For a pleasurable and convenient trip to Indonesia follow these useful travel tips:
Health: Immunization against hepatitis A is recommended for all travelers. Depending on length of stay and itinerary, vaccination for Japanese encephalitis, rabies, typhoid and hepatitis B may be needed. Malaria and dengue fever exist in many parts of the country. Therefore take adequate protection mosquito bites and keep anti-malarial medicine with yourself. Drink water only from sealed bottles, and avoid swimming in freshwater lakes or streams as disease-causing organisms such as schistosomiasis may be present. Take precautions against heat and humidity. Wear sunscreen and a hat and drink lots of water.
Dress Code: In business circles, wearing a suit is the norm for both men and women. For formal occasions, either a suit or a long-sleeved, good quality, batik shirt are recommended for men, whilst evening or cocktail dresses are suitable for women. As Indonesia is primarily a Muslim country, modesty in dress is advised; remember to cover up if you intend visiting a mosque.
Local Customs: Indonesia has a high Muslim populace and it is important to understand and respect the local beliefs. Scanty clothing is not advisable in public places in deference to local customs. Shorts are not allowed in mosques and women should have their arms and head covered.
Offices: Most government offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Commercial offices and businesses are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Saturdays. Hours for businesses and commercial offices are staggered.
Electricity: Cities run on 220 volts, 50 cycles AC system. Rural areas may only be able to provide 110 volts.
Important Dos and Don’ts
- Calling people by crooking your finger is considered impolite.
- Patting someone on the head is not done among adults and should even be avoided with children.
- Climbing over monuments or places of worship is considered highly disrespectful. (In Bali, waist sashes should be worn when visiting temples.
- Take off your shoes when entering a mosque or temple
- Take off your sunglasses inside someone’s house, unless you have an eye disease.
- Use your right hand when receiving something from or giving something to someone. Talking with one’s hands on one’s hips is considered impolite.