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10 Basic Tips for Travelling in Indonesia for Safe Trip

by Hindarko Luh Setyawanto

Indonesia, which owns the famous Bali, is a popular destination in Asia. Like old saying goes, another field then another grasshoppers. Indonesia has a different culture from other countries.

There are several things to consider when visiting Indonesia. Let’s see the basic tips for traveling in Indonesia ..!

1. Safety

In general it can be said that Indonesia is safe to visit. There are always police patrolling routinely in every area to make sure everything is going well. People also try their best to keep their own neighborhood safe.

Even so, crime can happen to anyone. Always stay alert. There are some areas that have a high frequency of crime. It is usually areas far from the city center.

Avoid traveling alone to a place that looks dull and dark. Also stay away from a group of people who look like thugs.

2. Accommodation

Hotels are easy to find in the big cities or small towns. You can make reservation through apps like Traveloka, Trivago, Agoda, Airbnb, etc. In addition to hotels, there are also boarding houses that can be rented per day, per week, even per month. Surely they have cheaper rates from the hotels.

You can find accommodation with good facilities in Java and Bali. Outside of Java and Bali, though not always, the accommodation is simpler. If you stay in the room that does not have air conditioning, make sure you apply anti mosquito lotion before sleep. Not all accommodations provide tissues in the toilet, so you should bring your own toilet paper.

3. Transportation

Many cities in Indonesia still do not have good public transportation. Facilities for pedestrians are few. Special lanes for bicycles are very rare. Only Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali have integrated bus lines.

In big cities you can use the Bluebird taxi or online taxi like Uber and Grab. Gojek (online motorbike taxi) is also a popular choice for cheaper and faster. If you want to feel the life of Indonesian people, you can take public buses or angkot (public cars). But in order not to stray, make sure you have done research first or ask to locals.

4. Ticket

When you are about to go to a tourist attraction or take a bus or board a boat, never buy a ticket from a tout. Buy tickets at the official ticket booths. It will save your money and keep your sanity. Be careful because wherever you are, tourists are always the target of scam.

If you feel the price offered does not make sense, say it out loud and stay away. Buying a ticket on a travel agent is safer, as well as if you want to book a tour.

Every travel agent has its own policy, so it’s better to do some research to find the best price or ask for advice from a trusted person.

5. Clothing

If you travel to big cities, like Jakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar, you can wear anything you want. Stylish or casual clothing does not matter. In big cities it is common for people to follow fashion trends.

But in other cities or small towns, the clothing is more modest. You have to adjust your look. As a guide, you can wear anything as long as it covers your shoulders and knees.

Female tourists are not expected to cover their hair or wear long sleeves. As long as your clothes look neat and polite, you will be just fine. You can buy the latest fashion trends in Jakarta’s Plaza Indonesia. There are also many things to do in Plaza Indonesia.

6. Food and Drink

Never ever drink from faucet. Whether you’re in a big city or a small town, do not ever do that. You must buy bottled water. The price is extremely cheap and sold everywhere.

Indonesian food is diverse and delicious. You do not always have to eat in restaurants. You can eat in a stall, canteen or food court. Your wallet will thank you. However, most menus are not available in English. So it will help if you google the items on the menu before ordering.

Or just point the food you want. Alcoholic beverages and pork are only available in certain places such as restaurants and cafés. If you want to hangout at cafe, Jakarta is the right option. There are many stylish cafe in South Jakarta.

7. Internet

Internet quality in Indonesia is not bad. In big cities you can have 4G network while small towns are covered with 3G network. Certain places, such as malls, cafes, and restaurants provide free Wifi to their customers. Public parks and libraries also provide free Wifi for visitors.

SIM cards are cheap and easily bought. All providers compete to offer data packages. They do price wars to attract customers. Just make sure you read the terms and conditions.

Telkomsel is the provider who has the widest network. If you travel outside Java and Bali, you better use Telkomsel to get better signal, especially in Eastern Indonesia. Go there and you will have lots of things to do in Eastern Indonesia .

More basic tips for travelling in Indonesia below.

8. Haggle

Here are more tips for travelling in Indonesia for travellers. Unless you want to splash your cash, learn to bargain. In tourist areas, sellers tend to put up high prices.

Even the price listed is not always the final price. If the price you’re looking at is not the price set by the government, you should try to bargain. At least it will not hurt you.

Start bidding with one-third the price. If you have the guts, you can try lower than that. Walk away if negotiations get stuck.

Usually the seller will call you back and give you a huge discount. Just try it … Haggle is an important skill in Bali for solo travelers.

9. Souvenirs

If you want to get cheap souvenirs, search in traditional markets. The choices are more diverse and negotiable. Sellers in traditional markets are accustomed to haggle. So they do expect you to bid.

Please note the provisions of the cabin baggage. Items of a certain size and weight must be put into the checked baggage and you will be charged as a result.

If your souvenirs are big and easily broken, you may have to send them with an expedition that has insurance. Don’t forget to take advantage of tourist GST refund at the airport.

10. Legal

Always bring your passport everywhere and never submit it to other person. Make sure your passport is always in watch. Other ID cards, such as driving license, are also necessary. If you rent a car or motorcycle, you need an international driving license.

In non-tourist areas, immigration officers often do document checks. Plan your trip well. Do not exceed the valid visa period. Always keep the phone number of your country’s embassy. Last but not least, stay away from drugs. Posses or distribute them can be sentenced to death.

That’s all folks. Now you have the basic tips for travelling in Indonesia. Let’s visit Indonesia..!

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