Indonesia

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Flag of Indonesia Indonesia
Information
Language: Indonesian
Capital: Jakarta
Population: 234,693,997
Currency: Rupiah (IDR)
Hitchability: <rating country='id' />
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<map lat='-2.1088986592431254' lng='113.73046875' zoom='4' view='0' float='right' />

Hitchhiking in Indonesia is usually very easy for foreigners (Bule) while it gets harder for locals, unless they are taken on the dumping bed of a truck. It might be hard to get a free ride at times if you can't communicate in Bahasa Indonesia that you actually do want to hitchhike. And even if you can speak some basic Indonesian, the concept of hitchhiking is not always understood. You will be welcomed with the standard sentence "Mau ke mana" (where are you going) as a greeting, that can lead to a lot of confusion - check Asia_phrasebook#Indonesian. Once you get the gist, hitchhiking can go very smoothly on all the islands and often one of the first cars will pick you up. Cars are not many though and traffic is very slow: in particular in Java it's not uncommon to be blocked in traffic jams for hours. If you want to cross the whole country and get a full picture of Indonesia, it is not convenient to take a mere 1 month visa. There's a two months visa that can be applied for outside of the country and that can be extended four times for one month each.

The thumb isn't used in Asia for hitching and a sign isnt really necessary. Instead of sticking out a thumb wave down each car as if you were signalling for them to slow down. Once you waved a car to stop, the driver will want to know what's the matter. Hitchhiking in Indonesian is said "Menggonceng" and free is "Gratis" like in latin languages. If you don't speak indonesian, it might be helpful also to have a sign saying "Nebeng". Nebeng is a javanese slang term that is used to ask fo a free lift - there are a lot of javanese people all over indonesia, so its a usefull term also outside of java. Alternativly you can use "Numpang" or "Tumpang" which means to be a passenger, but not necessarily free. Another good way to ask for a free lift is "Bisa ikut gratis?" that means "Can I/We join for free?" Pick ups and trucks are generally fine though, motorcycles are hitchable but the most likely to ask for money. If the car is decorated with plush, it's definitly a taxi and even if they offer you a free ride, bear in mind that everyone else in the car is paying!

Getting a free ferry ride is also possible at least through a practice of hiding behind the truck seat. In fact, trucks are allowed to take 2 (3?) people for free onto a ferry - so you might be either one of the guys going for free, or one of the extra-passengers; in latter case you should rather hide behind the seat, and once you are on a ferry, relax - no one wants to see the ticket later on.

Most used harbors on Java island are Jakarta's Tanjung Priok and Surabaja's (goes to Borneo, 20h). The passenger ticket for the ferry Java-Bali is half a dollar a price, so you might as well skip hitchhiking there.

It's possible to get free ferry rides between Bali and Lombok, Lombok and Sumbawa, Sumbawa and Flores, hitchhiking with a car or a motorbike, since the price of the ticket is independent from the number of passengers.

It is also possible to ride the freight trains through central Java for free. Though police are loath to let a large number of tourists on - it generally being the reserve of the poorest of travelling Indonesians - it is possible in small numbers. Simply head to the train station and ask about 'krater barang barang' (luggage train). Particularly in smaller stations even the guards will be happy to help, through their information is often contradicted by each person you meet, asking every person you can is generally a good way to work out when a train might be coming through. There is generally one main train line that runs through Java for freight. It divides at each end (west and east), but if you're if hoping to head west, just get on the train going west and vice versa.

Cities

Numberplates

The following lists the area of registration of license plates. It uses one or two letters to denote area of registration.

  • A: Banten
  • AA: Kedu
  • AB: Yogyakarta
  • AD: Surakarta
  • AE: Madiun
  • AG: Kediri
  • B: Jakarta
  • BA: West Sumatra
  • BB: North Sumatra
  • BD: Bengkulu
  • BE: Lampung
  • BG: South Sumatra
  • BH: Jambi
  • BK: North Sumatra
  • BL: Aceh
  • BM: Riau
  • BN: Bangka
  • D: Priangan (area of Bandung)
  • DA: South Kalimantan
  • DB: Minahasa
  • DD: South Sulawesi
  • DE: South Maluku
  • DG: North Maluku
  • DH: Timor
  • DK: Bali
  • DL: Sangihe
  • DM: North Sulawesi
  • DN: Central Sulawesi
  • DR: Lombok
  • DS: Papua
  • E: Cirebon
  • EA: Sumbawa
  • EB: Flores
  • ED: Sumba
  • F: Bogor
  • G: Pekalongan
  • H: Semarang
  • K: Pati
  • KB: West Kalimantan
  • KH: Central Kalimantan
  • KT: East Kalimantan
  • L: Surabaya
  • M: Madura
  • N: Malang
  • P: Besuki
  • R: Banyumas
  • S: Bojonegoro
  • T: Purwakarta
  • W: Surabaya area
  • Z: East Bandung

External links