Cultural Activities in Indonesia

Warm Welcomes in a Land of Cultural Diversity

For centuries, Indonesia sat at a crossroads of maritime commerce, where influences from the Far East, Asia and the Middle East blended with the already rich diversity of cultures and languages that spread across this island of nations. Today, the country is an intriguing mixture of the modern and the traditional. While the skyscrapers of Jakarta and the resorts of Bali showcase the cosmopolitan dimensions of Indonesia, outlying islands provide an authentic glimpse into simpler ways of life. On islands such as Sulawesi, nature takes center stage, with towering peaks and lush tropical forests that are home to some of the planet's most intriguing wildlife.

Highlights

  • Best for: All travellers, from beach lovers to adventure enthusiasts
  • Best season to visit: Year round
  • Weather: Indonesia has a tropical climate with two seasons, wet and dry. Most regions, the dry season spans from May - Sep, with rain from Oct - Apr. Indonesia straddles the Equator. Areas near the coast remain in the 80s during the day

Things to Do

Indonesia Information

Cultural Activities in Indonesia Overview

Some of the most authentic cultural interactions take place on the island of Sulawesi, where traditional ways of life still prevail. In addition to providing a window into rich traditions, this region is also home to some of Indonesia's premier natural attractions, from visits to nature preserves and historic sites to hikes in nature preserves and the mountains of the Minahasan Highlands.

Cultural Activities in Indonesia Tips

The best way to experience the true cultural diversity of Indonesia is to go beyond the cities and tourism centers and immerse in village life. Indonesian people are known for their warm and welcoming attitudes towards guests, who are greeted with a smile and the traditional greeting of “Selemat,” which is a wish for peace and happiness.

Best Places for Cultural Activities in Indonesia

Watch the artisanal craftsmen of Woloan create traditional Minahasan 'knock down' houses.
Immerse in the sights and sounds of the Tomohon market and explore caves that were a Japanese stronghold during World War II.  Hike to a steaming volcanic lake in the crater of Mount Mahawu, witness the amazing color changes of Lake Linow and discover the world's smallest primate in the Tangkoko Nature Reserve.

What to Pack for Cultural Activities in Indonesia

When touring lowland nature preserves and parks, you'll want to include lighter-weight and looser fitting clothing that provides natural ventilation. Treks into the highlands may require a light jacket, as temperatures can drop at these higher altitudes. For any walking tour, a pair of sturdy shoes will provide traction on dirt trails. Bring a daypack when visiting the village markets so you can carry your acquired treasures home.

Specials

Dive
Paddle Sports
Cultural Activities

Indonesia

Meridian Adventure Dive Hotel

RAJA AMPAT - DIVE ADVENTURE + ACTIVITIES SPECIAL including 10-night accommodations, breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 30 guided boat dives, complimentary Aqualung diving equipment (mask, ins, snorkel, wetsuit, BCD, regulator, weights, tanks), GoPro Footage from all dives free, 2 x paddle boarding safaris, scenic boat tour-The Passage, famous Piaynemo view point, “Pasir Timbul” hidden sand bank, Friwen Island visit, pearl farm tour, WiFi free in all rooms, common areas, 10% government tax and 11% service charges.

Room Amenities - TV, safe, hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, towels & bath robes. Fresh drinking water in your room & at various locations onsite. Free drinking water in your room and at various locations onsite.
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From $4,478 per person double diver

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Dive

Indonesia

Meridian Adventure Dive Hotel

RAJA AMPAT - DIVE PACKAGE including 6 night’s accommodations, breakfast daily, 16 guided boat dives, complimentary Aqualung dive equipment free rental (mask, ins, snorkel, wetsuit, BCD, regulator, weights, tanks), GoPro Footage from all dives free, WiFi free in all rooms, common areas, 10% government tax and 11% service charges.

Room Amenities - TV, safe, hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, towels & bath robes. Fresh drinking water in your room & at various locations onsite. Free drinking water in your room and at various locations onsite.
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From $2,198 per person double diver

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Packages

Dive

Indonesia

Meridian Adventure Dive Hotel

RAJA AMPAT - DIVE PACKAGE including 10 night’s accommodations, breakfast daily, 30 guided boat dives, complimentary Aqualung dive equipment free rental (mask, ins, snorkel, wetsuit, BCD, regulator, weights, tanks), GoPro Footage from all dives free, WiFi free in all rooms, common areas, 10% government tax and 11% service charges.

