What to take before coming to Indonesia

It’s my recommendations what to take before coming to Indonesia. Mostly this information useful for Darmasiswa scholarship students but as well some parts for those who are planning to come to Indonesia longer than for 1 month or just for short period.
It’s just advices, nothing is mandatory. Only you know what you can need during living abroad.


Don’t take too much clothes, in Indonesia you can find second hand shops, other cheap clothes shops as well very known brands. Also don’t take clothes that are expensive, have some meaning for you, a lot of white ones and etc. like in laundry sometimes soon those clothes will change color,  white will become grey, can be damaged or lost. With the shoes the same – during rainy season will be very humid, so your shoes can be damaged by mushrooms.

In Indonesia, people are more discreet than in Europe or other countries. Usually girls wear a T-shirt, rarely a low-cut or a sleeveless T-shirt. Nobody will criticize you because of your clothes, nobody will do or but don’t feel harassed when you get stares. In most universities it’s forbidden to come with the flip-flops (called sandals in Indonesia). At university or any institution, public or religious building, proper clothes are a must
Large sized men and women may not easily find ready-to-wear clothing to fit them. However tailors and seamstresses can easily make custom clothing to fit any size individual. Large shoe sizes are also not available, the exception being sports shoes at the factory outlet stores. Indonesia generally uses the European shoe size system, making up to size 38.

My suggested list for girls:

  • T-shirts (that covers shoulders, with straps, long ones)
  • Shorts (till knees, short ones)
  • Skirts (till knees or long ones)
  • Dress (casual till knees, nice one till knees to wear in official ceremonies for example weddings if you will be invited, meeting with important community people and etc.)
  • Pans (for trekking, for evenings – like during rainy season will be a bit colder, as well going with the scooter in the evenings the wind can be cold)
  • Leggings (longer, shorter – very good for daily activities, going with scooter. But in Indonesia you can buy it as well with batik patter and etc. :))
  • Sweater or jacket (for trekking, colder evenings/ going with scooter and light one for very sunny days not to get burn your skin, which covers all arms)
  • Shoes (sling back, slippers, sneakers, trekking shoes (if you like to trekking), suitable for rainy weather – for me was very good – “Crocs”)
  • Swimsuit (better to take couple – one-piece for those beaches that’s comes not a lot of tourist or just swim with shorts and T-shirt – like it’s common between local people and second – separate for touristic beaches)
  • Raincoat (if you have your favorite take it with you (if you like trekking you can take warmer one as well), if not – during rainy season you can buy in Indonesia very cheap and choose from many kinds :)
  • Sleeping clothes (if you wear it during the night ;))
  • Home clothes – where at home (if you changed them after coming from outside)
  • Underwear (for the girls with more curvy hips, you must know that most underwear is not available in your size, except for the international, expensive brands)
  • Scarf (for entering some visiting places, cover in the beach)
  • Hat (if you have your favorite, take it – if not, you can buy it in Indonesia)
  • Belts (if you need for pans, your dress or other clothes)
  • Socks (for trekking, wearing at home during rainy season because can we quite cold walk on the ceramic pavement)
  • Clothes for your studies (if you choose dances, ceramic and etc.)

And any other clothes that you think you can need or you like to wear :).

Hygiene stuff:

