Are the people of Indonesia friendly towards foreign tourists? The truth is they are really tourist-friendly. I experienced this in Indonesia. Nobody gave me a bribe to write this. They are great at helping foreigners indeed.
Before coming to China after finishing summer vacation in Bangladesh, I visited Indonesia. I made three days tour in Jakarta. I want to share some experiences of my trip to the capital city. This will show you the attitudes of Indonesian people towards foreign tourists.
Money Withdrawal Problem
I arrived at Jakarta airport. I was carrying a China UnionPay debit card. I used this card to withdraw money from my account in some other countries during traveling. But, the card was not working in the airport although Indonesia is one of them which approved China UnionPay.
I didn’t bring cash with me. I was really shocked facing this problem outside my country. The card was working in China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka without any difficulty. How can I survive now?
I thought that the airport booths are not ok to withdraw money. I need to go to my hostel. So, I hired a taxi for going to my booked hostel located in Kota Tua. I asked the driver to stop at the atm booth so that I can pay him withdrawing money.
The driver did the job as I told. But, I was unable to withdraw though I had enough money in my account. So, I tried several atm booths of Kota Tua. So, I told my driver to take me to my hostel.
I arrived at the hostel and asked for help from the receptionist. He heard my problem and gave me money to pay the driver. What a relief it was! The driver left and I gave thanks to the male receptionist of Teduh Hostel Kota Tua.
Having Food without Paying Money
I wanted to see the surroundings of my hostel. I also wanted to have food to calm my stomach. I was hungry. So, I went to a railway station. I saw a food shop that accepts China UnionPay card payment as I saw its logo.
I thought it would be possible to pay through my card. I selected a food item and ordered them to prepare it. Then I gave my card to pay the bill. Oh my God! It was not working.
What a shame! I was ashamed of facing such kind of situation in a foreign land. But the shop girl and the manager(or owner) were so soft toward me. They understood the situation.
They didn’t show anger toward me. Rather, the manager offered me a bottle of water without money before leaving the shop. They are really generous. I thanked them and left.
Marina Ancol sea beach is a good place for visiting Jakarta. I went there too. You will see yachts, restaurants, amusement parks there. I had my dinner there. The place and food were okay for me. I decided to come back to my hostel after 09:00 pm. So, I was looking to hire a bike or taxi.
In Jakarta, there are some ride-sharing organizations. I installed some apps on my smartphone to do this. But I didn’t have an internet connection. Wifi networks were not in favor of me. Most of them password protected and others were running in very low connectivity. So, I started walking to get a wifi internet connection.
I was walking and walking. But, there was no result. Same problems are available everywhere. What to do now? I carried on my walking and passed a long way. So, I decided to take help from the local people. Very few people were on the road at night.
I was worried. Moreover, I don’t know the Indonesian language. I got a young person. I expressed my problem with him in English. Then, he used his mobile phone to hire a bike. But, it was not an easy task as it was night. Most of the drivers went back home.
He tried repeatedly. Finally, he got a driver who he came after a long time. Probable, the driver was far away from us. That person told him everything so that I could arrive safely at my hostel.
I was lucky that I got him. He stayed with me the whole time until I got the driver. He was so caring. I was grateful to him.
Using Restricted Toilets
Day after my arrival, I went out along with another Indian tourist. We just wanted to look around and spend time. We went to a railway station in Kota Tua.
Later, I felt that I need to go to the washroom. So, I tried to find out the toilet. But, it was in a different zone guarded by some security guards. I discovered that the washroom is only for the passengers who have tickets.
I had a solution and it was returning to my hostel. As a tourist, I didn’t have any other way as I was not familiar with the place. Suddenly, I decided to take help from the security guards.
The guards were so cordial. They listened to me and even took me to the toilet area. Finally, I relieved. After that, I came back and thanked them. I took some selfies with them.
Response from Employee
During my tour in Jakarta, I found another Bangladeshi guest in my hostel. We decided to go to visit some tourist attractions in Jakarta.
The first one was the National Monument of Indonesia. We wanted to get a deep experience of visiting the monument. So, we went to the underground office for collecting tickets.
There were some big lines of tourists. What to do now? We asked about the situation of a female monument employee (or security personnel). She was so amiable. It was good for us to get valuable information from her in such kind of crowdy place.
She was busy with her task. Yet, she responded to us cordially. Even she informed us more than our query. Finally, we decided to leave the place so that we could visit other attractions without waiting.
Choosing Our Lunch
Our next destinations were the famous Istiqlal Mosque and Jakarta Cathedral. We finished seeing the mosque. We prayed there. We became hungry as it was noon.
There were many mobile food vendors outside the mosque. They were cooking and selling food. There were many items to eat. But, what to eat? How to approach them?
We were looking around going there. We were trying to understand food menus. Seeing this, an English-speaking Indonesian woman came forward to help us.
She was there to have lunch with other family members. We were happy to see her approach. Finally, we ordered our lunch. That family was happy to help us.
The seller also taking help from the woman. She was paying attention to us during our lunch so that we could not face any kind of difficulty. She was really a good person.
We finished our lunch. I took photos with them with a smiling face and expressed gratitude to them. I was amazed at their warm assistance to us.
Some More Incidents
I also got help for calling a taxi at Jakarta Airport after arrival. I missed my first taxi. Then they arranged a reserved taxi as an alternative option. It was a great help for me.
After checking out from my hostel, another male receptionist also helped me to call my taxi. He communicated directly with the driver. He sent the correct location of mine through a message which helped me to arrive at the airport on time.
In fact, I was a novice tourist. The taxi drivers or the bike drivers were good to us. They showed their happiness serving us with care and safety.
You may think that it was normal for them to help me. But, there are some differences in helping others among the people of this world. I had experienced the true heart of the Indonesian people.
I have visited India, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Nepal. Till now, the Indonesian people are the best in tourist-friendly behavior.
I made a memorable tour experience in the Indonesian capital Jakarta with the local people. I was really overwhelmed by their behaviors. I salute the people who helped me during my tour in Indonesia. God bless you all.