1,919,317 sq km (741,053 sq miles).
117.1 per sq km.
Jakarta (Java). Population: 10,187,595 (2011)
Indonesia lies between the mainland of South-East Asia and Australia in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world’s largest archipelago state. Indonesia is made up of six main islands – Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Bali, Kalimantan (part of the island of Borneo) and Irian Jaya (the western half of New Guinea) – and 30 smaller archipelagos. In total, the Indonesian archipelago consists of more than 17,000 islands. 6000 of these are inhabited and stretch over 4828km (3000 miles), most lying in a volcanic belt with more than 300 volcanoes, the great majority of which are extinct. The landscape varies from island to island, ranging from high mountains and plateaux to coastal lowlands and alluvial belts.
Bahasa Indonesian is the official national language. It is similar to Malay and written in the Roman alphabet. In addition, there are over 250 recognised languages spoken by as many distinct ethnic groups. Many local languages are further divided by special forms of address depending on social status, and all languages are spoken in a variety of local dialects. English is the most widely used foreign language for business and tourism, and many people in the more remote areas have a basic command of English. The older generation still speak Dutch as a second language.
There is a Muslim majority of approximately 88%, with Christian (10%), Hindu (mainly in Bali) and Buddhist minorities. Animist beliefs are held in remote areas.
Indonesia spans three time zones:
Bangka, Billiton, Java, West and Central Kalimantan, Madura and Sumatra: GMT + 7 (West), GMT + 8 (Central), GMT + 9 (East).
Bali, Flores, South and East Kalimantan, Lombok, Sulawesi, Sumba, Sumbawa and Timor: GMT + 8.
Aru, Irian Jaya, Kai, Moluccas and Tanimbar: GMT + 9.
Generally 220 volts AC, 50Hz, but 110 volts AC, 50Hz, in some rural areas.
IDD is available to main cities. Country code: 62 (followed by 22 for Bandung, 21 for Jakarta, 61 for Medan and 31 for Surabaya). Outgoing international code: 00. Many hotel lobbies have public phones which take credit cards and phone cards. State-operated phone booths (WARTEL), which work on a pay-as-you-leave basis, can be found throughout the country. For emergencies, dial 110 (police) or 118 (ambulance for traffic accidents) or 119 (ambulance for general health) or 113 (fire department).
These can be sent from any telegraphic office; in Jakarta facilities are available 24 hours a day, but services outside Jakarta are less efficient.
Airmail to Western Europe takes up to ten days. Internal mail is fast and generally reliable by the express service (Pos KILAT), but mail to the outer islands can be subject to considerable delays.