Room Amenities - TV, safe, hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, towels & bath robes. Fresh drinking water in your room & at various locations onsite. Free drinking water in your room and at various locations onsite.
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From $3,968 per person double diver

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Dive
Paddle Sports
Cultural Activities

Indonesia

Meridian Adventure Dive Hotel

RAJA AMPAT - DIVE ADVENTURE + ACTIVITIES PACKAGE including 10-night accommodations, breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 30 guided boat dives, complimentary Aqualung diving equipment (mask, ins, snorkel, wetsuit, BCD, regulator, weights, tanks), GoPro Footage from all dives free, 2 x paddle boarding safaris, scenic boat tour-The Passage, famous Piaynemo view point, “Pasir Timbul” hidden sand bank, Friwen Island visit, pearl farm tour, WiFi free in all rooms, common areas, 10% government tax and 11% service charges.

Room Amenities - TV, safe, hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, towels & bath robes. Fresh drinking water in your room & at various locations onsite. Free drinking water in your room and at various locations onsite.
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From $4,478 per person double diver

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Dive

Indonesia

Meridian Adventure Dive Hotel

RAJA AMPAT - DIVE PACKAGE including 6 night’s accommodations, breakfast daily, 16 guided boat dives, complimentary Aqualung dive equipment free rental (mask, ins, snorkel, wetsuit, BCD, regulator, weights, tanks), GoPro Footage from all dives free, WiFi free in all rooms, common areas, 10% government tax and 11% service charges.

Room Amenities - TV, safe, hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, towels & bath robes. Fresh drinking water in your room & at various locations onsite. Free drinking water in your room and at various locations onsite.
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From $2,198 per person double diver

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Dive

Indonesia

White Manta Explorer

LIVEABOARD - 6-NIGHT SANGALAKI-KAKABAN-MARATUA ITINERARY includes 6 nights twin/double accommodation, up to 4 dives daily (weather and itinerary permitting), breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks daily, hot beverages, coffee, tea, Milo and roundtrip transfers from local airports and select hotels.
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From $2,400 per person double diver

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Indonesia

White Manta Explorer

LIVEABOARD - 7 NIGHT RAJA AMPAT-MISOOL ITINERARY includes 7 nights twin/double accommodation, up to 4 dives daily (weather and itinerary permitting), breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks daily, hot beverages, coffee, tea, Milo and roundtrip transfers from local airports and select hotels.
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From $3,100 per person double diver

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Dive

Indonesia

Indo Siren

LIVEABOARD - RAJA AMPAT 10-NIGHTS WAISAI / SORONG ITINERARY includes 10 nights twin/double cabin accommodations, up to 4 dives per day, free Nitrox, free dive equipment rental, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, snacks and beverages including free local beer, and same day transfers.
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From $5,340 per person double diver

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Dive

Indonesia

Indo Siren

LIVEABOARD - 10 NIGHT KOMODO ITINERARY includes double/twin stateroom, unlimited diving as scheduled, free Nitrox, all meals, snacks, free local brand beer, free use of dive equipment and airport transfers in Bima. Laundry and massage services are also available. These trips sell out quickly so contact us to confirm current availability.
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From $4,900 per person double diver

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Dive

Indonesia

Dive Damai I

7-NIGHT CENDERAWASIH BAY ITINERARY - Book a cabin aboard the luxurious Damai I for an amazing week of diving this remote area of the “Bird’s Head Seascape” where whale sharks congregate around fishing platforms in only a few meters of water. Trips depart from and return to Biak in West Papua just north of Cenderawasih Bay. Price includes air-conditioned en-suite accommodations, all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, free local beer and glass of wine with dinner, unlimited diving as scheduled, land tours and activities, one spa treatment, and all government taxes. Port/harbor fees, marine park fees, Nitrox, rental gear, visa fees, laundry service, and crew gratuities not included. Dive insurance is required and travel insurance highly recommended. Repeat customers receive free Nitrox and complimentary dive equipment.
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From $5,425 per person double diver

