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In this section you will find useful tips to Indonesia Customs and Etiquette. We hope that it will help you to understand how to do the right things and principles of the customs and etiquette of Indonesian society.

Indonesians are, generally speaking, courteous, soft-spoken and conservative in dress and behaviors. Don't raise your voice or be confrontational someone in public is a grave insult. As with other Asian countries, a personal appearance is very important. In Moslem society, the left hand is considered unclean, so be careful to receive and present things with your right hand, especially food. Pork and alcohol are also unwelcome, and be sure not to point the soles of your feet at someone or pat people on the head or back this is considered impolite, if not offensive.

Bargain Food and Table Manners


Most restaurants in Indonesia will add a 5,5 - 10 % service charge and 10% tax to the bill. If you are impressed by the service leave an extra tip, waiters and waitresses don't earns much and will really appreciate it. For porters in hotels and airports, Rp 1,000 per article of luggage is usually sufficient for 'short hauls', extra if you are feeling generous. In taxis, round the fare up the nearest Rp 1,000, if you don't, the driver will. You can give an extra tip if you want, and it will be appreciated.


It is normal in Indonesia to bargain about what you want to buy but many tourist shops now have fixed prices. So bargain (but please don't take it too seriously, as seen too often) because the people are use to this kind of selling and buying and if you're not interested just say it and don't start bargaining and at the end say no. Starting to bargain means you are interested and you want to make a deal. Don't have you day ruined for a matter of Rp.500-1000 shouting after the locals saying they are all thieves (this too is being seen too often!)

Food and Table Manners


Indonesian People show respect by dressing neatly and modestly.  It has a humid climate and it is best to bring along all-cotton sundresses and short sleeve shirts. Very informal dress such as loose shorts and halter-tops are not considered proper and could be seen in certain situations as an insult to those you meet and Indonesia. . A jacket and tie are required for formal occasions and when making official calls. For travel to mountain areas, a light sweater or jacket is recommended. Local traditions in Indonesia encourages visitors to take off the shoes before going into a house. For formal occasions, mean usually wear batik or ikat shirts and dark trousers while for women usually opt for modest dresses. Pay attention when entering a temple in Bali. It is suggested that guest wear pakaian adat- the full native dress of a kain, kebaya and sash for the women and a kain, saput (overskirt), niche shirt and sash for the men.

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