Like there is no tomorrow
Dance in waterfalls. Dance on the beach. Dance under the stars. Dance on the waves and in the jungle. Dance in Indonesia.
Common Information about Indonesia
Fall in love with Indonesia
More than 17,000 islands of which approximately 8000 are inhabited with 250 million people & over 300 languages are spoken.
One thing is for sure
No matter which small island you will end up on- you will fall in love with Indonesia, promise! Don’t get ‘Pusing banget!’ (means “very confused” translated in Indonesian Language) and learn more about this unique country.
Feel the rush of Adrenaline by riding (maybe your first) wave at famous surf spots in Indonesia. Check out the Indonesian Surf Guide!
Get goosebumps & enjoy stunning Massive Volcanoes with the sun rising on the horizon in the early hours of the morning.
OrangUtans & Dolphins
Feel the excitement of watching dolphins jumping out from the ocean in North Bali and orangutans swinging from tree to tree in the jungles of Sumatra and Kalimantan.
Stand speechless looking over vast lush Rice Terraces in Ubud that have such an intense green, you’ll think you have a filter over your eyes.
Meet the locals
Welcoming you with an open heart! Take your chance meeting the genuinely friendly and neighbourly locals and learn about their culture & traditions. Sneak a peak and Meet the locals!
Your palate may set on fire when ordering your first spicy local food. You will eat rice a lot but the varieties are endless. Enjoy delicious street food and eat like a local!
Have a great laugh when visiting a traditional Indonesian toilet for the first time, the second, or the third. It’s always an adventure!
you will have a lot of “first times”
…and make memories worth a lifetime. The rich diversity of just everything you could ever imagine, makes this country one of a kind.
What are you waiting for?
Find your magical place to stay and feel at home with HSH Stay. HSH Stay offers everything from Beach Huts, Homestays, Cottages, Bamboo Houses, Treehouses, Guesthouses (you name it!). Do you remember reading your guidebook and coming across those bungalow/beach cottage places? Yup, that’s it – That’s what HSH Stay offers.
Better to be safe than sorry!
Muslim Islands & Hindu Bali
Generally speaking, Indonesia is a safe place. But, as with any other country in the world, Indonesia is no exception to dodgy areas or crimes every now and again. Use your common sense! Look around you and adjust your behaviour or dressing habits. Sure, you should have fun and explore as much as possible, and especially Bali appears more “Westernized”, but remember: You are a guest in a developing country.
Your belongings will most likely be safe, yet, it is advisable to not keep money, electronics, etc. in obvious places.
Bringing too much money to the beach or other touristy places, might be an easy game for pickpockets. Bringing a copy of your passport is sufficient too.
Credit card fraud happens quite often in crowded tourist destinations. Make sure to hide your PIN number and check the machine for modifications.
Some touristy places are known for being pickpocket hotspots at night. A seemingly friendly chit chat on the sidewalk may leave you missing your phone and wallet. Save the drama & only bring essentials with you during a night out!
Use a helmet and never wear your valuables openly. Put your bag under the seat or in front of your legs. Robbery while driving is an issue. Especially women who drive alone at night are advised to cover up their party outfit with a sarong.
Sidewalks are either non-existent, poorly constructed and with holes or occupied with random stuff from shops. Pedestrian cross-overs exists, but are pretty much ignored. Therefore: Always watch your step and traffic carefully!
Don’t be scared. Don’t be sceptic towards the locals. Don’t be overly cautious. The facts mentioned above are merely information to keep in mind. Better to be safe than sorry!
Etiquette: do’s & don’ts
- Take off your shoes when entering somebody’s home.
- Receive and pass things with your right hand, the left hand is generally regarded as dirty.
- Shake hands when making a new acquaintance, for extra respect shortly touch your chest (where your heart is) after the handshake, just see what your opposite is doing and follow the example.
- Generally cover up and don’t use your shortest clothes when travelling around Indonesia, especially as a woman. This is to not offend and show respect to the locals (Bali is an exception to that).
- (In Bali:) Cover up when entering a temple. It is a must to wear a sarong and scarf around your waist for both, women and men.
- Address people formally, e.g.
