The Do's and Don'ts in Indonesia

This is the Essential Do’s and Don’ts for a Smooth Travel Experience in Indonesia

 

Indonesia is a warm and welcoming country, however, it is important to familiarise yourself with the cultural norms to navigate this diverse archipelago smoothly. Here are the essential do’s and don’ts to maximise your travel experience in Indonesia.

Do’s:

  • Dress appropriately. Given that Indonesia is a country with the largest Muslim population, it is advisable to dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing outfits. Public nudity and topless bathing are not socially acceptable. Furthermore, it is important to wear appropriate clothing when visiting places of worship.
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  • Take off your footwear when entering a local’s house.
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  • Avoid talking about sensitive topics such the Indonesian government, its corruption, or other political-related discussions.
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  • Explore local cuisine. Trying local food is a fantastic way to engage with the culture. For an excellent foodie tour in Bali please click this link: https://bespokeindonesiaholiday.com/2023/02/04/bali-evening-food-tour/
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  • Learn some local phrases. This will come in handy, and it’s also a great way to connect with locals.
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  • Smile. Not only can it elevate your mood, but smiling can also bring a positive change in the emotions of those around you. Most Indonesian people are warm and welcoming, so when they smile at you, smile back. It’s inexpensive.

 

 

Don’ts:

  • Touch religious objects, disregard the rules, or enter places of worship without permission.
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  • Litter or pollute. Each year, Indonesia generates a staggering 3.2 million metric tons of unmanaged plastic waste, of which almost half end up in the sea. You don’t want to be part of this irresponsible action.
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  • Crook your index finger to signal someone to come over. This gesture is offensive.
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  • Be overtly sexual. While certain parts of Indonesia, such as Bali, are celebrated for their liberal attitudes, that doesn’t apply to most parts. Public displays of affection are considered inappropriate, even between husband and wife.
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  • Use your left hand for taking or handing over something. The left hand is usually used for tasks that are often considered “unsanitary,” while the right hand is predominantly used for activities such as eating, greeting, and handling money.
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  • Yell or behave aggressively.
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  • Point with your toe or feet. Also, please keep them off the tables.
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  • Drink tap water. Tap water in Indonesia is not suitable for consumption. To keep yourself hydrated, you will need to drink bottled, filtered, or boiled water.
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  • Touch other people’s heads. This part of the body is considered sacred, and you should not touch other people’s heads, especially if that person is older than you.
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  • Touch or disturb the wildlife.
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  • Overstay your visa. Staying with an expired visa in Indonesia costs IDR 1,000,000, or around USD 65 per day, so it’s not cheap.