It is always nice to learn a few customs of the area when visiting a different country, here are some do’s and don’ts for an enjoyable trip:


-  Use your right hand when eating, accepting or giving anything
-  If offering anything to someone do it more than once if they refuse
-  Try eating traditionally and sit on the floor
-  Try wearing a sarong (both men and women)


-   Touch someone’s head even if you are trying to be friendly or joking
-  Point your feet at things, please use your hands instead

Cell Phones

Cell phones in Indonesia operate on the GSM network. If you have brought you cellular handset you can purchase prepaid calling cards to make outgoing calls at a lower rate than calling on your home SIM. Shops which sell these cards are prolific, the major service providers are: Telkomsel, Satelindo and XL Rite so look for signs and banners with those markings.

Health and Medical Information

Most hotels have on call doctors. For the condition commonly known as Bali Belly, Lomotil and Imodium eliminate symptoms but not infections, to ensure you have a wonderful holiday we recommend that you bring this medication with you. A fever along with the symptoms requires doctor prescribed antibiotics, drink as much liquid as possible and for discomfort and cramping drink strong, hot tea.

To avoid Bali Belly peel fruit before you eat it, avoid raw vegetables and drink only bottled water. Ice in restaurants can be safe but you should always ask first. Always protect yourself from the intense equatorial sun, be sure to use sun-block and a hat.

Sexually transmitted diseases are increasing in Indonesia; local sex workers have partners from all over the world. If you choose to partake in these activities always act responsibly and use a condom, available over the counter at pharmacies. Drugs and child pornography or abuse are illegal and, as in other countries, you will be subject to prosecution and punishment under the law of that country.

Money and Local Currencies

When changing money there are many money changers in Lombok, the best rates are usually in Senggigi. Money changers prefer new, clean, large bills but will accept smaller denominations at a lower rate. If you have traveler’s cheques the rate will be less than bank notes. Be sure to count your money before you leave the money changers, you can also check local banks but the rate is slightly lower than outside.

Re-counting the money in front of the money changer is a must and is not considered offensive. A suggestion when changing money: If you plan on making small purchases be sure to carry small denominations with you because many sellers do not have change. The Rupiah comes in denominations of 100000, 50000, 10000, 5000, 1000, 500 and 100, remember to carefully check the number of zeros on the notes when making purchases.

Business Hours

Indonesians work in the morning to avoid the heat of the day so if you need to visit a government office arrive between 0800 and 1130. This can also apply to banks and private businesses. Government offices close early on Fridays and Saturdays but generally offices are open 0730-1500 Monday-Thursday and 0700-1200 on Fridays. (Banks are closed on Saturday and Sunday)

Things to take back home

Wanting to take something back from Lombok? Lombok has great woven textiles like songkets and ikats that can be used as a sarong, wall hanging, table cloth or beautiful gift. The design woven is special to each weaver and it is passed down through the generations. There is a traditional hand weaving village in Puyung, central Lombok where you can even try on a traditional Sasak costume. Banyumulek (West Lombok), Penujak (Central Lombok) and Masbagik (East Lombok) are famous villages in Lombok for making pottery; Lombok pottery has gained popularity and is shipped throughout the world.

There is a wide range of selections that can be custom made to your liking. There are many traditional handicrafts you could take back as a souvenir eg: wooden masks, baskets made out of ketak grass, wooden boxes designed with shells and items made from bamboo or rattan. Don’t forget to check the quarantine regulations in your country.

Information courtesy of Lombok Network

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