Make sure that you don’t wear short pants, sleeveless shirts and T shirts in offices and classrooms. You are also not supposed to walk into these places in sandals, slippers or any type of “open” shoes. You should be barefoot when entering a mosque, as well.
If you get into situation of dealing with street merchants that start insisting on selling you products you don’t really need, feel free to reject their offers by saying tidak, meaning “no”, or to politely explain that you don’t need their products by saying saya tidak perlu.
Do’s and Don’ts in Indonesia: Women
In addition to these special requests, you should not forget some of the basic requirements if you are a woman in Indonesia.
You should take care of the clothes you wear in public. It is unacceptable for people there to see women walking around with their shirts without bras, etc. You should be wearing clothes that cover your shoulders and your breasts, and people there won’t feel offended.
Swimming clothes should be also covered by regular daily clothes. Yes, Indonesia is a beach paradise, but nobody in the town will be pleased to see half-naked tourists walking around.
In addition, be careful with late walking and driving home. Girls who are not accompanied by men after 10 pm may be the victims of robberies or sexual advances. That’s why you should walk in a group or at least with a male friend. Indonesia is crowded with nice people that will help you any time, but like in any other place in the world, there can be violent men or thieves.
Even though people of Indonesia pay special attention to their customs, tradition and cultural codes, you should not feel bad if you miss some of the details. Being friendly and open people, they will certainly try to nicely explain what you are doing wrong, in case you forget some of these recommendations. On the other hand, they will be really impressed if they realize that foreign people do their best to respect their ways of living.
As long as you are humble and stay away from problematic situations, you will remain safe. You should trust your intuition and try to get out of the situations which could possibly become dangerous for you. In the end, we will only tell you one more thing and it refers to basic words which make the planet go around. Terima kasih is the Indonesian phrase for “thank you”. Keep that in mind and enjoy your vacation! And respect the Do’s and Don’ts in Indonesia!