What to bring / During the fasting month
WHAT TO BRING
Most things are cheaper to buy in Indonesia, but there are also things that are hard to find. If you shop in Indonesia, do it in a big town in order to find everything you need.
* Sun lotion is available, but t is easier to bring it.
* It is wise to bring medicines from your own country.
* International driving license can come handy.
* Watertight bag for your camera if you are planning to visit islands and go by boat.
* Clothes are much cheaper in Indonesia, but big sizes can be difficult to find.
* Shoes over size 42 are hard to find.
* Mosquito repellants are common and cheap.
* A couple of padlocks can be useful, both for your bag and for your beach bungalow.
* For surfers bringing their own boards a board bag is recommended. Also wax for warm waters, some extra leg ropes, a nose guard for your board for safety, and footwear to get out over reefs. A repair kit can save hassles. Repair shops for surf boards are not available.
DURING THE FASTING MONTH
For a non-Muslim tourist, the Ramadan (the Muslim fasting month) gives traveling a new dimension. In strict Muslim areas basically all restaurants and food stalls are closed between sunrise and sunset. In North Sumatra there is normally always an alternative, as a big part of the population is non-Muslim. While fasting, not only food, drink and cigarettes are avoided, but also bad thoughts, lies and unethical behavior. The Ramadan is a cleansing period for both the body and the soul. If you are in a Muslim village and need to eat, drink, or smoke, do not do it in public. It is considered offensive and inconsiderate towards people who are fasting.