Mr./ Mrs. = Pak/ Ibu (for elderly people, 40-50years +) and Mr. / Ms. =Mas/ M’bak (for young adults – 40yrs) to show your respect. If you don’t know their names, you can use Pak/Ibu or Mas/M’bak by itself for addressing someone. For instance: “Pak, how much is this?”
- (In Bali:) Visit a temple when you are on your period or with open wounds.
- Act disrespectfully in sacred places or even swear.
- Touch people’s heads, not even children’s.
- Point with your index finger on a person, or worse with your foot. For giving directions, use your entire hand.
30°C all year round
- Dry season: May – September (low humidity, fresh air)
- Wet season: October/ November – April (high humidity & stuffy air)
Rain in Bali
Don’t waste your time checking the weather forecast!
The weather can rapidly change from rain to sunshine and blue sky within a couple of hours. Even during wet season the weather is most of the time beautiful throughout the day, as it usually rains during the night.
Watch out for mosquitos
Not dangerous but quite nasty mosquitos are all over, especially in the rainy season. Make sure to write mosquito spray on your packing list for Indonesia.
Traffic in Indonesia is crazy
Don’t worry – we got you. Wherever you want to go, to the moon, to the stars, and back. We take you with our personalised options, reliable drivers and fixed prices. Made by the locals!
Transportation in Indonesia can be a hassle. Driving yourself is simply scary. Don’t worry, we drum up the best drivers to show you an amazing experience and the beauty behind this unique country. And who knows better about the place than the locals? Get your driver today with HSH Ride.
**Note: HSH Transport is only applies on Bali. Lombok & Sumbawa are coming soon!
Relax on the back seat and look out the window. Explore the beauty of the country & Enjoy some artistic transport – made by the locals.
Looking after yourself.
Methanol poisoning is a huge issue and is not to be underestimated as it can end deadly. The most common cause in Indonesia is home-brewed alcohol, or more specifically “Arak” – a coconut spirit – that has not been distilled correctly. Avoid free flow beverages and mixer drinks in dodgy places. Know what you are drinking!
Bali belly is a common stomach sickness caused by drinking tap water and/or lack of food hygiene. To avoid it, only drink bottled water, wash your hands regularly, and eat in hygienic places.
No, you can’t drink tap water in Indonesia. Stick to bottled water or make sure to boil the tap water 5 minutes before using it for cooking. And even better: Bring a steel bottle and fill up your water at restaurants and stores. This is a cheaper option and good for the environment.
Riding the waves, exploring the ocean, high-fiving some beautiful fish– We feel alive more than ever! Until an unexpected wave throws you into a 15 meter high reef. When playing with nature, we never know what could happen next, no matter how careful we are, cuts happen and wounds occur! But why do they heal slower in Indonesia than anywhere else?
Yes, definitely don’t miss out to eat local food in Indonesia! Just use your common sense when choosing a place and watch out for decent hygiene standards. On the other side: If it’s fried, it’s dead anyway. Check out HSH Stay Street food Tips – Eat like a local!
The sun is very strong in Indonesia. Even when it is cloudy, your skin is likely to get sunburned. Use sun block regularly and avoid the direct sun from 11am – 2pm.
- Water: You might already know you cannot drink the tab water. We also advise you to not brush your teeth with it due to bacteria and heavy metal.
- Refill Water: Keep it green and refill your water bottle!
- Ice cubes: It’s a lot of effort to produce ice cubes (freezer, energy, time). Most locals buy it from authorized stores. Enjoy a cool drink & cool off!
Besides the standard vaccinations like Tetanus and MMR there are a few more vaccinations for Asia and tropical countries recommended by doctors to keep you save and healthy during your holiday.
- Hepatitis A
Free 30 day Visa on arrival*
*Free entry VISA (tourist)
This Visa is valid for 30 days and is not extendable, valid for 169 nations (check with your embassy). That means once you have entered the country, you HAVE TO LEAVE after 30 days. NOTE: The day you land is counted as Day 1. Make sure you calculate your days correctly, to avoid over-stay fines!
VISA ON ARRIVAL (TOURIST)
This visa is valid for 30 days and extendable once for another 30 days. In total you will get to spend 60 days without having to leave the country. The fee is USD 35 and it is available at the airport before going through the immigration counters. (Valid for 69 nations. Check with your embassy).
