The country of thousand islands Indonesia is an interesting destination for those who love the turquoise water, fine white sand, culturally diverse religions and many picturesque landscapes. However, such a Muslim country like Indonesia still has codes of conduct that not everyone knows. So, what to know before going to Indonesia? Let’s check out our recommended things to know before going to Indonesia and things to know before traveling to Indonesia including dos and don’ts in Indonesia, Indonesia travel etiquette, Indonesia travel essentials to find out the answer! For a pleasant journey, note down the following information immediately for your trip to Indonesia!
- Bali center guide — The guide to Center Bali & explore top central Bali attractions
- North Bali travel guide — The Northern Bali itinerary 3 days & top things to do in North Bali
- Gili islands travel blog — The fullest Gili islands guide & what to do in Gili islands
- Ubud travel blog — The ultimate Ubud travel guide & what to do in Ubud for first-timers
- Mount Bromo travel blog — The ultimate Mount Bromo travel guide on how to visit Mount Bromo
What to know before going to Indonesia: How to travel to Indonesia?
Airplane is the best transportation to get you to Indonesia. Not to mention Indonesia is one of the most attractive destinations in Southeast Asia, airlines are constantly launching ticket promotions and it’s much cheaper when booking a round trip. You can choose from a long list of airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Malaysia, Malindo or Royal Brunei Airlines and so on.
Constantly updated prices and promotions only available on Traveloka.
What to know before going to Indonesia: Entry
As an ASEAN citizen, you are exempt from entry visa for up to 30 days to Indonesia. Baggage check at port of entry is really strict, you must clearly notify the airport customs of your belongings including sports equipment.
Indonesia does not limit the amount of money you can bring along when you enter the country, but when you leave, you are not allowed to bring more than 5 million Rupiahs out of the country.
Note that you are absolutely not allowed to carry drugs, weapons, sharp utensils, pornography and especially do not carry Chinese medicine or powdered medication and cosmetics of unknown sources.
Time zone and weather
If you travel to Jakarta, the time zone is GMT +7, but in Bali it is GMT +8. So be careful about the time, especially when booking hotels and air tickets.
Located in the tropical region with mainly island topography, Indonesia has a tropical climate heavily influenced by the sea, monsoon and high humidity. The average temperature is about 26 degrees Celsius.
Indonesia has 2 seasons: rainy season and dry season. The rainy season is from June to September, the dry season is from December to March. In particular, the best time to travel to Indonesia is from April to October annually. The temperature is always around 21 – 33 degrees Celsius with high humidity. This is also the time when airlines offer lots of promotional flights to Indonesia and you can easily hunt for the cheapest tickets.
Things to know before going to Indonesia: Currency exchange
The two currencies accepted for payment in Indonesia are Rupiah (Rp) and USD. You can exchange money at your local banks. If you exchange currency at the hotel where you stay, you are usually able to exchange from USD to Rupiah only.
In Indonesia, you can find licensed currency exchange services with green PVA Berizin logo posted on the front door. Without this logo, it is best not to exchange your money to avoid fraud, counterfeit money or having an incorrect exchange rate.
Transportation in Indonesia
In Indonesia, the most popular modes of transport are taxi and bus. The bus is much cheaper but sometimes overcrowded and jostling, and you have to be acquainted with the route. Taxi is similar to other places, which is charged based on open rates and meter rates.
In specific, for the travel distance from the airport to the city center, you can reserve the airport shuttle for the most convenient and worry-free trip fare.
In addition, because there are a lot of islands, sometimes for traveling from city to city, you will have to travel by boat. For all types of transport, it is best to ask for the price first and board the vehicle upon agreement.
Some tourists prefer to rent a car to explore Indonesia on their own. For simplicity, you should rent a car at the hotel you stay.
Taboos in Indonesia
- When visiting temples, religious buildings and mosques, you must leave your shoes outside. Clothing must be discreet, you should not wear sleeveless, halter top, shorts or miniskirt.
- For some buildings and sights of sacred nature, photos must be approved by the management. If you see the “No photo” signs and still try to take photos, you will be penalized.
- For the locals, they shake hands with both hands and do not hold hands too tightly when meeting. This is a common courtesy.
- At restaurants and eateries, chopsticks are not available, instead spoons are commonly used. Thus, don’t be surprised if you can’t get a pair of chopsticks when asking for one.
- When shopping at small shops or traditional markets, do not be afraid to ask the price first and bargain before deciding to buy. At a tourist city, overprice is still an ongoing issue.
- You should learn some common sentences in Indonesian for communication. It is a great way to get along well with the locals. For example, “Terima Kasih” means thank you, “Selamat Pagi” means good morning, and “Maaf” means sorry.
- In Indonesia, rubbing one’s head is a taboo because in their view the head is the holiest and purest part of the human body. So, rubbing a child’s head is prohibited no matter how cute s/he is.
- According to Indonesian perspective, the left hand is considered unclean so do not use your left hand to hand over stuff or money to others. To be polite, you should accept money with both hands from other people.
The biggest taboos in Indonesian culture are pointing with a finger and pointing your foot at someone. The actions make the other person feel offended.
Things to know before traveling to Indonesia: What to note while eating?
In Indonesia as similar to other Asian countries, rice is the main entree, which is served with side dishes. Pepper is a common spice used in many dishes and people often leave it whole. If you are afraid of spicy foods or having stomach problems, you should remove the pepper or tell the seller prior to eating.
With a population of more than 80% Muslim, the daily menu almost has no pork, few vegetables and mostly chicken.
For Muslims, consuming alcohol in public places will also result in penalty.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Bali you can refer to
- Bali All Time Favourites Private Day Trip
- Bali Private UNESCO Heritage Sites Trip
- Nusa Penida Full Day Trip from Bali
- Bali Swing and Waterfall Full Day Tour in Ubud
- Bali Instagram Tour
- Private Ngurah Rai Airport Transfers (DPS) for Bali
- Private Sightseeing Custom Tour for Bali
- Private Sightseeing Custom Tour for Ubud & Surroundings
- Bali Private Car Charter
- 3G/4G Prepaid SIM Card (DPS Airport Pick Up) for Bali
- 4G Portable WiFi for Bali
- 4G Portable WiFi for Indonesia from Uroaming
- 4G LTE WiFi (MNL Delivery) for Asia
Wish you a wonderful journey and lots of new experience in Indonesia. Read more: Jakarta in a day — What to do in 1 day in Jakarta & How to spend 24 hours in Jakarta perfectly?