of the oldest writings in Indonesia is the Sanskrit language inscriptions in the 5th century AD. Important figures in modern Indonesian literature include: Dutch author Multatuli who criticized the Dutch treatment of Indonesia during Dutch colonial times; Muhammad Yamin and Hamka who are writers and pre-independence politician, and Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Indonesia’s novel creator of the most famous. In addition to novels, literature written in the form of Indonesia are also poems, rhymes, and poems. Chairil Anwar is a writer of poetry Indonesia’s most famous. Many Indonesian people have a strong oral tradition, which helped to define and preserve their cultural identity. Press freedom in Indonesia increased after the end of President Suharto’s rule. Television stations, including ten national private television stations and regional networks that compete with domestic television station TVRI. Private radio stations to broadcast their news and programs of foreign broadcasters. Reportedly there are 20 million internet users in Indonesia in 2007. Internet usage is limited to a minority population, estimated at about 8.5%.
A passport valid for at least six months from date or arrival, plus proof (tickets) onward or return passage, are all it takes to visit Indonesia.
Free Tourist Visa
Free Tourist visas of 30 days are available for tourists from the 12 countries, namely Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Philippines, Hong Kong S A R, Macao S A R, Chile, Morocco, Peru, Vietnam and Equador.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
VOA is valid for 30 days and may be extended under certain circumstances, namely: 1. Occurrence of natural disasters , 2. Should the visitor fall ill or involve in an accident. VOA are available to visitors from: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, Canada, Finland, France, Germany,Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Austria, Belgium, India, Ireland, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Maldives, Egypt, Oman, Portuguese, Qatar, The People of Republic China, Russian, Saudi Arabian, Spain, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece , Iran, Iceland, Laos PDR, Liechtenstein, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Nederland, Suriname, Sweden, Aljazair, Czechoslovakia, Fiji, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Panama, Slovakia, Slovenia, Rumania, Tunisia.
Entry ports where visa-on-arrival may be issued are:
The Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta, Ngurah Rai airport in Bali, Sultan Syarif Hasim airport in Pekanbaru, Tabing airport in Padang, Juanda airport of Surabaya and the Sam Ratulangi airport in Manado. Authorized seaports are Batam, the Sekupang, Batuampar, Nongsa, Marina, Teluk Senimba, Bandar Brintan, Talani Lagoi and Bandar Sri Udana Labon in the Riau archipelago, Sri Bintan Pura in Tanjung Pinang, Belawan port and Sibolga in North Sumatra, Yos Sudarso Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, Teluk Bayur of Padang, Tanjung Priok at Jakarta, Padang Bai and Benoa in Bali, the port of Jayapura, Bitung, Tanjung Balai Karimun, Tanjung Mas in Central Java, Tenua and Maumere in East Nusa Tenggara, Pare-Pare and Soekarno Hatta port in South Sulawesi.
VISA Application at Indonesia Embassies or Consulates
Other visitors must apply for visa at Indonesia Embassies or Consulates in their home country. In addition, the visa cannot be replaced with any other immigration letters. The visa shall then be administered by Visa Officer in the presence of the applicant concerned.
You may find information on Indonesia embassies and consulates contact details at the Ministry of Foreign Affair website on the following direct link:www.deplu.go.id (copy and paste the link into your browser address if it doesn?t work.)
For further information on applying for visa to Indonesia, you may browse our?F.A.Q.
Free entry visa is also provided to delegates registered in a conference that is officially held. In addition, tourist visa can be obtained from every Indonesian Embassy or Consulate. You can visit Indonesia through certain means and gates, by air via Jakarta, Bali, Medan, Manado, Biak, Ambon, Surabaya and Batam; by sea via Semarang, Jakarta, Bali, Pontianak, Balikpapan, Tanjung Pinang and Kupang. Maximum stay in Indonesia is two months.
Maximum items allowed by customs when you visit Indonesia:
- 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
- 200 cigarettes OR 50 cigars OR 100 grams of tobacco
- Reasonable amount of perfume per adult, meaning if you arrive drenched in perfume the customs probably will not mind you carrying loads of bottles.
Cameras, video cameras, portable radios, cassette recorders, binoculars and sport equipments are admitted provided they are taken out on departure. They must be declared to Customs.
You are prohibited to carry:
- Narcotics drugs
- Pornography materials
- Chinese printing and medicines
- Transceivers and cordless telephone
Films, pre-recorded video tapes, laser discs, VCDs, DVDs must be screened by Censor Board.
Import or export of foreign currencies and travelers? checks are allowed. However, the import and export of Indonesia currency, exceeding 100 million Rupiah is prohibited.
Further information on customs and taxes in Indonesia, log intowww.beacukai.go.id