“Don’t talk about heaven if you’ve never been to Bali.” – Toba Beta
Exploring Indonesia: Travel Tips
Indonesia is a land of so many cultures, peoples, animals, customs, plants, sights, art and foods that it defies homogenization.
The people are as radically different from each other as the variety of landscapes you’ll see. Over time, deep and rich cultures have evolved, from the spiritual Balinese to the animist belief system of the Asmat people of Papua.
Indonesia is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches and volcanoes in the world. So whether you’re looking to relax on a pristine beach or explore one of Indonesia’s many active volcanoes, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Indonesia Travel Basics
The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR). One US dollar is currently worth around 14,000 IDR.
For most goods and services, you will need to pay in cash as credit and debit cards are not widely accepted. It’s a good idea to have small denominations of cash on hand for everyday purchases.
If you’re planning on doing any shopping while in Indonesia, be aware that bargaining is expected and sometimes even required. So don’t be afraid to haggle a bit to get the best price.
The electrical system in Indonesia is 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. Outlets are usually the European two-pin type.
If you’re planning on bringing any electrical devices from home, you will need to bring a voltage converter and adapter.
You’ll also want to be aware that power outages are not uncommon in Indonesia. So it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case of an outage.
The water in Indonesia is generally not safe to drink. It’s best to stick to bottled water for both drinking and brushing your teeth.
If you’re traveling to a remote area where bottled water is not available, be sure to boil the water before drinking it.
You should also avoid ice cubes as they may be made from tap water. And be careful when swimming in rivers or lakes as the water may not be clean.
Tipping in Indonesia
Tipping is not common in Indonesia. However, if you receive good service, it’s always appreciated.
For restaurant bills, it’s common to round up to the nearest thousand rupiah. So if your bill is 45,000 IDR, you would leave a tip of 5,000 IDR.
If you’re staying at a hotel, you can leave a small tip for the maid each day. And for tour guides or drivers, it’s customary to give them a 10% tip.
Getting around in Indonesia
There are a few different ways to get around Indonesia. The most popular methods are by car, motorcycle, or bus.
If you’re planning on renting a car, be aware that traffic can be very congested in major cities like Jakarta and Surabaya.
Motorcycles are a popular choice for getting around as they’re cheaper than cars and easier to maneuver through traffic. Just be sure to wear a helmet and drive safely.
Buses are also an option, although they can be crowded and uncomfortable. But they’re often the cheapest way to travel between cities.
When to visit Indonesia
The best time to visit Indonesia depends on what you want to see and do.
If you’re interested in surfing, the best time to visit is between April and October. This is when the waves are the biggest and most consistent.
If you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit during the shoulder seasons of March-April and October-November.
And if you’re looking for the best deals, December-January is typically the cheapest time to travel to Indonesia.
Keep in mind that the weather in Indonesia is tropical with two distinct seasons: the wet season and the dry season.
The wet season typically runs from October to April, while the dry season is from May to September.
Accomodations in Indonesia
There are a variety of accommodation options available in Indonesia.
If you’re on a budget, there are many cheap hotels and hostels to choose from. For mid-range accommodations, there are plenty of nice hotels and resorts. And if you’re looking for luxury, there are also several five-star hotels and villas.
If you’re planning a trip to Sanur in Bali, we have a nice article with 30 best family resorts in Sanur (Bali).
What to pack for Indonesia
When packing for Indonesia, be sure to pack light and comfortable clothing. The weather is warm year-round, so you won’t need any heavy jackets or sweaters.
Beachwear is also a necessity if you’re planning on spending any time at the beach or pool.
And don’t forget to pack your sunscreen! The sun can be quite strong, especially during the dry season.
Other essential items to pack include insect repellent, a first-aid kit, and a water bottle.
Helpfull apps for Indonesia
Some of the most popular apps in Indonesia include WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram.
Other popular apps include Gojek (a ride-hailing app), Tokopedia (an online marketplace), and Traveloka (a travel booking app).
These are just a few of the many apps that are used in Indonesia.
How to eat & drink in Mexico
There are many different types of food to choose from in Indonesia.
Some popular Indonesian dishes include nasi goreng (fried rice), satay (grilled meats on skewers), and gado gado (a salad with peanut sauce).
If you’re not sure what to order, you can always ask the server for recommendations.
When eating out, it’s customary to leave a tip of 10% of the bill.
What to drink in INDONESIA
There are many different types of drinks to choose from in Indonesia.
Some popular Indonesian drinks include teh (tea), kopi (coffee), and jus (fruit juice).
If you’re looking for something alcoholic, there are also several local beers and wines to choose from.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try a balut (a duck embryo that is commonly eaten as a snack).
The official language in Indonesia is Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). However, there are over 700 local languages spoken throughout the country. Some of the most commonly spoken local languages include Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese.
Even if you don’t speak any of the local languages, you’ll probably be able to get by with English as it is widely spoken in tourist areas and major cities.
- Hello = Selamat pagi
- Goodbye = Selamat tinggal
- Please = Mohon
- Thank you = Terima kasih
- Yes = Ya
- No = Tidak
- I don’t understand = Saya tidak paham
- Do you speak English? = Bisa bicara Bahasa Inggris?
- What is your name? = Siapa nama Anda?
- My name is ____ . = Nama saya ____ .
Top experiences in INDONESIA
There are so many incredible experiences in Indonesia! Here are just a few of the top things to see and do on your next trip:
Visit the ancient temple complex of Borobudur: Built in the 9th century, this massive Buddhist temple is one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist attractions.
Explore the lively city of Jakarta: From its bustling markets to its vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone in Jakarta.
Soak up the sun on a sandy beach in Bali: With its pristine beaches and clear blue waters, Bali is a popular destination for beach lovers.
Hike up an active volcano: Indonesia is home to many volcanoes, including Mount Merapi, which is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
See the traditional Balinese dance: The Balinese dance is a centuries-old tradition that is still performed today.
Go scuba diving in the clear waters of Raja Ampat: Raja Ampat is home to some of the best scuba diving in the world, with clear waters and colorful reefs.
Visit the Orangutans in their natural habitat: These gentle creatures can be found in the forests of Borneo and Sumatra.
Shop at a traditional market: From fresh produce to handmade goods, you’ll find everything you need at a traditional Indonesian market.
Take a river cruise through the jungle: There are many different types of river cruises available, ranging from short trips to multi-day excursions.
Witness the amazing Komodo dragons: These massive reptiles can be found on the islands of Komodo and Rinca.
Check our other articles from Indonesia
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