  • Cream for face (everybody told me not to take it, like it’s humid and the skin becomes very quick oily, but for me it helped during the trips on the road, like it was easy  to remove the dust from face and it’s not stay straight on the skin, the cream observe it)
  • Ears pick (just for the beginning, like later you can easily find it in Indonesia)
  • Shampoo (travel size – the empty bottle will be useful for the trips in Indonesia and later you can easily buy here, except if you use some specific shampoo then take bigger amount). Notice: most girls in Indonesia experience hair fall, lack of shine and less smoothness. A reason for this is the low quality of tap water. It is highly treated with chemicals (absolutely not drink it) but it also affects the skin and hair.
  • Comb (take your favorite from home)
  • Tooth paste (travel size – till you will find nearest shop where to buy normal size, except if you use some specific toothpaste, then take bigger amount)
  • Toothbrush (just for beginning, later you can easily find new one)
  • Dental floss (if you use it, it helps to keep tooth clean after all Indonesian food and I didn’t find in Yogyakarta, where to buy it)
  • Sun cream (you can easily find here but only till ~30 SPV, if you use specific one or stronger, take with you from home)
  • Bath gel (travel size – the empty bottle will be useful for the trips in Indonesia and later you can easily buy here, except if you use some specific shampoo then take bigger amount). Better to take antibacterial – like the water in some places not so clean, so you can get allergy, acne (but in Indonesia you can easily find soap “Asepso” – for me helped a lot)
  • Body lotion (even if in Indonesia quite humid, still sometimes skin needs some “help”)
  • Scrub (for face and body if you use separate products, it helps to remove the dust after driving, walking)
  • Shaving tools (take more recharge, like in Indonesia hard to have opportunities to choose from different brands and find it, as well it’s quite expensive comparing with Darmasiswa scholarship amount). Also take shaver cream, if you use – epilator (for me it was the best solution). Waxing is mostly not available in Indonesia, so if you like it – take with you enough tools.
  • Tampons (if you use it, take enough, like here it’s very hard to find, if you are lucky it will be very expensive for small amount (compering with Darmasiswa program money) or better take menstrual cup – water to clean you will find everywhere)
  • Pads (if you have your favorite, take enough, if not – in Indonesia you can buy easily in bigger supermarkets. There are many brands of normal pads, night pads, day pads, etc.
  • Manicure tools (everything that you use, if like – take some colors, remover you can buy in Indonesia)
  • Pumice for foots (if you use that, like after trips, walking without shoes it’s very useful)
  • Perfume (take if you have your favorite smell, but I almost didn’t use it, like on sweaty body (and during dry season you will sweat a lot :D, take a shower probably couple times per day) it doesn’t smell nice :()
  • Deodorant (take if you use it, I took ball it was much better than spray)
  • Make up tools  and remover (if you use make up, take your favorite tools and colors)
  • Eyebrows tools
  • Wet napkins for cleaning (just for the trip) if you will need later – you can easily find in Indonesia as well as disinfection liquid for hands
  • Spry from mosquitoes (strong one, like during the trips and at home, you will have them. And mosquitoes can cause Dengue fever)

And any other stuff that you think you can need or you used to use :).


  • If you use some medicine by recipe – take the recipe with you and enough amount of medicine because possible that you won’t find exactly medicine in Indonesia. Also if you usually use some medicine at home – just write on the list their name and if you will need, you can show for doctor (for example almost nobody in Indonesia use probiotics, like the expenses of them insurance here doesn’t cover – when I asked to give me some – they asked me what kind of brand I usually use – I didn’t remember and they give me whatever they found in the medicine list :). Medicine you can buy here as well but you may not find exact brands that you used to use and also the same brand medicine for Indonesian people can be modified by their health condition (like usually health condition of different nations are different).
  • Antibiotics (if you can’t get them before coming in Indonesia, take it – it will be helpful during rainy season, like weather will be windy, sometimes cold and humid, easily to get flue and similar disease)
  • Plaster (for the trips and till your foots will adapt hot weather, sweating foots and disappear calluses )
  • Bandage (especially useful for the trips)
  • Deodorant or powered for foots (useful for trips and first months till foots adapt for hot weather)
  • Disinfection liquid or cream (useful from scratches, like fly can bring you easily infection on it)
  • Cream from mussels paint, tension, bruise
  • From the paint (head, muscles, stomach)
  • From diarrhea (especially can be during first months till stomach adapt for the new food)
  • From nausea (especially can be during first months till stomach adapt for the new food)
  • From fever
  • From throat paint (will be very useful during rainy season or during the hot days, drinking cold drinks and the going to air conditional room)
  • From the flue (by accident you can get it even during dry season because of temperature differences between outside (hot) and air conditional rooms (in shops, university and etc.)
  • Drops for eyes  (if you have contact lenses it will help your eyes to keep not so dry, as well because of big air pollution even those that not use lenses can feel dry eyes, so it useful)
  • From acne (if you use some medicine at home, take with you, also good to have some preparation from it because of sweating, air pollution and not quality water you can get it easily)
  • Vitamins for immunity system
  • Contact lenses and liquid for cleaning it (if you use it, I suggest to take enough pairs for all Darmasiswa scholarship period)
  • For girls: contraception pills or other medicine that you use (if you use it take enough for your scholarship period and take the recipe as well. Can be that you won’t found exactly the same that you use, as well in some pharmacy (especially in smaller towns, villages) they can ask you to show marriage paper before selling it (not allowed to have sex before marriage and if you are not married it means you don’t need such pills ;)) It’s difficult to find the morning-after pill.
  • Condoms: you can find to buy them in Indonesia in pharmacy or supermarkets. You can find international brands and local production. But don’t expect to have such big variety like in Europe, so if you have some favorite ones – just take it with you from home.

