Saturday, December 21, 2013

Travel Tips: Indonesia

Just a few random things to remember for the next trip to Indonesia...

  • Rupiah (currency) is pronounced "roo-pee-uh".
  • Bring crisp U.S. money - they are super picky.
  • Tip everyone - they expect it, but you can tip very small amounts.
  • Most understand the word hostel better than a failed attempt at their language.
  • Alcohol is very expensive - go with beer. Also, next time I'd buy a duty free bottle at the airport.
  • Always negotiate costs, but you won't get very far here. I think it's best to go for fixed prices at local shops rather than try to haggle in a tourist area.
  • Indonesians smile a lot.
  • Nothing is open late besides bars, so if you're going to need chips and Gatorade - buy it early.
  • Don't call them Javanese when they are Balinese (and vice versa).
  • To acknowledge or say thank you from a distance - bow slightly (no head nodding).
  • Modesty is important, even modern Balinese women don't show too much skin (especially on a temple day, no short shorts or skirts).
  • Just like in any Asian toilet situation, make sure to use your right hand to eat and greet other people.
  • The textiles/clothing patterns are beautiful and unique - but bring money to buy! Clothes are expensive.
  • Same with small sculptures - wood, stone, cloth. There are gorgeous home decor options in Java.