All tourist Visas in Indonesia are solemnly for the purpose of travelling! You are not permitted to work during your stay. If you violate your visa, deportation and high fees will be issued against you! Otherwise, you can apply for this Visa as many times as you want, but you will have to leave the country after expiration of your Visa.
What can I bring?
- 1 litre of booze. Tip: If you like to have a drink, bring a bottle form the Duty Free Shop. Taxes for liquor in Indonesia are at 150% of its market price! This will save you some money!
- 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco. Tip: Don’t waste your money, bringing stocks of cigarettes from your country. A pack of cigarettes is as cheap as USD 1.50 in Indonesia.
- A reasonable amount of perfume, which is obviously not intended for reselling.
You will be a millionaire!
|USD 1 = IDR 13’500||IDR 1’000’000 = USD 75|
|AUS 1 = IDR 10’000||IDR 1’000’000 = USD 75|
|EUR 1 = IDR 15’000||IDR 1’000’000 = EUR 67|
(*check daily exchange rate for exact rates)
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.
BALI IS DIFFERENT.
The majority of the population in Bali practices a very unique form of Hinduism. Don’t confuse it with Buddhism, as Hindus have a long list of gods they worship. That’s why Bali is also called the Island of Gods and 10,000 temples. Read more about Black Magic, Rituals, & Ghosts. Have you ever heard of The Stabbing Ceremony?
Wild mix of religions & cultures
Although there is a wild mix of religions, distinct cultures, and traditions all across Indonesia’s archipelago, all the people have something in common: They respect each others beliefs and practices. Though the world is full of clichés, so is Indonesia – Read more about these habits and what’s behind them!
You will see that most Indonesian citizens are very religious. Muslims in Sumatra for instance will go praying five times a day. Locals in Bali will put their offerings several times a day and always have a ceremony in their community to attend. Am I risking becoming possessed when stepping on an offering?
Look after the environment
It might sound quite obvious
To not throw any garbage into the ocean or leave rubbish at the beach. It is not a secret that Indonesia has a huge problem with pollution and garbage. Global warming isn’t a joke and we are simply all part of the game.
Taking your rubbish is just the beginning
Indonesia is a second world country– things aren’t working the way they work in other countries. Garbage disposal isn’t as easy, and depending on the area, not organized yet. Growing tourism is great as it is supporting the economy and helping the people. But what about the growing garbage? Instead of blaming the stupidity (which is more a lack of education) start thinking how to produce less garbage. The world won’t be a better place tomorrow, but awareness is a start.
Take pictures and leave footprints.
Malaria cases have been reported in rural areas of Indonesia. Bali, however, is a Malaria-free zone. Consult your doctor for more information.
Dengue fever is quite common all over Indonesia, specially during wet season. Consult your doctor for more information.
HOW TO AVOID BEING BITTEN BY A MOSQUITO?
- Cover up! Use long sleeves and trousers.
- Use Mosquito repellent
- Avoid dark colours and strong smells. Mosquitos like it!
Sleeping with Mosquitos?
When the AC is turned on it is usually too cold for mosquitos. When the fan is on, the mosquito doesn’t have a chance to land. When the light is turned on, keep the doors closed. To be 100 % safe, stay in a place with mosquito nets. HSH Stay offers a unique filter function. You can filter by several features, also by mosquito nets.
Know your way around.
Should i Bargain?
Yes! Be it with flying vendors, souvenir shops, surfboard and sun bed rentals at the beach or transportation. Bargain, bargain bargain! Know the math, but don’t be disrespectful, as you and the seller both want something. Getting annoyed? Just walk away! 5 Tips hot to bargain the right way.
What to do when the Police pulls me over?
Especially while using a scooter, the police might pull you over. You will see quickly, if it is a general raid, or whether a corrupt policeman exactly eyeballed you as a foreigner. If you followed the traffic rules, simply stay cool, show your international driver’s license and be friendly. If the policeman is asking for money although you didn’t do anything, call the tourist police or shake him off with IDR 50,000 and say that this is all you have. The advanced drivers simply don’t stop. It may sound scary, but the police will not follow you.
Things you shouldn’t forget.
Indonesia has tropical weather where the sun is bright and the humidity level quite high. Bottom line, you are always going to be hot and sweaty – Don’t pack too much, you’ll only need shorts and shirts. Laundry prices here are ridiculously cheap – for less than a dollar you can get your clothes washed. You can also buy most of the things. Here a few essentials that are hard to get and you should not forget.