And any other medicine that you think you can need or you used to use :).

Other stuff:

  • Passport
  • Plain tickets
  • International driving license (if you have. In Bali only with international driving license you won‘t be stopped by police)
  • Vaccination book (if you will take any vaccinations before coming to Indonesia)
  • Insurance document copy (if you will have it, in a case if you will need to use it immediately)
  • Laptop
  • Mobile (take with you and your country SIM card, like sometimes it’s cheaper to contact with your family in emergency case)
  • Photo camera
  • Hard disk (to put pictures from laptop, to download movies, make a copy of your laptop documents)
  • USB (good for files that you can need to be printed)
  • Chargers (for mobile, photo camera, computer and other devices that you will take). Your device system should work in Indonesia with a transformer, if necessary, to adjust to voltage differences.
  • Scissors (moved to new house you never know what you can need to cut and first weeks you may not know where to find what)
  • Strong glue (in a case you will need to glue your shoes, furniture and etc.)
  • Towel
  • Mirror (at least small one, like you don’t know if in a house will be any)
  • Sun glasses
  • Earplug (if you are sensitive for sounds, in the beginning you will need it because of loud callings from mosques for praying and etc.)
  • At least one time fork, spoon, knife (you never know what will be in a house for first days)
  • Stuff for trips (if you like travel so you will need some usual things that you take with you. Sleeping bag – you can buy here quite cheap, mattress for trips or tent as well)
  • Flash (for trips and if electricity will be gone)
  • Books (at least couple of them, later you will find some places where you can change your books, rent it or buy-but in English language it will be more expensive)
  • Souvenirs from your country (sweets, some traditional cookies, postcards, magnets – whatever small, like you will visit some places, also can be organizes international evening where you will need to present your country)
  • Jewellery (if you use it)
  • Bag, purse (for daily use) – but in Indonesia you can find really colorful and beautiful ones.
  • Money (enough for first months when you will need to pay for rent, buy some things for a house)
  • Catadioptre (if you will walk in the evenings in the streets without light, here nobody use it – so if you would like to buy, I don‘t think so that will be easy to find)
  • Mosquitoes protection (net to cover the bed – here you can find but can be not good size, not good material, so better take what you usually use during the trips) also can bring electrical tool from mosquitoes, like during rainy season there will be a lot of them.
  • E-bank facility (if you use take with you security codes or other things that you need to log in to your e-bank)
    Passwords: in safe place write the passwords to log in your e-mails, e-bank, mobile. If you won‘t use it frequently you can just forget it.

And any other stuff that you think you can need or you used to use :).


All imported food in Indonesia is expensive (comparing with Darmasiswa scholarship amount) and not in every shop you can find known food brands. So if you like to cook, I suggest to bring from your country:

  • Olive oil (even small plastic bottle)
  • Spices (oregano, pepper, tarragon and other that you usually use)
  • Chocolate (Indonesian one doesn’t taste like real one)
  • Alcohol (just in a case wine bottle or something stronger, like here in shops you won’t find a lot, mainly can drink in restaurants that is orientated to a tourists)

And any other products that can last long, doesn’t take much space and weight, is specific from your country.

