12 Withdrawal Symptoms From Travelling in Indonesia

12 Withdrawal Symptoms From Travelling in Indonesia


Why do we always return to travel Indonesia? Because we are utterly hooked on its landscape, wildlife but mainly because of the numerous and unique ways Indonesian’s themselves go about their daily lives. The only problem is that after travelling in Indonesia we always experience several withdrawal symptoms…


1. Sugar craving

Whether you are aware of it or not, the Indonesians have added huge quantities of sugar into your food and drinks. I nearly collapsed when I found out that my glass of morning chai (tea) contained one-third sugar. Almost within hours of leaving the country you are very much craving more and this does not subside for a few days.


2. Holding back from bartering

Bartering in Indonesia is a fun and friendly affair and one that you are challenged to partake in and which earns you a lot of respect from locals. The bargains and banter that comes with bartering are highly rewarding and its a hard habit to stop when you find yourself suspicious of the prices back home.


3. Working to hold your tongue

The people of Indonesia are keen to talk honestly and frankly,  they are also genuinely interested about the differences between themselves and foreigners. While ogling at your skin colour it is not uncommon for girls to gush “you are so white” or rude for me to argue that “I want tanned skin price not white person price.” A woman once came to me stroking her pregnant belly “I hope my baby has your long nose.” Such free speech is rarely replicated anywhere else in the world but once you’re in the habit it’s hard to stop.


4. Staying quiet on public transport

Regardless of your method of transportation, drivers and passengers alike will have engaged you in conversation in Indonesia. You get so used to people caring about where you came from and making one another laugh you’ll find yourself eyeing your neighbours in public places back home.


Travelling in Indonesia, travel indonesia



5. Wanting to eat out for a dollar

A local breakfast, lunch and dinner in Indonesia will leave both you and your pockets feeling full. Restaurant owners are more delighted about serving foreigners than concerned about increasing prices and your money will go a very long way if you give local food a chance. Coming home after these prices is devastating.


6. Buskers on buses

Every bus that departs the terminal has the chance of being hijacked by buskers who jump on-board just as its rolling away. A solo guitarist or three man bongo team will thrash at their instruments and sing their hearts out for a few coins and this has to be the most entertaining way to start a road trip.


7. Murtabak

A decadent desert consisting of the following layers:

Brush of butter- cake- brush of butter- chocolate sprinkles- condensed milk- banana slices

Folded in half and carefully sliced the result is one messy drizzling sticky cake.


Travelling in Indonesia, travel Indonesia



8. Clove cigarettes

Love or hate smoking the sweet smell that emanates from clove cigarettes is a truly Indonesian scent and one that enhances your feelings of being somewhere very exotic.


9. Expecting invitations to dinner from strangers

Being amongst some of the friendliest people on the planet you are asked to dinner nearly every other day… not only are these honest invitations, they’re a great chance to get to know Indonesia’s people all the better!


10. Wishing Tuk-tuks existed everywhere

It’s not just the unique method of transportation but it’s the ability to affordably reach absolutely anywhere at any time of day. Tight alleyways and footpaths are no match to these zippy machines that will always make it happen at the right price.


11. Missing the call to Prayer

A haunting call to prayer that cascades across the rice fields is a sound to be yearned for when its gone and especially those early morning ones, ONLY when they are gone.


12. A spicy breakfast

Its inevitable that after eating local in Indonesia you’re going to fall in love with chili and once you do nothing else will compare. Cereals and toast become extraordinarily bland in comparison to a spicy friend rice with egg and prawn crackers.


Travelling in Indonesia, travel indonesia





Return to our destination guide: Travel Indonesia



Written by

Rebecca Mayoll is a ‘just turned 30’ freelance writer and photographer from England. She is the co-founder and author of straightondetour.com, a travel website with the mantra ‘find your own adventure.’ Promoting adventurous destinations, independent travel and giving a humorous insight to the World of travel is what Becky does best.

  • Love Indonesia.
    It worths to travel there.
    Your reasons are more than a temptation.
    Great post.

  • Ahhh, clove cigarettes! They are so nice :/

    I’m loving your blog’s new look guys! 😀

    • Super nice!! It wasn’t until the last couple of weeks in Indonesia we realised their tar % is ridiculous… oops.

      Katie we’re really stoked you like the new design. I’m hoping it’s a lot fresher and simpler to navigate.

      Happy Sunday.


  • Mmmmm chai with sugar. Yum. My favorite tea. I’m looking forward to experiencing the No Holding Back Comments aspect. It will go great with my personality!

  • Laura Beth says:

    Love the article! I visited Nepal a while back and many of the same things go on there, so I can totally relate. I remember how surprised I was on my last connector flight which was mostly Nepalis, how noisy it was with simple conversation. I couldn’t help but think, Are these people drunk? Or do they all know each other? Don’t they know you’re not suppose to talk to strangers, especially on an airplane? That is pretty sad thinking, but it shows you how we have been trained to keep to ourselves. I’m not sure why. But it’s not good. Maybe that’s why there is so much loneliness in the US. I guess social networks don’t quite fill the void, the hunger.

    Just landed here from Twitter, but loving the read. Looking forward to reading more.

    Laura Beth

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Hi we're Prue and Becks, travel writers and photographers who have been travelling the world together since 2012. Without taking ourselves too seriously, we divulge the lesser known, out of the way places and give you the tools to replicate it. Want to know more? Click on our pic.