Documents & Cards
Keep a copy of all those documents online!
- Money for visa on arrival (Details about the visa)
- Insurance papers
- Flight tickets
- International drivers license
- Credit card / debit card (most common Visa & Master Card)
- For Her: Tampons (Only some special supermarkets like Papaya, Pepito, and Circle K sell tampons, but they are ridiculously expensive.)
- Sunscreen (Also sunscreen is rather expensive!)
- After sun lotion
- First Aid Kit & Antiseptics for cuts (The reasons why cuts in Bali heal slower)
Find more essentials in the ultimate HSH Stay Packing List.
- Weird sounds in the air: You might wonder what it is: It is a GECKO!
- (Street) Dogs: they are mostly harmless and peaceful. When barking they want to protect the local homes, but normally they don’t do anything.
- Monkeys: Have you ever seen in a monkey in wildlife? Yes, they look so cute when they are jumping around or cuddle each other. But watch out: Make sure to put sunglasses, hats, food, etc. in your backpack to not get it stolen. Attacks are rare, but it happens. So stay in distance.
- Chicken/Rooster: ‘COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOO’ That sound is definitely part of nature in Indonesia.
Language: Bahasa Indonesia
Even though English is widely spoken, specially in touristy areas you can get an extra smile when speaking a couple words of their language. Bahasa Indonesia is the main language everybody speaks while every island (even regions) speak their own dialect. Especially in tourist areas such as on Bali, the locals mostly speak & understand English. Learn your first words with HSH Stay Flash Cards and why not try out an authentic Introduction Language Lesson?
Indonesia loves Kids!
Indonesia has a strong and loving family culture. Kids are always welcome and well taken care of, however, there may be some circumstances or safety issues which you might want to be prepared for with your kids– especially a toddler or an infant.
The traffic is crazy and sidewalks are either non-existent, poorly constructed, or strewn with potholes. Therefore: Using a stroller will be not very convenient. It may be better to carry your baby or walk with your kids by the hand. Always watch your step!
A lot of drivers may not have car seats for your kids or working seatbelts. Save the hassle and worry by booking a reliable and certified driver through HSH Ride. HSH Ride offers children seats. Talk to us today!
The Indonesian cuisine is spicy and can be hard to handle for those who are not used to it, especially the Street Food. Baby food is available in selected Supermarkets and convenience stores, but to be on the safe side, bring your own. Also always use bottled water only.
Sunscreen is rather expensive and special sun block for kids is mostly not available. Bring your own. Sunscreen isn’t the only thing you shouldn’t forget while packing. Check out the ultimate HSH Stay Packing List.
But don’t worry too much
Although these are some facts you should keep in mind, remember that Indonesian families deal with this on a daily basis and all of them survive! HSH Stay offers accommodation for everybody. With the HSH Stay filter option you can chose Family Rooms with all comfort you desire.
The sky isn't the limit.
Everything is possible in Indonesia.
The traffic is crazy and sidewalks are either non-existent, poorly constructed and with holes. Therefore: If you have difficulties with walking or use a wheelchair, it will be no easy trip. You need a ride? HSH Ride will offer you personalised transportation. Simply contact HSH-Team!
Disability friendly Accommodation
HSH Stay is happy to help you find accommodation that meets your wishes, needs, and requirements. Simply contact us directly. The HSH Stay team got you.
Bring your best friend
Bringing your pet along with you on your vacation is a big hassle and requires extensive preparation of paperwork, vaccinations, and includes a short quarantine time in Indonesia. Various areas are also restricted due to rabies. The best is to bring your cutie to a neighbour or family member.
The best isn’t the best for you?
Nothing is impossible in Indonesia. You can bring your pet. All information about what the hassle is and what you have to expect is listed here.
Pet friendly accommodation
Indonesians love animals. When sending your booking request please leave a note you are bringing an animal. The HSH Stay team will double check with your place.
Sweet Dreams with HSH Stay
Hotels are nice. They have everything you need. Villas are nicer, they are full of luxury and make you feel like a king. But, Homestays are magical!
