Sunday, October 25, 2009

8 Travel Tips for Indonesia

One of the toughest things for me to figure out in Indonesia has been getting around. I think most foreigners are in the same boat, so here are some tips.

1) You know where you want to go but you don't know how much it's gonna cost, and while you're not tight up you hate being ripped off

Best thing to do is ask some friendly looking person nearby how much a taxi, becak or bajaj is likely to cost - you'll probably not pay the price locals do, but you won't be scalped too much either

2) You're coming out of an airport and you don't want to have to deal with the aggressive taxi middle men

Buy yourself some time by sticking headphones in your ears or putting a phone next to your ear - like all the soccer players do in front of journos

3) BlueBird (careful - many lookalikes in Jakarta!) Silverbird, Express are safe bets when it comes to taxis - but everyone knows that eh?

4) You find arrive in a place like Banda Aceh airport which doesn't have metered taxis, let alone reputable taxi firms like BlueBird or Express

Before you jump into the car, make sure you agree how much you'll pay for the trip

5) Make sure taxi meters are switched on when you jump into the taxi - if there's a meter

6) Don't quibble too much over a couple of bucks, you're a foreigner, you're gonna pay a premium, deal with it

7) Angkots, buses, trains, becaks and bajajs rule! The surprising thing is, that often public transportation in Indonesia ain't half bad, you just need a little local knowledge to figure it out

8) Wherever you are in Indonesia you'll find honest people eager to help, however broken your Indonesian is they'll set you on the right path if you only ask! You'll also find scheisters, but touch wood, I've haven't had a bad experience yet in Indonesia

Anyone have anything else to add?

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