Indonesia at a Glance
Moving to IndonesiaiStockphoto
The Javanese culture is very much influenced by Buddhism.
For most people, Indonesia evokes images of white beaches and stunning scenery. Although this is true, Indonesia has a lot more to offer. Moving to Indonesia will enable you to delve into a very rich and ancient cultural tradition. With a population of over 250 million, Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world.
Many people are unaware that Indonesia is an archipelago made up of a staggering number of 17,500 islands. Each island offers a different taste of the country’s multitude of cultures. Moving to Indonesia is a dream come true for many and generally speaking a well-liked destination among expats.
Along with the aforementioned beautiful landscape and beaches, a move to Indonesia gives you the opportunity to submerge yourself in a traditional and yet increasingly modernized culture. Its cities are densely populated; yet if you are moving to Indonesia with the goal of leading a more laidback life on a less inhabited island, there is much to choose from as well.
Climate in Indonesia
Keep in mind that regardless of what your precise destination is when moving to Indonesia, be it a city or village, you may have to get used to the climate first. Indonesia has a tropical climate – in short, very hot and very humid.
In addition, you will have to pay close attention to monsoon season when moving to Indonesia. There are two monsoons, the eastern monsoon from June to September, which is the driest season, and the western one from December to March, which brings the heavy rains. It would be less than optimal for you to move there during the rainy season.
It is therefore best to consider whether or not this climate would suit you before you decide to move to Indonesia. Check out the website of the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics for more information on weather conditions in Indonesia.
Accommodation in Indonesia
As with all overseas moves, it is best if you find at least temporary accommodation before moving to Indonesia. This not only ensures that you will have a place to stay once you enter the country, but it will also facilitate your finding something more permanent. Temporary accommodation is available in the form of serviced apartments (run by upscale companies like Silverdoor, Oakwood or Fraser) or suites in big hotels (e.g. Hotel Kristal, Ibis, Crown Plaza or Marriott).
Remember in Indonesia, you will be living in a country that is probably very different from your own. If you want to change as little of your (Western or Westernized) lifestyle as possible in Indonesia, it is wise to choose accommodation and housing in a major city. In the capital Jakarta, for instance, the usual amenities are readily available. When moving to Indonesia’s cities, be aware that it is not uncommon to hire domestic help, especially as an expat.
Ask your new employer to recommend several reputable real estate agencies to you to assist you in the apartment search. Always make sure to explore the neighborhood your new apartment is located in, both with the help of a street atlas and on several personal visits by taxi. It’s important that you feel comfortable and safe there, and that it has good transportation links.
Apartment Repairs in Indonesia
Contrary to what you may be used to in your home country, Indonesian landlords are not responsible for fixing things in the house. This means that if you rent an apartment or house, do not necessarily expect the landlord to fix the leaky faucet. (In more luxurious complexes, this may be different.) Due in part to the very low property taxes paid by homeowners in Indonesia, many neighborhoods join forces to fix up the street and sidewalks themselves.
This often unfortunately affords con artists an opportunity to spike the costs of so-called “repairs”. Thus, when choosing your new home in Indonesia, it is only advisable to live in such a local neighborhood if your Indonesian is good enough to fully understand what exactly you are being asked to pay for.