Tips and Tricks: Indonesia
Indonesia is a hot spot for all types of travelers. Whether it is with your family, you're on your honeymoon, or you're just simply a backpacker looking for a good time, there are a few things you need to know before visiting this beautiful country.
- Blue Bird Taxis are the cheapest form of transportation. Be sure you ask for a meter. The other taxis have tipped meters and they will overcharge you.
- If you have a sim card use UBER! It is cheaper than Blue Bird taxis, but you have to make sure you are in the vicinity of where they have UBER's. Near the airport is where they are most prevalent.
- BARTER BARTER BARTER. Indonesia has been jaded by tourism therefore, they hike up the prices. I always offered a fourth of the price they originally started with and a lot of times it worked. If not, I just moved on to the next stand.
- Bring cash and switch it over to Indonesian currency. Many of the ATM's in Indonesia charge you $5-15 every time you take money out.
- Be careful when using currency exchange stand. Depending on where you go, for instance, if you use a random stand inside of a shop, they may try to rip you off and sneakily give you less money than you deserve. Pay close attention to the bills and be sure to count your cash before leaving.
- Reserve your transport the day before you plan on going anywhere. It isn't impossible to book on the day of, but many times it turns out to be a disaster and it's nice to price check and barter to get the best deal possible.
- Be careful about people offering you free drinks. Many times it isn't what they say and people have ended up hospitalized because of it. ALSO NOTE ALL DRUGS ARE ILLEGAL AND CAN GET YOU IN A LOT OF TROUBLE.
- Book your accommodations in advance if you are traveling during high season. We went during low season and still found it a tiny bit difficult to get good deals. Use booking.com and agoda.com.
- GET HEAPS OF MASSAGES. Be sure to check out the rooms before agreeing to anything. My friend Lans & I had a very interesting experience when we first got to Seminyak. Orchid is a great place to get massaged on Lombok.
- Watch out for staph infection. Be sure you don't have any cuts on your feet before getting a pedicure or jumping in the water. Staph infection is rampant in Indonesia.
- Americans do not need a visa before arrival if you are planning to stay 30 days or less.
- Pack light! You can buy so much at the markets for incredibly cheap so fill your backpack with goodies to bring home instead of packing a full suitcase before you go.
- Watch out for the monkeys and wildlife. It is a third world country and you're in their world so respect the wildlife and don't bring food when you know there will be monkeys.
- Bring good walking shoes for the hikes and an umbrella or poncho if you are going in the wet season. You can always buy one there as well!
- Don't let anyone rub weird oils on your skin on the beach. You will most likely break out and in addition they will curse you if you don't buy from them.
- Take advantage of all the delicious cheap food in the warungs. Warungs are the local Indonesian family owned restaurants. You will find good food here, just be sure it hasn't been sitting out all day!
- Make sure the ice they give you is made with filtered water. A cool trick to remember is if it has a hole in the middle of the cube it is definitely filtered.
- Bring medicine for stomach cramps and Bali belly. Trust me you'll need some pedialyte or hydrolyzed salts at one point or another.
Enjoy the friendly locals, cold bintang beers and delicious Indonesian cuisine!