Some extra tips for Indonesia travellers
The dress code in Indonesia is generally conservative. Bring lightweight cotton clothes, to cover knees, shoulders and mid riffs. For women, shirts or loose fitting t-shirts are fine but not low cut. Three quarter shorts are fine too.
At universities it's more formal. So collared shirts all round. Footwear should be closed shoes or sandals with strap around the heel and definitely no thongs. Men should wear long pants and collared shirts.
Bring: (less is best, then you can bring more home)
- Something warm to wear, it can get cool in the evenings in the rainy season and cold in the mountains
- A small umbrella they are much handier than a raincoat.
- Walking shoes
- Long pants to cover up from the mozzies / nyamuk
- Mosquito repellent the best Indonesian one is Autan smells nice and works well.
- Loo roll of course you can buy it in Indonesia do so and carry some with you, as most people don't use it there thus it is not provided in most toilets. Or learn to use your left hand like most Indonesians. As such, don't use your left hand for handling food, touching or handing something to someone else. Indonesians find it very rude.
- Your own prescriptions including contraceptive pill.
- If you use tampons, bring your own supply.
- Basic medical kit, including antiseptic powder for burns (exhaust burns from motorbikes is popular) and any other cuts.
- Money - I usually take my ATM Card and maybe a few traveller's cheques and some cash in dollars in case my card gets lost. But it's best to withdraw a couple of hundred dollars every fortnight (and guard it carefully) because it costs $4.00 per withdrawal.
See Lonely Planet Indonesia section on what to bring
Also Hints for Australian Travellers' hint checklist on smart traveller website:
PS. Don't let the travel warnings scare you too much
See information pack on ACICIS website for dress and social and cultural immersion tips.
Don't be offended if people tell you that you're fat you probably are compared to most Indonesians they certainly don't intend to offend. They do like to laugh so if in doubt laugh or at least smile.
From Inez Mahony, student and tutor at USC, who spent six months "all alone" in East Java in 2002.