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Do and Don’ts


  • Always have some Rupiahs in your wallet as some Indonesian shops and restaurants only accept cash
  • Remember to bargain whenever you are buying things at sidewalk shops
  • Take care of your valuable belongings at all times
  • Smile, smiling is a cultural tradition so smile a lot
  • Take off your shoes before entering a house or a place of worship
  • Wear light clothing or short-sleeve shirts as the temperature is normally warm to hot
  • Try to practice your Bahasa with Indonesians, they will certainly appreciate your efforts
  • Experience the Indonesian culinary delights in established (i.e. cleaner) restaurants or cafes


  • Don’t ever drink water straight from the tap, regardless of what the hotel tells you
  • Don’t offer alcoholic beverages to Muslim Indonesians
  • Don’t pay brand-name price without looking closely if you really are getting a brand-name product
  • Don’t use your left hand in handshaking, handing over or receiving something to / from an Indonesian
  • Don’t touch a person’s head as it is considered an offensive gesture
  • Offer gifts made out of pork to Muslim Indonesians
  • Kiss or hug a person of the opposite sex in public
  • Eat or drink in public during the month of Ramadan

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