Three Zones of Indonesia Time

To travel Indonesia, we need to consider Indonesia time, because Indonesia is a big country covering the area of 1.9 million sq km. The distance between Sabang in the farthest west and Merauke in the farthest east is 5,236 km.

Therefore, Indonesia is divided into 3 time zones:

  • The first time zone is west zone, formally called Western Indonesia Standard Time. It is known as Waktu Indonesia bagian Barat, abbreviated as WIB in Bahasa Indonesia. It covers West and Central Kalimantan, Sumatra and Java, including Sunda. It is GMT+7 hours.
  • Next is central zone or known as Central Indonesia Standard Time. It is known as Waktu Indonesia bagian Tengah, abbreviated as WITA in Bahasa Indonesia. It covers East and South Kalimantan, Bali, lesser Sunda, and Sulawesi. It is GMT+8 hours.
  • The east zone or known as Eastern Indonesia Standard Time is GMT+9 hours, for Papua and Maluku. It is known as Waktu Indonesia bagian Timur, abbreviated as WIT in Bahasa Indonesia.

There is no daylight saving time in Indonesia because it is a tropical country, lies right on the equator. Days and nights are equal, 12 hours a day. There is only half hour difference on the time of sunrise when the sun is in the farthest north or south. Hence, the sunrise is between 5.45 and 6.15 am, Western Indonesia Standard Time. Likewise for the sunset, it is between 5.45 and 6.15 pm.

Since only covers the area of Sunda, the Indonesia time we use here is the Western Indonesia Standard Time, which is GMT+7 hours.

Indonesia Time on School, Office and Shopping Operational Hours

The school hours in Indonesia varies, depending on the type of the school. Normally, students in standard schools go to school from Monday to Saturday, the school starts between 6.30 and 7.00 AM until mid day. The students in national plus and international schools go to school from Monday to Friday. Usually they start a bit later because they study longer everyday to cover up the free Saturday.

The official office working hours are 8.30AM until 5.30PM, Monday to Friday. However, based on my experience, many staffs working in Jakarta have to work pass 5.30PM to catch up with the workload. So, don't be surprised if you see many lights in office buildings are still on until late at night.

The operating hours of shopping malls usually 10AM until 10PM, except for special occasions such as Late Night Shopping, they will open up until midnight. Thus, supermarkets inside these shopping malls will also have the same operating hours. It doesn't apply to supermarkets that operate in their own buildings though, some of them starts as early as 8AM. Likewise with the department stores that occupy their own buildings. For example, Yogya Superstores in Bandung, they start at 8.30AM. It's because they operate in suburbs of Jakarta or smaller cities such as Bandung, Cirebon, Sukabumi and Tasikmalaya. By 8PM these stores are almost empty, especially during weekdays, people already at home or they start having supper at street hawkers.

Other types of shopping centers in Indonesia is Trade Centers. This is a 4 to 5 storey buildings with lots of kiosks selling many types of merchandises. Favorite merchandises sold here are cellular phones and their accessories, computers, toys, clothes and apparels. The most popular trade centers in Sunda are Mangga Dua in Jakarta and Pasar Baru in Bandung. Their operating hours are between 8.30AM until 5PM.

Having well informed about Indonesia time, I wish you enjoy your trip to Indonesia and hopefully you will have time to Explore Sunda :)