7 Tips Before Travelling to IndonesiaBlog
Just like travelling to any other country in Asia, travelling to Indonesia is fun but tricky. Why? First, you have the language. There are many Indonesians who don’t speak English apart from simple words. Yes, English is one of the subjects that everyone studied at school but you cannot force them to use it on a daily basis. Unless, they have a job which requires them to speak English every day. If it is the first time that you are travelling to Asia or to Indonesia, here are some tips you will need to get ready and to avoid a culture shock.
“Mister, photo, Mister!”
You will hear this sentence in most of the tourist places you”ll visit in Indonesia. A bunch of students will come and gather around you, watching you from few meter distance until one, the bravest, come to you and say “Mister, photo?” Yep. You are a one-lifetime famous person where you are in Indonesia, simply because you are a westerner, pale, and physically bigger than average Indonesians.
Don’t keep big money change in your pocket
It is not wise to always pay with big notes like 100.000 IDR or 50.000 IDR as it will be a bit tricky if you buy something in a small food stall. The price of the food is 20% cheaper than the money you use for paying. So have them separated and try to use smaller change.
You should like spicy food
Indonesians love spicy food. It is like in their heart beat to eat something tasty and spicy. Some people cannot eat without sambal (chili), and the spice in Indonesia is not just pepper, it is real chili and you better watch before eating something looks red and tasty, it might be hot!
If you are a student, you will win a lot of things!
Being a student while travelling to Indonesia will get you many good things. You will get a 50% discount to enter the biggest temple and one of the world 7 wonders, Borobudur Temple. It also works if you want to visit the Prambanan Temple, the 1000 temples in site. There are many more discounts you can get if you are a student.
Have an Indonesian friend? Congratulations!
If you visit a place where you have a local friend, it is easier. If you have but having an Indonesian friend, you should say goodbye to a hotel and restaurants, at least in the city where your friend is living. You should stay with his family. A “no” is unaccepted. The family will love you and feed you like there is no tomorrow. Want to give a “thank you” gift to them? No way! Just be happy and enjoy the generosity of Indonesians. Your smile is their happiness.
Don’t be afraid of motorbikes.
Just like Thailand and Vietnam, the number of motorbikes in Indonesia is uncountable, seems like everyone has their own motorbike for daily activities. It is simple and very handy to go around with it and helps in avoiding the traffic jam. You will need to adapt to Ojek (motorbike drivers) if you want to go somewhere fast.
Judge less, enjoy more.
Many people misunderstand the humbleness of Indonesians as they are less educated and savage, but the person who smiles and helps you to find your way back to the hotel may own a Bachelor’s degree in Nuclear science and still look very kind and warm. Some tourists found that generally, Indonesians don’t reach out to a lot of westerners. Oh, you will be surprised to see bubbly smiley funny girls giving you a full explanation of the oil and gas annual consumption in South East Asia with expert analysis.
Coming to Indonesia is simple and easy as long as you respect the culture, and know where you want to go. Have an opened heart and the country will welcome you just like you were “a long time no see” old friend.