Dress Code for Women in Indonesia

By Mridula Dwivedi November 26, 2016 16 Comments
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I often try to do a quick web search about the dress code for women if I am heading to a country for the first time. But I could not do it for Indonesia. I had so little time between my Philippines and Indonesia trips that I just somehow packed and stumbled on the plane! But after spending 10 day there, these are my observations about the dress code for women in Indonesia.

I visited Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Raja Ampat and Bali. My observations are based on my stay at these places only! How interpret the dress code also depends on the country you live in, do remember I live in India.

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Hanny at Kota Gede, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

In this picture you see the beautiful Hanny Kusumawati who is an Indonesian writer. She was part of our group. And this is how she dressed for our walking tour in Kota Gede in Yogyakarta. I guess you can never go wrong if you follow a local for the dress code?

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Out for a Spin in Yogyakarta

Before I write any further, let me make it clear, Indonesia is a secular state with Islam being the most followed religion. So you will find people in conservative attires. However, in the same picture you can see tourists (from our group) walking by without attracting any undue attention. As far as I could understand, tourists could dress as they pleased.

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Women at Klipoh

After Borobudur, we visited a village nearby called Klipoh. We went in and did pottery with local women. Here is how they dressed while they went about their daily life! The local women even in villages are wearing skirts and t-shirts.

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Me at Borobudur!

And that brings me to Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. As all the Buddhist temples expect, at Borobudur too you are expected to cover your shoulders and knees. However, they are not too strict at Borobudur. If you look at the first picture you can see a tourist in a sleeveless top. I would say it is a small thing to cover up for one day and show respect to the local culture. So, if you are visiting Borobudur do follow the guidelines.

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A Granny at Klipoh and Windy Clicking her Picture

You can see my friend from Indonesia, Windy Ariestanty clicking a picture of the granny at Klipoh Village. Windy and I first met in Malaysia in 2012 at a conference where we both were speakers! Windy is from Indonesia. You can see even the granny is wearing a t-shirt!

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Naoko at Yogyakarta

Here you can see Naoko from Japan dressed for the day at Yogyakarta! Both she and her friend Hikari dressed beautifully throughout the trip. Everyone would request them to pose for pictures, which they always agreed to!

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Hikari at Penglipuran, Bali!

And here is Naoko again at Penglipuran Village in Bali where we spent an afternoon. And even though I have not posted it in pictures, shorts were fine too! I would wear a longer dress if I was visiting a village and a short dress if I was by the beach!

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Photo Credit: Upslim/Shutterstock

For the beach a swimwear is absolutely fine, you can wear a bikini or one piece, it is your choice. The only place I saw a sign ‘dress modestly’ was Arborek Village in Raja Ampat.

I hope this photo post gives you some idea about dress code for women in Indonesia! Do remember that it is my personal interpretation. You may visit a different region and find things different.

PS. I was invited on the Trip of Wonders to Indonesia by the Indonesian Tourism Board.

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16 thoughts on “Dress Code for Women in Indonesia”

  1. You went to Borobudur! I am envious of you. This place is on my list. BTW your blog on Mt. Everest Base Camp trek helped us to prepare for our own adventure to EBC. Trip was great and none of us faced any difficulties – no headaches or high altitude sickness. Photos are here: http://tinyurl.com/attush

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Mridula Dwivedi

I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quite my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!

If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at mridulablog@gmail.com

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