Indonesia is a leading tourist destination for different people from all over the world. It is a blissful country with amazing places to visit and a haven for people that love adventure and nature. It also boasts of some of the world’s best islands with beautiful sandy beaches, resorts, and numerous activities.
Indonesia respects its culture, customs, and laws. Whether you are visiting the country as a traveler for fun or business, whether you work there as an expatriate, or whether you are one of the locals, you need to pay maximum attention to the things you can and cannot do.
What Can You Do or Not Do in Indonesia?
- Do not mock or joke about ethnicity, race, or religion.
One of the things that make Indonesians unique and interesting is their diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and beliefs. The mutual respect the people have towards one another is crucial to the country’s harmony and peace. The diverse cultures and ethnicities also mean that they have different religions. Making inappropriate remark concerning their way of life, however small, is offensive.
- Do not do drugs
The Indonesian government takes drug possession or usage very seriously. If you are traveling to the country, do not take any recreational drugs with you because they could land you in jail. The sentence for distribution and drug possession is the death penalty. It is important to note that this law does not discriminate between tourists or locals.
- Do not underestimate the spice in the food.
Indonesia is rich in different spices, and they do not shy away from using the same on their dishes. You might get away with eating the food of your choice in luxury hotel Jakarta high-end establishments but if you decide to visit the food vendors, be careful. If you do not come from a country where spicy and savory recipes are part of your daily recipes, ask first before you rush to the bathroom with a burning tongue.
- Avoid tap water
If you are visiting, make sure you carry bottled water to quench your thirst. Indonesian tap water is safe for cooking and showering, but it is not advisable to use it directly. Even the locals use gallon or bottled water for straight consumption. Additionally, if you do not have an alternative, you can boil the tap water before drinking it. The locals do that and transfer it to bottles for ease of portability.
- Respect the wildlife
Indonesia has a large variety of wildlife that includes birds and sea animals. The wildlife is one of the major tourist attractions in many cities across the country. It would therefore be a complete disgrace to disrupt the wildlife or their natural habitats. Some of the general rules to follow are maintaining cleanliness and quietness, keeping waste to a minimum, and restraining from animal tourism.
- Learn as many local phrases as you can
You might be lucky to visit a place in Indonesia where you can get by communicating in English. You could also get what you want by using hand gestures. However, you could also find yourself in situations where you cannot communicate with the locals at all, and they might take it as disrespect.
Learn a few local phrases to save face and create warmth and friendships. It also shows a display of respect to your hosts. One of the most important phrases to learn is “terima kasih,” which means thank you.
- Always show appreciation, and politeness
Indonesians take etiquette and politeness very seriously, and it is only fair that you conform when interacting to them. Simple words like thank you, please, and sorry accompanied by a smile go a long way in cementing lasting friendships, and they do not hurt or cost you anything. You can take it a notch higher by engaging the people you are interacting with, such as your tour guide or driver, for small talk. Any friendly gesture will do just fine.
Wrapping it up
The above are just some of the things you can or cannot do while in Indonesia, though there are many others that you learn as you go on. Remember that many locals maintain their local traditions even with the growing modern generation growth in the urban areas. The laws are simple to adhere to, and by so doing, you will enjoy your visit even more.