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Resorts

Dive

Indonesia

Alam Batu Dive Resort

BALI - alamBatu Beach Bungalow Resort, located in north-eastern Bali, has everything to get divers' hearts beating a little faster – a dream destination for novice divers and professional photographers alike. Countless thrilling coral and muck dive sites in the vicinity offer unique diversity. Reach all the dive sites in no more than 20 minutes on one of thefast boats. The house reef, a full 800 meters long, also features exceptional beauty and variety with impressive biodiversity. "Small is beautiful": that's the motto at this resort, which accommodates no more than 30 guests. You can choose from various villas and bungalows where tasteful luxury is the keynote. A modern dive base with a camera room caters to all requirements, and PADI courses from Open Water to Divemaster are available.
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Spa and Wellness

Indonesia

Gangga Island Resort

GANGGA ISLAND, NORTH SULAWESI - An unparalleled scuba diving experience is waiting for you at Gangga. Gangga offers sensational diving where you can get up close and personal with diverse and remarkable sea life from both the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. The resort is an ideal starting point for the diving sites of Bangka Island, Bunaken National Marine Park and Lembeh Strait, making it a favorite destination for underwater photographers.
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Indonesia

Solitude Lembeh Resort

LEMBEH STRAIT, NORTH SULAWESI - Set in vibrant tropical gardens perched right above the water’s edge, directly overlooking the water and facing the island Pulau Lembeh, which lies across the Straits. The resort is designed for guests to enjoy the exclusivity and privacy of the natural landscape. The resort welcomes guests with 24 spacious and well-appointed villas and rooms, all designed with a traditional Minahasan accent/decor. Four main categories of accommodation to choose from, Garden-View (8 with partial sea view), two sea-front villas and 14 deluxe rooms (6 with full sea views). Ranging from 376 to 753 sqm the villas cater to the needs of different travelers.
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Indonesia

Wakatobi Dive Resort

BANDA SEA, SOUTH SULAWESI - Reached via private air charter from Bali, this award-winning resort provides access to incredible dive sites including unlimited shore diving on a spectacular house reef. Indulge in massages, relax on the beach, and savor fantastic, fresh meals. Air-conditioned bungalows are either set in tropical gardens or beachside with fans, minibar, and internet access. Suites with private chef/butler are also available.
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Dive

Indonesia

Kungkungan Bay Resort

LEMBEH STRAIT, NORTH SULAWESI - Scuba diving in Indonesia is the dive trip of a lifetime. The Lembeh Strait is renowned as being the planet’s epicenter of marine biodiversity. Home to rare species such as the pygmy seahorse, mimic octopus, ornate ghost pipefish, hairy frogfish and more, the exceptional year-round conditions provide a variety of diving experiences from muck dives on black volcanic sand to colorful reefs and historic wrecks.
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Liveaboards

Dive

Indonesia

Solitude Adventurer

The newest addition to the Solitude Liveaboard & Resorts family, Solitude Adventurer is a 36-metre aluminum catamaran vessel that focuses on dive trips around the Indonesian region. Solitude Adventurer can accommodate up to 18 guests, and has plenty of features to make sure everyone onboard feels safe and comfortable, whether they’re getting ready for a dive or lounging around during surface intervals.
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From $3,840 per person double diver

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Indonesia

Samambaia Liveaboard

This brand new Liveboard is fitted with all the features of a modern diving boat, as its powerful marine engine that can reach 10 knot cruise speed, making sure a swift travel. During the design process the focus was put on details. Functionality was paired with aesthetics and quality materials. The layout of the ship was built around the needs of the guests. Comfort and service are of highest priority on board. The atmosphere is relaxed and cozy. Social and yet private
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Indonesia

White Manta Explorer

LIVEABOARD - The brand new 22 passenger M/V White Manta Explorer provides in 14 spacious ensuite cabins situated over three decks. There is an enormous dive deck with designated rinse tanks for cameras, tables and charging stations, a full length & very spacious sundeck and an outdoor dining area. There is a dedicated camera room and 24 hour satellite WiFi connection. The large indoor salon has a digital media center, sound system and widescreen Plasma TV for your entertainment. Diving itineraries in Indonesia include Raja Ampat in Irian Jaya (West Papua), the Banda Islands and Sulawesi, all excellent destinations for a scuba adventure holiday. Our liveaboard cruises take you further afield to such magical places as Komodo and the Banda Sea.
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Indonesia

