Longing for true sunshine? Itching to walk on the white sand beach under a clear blue sky? Want to experience a rich and unique culture that you’ve never seen before? Indonesia might be your answer. This picturesque and beautiful country is located in South East Asia, just below the equator. It is an archipelago made up of thousands of islands (not ONLY Bali) and on a truly unique culture. We asked a local Indonesian writer and tour guide to provide 7 Tips for First Time Indonesia Travelers. This is what she had to say:
Research and Set Your Specific Destinations
With more than 17 thousand islands, planning travel to Indonesia can be overwhelming if you plan to visit anywhere besides Bali. You need to have specific destinations in mind. For the first-timer, Bali is definitely a good place to start. If you have more time, Java could be the next place to go. But note that Java itself is a very large island, you’ll need to plan exactly where.
If you want to get a sense of modern life in Indonesia, you can visit Jakarta or Surabaya. On the other hand, if you want to experience more traditional life enriched with Javanese culture then it is worth to visit Yogyakarta where you can see Borobudur Temple (the largest Buddhist temple in the world).
Research is a must! You can go to the Indonesia official tourism board website here to get more insight and understanding.
Find The Right Time To Go (No rainy season)
Even though it is summer all year long in Indonesia, there are some months where the rain is intense. Try to avoid travel to Indonesia from January to March as it can be the peak of the wet season. Floods can occur and it could certainly ruin your trip.
However, January to March is a great time to travel if you want to save more money as wet season = low season for tourism. The choice is yours!
Download Indonesia Travel Apps
Transport is always an important thing when traveling. In Indonesia, you won’t find the subway or metro but you’ll have local taxi and cars available via GO-JEK and GRAB. It is game-changing! You just need to download the app on your smartphone and voila! It’s also possible to order local food at a discounted price! They have a cashless system too, so you can top up the e-money from your debit/credit card. It’s the best way to go.
Join A Tour Package
Arranging a complete itinerary to travel to Indonesia might be a little exhausted. But you can always outsource this to a tour operator at a reasonable price. Make sure you read the review and pay only for the down payment first for local operators. By joining a tour package you’ll meet other tourists, make friends, socialize and share your stories.
If you’re skeptical of local operators, book with a reputable company like Viator by TripAdvisor or Expedia. This is less risky.
Stay in the Capital City of the Province
If you’re not booking a tour package, just make sure to stay in the capital city of the provinces you visit. Indonesia has many islands where each island consists of many provinces. For example, Denpasar is the capital city of Bali.
Staying at the capital city has benefits like access to convenient stores, restaurants and their own attractions worth a visit.
Speak Like a Local To Get a Discount
Indonesian people are very generous. They will welcome you like old friends coming to the town. They really like if you can speak one or two basic words of their language (Bahasa Indonesia). It won’t take a lot of time to learn how to say Terima Kasih (thank you) and Apa Kabar (how are you) in Indonesia. You’re more likely to get a discount this way when bargaining.
Electricity is life. Indonesia uses the two round pin adapter (European style). Make sure you bring connector if different than your home country.
What about the internet? Major cities in Indonesia support a 4G connection. All you need to do is purchase a local mobile operator with credit for data and call. Some travel agents also rent a mobile internet router for faster internet connection. Look for these when you arrive in the airport.
Stay safe by knowing the emergency number in Indonesia:
110 for police, 113 for firefighter and 118/119 for an ambulance. Program these into your phone, with a shortcut if you can.
Make sure you scan and upload all important documents like your passport and ID card to the cloud in case of theft or loss.
Last but not least, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you’ll stay outside the capital city, then it is wise to not going out after dark.
Alright, hope all the tips above help you to arrange your travel to Indonesia. Wish you a safe and wonderful trip!