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What to do and what not to do in Indonesia

Before leaving for your paradisiacal stay in Indonesia, it is strongly advised to know some of the local politeness formulas and behaviours tolerated and not tolerated.

What to do and what not to do in Indonesia - Indonesia

What has to be done

> A "sarung" must be worn in a Balinese temple as well as a veil and covering clothes in Muslim prayer places

> It is advisable to ask for permission before taking a picture because some beliefs suggest that the picture can capture the soul of the subject.

> It is good to leave a tip.

> Wear your swimsuit only at the pool or beach, but not during your cultural visits. It must not be seen.

What you should not do

> It is unworthy to show someone with the index finger, use a thumb instead.

> Do not use your left hand at the table because it is considered impure.

> This rule may seem surprising but it is forbidden to enter a temple during menstruation.n You will also need to take your shoes off and let them outside of the building.

> Even if you came in couple, know that showing affection is not well seen in Indonesia, even when it happens between a parent and his child. It is better to keep these behaviours for westernized places. 

> Do not touch the tops of children's heads, as this is the highest part of the head and therefore considered the purest.

> Under no circumstances should you get upset or show that you are angry at an Indonesian. Like many Asian cultures, it is hard to see someone "losing the face" as it is a sign of baseness of spirit and source of discomfort.

How to dress

Land of smile and good manners, knowing how to properly dress is part of these unavoidable things to know before your trip in Indonesia. Here are some of our tips: if you had a look at our guide on the history of the country, you won’t be surprised to learn that its population is in majority Muslim. Thus, it is recommended to cover yourself in order not to shock the locals, especially in Java and Sumatra, that are very conservative. For exemple, walking bare-chested in the city or with a visible swimsuit is to avoid. If the modesty of Indonesians will prevent them from telling you, be aware that there are high chances that they notice it. It is thus advised for women to cover their shoulders and thighs. Light clothing such as dresses are nevertheless tolerated in big cities but should not be worn in the countryside. Too visible jewelries should be avoided as well. Also, every friday, men have to wear the Balik shirt.

How to dress - Indonesia

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