Maybe you have other suggestions what to take more? Share your ideas :)

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

What to do before going to Indonesia
Vaccinations for Indonesia
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What to do before going to Indonesia

Here is my recommendations what to do before going to Indonesia. Mostly this information useful for Darmasiswa scholarship students but as well some parts for those who are planning to come to Indonesia longer than for 1 month.
It’s just advices, nothing is mandatory. All “must to do” things written in official Darmasiswa scholarship website.

How to save some money

  • Mobile payment plan: check possibilities to change your mobile payment plan and pay less till you will be in Indonesia. Like here – you will buy local SIM card and will have local operator (it will be cheaper and easier to contact between other students and local friends).
  • Unused stuff and clothes: maybe some of clothes or stuff you didn’t wear or use for a long time? Try to sell it in second hand websites. Double benefit – will clean your wardrobe, shelf and can get extra money. If nobody will buy it – just give for charity.
  • Club membership: if you have any – cancel it, like pay during your stay in Indonesia it’s not worth.
  • Proper clothes for Indonesia: buy them in second hand shops – it will be cheaper and the heart won’t hurt when it will be damaged in laundry (maybe).
  • Travel tickets: leave for yourself enough time to search for the cheapest plain tickets. Check all possible websites, flights from nearest countries capitals and etc. Compare different routes, which can modify the price of the same company: Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur / Kula Lumpur- Yogyakarta, Amsterdam– Jakarta / Jakarta – Yogyakarta and etc. If you have 1 year scholarship – probably you won’t find the return ticket, so you can buy one way ticket (usually it’s enough, only if Indonesian embassy in your country will say opposite). Or buy both ways for period of maximum duration and later change return date – but usually it will cost almost the same price (to change) like whole ticket and not with all cheap tickets is possible to change the date.
  • Stuff list: make a stuff list that you want to take with you (my recommendations what to take before coming). If you need to buy something before the trip – leave time for yourself to search, wait for the discounts for needed stuff.
  • Liabilities for the bank: if you have any (like credits and etc.) check possibilities to suspend it for your scholarship period. Then you won’t need to pay and that money could spend for the trips or extra money for daily life in Indonesia.
  • Local institution: inform your local institution that you will live in Indonesia. Then you won’t need to pay taxes for a country during scholarship period (if your country system works like this ;)). For Lithuanians: Lietuvoje reikia informuoti seniūnija, kuriai priklausote 7 d.d. prieš išvykimą. Tuomet nebus skaičiuojamas privalomi mokesčiai kol būsite Indonezijoje.

Don’t buy too many stuff, like mostly everything you will find in Indonesia and much cheaper than in your country. Just read some advices which stuff better to take with you from your country (my recommendations what to take before coming).


