Tips for Experiencing Indonesia?
Going to be heading to Indonesia for about 3 weeks in late August/Early September (I know I'm planning this way in advance, but its exciting!). I'd be interested in any advice people have, first for travel during Ramadan (I might catch the end of it) and second just for any must see things or ideas that are more off the beaten path. Any advice, suggestions, or experiences would be greatly appreciated.
P.s. It doesn't have to be photo related I'm just looking for other people's ideas and experiences on the best way to experience the country.
Thanks in Advance,
Re: Tips for Experiencing Indonesia?
Hi Chris ...
I've been migrating between the US and Jakarta now for about a year. Sadly I've not had time for a lot of travel outside the city, but there are some great areas for intraday, day travel and weekend travel.
For street and people photography, my experience has been amazing. The folks here love to have their pictures taken. Your biggest challenge will be taking their photograph before they notice. 99 time out of 100, they will smile, or wave or give a thumbs up. Not what I was looking for but with digital, I simply take the photo and thank them.
The city is generally safe and the "mouse streets" (small streets that weave back and forth), Paso Barro (sp?) and other shopping areas are rich with opportunity. Ask the hotel where you're staying where the tropical fish markets are. There are a few of them and they too are fun to visit and photograph in.
On the day trip venue, the city of Bandung has great factory outlets (not the same as in the US as the factory really is in that town!) which will keep anyone with a shopping bug happy. Not to far from there is an active volcano that you can drive up to.
Weekend travel, fly to Java -- I'm told you have to do it. I've not yet, but I'm in the minority.
Be aware of the humidity and the rain. I always carry a shopping back to put over the camera when I'm shooting. Indonesians are friendly and many speak at least a bit of English. You'll find that life moves a bit slower here (except traffic, which doesn't move much at all ). You can always tell the visitors as they are the ones walking quickly in the heat to get somewhere. The rest of us just kind of head to where we want to go and we get there eventually -- and a lot cooler for the travel!
One thought on travel around town. Taxis are the medium that I use most of the time, though I will let a car and driver for a half day or day when I'm out and around and away from Mega Kunigan (the area I haunt most). It's not very expensive and there are areas of town (like Paso Barro that a cab is not easy to find once they've dropped you off. I was able to let a car and driver for the full day (to and from Bandung) for around $60-70 USD.
One more travel tip. You may know this, but if you're from the US or other country that is eligible for "Visa on Arival", you'll need $25 USD to enter the country at the airport. No one told me and it was a bit of a rude surprise.
If you have a contact in country that can show you around, all the better!
That's about all that I can think of right now... somewhat of a brain dump, ehh ? Just don't forget to enjoy yourself. Take it easy until you acclimate and take the heat/humidity seriously. Enjoy your trip!
Re: Tips for Experiencing Indonesia?
Ramadan..respect the local culture. Do not flauntingly eat and smoke in people's faces. You should have no issues.
Java, yes. But Indonesia has many thousands of islands! My advice is to get away from the big cities.
Friendliest and most welcoming people you shall meet. That is Indonesia.
You could spend a major part of Ramadan in Bali..the population there is
very much less conservative.
I have not been to Indonesia during Ramadan.
Distances by bus can be long and tiring.
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