While visiting Flores, you will notice many cultural differences, also in matters of behavior. Visitors who respect the local customs and traditions will receive heartwarming hospitality from their Indonesian hosts and get an unforgettable travel experience. It is therefore an advantage if you consider some basic cultural do’s and don’ts for Flores:
Dress Conservatively! For female travelers, it is highly advisable to dress conservatively – a shirt covering the shoulder and lower body clothes to the knees – especially when visiting small villages and cultural objects. Unless you are on a dive boat, on one of Labuan Bajo’s beaches or on an island frequently visited by tourists you should wear more than just a bikini to swim. Please consider that it is inappropriate for men and woman to hang clothes in the same place.
Smile a lot! Florenese people are friendly and smile. A Smile is an indicator for friendliness and changes everything. Arrogant visitors who do not respond to smile or greetings will find it hard to get close to the local people.
Reduce the use of your left hand! Use your right hand for bringing food to your mouth as well as to pass and receive things (e.g. money). Try to avoid shaking hands or touching people with the left hand as it will be considered offensive. Also, the left hand being used to wash after going to the bathroom, is considered dirty.
Avoid touching men, woman or even children’s head as this is considered offensive as well.
You are safe traveling in Flores, but please note that crime can happened everywhere. Please do not leave your things unattended in public areas and make sure your valuable things are well stored.
Last the most important information!
Indonesian government strictly forbids narcotics for the citizens and for those who travel to Indonesia. So, do not ever keep or bring narcotics or any other drugs. Narcotics and all kind of addictive drugs will lead to death penalty.