Is jakarta Safe?

Mar 9th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6
Is jakarta Safe?

I have to travel to Jakarta for a business trip and am wandering if it is safe for an American female traveling alone. The company will escort me to and from the airport as well as my class each day. Should I be uncomfortable?
indigogirl is offline  
Mar 9th, 2004, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,991
No one can tell you what feels safe to you. As you know, the US, Canadian, UK, and Australian governemnts have travel warnings for all of Indonesia. But of course, Indonesia is a huge country, and all places are not equally safe or unsafe. For instance, I wouldn't recommend that anyone visit Aceh right now, and Bali (which had the tragic bombing a year ago) is generally considered safest.

Personally, I'd go. I've been to Jakarta before and enjoyed my stay, and there was political instability at the time. You need to exercise the precaution that you would in any large city. If you do go, I'd suggest that you take some time to visit some other places either in Indonesia or Singapore or Malaysia. By the way, I'm headed back to Indonesia later this year.

I know you posted this question twice, so let me respond the the second part of your other post about health issues. Read the info at They recommend routine travelers vaccines (Hep A and typhoid) plus boosters for anything you aren't current on (tetnaus/diptheria, MMR if appropriate). There is dengue in Jakarta, so use a deet mosquito repellant if you are outside. The mosquitos that spread dengue are prevalent in cities and they bite during the day.
Kathie is offline  
Mar 9th, 2004, 07:41 PM
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I am an American woman writing from Jakarta. Jakarta is reasonably safe. It is actually much safer as far as violent and petty crime goes than an American city of the same size. Indonesians are very, very polite and friendly to foreigners. You will not feel threatened. Having said that, Jakarta and Indonesia in general is a strange and mysterious place. If you've not traveled in third world countries you may feel uncomfortable or you may feel fascinated.

Foreigners seldom walk in the city. It's not pleasant to do so as it's very hot, polluted and sidewalks are pretty much non-existent. This restriction can make free time claustophobic as there's very little to do other than wandering through shopping malls. General advice is know your driver, either from your company or your hotel. If you venture out, arrange for a car to wait for you. Don't take taxis.

It's also an election year in Indonesia which can get fairly raucous. Avoid crowds. Situations that are not actually dangerous can be confusing and frightening. A good driver with a little English is a godsend in this country.

As far as the threat of terrorism and the consequent embassy warnings: this is
a difficult issue. Yes, Indonesia has had two terrible terrorist attacks and yes, among a population of 220 million there are some crazy people out there. The security at hotels and public places is quite good and the chance of your being the victim of a violence is very low. My personal opinion is that terrorism can strike anywhere and I'm not going to miss opportunities to experience the wide and wonderful world worrying about it; however, only you can decide what your threshold of risk should be.
marmot is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 03:37 PM
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Thank you for your imput. I am going in April and will certainly heed your advice. Thanks again.
indigogirl is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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I came upon this website and your questions which was a coincidence because I too was questioning the same things. I too am going to Jakarta & Bali in April from San Francisco to visit my Aunt who lives in Jakarta. The responses to your questions was a great help to me too. I've been a worry-wart about this for the past week or so as this is my first time traveling out of the US to another country & taking an international flight in where I have to change planes in Taipei and I'm really nervous. Also, can anyone suggest some places to see while I'm in Jakarta or Bali?
islandgurrl is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,638
I'd be staying away from shopping centres, bars, restaurants and nightclubs where ex-pats gather and hang out. You're travelling in a predominantly Muslim country maybe as a very obvious alien (with your looks/accent) so take real good care and be a little paranoid-Madrid reminds us nowhere/no one is safe from the risks of terrorist attacks on non-Muslims and/or citizens of the US and its allies. I wouldn't hesitate to go-just be aware of risks!
Lyndie is offline  
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
Hi there!

I live in Jakarta and I think there is nothing to worry about for American woman to travel alone to Jakarta at the moment. You will feel comfortable since the company will escort you to & from the airport as well as to your class each day.

It's a political campaign time for legislative election at the moment so ask your driver to avoid the traffic jam. Usually local people know the campaign schedules and will choose the best way to take you to your destination.

Happy travelling and welcome to Jakarta!
ocha is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3
jakarta is safe enough as big cities go. to suggest you avoid crowds as the websites suggest is laughable. you're in a big city of 10 million so it is difficult to be alone!

regarding places tovisit, yogyakarta is a must.home to borobodour temple and prambanan.i live in indo, if you need more info e mail me...
soppy is offline  
Mar 17th, 2004, 12:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 15
It is hard to say "safe or not" but I had my boss coming from Canada last week and they are healthy and fine so far. My suggestion is just stay away from crowd, watch your purse and your valuable goods. I am Indonesian and will be happy to help you..just email me for questions. Good luck
yustina is offline  
Mar 19th, 2004, 06:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 714
Is the anti-chinese sentiment over yet? Should a non-indonesian speaking chinese woman be concerned walking around block M or chinatown?
mohan is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2
I have recently been given the opportunity to move to Jakarta in August for nine months. I am a Christian American planning to teach English at a private school. Any advice for what I may need or take precautions for as a long term visitor?
ALO is offline  
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