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Travel Guide > Asia > Indonesia > Jakarta

Jakarta Health & Safety

  
 
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Tap water in Jakarta is not drinkable. Always drink bottled water. If buying bottled water from a street vendor always check the 'tamper proof' seal is intact.

Remember to check the water you bathe in and only brush your teeth with drinkable water.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), Jakarta is the 3rd most polluted city in the world after Mexico City and Bangkok.

During rainy season (December, January, February), lower parts of Jakarta (mostly those to the north) are often flooded.

There is a new law against smoking at public places in Jakarta, and the smoker can (in theory) be fined up to US$5000. If you want to smoke, ask other people first: "Boleh merokok?"

Safety

The high-profile terrorist bomb blasts at the JW Marriott in 2003, the Australian Embassy in 2004 and the JW Marriott (again) and the Ritz-Carlton in 2009 mean that security in Jakarta tends to be heavy, with car trunk checks, metal detectors and bag searches at most major buildings. Statistically, though, you are far more likely to be killed in the traffic.

Theft

Strict gun control laws make Jakarta safer, but theft and robbery are real problems. Even these appear to have improved in recent years, but still take care. Violence is low, and most criminal acts are done by stealth or intimidation rather than lethal force. It is rare for even serious injuries to occur during these situations, although there are exceptions.

If the theft is done by stealth, often simple catching the thief in the act will cause him to run away. For intimidation such as robberies, simply giving them an object of value will usually satisfy the thief, who will leave without further ado. Most Indonesians are also very protective of their neighbors and friends; in many neighborhoods, a thief caught by the local residence will be punished "traditionally" before being taken to police. Indonesians rarely ignore pleas for help.





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