December 3, 2022

Prepare These Five Things before Traveling to Indonesia!

Indonesia is a country with plenty of tourist destinations. Whenever the holidays come, those places are full of local and international tourists. Some popular tourist destinations according to CNN Indonesia are Jakarta, Bandung, Padang, Bali, Yogyakarta, Batam, Malang, etc. Have you ever been to Indonesia before?

Even though you’ve never gone to Indonesia, I believe you’ve heard about Jakarta or Bali. Those are well-known tourist destinations in Indonesia. If you read this article, it is a sign for you to visit Indonesia this year!

There are many things you have to prepare if you want to go to Indonesia, of course. I guess you already know basic things to prepare as a traveler. However, as a local, I’ll give you some secret recipes that you’ve probably never heard of before.

This article provides you with information that you wouldn’t find anywhere. So, your lucky charm works well if you come into this article. Believe me or not, preparing these five things before traveling to Indonesia will make your traveling well prepared.

Without any further ado, let’s get the bread!

1. Cashless? No! Prepare your cash, especially spare change.

Warung in Indonesia

It probably makes you think that Indonesia is outdated, right? Well, that’s not the point.

Surprisingly, there have been many cashless payment systems in Indonesia, such as Gopay, OVO, Shopee Pay, and DANA, which can be found if you’re shopping in supermarkets, restaurants, or hotels. However, if you go to several tourist spots in the countryside, the residents usually make a cash payment system, which requires you to have cash.

Indonesia’s traditional market is also a place that still uses a cash payment method. You will find no one that does the cashless payment method. Why is that so? Payment with cash is more common than cashless because the goods aren’t that expensive there.

For example, when you buy drinks or snacks at the shop, or we call it ‘warung’, you won’t spend your money that much, probably around Rp 20.000. Besides, some souvenirs such as hats, bags, glasses, or even keyrings are affordable.

Moreover, street food sellers also usually still use a cash payment method. Some street food sellers are elderly, which means that they don’t understand those cashless payment methods. They prefer to transact with cash because it makes it easier for them.

Another thing you might find in Indonesia is that many beggars and buskers are asking for your money. So, if you want to give them money, make sure you have spare change.

The funny thing is that sometimes you have to pay if you use public toilets in Indonesia. Something you couldn’t find in another country, of course. It sometimes costs around Rp 2.000. So, you better prepare your cash rather than feel the pain from holding your urine. Lol!

Paid public toilet

2. Polite clothes to cover your body

I believe you love to wear skinny jeans, hot pants, or tank tops. However, you have to cover your body in Indonesia because politeness is highly upheld in this country. Not trying to offend you, but ‘my body, my rules’ can’t be applied here. You have to respect the local culture.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” It’s a proverb that you need to practice only in Indonesia but also in other places you’re going to visit.

In Indonesia, culture is very diverse. Some areas in Indonesia are still thick with the culture of their ancestors, which of course, upholds politeness. Therefore, it is necessary for you as a tourist to wear polite clothes or follow the customs of the place you are visiting.

Candi Borobudur

For instance, you must wear polite clothes inside Candi Borobudur in Yogyakarta. If not, then you aren’t allowed to go inside. The reason is that Candi Borobudur isn’t only a tourist destination but also a place for Buddhists to pray. If you forget to bring any polite clothes, you can rent them. Some people rent long ‘batik’ skirts there. 

In addition to clothing, you also have to know the rules applied in the area you are visiting. Some areas in Indonesia still believe in the supernatural, which you must respect. You must obey the rules because they are all for your goodness sake.

Hindus offerings

A popular rule in Indonesia is that if you see offerings (a bucket of flowers with incense) in Bali, don’t ever try to step on it intentionally or unintentionally because it’s a property of prayer rituals by Hindus. If you step on it, Balinese people believe that bad things will happen to you.