Indo Aggressor

LIVEABOARD - 11 nights Twin Cabin Forgotten Islands - Kai Islands and Tanimbar Islands via Maumere itinerary including all meals and unlimited diving.
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From $5,050 per person double diver

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Indonesia

Blue Manta Explorer

Your Liveaboard diving adventure aboard the Blue Manta Explorer in Indonesia will take you through the Coral Triangle, which boasts the world's highest marine biodiversity and offers extraordinary diving. This region is a mecca, from the rich plankton waters of the Komodo Islands to the stunning and remote mushroom shaped islands of Raja Ampat, the diving opportunities are limitless. With over 3,000 fish species and 600 species of coral, steep walls, deep water trenches, underwater volcanic mountains, World War II wrecks and an infinite variety of macro life, scuba diving Indonesia is outstanding. The Banda Sea, Sulawesi (Celebes) Sea, Bali Sea and Flores Sea has some of the best diving opportunities in this extensive underwater paradise.
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Indonesia

Raja Ampat Aggressor

DERAWAN ISLANDS - The Derawan Islands (Kepulauan Derawan) are located off the eastern coast of Borneo (East Kalimantan Province) in Indonesia, in the famous Celebes Sea. Derawan is an archipelago with the main islands being Derawan, Maratua, Kakaban and Sangalaki, forming small and remote atolls with sandy banks. Part of the Coral Triangle featuring reef fish, coral, and invertebrates, including giant clam species, sea turtles, coconut crab, etc. Abundant marine life with a variety of coral reef dives, caves, walls and lagoons, including a jellyfish lake visit. See sharks, schooling barracudas, mantas, whale sharks and macro life. Derawan also contains the largest green turtle nesting site in Indonesia, making dives with turtles quite common.
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From $3,045 per person double diver

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Indonesia

Dewi Nusantara

The Dewi Nusantara was purposely designed to be totally independent for long periods at sea while offering unparalleled comfort. The Dewi offers eight spacious air-conditioned ensuite staterooms that can be adapted to either twin or double use plus an expansive master suite.
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From $7,855 per person double diver

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Indonesia

Indo Aggressor

LIVEABOARD - The beautiful Indo Aggressor crafted 124-foot sailing schooner offering unique 7-night itineraries including the epic diving in Komodo National Park, named one of the Seven New Wonders of the World and home to more than 1,000 species of fish, 20 species of reef-building coral and 70 species of sponges. Also included is a trek to view the world’s largest land reptile, the Komodo dragon. Contact us for additional information on 10-night itineraries which venture west to the pristine waters of the Alor archipelago, or east to Sumbawa and the magical island of Bali.
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From $3,350 per person double diver

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Indonesia

Indo Siren

LIVEABOARD - This handcrafted ironwood and teak liveaboard can accommodate 16 passengers in eight spacious air-conditioned, ensuite cabins with personal audio-visual entertainment systems. A variety of itineraries are available including Raja Ampat (November-May) and Komodo (June-October). Click below for more information on the Indo Siren's 10-night Raja Ampat departures. See separate listing for 10-night Komodo departures. These trips sell out quickly so contact us to confirm current availability.
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From $5,340 per person double diver

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Indonesia

Dive Damai I

Dive Damai’s two liveaboards, the Damai I and Damai II, have set a new standard in liveaboard diving. The vessels were purpose-designed for divers with elegant lines, luxurious interiors and spectacular outdoor lounging areas. Itineraries throughout Raja Ampat, Komodo, and the Banda Sea. These trips sell out quickly contact us to confirm current availability on select departures or any additional itineraries, dates and rates.
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From $6,545 per person double diver

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Indonesia

Arenui

The Arenui dive liveaboard is a magnificent Phinisi, a classic Indonesian wooden sailing vessel, set to explore the majestic underwater world of the Indonesian archipelago. This popular liveaboard offers a wide variety of itineraries including Raja Ampat and Komodo, but has very limited availability, so cannot be booked online. Please contact us for available dates and rates.
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From $7,150 per person double diver

