Health and Safety

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altIn the recent past, due to political turmoil, Indonesia has overall become a security threat for visitors. Following the Bali and Jakarta bombings, many foreign embassies have warned against travel to Indonesia. Attacks against foreign interests have occurred and protests, although often peaceful, may still become violent with little warning. Civil demonstrations and protests tend to arise in certain areas, which result in traffic jams. As a deterrent, most public areas such as hotels, malls, official buildings and embassies all have security checks before entering the premises.
Jakarta is the most crime-prone city in the country. Violent crime is not unknown, but tourists are rarely targeted. It’s best to take the usual precautions though – avoid disreputable areas (Glodok and Kota can be unsafe in the early hours of the morning), don’t walk the streets alone at night and move out of the way quickly if violence does break out.
As with other large capital cities, pick pocketing is a fairly common occurrence, especially on public transport. Be careful, and use a money belt or a pouch hidden around the waist. Additionally, be careful when using a taxi and always check meter before commencing you’re journey. Strict gun control laws make Jakarta safer, but theft and robbery are real problems. Be on your guard in crowded places such as markets, because pickpockets often steal wallets and cellular phones. Keep a close eye on your valuables and choose your transportation options carefully, especially at night. Business travelers need to keep a close eye on laptops, which have been known to disappear even from within office buildings. For all-night party excursions, it may be wise to keep your cab waiting — the extra cost is cheap and it’s worth it for the security.
Tap water in Jakarta should not be drunk, even if it boiled. Always use bottled water, even for brushing your teeth. At cheap restaurants avoid hot drinks (because they may be made with tap water), and have soft drinks instead.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), Jakarta is the 3rd most polluted city in the world after Mexico City and Bangkok. During the rainy season (December, January, February), lower parts of Jakarta (mostly those to the north) are often flooded so avoid travelling at this time.
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?

Most of public toilets don’t provide toilet paper. It is a good idea to carry some tissues. Wet tissue should be kept handy as well to wipe hands before meals etc.

Medical services
Cikini Hospital (23550180; Jl Raden Saleh Raya) Caters to foreigners.
SOS Medika Klinik (7505973; Jl Puri Sakti 10, Kemang; 24hr) Offers English-speaking GP appointments, as well as the full range of emergency and specialist healthcare services.

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