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How to prepare for traveling to Indonesia's remote places

Forget about business class, luxury hotels, cash machines and convenience stores, some of those sites don't even have electricity and paved roads.

A little extra preparation is the key to a successful adventure. The Jakarta Post Travel offers these helpful tips to improve your trip.

Be alert

As a rule of thumb, stay alert when you travel to strange places. Be aware that traveling to remote areas in Indonesia might expose travelers to certain risks. Robbery and pickpocketing are common crimes in Indonesia, particularly on public transportation, traditional markets and anywhere crowded.

So, never leave your belongings unattended. Avoid wearing glittery jewelry and an expensive watch on public transportation. It is also wise to keep your fancy smartphones and DSLR camera inside your bag when you are walking in public places.

Talking to local people can benefit you, as they can share the dos and don’ts of local etiquette, things that you will not find on Google or in a tourism brochure.

Pack, pack and pack

When traveling to remote places, pack light and take a backpack or carrier. Wheeled luggage can slow down your trip. If the trip includes exploring Borneo's lush tropical forest or scaling Rinjani's peak, a good pair of hiking boots is a good choice to keep your feet comfortable and dry.

The rainy season, which usually falls between November and March, can harm your belongings. Bring dry bags, and remember to cover your backpack with a rain cover.

If a decent hotel and laundry service will be out of your reach, a packet of powder detergent and elastic clothesline may come in handy. Quick-dry clothes and quick-absorb travel towels will prevent the tropics from keeping you permanently damp. Also, a sarong or pashmina is light and incredibly versatile, useful as a skirt, blanket or head cover.

Money matters

Money changers are widely available across Indonesia, but in remote villages finding a place to withdraw or change money (especially for currencies other than US dollar) can be a major headache.

Therefore, it is better to load up on rupiah before heading to Indonesia's outer islands. Cash machines for international banks such as Citibank, HSBC and CIMB are commonly available in major cities and tourist destinations, but only limited local bank ATMs can be found in rural areas.

Don't count on being able to use your credit card when traveling to the country's remote villages.

Stay healthy

Even the best trip will not mean much if you are sick. There are some health considerations that you must look at ahead of your trip.

Food hygiene can be an issue when you are eating at street vendors. Lack of clean water and sanitation resources in remote villages can also lead to poor food hygiene. To prevent diarrhea, take immodium tablets or other like medicine with you. Keeping oral re-hydration packets in your bag is also a good idea.

Getting vaccinated for hepatitis A and typhoid before you reach Indonesia is a wise precaution. Various species of mosquitoes thrive in the tropics. In Indonesia, Dengue fever is a threat anywhere and Malaria still exists in several rural areas in Sumatra, Borneo, East Lombok and other eastern parts of the country. Malaria prophylaxis should be taken prior, during and after traveling to Malaria-risk zone to boost the immune system.

The best defense against Dengue and malaria, however, is long clothing and insect repellant. A mosquito net also helps.

Read also:

Diving for dummies: Things to know before plunging into Bali’s undersea world

5 tips for a great family road trip

Bali with no reservation



Share your thoughts about our article

  • Marouen Guebila 2 yearss ago

    Definitely load yourself with rupiahs! When I came to Raja Ampat I only brought $100 and unlike my prediction, everything was so expensive! Lucky my friend brought more so I survived. But if you're going all by yourself, make sure you're fully prepped when visiting remote places in Indonesia.

  • Theresa Burkard 2 yearss ago

    I wished I read this article before going to any remote places in Indonesia. I'm really agree with the last point: stay healthy! Avoid weird foods, it may cause you stomachache for god knows how long. And your holiday will surely be awful.

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