Before You Go: Indonesia

Hello Pals,
Before you go to any country you should learn some basics but also double check those important things such as Visa and Vaccines.
If you’re interested in where I’ve been in Indonesia check out my posts on Ubud or Nusa Penida.

🛂  VISA 
Check here to see if you’ll need a visa.
 💉 VACCINES
Click here to make sure you’ve got the necessary jabs!
  💬 LANGUAGE
National Language is Indonesian. Learn common phrases here.
 💰 CURRENCY
Indonesian Rupiah. Code: IDR.
Check your exchange here.

Here’s a list of things you should know before you travel to Indonesia.

In this article you’ll find information on the below:
Important: – | – Cultural – | – Driving – | – English – | – Insurance   – | – Tipping  – | – Transport – | – Water – |
Money: + Exchange + Tipping + ATMS

IMPORTANT

Cultural

  • You will be expected to cover your legs whilst entering temples. Some temples have free sarongs or rentable sarongs but you should keep one in your bag just in case.
  • Be aware: those who are currently menstruating are not supposed to enter temples.
  • There are six religions in Indonesia which will change from Island to Island.
  • Avoid disagreements, speak quietly with consideration and don’t get angered by little things in public.
  • Their culture is all about sharing so you can find yourself joining groups of people with food. If you have something from your home country to contribute, that’s great!

Driving?

  • You’ll be driving on the left-hand side and people will pass you on the right.
  • Gas Stations have their own attendants, you’ll not need to fill your own tank.
  • You need to wear a helmet while riding a scooter. You may be pulled over by police but also, you cannot control other drivers and even if you’re incredibly careful you could fall off your scooter. Helmets = Safe Head.
  • Have an International License.
    Australia, it depends on which state you’re from. Click your state provider for more info:  VIC: RACV NSW: NRMA QLD: RACQ  SA: RAA NT: AANT WA: RAC TAS: RACT

English?

English is prevalent in all tourist aspects of Bali. Majority of people will know the basics. Menus, signs and information are all available in English.

Insurance?

You should always have travel insurance when going overseas. For short trips, I tend to use Tick Insurance (affiliate)- it’s 4/5 stars with FeeFo and although I’ve never had to claim – it’s super within budget.

Transport?

  • Taxis are the most commonly used for getting from point A-B. You should always ask the amount before getting into a taxi for a flat rate if it is unmetered.
  • Scooters are also a great way to get around – be aware however that some insurance companies do not cover you if you don’t have a scooter license at home.
  • Uber does run in Indonesia but the locals don’t love it and it is banned from some areas, so ensure you do some research.
  • Buses are called ‘Angkot’ for smaller, pre-set routes you can get these from A-B in places. Larger buses are used within big, large cities.

Water?

You can’t drink the water in Indonesia. You may have filtered water in your hostel, Airbnb & Hotel. If not, you can buy large bottles of water and refill that way.

MONEY

If your change is very small denominations, you will be given as close as possible or if coins aren’t available you may actually be given peanuts or candy. This is simply a friendly offering and please accept it in the manner it’s intended. – [This happened to me in Nusa Penida and I was really shocked but thinking about it, the amount would have been 5 cents or something.]

Exchange?

 

DO
• Change your money at dedicated money changers
• check their calculations
• count the rupiah yourself before handing over your money.
• keep the rupiah in your hand, do not put it back down on the counter.
• trust your gut – if you feel uncomfortable or suspicious, walk out.
• keep using the same money changer, once you have found an honest and reliable one.

 

DONT
• use a money changer that is located down a laneway or alley.
•  accept any small notes
•  allow anyone to touch the rupiah once counted.
•  allow anyone else present to distract you during the transaction.
•   use a money changer with an advertised rate which is better than any other in that area.
•  use a money changer if the sign does not say “authorised”
•use a money changer with a desk at the back of another business.
  • You’ll get a better exchange in Indonesia.
  • The airport will give you slightly less than in the cities, so if possible – wait until you’re out to exchange.
  • You should always have some cash securely saved somewhere in case of any issues.
  • Australia: I personally use my ING Visa while overseas and withdraw from that as it gives me rebates on all international atm fees (including the ones charged.)

Tipping?

Although tipping is not mandatory in Indonesia, 5-10% can go a long way, especially for fantastic service. Generally, full meal drinks + dinner + dessert cost us just under $600,000 IDR ($60 AUD) and we rounded up to $600k for the six of us.

Working ATMS.

  • Cash is extremely prevalent in smaller, family-run shops.
  • Islands and Rural areas it can be hard to find a working ATM for all cards.
    Nusa Penida (Australia: Comm Bank, NAB didn’t work – only ING.)
  • Majority of tourist areas will accept a card at stores, keep smart and remember that cash is key.

OTHER

📡FREE WIFI
– Coffee Cafes & Fast Food Restaurants
– Hostels, Hotels & Airbnb.
🔌 POWER
Two, round pin plugs.
Voltage: 230 Volts.
European Style.
🥫 FOOD
– Satay
– Siomay
– Nasi Uduk
– Nasi goreng
– Bakso
– Martabak (sweet)
🥃 DRINK
– Coconut Water 
– Cendol – Jelly Drink
– Bajigur
– Luwak Coffee
– Bintang (Alc)
– Brem (Alc)
– Tuak (Alc)

FACTS

  • Indonesia is made up of 18,307 islands* however it is up for debate.
  • Indonesia is home to the Komodo Dragon, the largest lizard in the world.
  • Indonesia has 139 Volcanos* however it is also up for debate.
  • There are more than 700 languages and dialects spoken.
  • Lukwak Coffee became famous after being featured in the movie ‘The Bucket List.’

Written by CerealSarah

A 27-year-old whose only direction in life seems to be going around the world.

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