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Indonesia

Raja Ampat Aggressor

RAJA AMPAT - If you haven’t experienced the diving in Raja Ampat, now is the time to jump on board the newest boat in the Aggressor Fleet, the Raja Ampat Aggressor. Raja Ampat or ‘Four Kings’, is the name given to these islands and comes from a local myth. Located in the heart of The Coral Triangle, Raja Ampat is known to have the richest coral reef ecosystem in the world. The four main areas offering itineraries are: Raja Ampat, Cenderawasih Bay, Banda Sea and Triton Bay.
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From $3,290 per person double diver

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Passport and/or Visa Requirements

U.S. citizens require a valid passport to enter Indonesia. The passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the date of entry into the country. Two blank pages are required for the endorsement page stamp upon entry, which is a full-page stamp. This stamp acts as your visa which is valid for a 30-day stay for tourists. There is no charge for the stamp. There is a departure tax of 200,000 IDR approximately $16 U.S. which is paid at the airport upon departure.

Immunizations

There are no immunizations required by the Indonesian government. Please, check with your doctor or visit the website of the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov for a listing of immunizations recommended for travel to Indonesia.

Culture and Customs

Indonesia is a nation of islands, and of blended cultures. Centuries of maritime trade have spread influences of Indian and the Far East, but individual island groups have also developed their own traditions and languages. The region is home to more that 300 distinct native ethnic groups, and 742 different languages and dialects. One trait that is common to all of these disparate communities is a tradition of hospitality and acceptance for travelers. The attentive service lavished on guests of resorts and liveaboards is not an affectation, but an integral element of a national psyche that take pride in playing the welcoming host. Equally apparent is a sense of tolerance, which allows the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam and Christianity to co-exist. Indonesia is also a land of contrasts. Jakarta's steel and glass towers soar to heights of more than 1,000 feet in one of the most modern commercial centers in the region. A thousand miles away, islanders living in traditional villages still observe local traditions of ancestor worship and animism such as Kebatinan. And then there is the food. Indonesian cuisines are among the most vibrant and flavorful in the world, mixing intense spices and subtle overtones that draw from the culinary traditions of India, Holland, the Middle East, China, southeast Asia, Polynesia and Melanesia. Equally savory is the lively street food scene, where the rich aromas of bakso or gila fill the air.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electrical current is 230 volts, 50 Hz. The standard outlet is a two pin round socket. If your appliance is not labeled 100-240 Volt, 50-60 Hz input, you may need a step down transformer as well.

Check with your cell phone provider for international plans which may include text, data and voice. WiFi is available at most hotels, restaurants and cafes. The internet speed is slower, so in some cases, streaming and large file transfers might not be an option.

Water Quality

Tap water in Indonesia is largely not safe for drinking. Sealed bottled water is advisable and available for purchase.

Language & Currency

The official language is Indonesian Bahasa. English is widely understood and tourist resorts. There are over 300 languages spoken in Indonesia, with most Indonesians being bilingual in their local dialect as well as Bahasa Indonesia. Many Indonesians are multi lingual, also speaking English, Chinese and Japanese.

The currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) or recognized locally as Rp. Money may be exchanged at money changer offices which usually offer the best rate, with banks offering the next best rate and exchanging at hotels is often not the best rate. Money changers prefer newer undamaged bills and may refuse damaged currency. ATMs are available and credit cards are accepted at most resorts. Traveler's checks are not recommended.

Time

Indonesia spans three time zones. Western Indonesia Time called Waktu Indonesia Time (WIB) including Java, Jakarta and Sumatra are 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+7 GMT). Central Indonesian Time or Waktu Indonesia Tengah (WITA) including Bali, Sulawesi and Lombok are 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+8 GMT). Eastern Indonesian Time or Waktu Indonesia Timur (WIT) including Irian Jaya is 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+ GMT). Indonesia does not observe daylight savings time.

Location, Size and Population

The Republic of Indonesia is a nation of islands in southeast Asia that lies between the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The name Indonesia is derived from the Greek words “indus” (India) and “nesos” (islands) and is the world's largest archipelagic nation with over 18,000 islands. It is bordered by the nations of Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia and encompasses over 735,000 sq miles.

Approx. 260 Million people (2016).