Safe Travel Tips in Indonesia

  • Government warnings will places like nightclubs, hotels and bars where Westerners are likely to gather as the most dangerous places in Indonesia. Although many tourists find these places attractive and in some cases are the real reason for visiting Indonesia in the first place, it is wise to eliminate them from your itinerary and stay in alternative accommodation. You will also be better served by visiting restaurants but the locals use. The side benefits from this will mean that you will be getting closer to the local population which will enhance your tourist experience anyway.
  • Stay off the streets whenever demonstrations or political gatherings occur. This is just a simple commonsense but you should be alert to any local media warnings about these events so you can steer clear.
  • When you are out and about, make sure you only take the bare minimum with you. Banks matching and petty crime on the streets can be quite common in many major cities in Indonesia and it is just not worth the risk. Avoid wearing expensive jewellery or clothing so as not to draw attention to yourself. Take the minimum amount of cash you need and store it in a money belt under your clothing making sure that it is not discernible through your clothes.
  • If you decide to drive, be aware that local traffic rules will bear no resemblance to those at home. It is quite common to see dangerous driving manoeuvres even in the heaviest traffic. Many drivers do not use headlights until it is completely dark for example and many cyclists do not wear helmets. There have been several reports where foreigners are blamed for accidents despite their innocence and subsequently find themselves in precarious legal positions.