The Do’s and Don’ts While Traveling in Jakarta


  • Travel like a local

Friendliness is a defining characteristic of Indonesians, it means you have to start it with a smile.
You also have to try traditional Indonesian foods like nasi goreng (fried rice), satay (skewered grilled meat served with peanut sauce, gado-gado (Indonesian vegetable salad with peanut dressing), and many more. You can find the lists of Top 10 Must Try Indonesian Traditional Street Food in Jakarta here.
  • Always ask about the price

Sometimes when you look significantly different from Indonesian, people will try to scam you and jack up the price. So please don’t forget to ask “how much” or “berapa” in Indonesian language, before you buy something in traditional market or even if you want to explore Jakarta with traditional transportation like angkot (a communal car).
  • Use the magic words

Lets learn Bahasa Indonesia!
  Excuse me = permisi
  Please = tolong
  Sorry = maaf
  Thank you = terima kasih
  How much = berapa
  • Read up on local conventions and dress appropriately

In Jakarta modesty is more important than personal comfort. We recommend you to use 3/4 pants or long pants and sleeve shirt/tops, especially for women.
  • Right is always right

Use your right hand when eating, gifting, or receiving a gift. Also do handshake with your right hand to greet someone.



  • Don’t drink from the tap

Even when you’re in the fanciest restaurant or hotel, avoid it! This rule basically applies throughout almost all over Indonesia.
  • NO PDA with your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife in public.

Indonesia is a Muslim country, so any kind of PDA except holding hands might be attracting unwanted attraction.
  • Don’t expect to get things done at a normal speed

Plan your time wisely, the traffic jam in Jakarta can be really bad.
  • Don’t make yourself a target for pickpockets

Don’t put your valuables in the right place! Hide your money and travel documents in several different places, not all in one stash.