Nyi Roro Kidul

Another well-known rule is when you go to Parangtritis, don’t ever wear clothes with green color. The myth says that green is the favorite color of Nyi Roro Kidul, the queen of South Beach. If you break the rules, then Nyi Roro Kidul will probably bring you to South Beach, and you will disappear forever.

Even though you don’t believe these things, just follow the rules to respect their beliefs. By doing so, you can avoid bad things and negative things around you.

3. The angel of tourism, tour guide!

Before going to Indonesia, you need to do research on tour guides in Indonesia. There are tourist destinations that already provide tour guides, but some tourism destinations in Indonesia, especially those in remote areas usually don’t provide any tour guides. It will make it difficult for you, as a foreigner, to communicate in Indonesia.

Besides, without the help of a tour guide, you probably couldn’t learn the history or the fun facts of the place you’re visiting. In the worst case, it’s possible for you to violate the rules applied there and put you in a complicated situation. That’s horrible!

Information about tour guides can be found at You can order tour guide services according to the area you’re going to visit. In addition, it would be better if you have acquaintances in Indonesia who can also speak your language well so that it will be easier for you when traveling to Indonesia.

Please remember that you need others’ help to make your traveling go as you’ve planned. A tour guide is important!

4. Umbrella

You need to know that Indonesia’s weather is unexpected. It has two seasons, dry and rainy. However, rain sometimes falls unexpectedly in the dry season. The weather can be hot in a day, then the rain suddenly falls.  It’s so annoying if you don’t have an umbrella because you are just stuck in your place and can’t go anywhere. 

FYI, Indonesia is not a country that focuses on weather prediction, so it’s kinda hard to know the weather’s updates. That’s why an umbrella is probably an uncommon thing you need to bring everywhere you go in Indonesia. There are many types of umbrellas, just choose the foldable one. So, you won’t get wet whenever the rain falls.

You don’t need to bring your umbrella from your own country unless you really love it. Many stores sell umbrellas in Indonesia. You can also find it in supermarkets. Please remember to buy the foldable one! It’s easier to bring anywhere.

Ojek payung in Indonesia

Fun fact, some people in Indonesia will rent their umbrellas and take you through your destination by walking. They’re called ‘ojek payung’. So, if you run out of an umbrella, you can try to pay for their service. It probably only costs Rp 2.000. Isn’t it so cheap?

5. Toilet Paper

Toilet papers

Yes, you’re reading the right words. T-O-I-L-E-T P-A-P-E-R-S. Weird, but… it’s a fact.

Maybe you’re wondering why you have to bring toilet paper, right? The answer is that Indonesia’s toilets are different from what you’re using in your country. Here we use a squat toilet, not the sit seat one. Besides, we clean ourselves with water, not toilet paper. That is why I recommend you to bring toilet paper whenever you go.

The same as an umbrella, you don’t need to bring toilet paper from your country. You can buy it in Indonesia. Supermarkets or minimarkets in Indonesia provide toilet paper at their stores. Just make sure that you buy the traveling package, so it would be easier to bring anywhere.

However, some places provide sit toilet seats, such as hotels, theaters, malls, etc. You can find squat toilets when you go to public toilets in the countryside or in remote areas in Indonesia.

A fun fact about toilets in Indonesia is that you can find toilets made from wood and placed near a river. Some people in Indonesia still use those kinds of toilets. If you’re curious about the sensation of using traditional toilets, you can find them in the countryside.

Those are five things you need to prepare before going to Indonesia. You’d probably have the thoughts that those things don’t make sense. Just try to believe me because those things are important, and I believe that you won’t regret anything if you follow my tips.

I believe those five things are simple and easy to get by you in your country or in Indonesia. Please remember to take those things in your travel bag (except tour guide) to make your traveling in Indonesia run smoothly. Don’t forget to also obey the health protocols in the pandemic era!

Happy traveling, travelers!

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Anggia Lyana Julieta

Anggia Lyana Julieta

A 6th semester English Language and Literature student at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia

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