  • Visa: don’t forget on time to manage to get Indonesian visa from Indonesian embassy in your country (or other country that responsible for your country Darmasiswa scholarship participants). For Lithuanians: Indonezijos ambasada yra Danijoje, todėl teks siųsti savo pasą į Daniją, kad ten įklijuotų vizą. Visas procesas (nusiųsti per kurjerių tarnybą pasą, laikas vizai ir gauti atgal pasą užtruks ~1,5 savaitės. Kad būtų pigiau siųsti visus atrinktų dalyvių pasus galite siųsti kartu – jeigu susikoperuosite tarpusavyje).
  • Visa for other countries: if you will have a flight change in some Asian countries – check if you don’t need a transit visa there, if needed – check how to get it before you go there.
  • Bank: inform your bank (where you have any payment cards which you will use in Indonesia) that you will live in Indonesia and sometimes will use the card there. Like Indonesia is in the risk country list and some banks when they will see that your card used in Indonesia can block it, because they can think that somebody stole your card.
  • Payment card: if your payment card will expire during the stay in Indonesia – talk with your bank to extend it before it will expire.
  • Power of attorney: leave power of attorney during the Darmasiswa program period for one of your family members – in a case, they could manage to solve bureaucracy things in your country by your name without your participation.
  • International insurance: make insurance in your country for the period of staying in Indonesia. Like here you can have stomach, skin problems and etc. Probably you will need to go to private clinic or hospital (there more chance that doctors will speak in English, you can have better treatment). Visit to a doctor, x-ray, analysis, medicine and etc. will cost a lot, so why to use your scholarship money or savings? Insurance will cover expenses. Also save main information from insurance rules how and to whom you need inform about medical accident and etc. For Lithuanians: nesidrauskite pigiausiu kelionių draudimu. Atidžiai perskaitykite taisykles nuo ko būsite apdrausti ir kokios išlaidos bus padengiamos tuomet nuspręskite, kurią bendrovę rinktis. Naudinga pasidaryti ir bagažo draudimą, nes kelionė bus ilga ir tikriausiai keisite ne vieną avialiniją ir ne vieną šalį, kol nusileisite Indonezijoje.
    In Darmasiswa scholarship contract that you will need to sign, written that Ministry of Education and Culture provides medical/health care for 200 000 Rp per month and this amount included in the scholarship monthly stipend. It doesn’t mean that you will get insurance – this amount is for visiting doctor, buying medicine, making analysis. From my experience this amount not enough – in some hospitals the visit, medicine, analysis can cost even ~ 800 000 Rp per time.
  • Registration in your country embassy/consulate: inform your country embassy/consulate in Indonesia (or nearest country where is located your country embassy) – that you will leave in Indonesia and which city. Its good information for your country institution in a case of eruption, earthquake and etc. they will know how many their country people can be needed help also they could manage quicker to contact with your family. For Lithuanians: Kinijoje esanti Lietuvos ambasada atsakinga už lietuvos piliečius esančius Indonezijoje. Apie konsulinę registraciją plačiau čia.
  • Collect main information: print the main information about Indonesia from your country Foreign office – where is your country embassy in Indonesia, who is responsible person, contacts and etc. It will be useful in emergency case.


  • Vaccine: take necessary vaccine before coming to Indonesia (you can discuss with doctor which vaccine is necessary). Some of vaccine need to make twice during 2 weeks so doesn’t leave this for the last minute. For Lithuanians: gavus siuntimą iš šeimos gydytojo, kai kurios vakcinos bus atliekamos nemokamai infekcinių ligų ir tuberkuliozės ligoninėje Vilniuje (Birutės g.). Šioje ligoninėje ir likusios vakcinos buvo pigiausios – bent taip buvo 2014 m.
  • Devices: check if your mobile, photo camera, laptop and other devices works properly – if not, fix it before coming to Indonesia. Here to fix the problem will take very long time and you don’t know if they will manage to fix it. Make a copy of all your documents from laptop in separate hard disk. Because of humid sometimes computers just not turn on – would be pity to lose all information. My recommendations what to do during rainy season.
  • Health condition: before coming to Indonesia – check your health condition, make all needed analysis and etc. obtain medical record from your doctor. Visit your dentist to obtain dental records.
  • Extra money: take some extra money with you and change it in Rupiahs (if possible), if not – take dollars or euros (before check which currency is friendlier for exchange to Rupiah). Dollars must be in perfect condition, with no rips, tears, marks or creases, and must be printed no earlier than 2007, like older one – money exchange in Indonesia won’t accept. Extra money you will need ~ for 2 first months, like you will need to pay for house/room rent for 6 months or 1 year period and it can be more than scholarship amount. Maybe you will need to buy some stuffs for a house and etc. (from my experience (but it’s not rule) in first month I spend: for house rent (1 year) 5 000 000 Rp, buying stuff for a house ~1 500 000 Rp (like the house was totally empty).
  • E-mail box: check your mail boxes – delete old letters and etc. because you don’t know how often you will have access to internet. The e-mail box can be full quite fast (if you get many newsletters, spam) and you cannot get main letters. If some newsletter you didn’t read often, just unsubscribe them.
  • Movies: download some movies before coming – like in Indonesia internet is very slow and will take days to download bigger file. You can download movies in some internet cafe but then you will pay for it.
  • Information about Indonesia: if you have time and wish, just read some articles, travel forums, blogs about Indonesia – to have better clue what to take with you, what to do and etc.
  • Indonesian language: write/print some main phrases in Indonesian language – just to be polite to saying “hello”, ”thank you” and etc.

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

What to take before coming to Indonesia
Visa for Indonesia
Vaccinations for Indonesia