They make you feel alive! HSH Stay opens the doors to accommodation like bungalows, homestays, guesthouses, beach huts, cottages,… (What are those places like?) By booking with HSH Stay you get low prices for an amazing service, you can stay in million star hotels (What about a place above cliffs?) and you support the locals (Read more about no fees). HSH Stay opens doors to amazing views and comfy unique places!
Clichés about Indonesia
The world is full of clichés and stereotypes! Although some of them are true, in general they should not be taken too seriously. Don’t judge by your first impressions; simply think twice when observing the fascinating cultures all over Indonesia!
All live under one roof
The first cliché that is also quite true is that Indonesians hold on to family. In the western world we become ‘free’ at the age of 18. In Indonesia you stay with your family until you get married.
Even after marriage it is not unusual to stay with the family – You don’t marry a single person – you get married to a family! It is absolutely clear that your parents take care of you when you are a child and in return, you give them back the same once they get old – on and on! Have you ever seen a retirement house in Indonesia? That’s because family stays together from birth to death through all generations. Want to learn more?
They are always happy...
…smiling and a bit naive.
Bali, also known as the Islands of Gods is Hindu. People believe in karma and therefore, they are very caring and giving. Also being open-minded and welcoming everybody with a ‘Hi, how are you?’ does not mean they want to hit on you or sell you something (well, yes sometimes this is the purpose!) – most of the time they are just kind. ‘Terima kasih’ (thank you in Indonesian) means literary ‘receive love’. This already explains a lot!
Eating with hands
Different countries – different eating habits. Chinese prefer chopsticks, western countries use a knife and a fork, and Indonesians use the right hand.
Back in the old days the left hand was used for the ‘toilet stuff’. Using the fingers enhances the food experience! It isn’t dirty, it is super fun and easy: Try it! How to do it? By pinch all your five fingers together, and use it like a clamp for the food, bring them close to your mouth and, ta-da you eat like local now.
They eat rice, and only rice!
Well, that’s true. They only eat ‘nasi’ (= rice) all day long. No meal works without rice.
Though, rice isn’t only for the poor, they are in love with rice! It is cheap, it is growing everywhere and it always has been there for everybody. It is filling you up and has good carbs and it simply tastes good with everything: Sweet & savoury.
Did you know Indonesia has the world largest rice consumption with 140 kg of rice per person per year according to Indonesia Investments?
They love sitting on the floor
Not because they cannot afford tables and chairs. One reason is the temperature – If it is hot outside it is very refreshing to sit down on the ceramic floor and cool down.
Sitting on the floor also becomes a thing when you are invited to a family celebration: Just spread the rug, put the snack or drinks in the middle and let the crowd make a circle. In this way, none will feel excluded and everybody will have an equal position to one another. Also if there is an issue, which needs to be discussed, they use the principle called ‘musyawarah’, which means going through the problem without emotion while sitting on the floor.
Every time is an adventure
Flushing with water from a bucket, using a butt shower instead of toilet paper (because there simply is none!) and managing all of that while squatting, trying not to mark your own leg – Welcome to Indonesia!
But after you get used to it, it all makes sense! Did you know that sitting in a squat is healthy for your back? Also the bucket aka toilet flush can be used as a shower – 2 in 1! Water pressure very often is an issue in Indonesia. Instead of washing your shampoo off with a couple of water drops, a bucket shower is actually really refreshing and helps to use the water wisely. Even though Indonesia is surrounded by water, the water system isn’t as developed as in the west. Holy science!
Toilets in HSH Stay places
Don’t worry. Every place listed on HSH Stay in Bali has a western toilet. Some on the other islands have Indonesian toilets. The listings are clearly marked – so you won’t have a surprise.
The role of the woman
The role of the woman
Women in Bali are not only taking care of the household and the children – they are true all-rounders: They work hard, take care of the ceremony preparation and take on all the responsibility. The chances for job possibilities are very equal for men and women in Bali. There is no such rule that says that women have to stay at home and maintain the household.
Everything is slow and people are lazy.
Things on an island aren’t as quick as in vibrant cities. So this isn’t just a Bali thing, it’s an island thing! Of course people at the beach are relaxed- the tourists as well as the locals. Once you go into a city like Denpasar, though, you will see the stress similar to other busy cities. It is not just all about relaxing and doing nothing – It’s the opposite. In fact, most companies have a six-day working week, or even seven!