The Indonesian Archipelago offers a lot when it comes to Cruising remote Islands: Worldclass Scuba Diving in Komodo, breathtaking landscapes of Raja Ampat and pristine white sand beaches in South Lomboks’ Gilis – to just name a few. Sometimes, authentic experiences such as visiting a small local village make the trip all so worthwhile and special!
So if you are heading off to Indonesia anytime soon and thinking of Cruising remote Islands and visiting a village, fret not! Here are the things you can do when you’re off to visit a village to make it a lot easier and fun for you while showing respect to the locals during your visit.
Learn a few useful phrases in Bahasa Indonesia
Much so if you are Cruising remote Islands in Indonesia, you can expect that locals will only be able to speak in their local native tongue and some Bahasa Indonesia, Indonesias’ offical language.So if you are planning to go to an remote Indonesian village, it is best if you learn a few useful and basic phrases in Bahasa – Indonesia’s official language. Here are a few samples to get you started:
- Good morning/afternoon/evening = Selamat pagi/siang/sore
- Thank you = Terima kasih
- Excuse me = permisi
Interact with the locals while on Indonesian remote Islands – especially the kids!
Indonesians are a friendly bunch or people and so are the kids. Depending on how often tourists visit the island, they might appear shy and timid at first but are a very easy to warm up to friendly tourists. In some places you will be awaited by enthusiastically arm waving crows of kids on the local habour jetty…Try to mingle with them, do “selfie” and make faces as you do. Show them that you are a fun-loving person and no different than they are. It is a sure-fire way to make them feel at ease and comfortable having you around. In exchange, they can show you around their favorite places to hang out or you can try learning a few useful words to communicate while in the village! Pens and hairbands for girls are great giveaways for kids – money is not.
Dress conservatively when walking around the village
Indonesia is a warm country, so it is only natural for visitors to dress light. However, as much as you crave comfort (and fashion) when traveling, it is also equally important to show respect to the country you are visiting to avoid any unpleasant experiences for either side. Indonesia is a Muslimic country. Even if many of the places are a relatively “laid back” when it comes to dress codes. It is best to put on clothing not baring too much flesh. Reserve your bikinis and super short shorts for your time on board and dress conservatively while going around the village. You will find knee-length trousers and t-shirts made with pure cotton fabrics offer as much comfort even on a hot, sunny day! Bytheway, walking around all day long in a sleeping Pjama is totally accepted.
Avoid culturally DONTS in Indonesia
In Indonesia, as is many cultures, there are a few things to avoid, as they are considered rude, especially:
- Pointing your bare feet at people
- Touching peoples’ heads
- Giving and receiving things (especially food) with your left hand
- Don’t be to imitated by cultural differences
- On the other hand, you may experience behaviour from side of the locals, which would be rude in your country.
- Staring – In Indonesia, it is not considered impolite to stare. The fewer foreigners in the area, the more stares you will receive. Don’t take it personal rather enjoy being the centre of attention.
- It is not uncommon for people to yell out “Hey Bule” (Bule = pale/white) when they see you. The best response is just to smile and nod your head! Most foreigners are also familiar with the common variation of “Hey Bule”, which is “Hey Mister”. Yes all foreigners are men.
- Privacy – its not uncommon to be followed by a crowd of locals wherever you go. Often locals are proud to show you around the village and often enjoy the unexpected entertainment though foreign visitors.
Be a role model by taking your trash with you
Plastic pollution is a real problem in the Island world of Indonesia. Be a role model to the locals when Cruising remote Islands by taking your trash with you and encouraging fellow traveler to do the same. The good news is, mind-sets are changing and various NGOs throughout the Archipelago are educating for a cleaner Indonesian Ocean. Follow & Support Oceans.Care and the SEA VENTURE TRUST for just 2 great indicatives for a better environmental future in Indonesia.