As an archipelago country, Indonesia has natural and cultural wealth as well as the local wisdom that has been passed from generation to generation in each regions. When visiting Indonesia, you can not just enjoy your trip and capture your moments through photos but you can also get to know Indonesia more closely through the diversity and uniqueness of its souvenirs that will remember for ever this amazing culture.
You can bring different souvenirs from Indonesia, but there are so many types of souvenirs on the market that sometimes make tourists confused when choosing the right items for gifts. To have a better picture of it, check out our overview of 10 Best Indonesia Souvenirs & Gifts.
Indonesia is a real paradise for fabric collectors. When you visit Medan, you can buy Ulos (typical Batak). If you go to Padang, Bengkulu, Jambi and South Sumatra or Lampung, you can buy Songket. If you go to Java, you can find Batik (One of the world heritage UNESCO has been recognized). The fabrics are amazing.
Meanwhile, Weaving is a technique in making fabrics made with a simple principle, by combining the strings extensively and transversely. Woven fabrics are usually made of wood fiber, cotton, silk and others. You can find typical Lombok Weaving in Sade Village and Bayan District (North Lombok). Each region has its own distinctive motifs for various types of fabric. Price per cloth also depends on the type and manufacturing process.
Those items are part of the Indonesian culture as their clothes are made of these fabrics.
Wayang (puppet shadow performances) is an art in Javanese and Balinese customs that tells a particular story. You can bring home wayang kulit, wayang golek and many more types of puppets when visiting Indonesia. There are also many characters you can choose and each of them has different background or meaning. It can represent a nice gift for kids, collectors or even to decorate your home.
Another popular Indonesian art work is wood carving. Every region in Indonesia has its own distinctive wood carving characteristics. But, the most popular among tourists are woodcraft from Bali, Papua and Java. There are many artisans who produce carvings or wood carvings with high artistic value at a commensurate price. Wood carvings are sold in various forms such as wall displays, tables, sculptures, key chains or tissue holders. Their work is amazing and obviously hand-made.
Indonesia produces some of the best coffee in the world. Every region, from Sumatra to Papua has its own specialty coffee. The quality of Indonesian coffee itself has been popular throughout the world. Coffee from each region has a different taste and aroma.
Some of Indonesia’s favorite coffees include: Luwak Coffee, Java Coffee, Toraja Coffee, Gayo Coffee, Wamena Coffee, Kintamani Coffee, Sidikalang Coffee, Lanang Coffee, Sumatra Coffee and others. Depending on the type of coffee and the brand, you can get authentic Indonesian coffee from 100 thousands to 600 thousands, even more.
The Luwak coffee is very popular as it its made from Luwak’s dropping. You have to taste it, we personally think it’s the best coffee we ever tasted. you can bring home this kind of coffee for your personal use or offer it to some coffee lovers ! They will not be able to drink standard coffee afterwards.
5. Traditional Musical Instruments
If you like musical instruments and want to find some instruments that doesn’t bother your vacation because you can find it easily, then Panting musical instruments (South Kalimantan), Angklung (West Java) and Sasando (East Nusa Tenggara) are the ones you must buy. Furthermore, music is a big part of Indonesian culture.
Panting and Sasando are musical instruments that are picked or flicked, while Angklung is played by shaking. The three musical instruments are made of bamboo which is very light and easy to bring. The dimensions are not too large as well. Plus, the shape is also unique for a display in your home.
6. Traditional Weapons
Traditional weapons as souvenirs have been modified by the craftsmen with decorations of carvings with motifs that have meanings. One of them is Rencong, a traditional weapon that symbolizes the greatness of the nobles and the courage of the Acehnese warriors and people during the Japan & Dutch colonial period. If you want to see how to make the Rencong, you can go directly to Suka Makmur sub-district in Aceh Besar Regency, Aceh Province, Indonesia.
Other than Rencong, there is a Keris which is a stab weapon with its base shape unsymmetrical and widened. The blade is also winding. You can hunt Keris souvenir in the West and Central of Indonesia.
7. Silver Products and Precious Stones
Plentiful ornaments of precious stones and silver crafts are sold in Indonesia at incredibly low prices. It’s truly paradise for women that like jewelry. However, if you want exclusivity, please do not buy them on beaches or to street vendors. It’s better to buy jewelry in official shops, where the artisan or the masters work in front of the customer. So, you can buy a unique piece of jewelry or household items there.
8. Indonesian Snacks
Other than crafting arts, don’t forget that Indonesia is also rich in typical Indonesian traditional foods. Each region has its unique snack with its different taste. You can also make these snacks as souvenirs. If you plan to bring this snack to your country make sure you choose a dry snack that is not easily stale. Tempe chips, dodol Garut and Bakpia Pathok are typical of Jogja’s souvenirs.
9. Unique Indonesian Miniature
Do you want to be able to bring Monas (national monument in Jakarta) home? or Borobudur Temple? Prambanan Temple? Jam Gadang (clock tower in West Sumatra) or Rumat Adat (custom house)? Well, you can still bring home those iconic areas in miniature form or key chains or fridge magnets. You can buy all of them in art shops or to street vendors who usually peddle near the icon of the area.
Masks are the oldest variety of expressions created by human civilization, which is rich in magical values. In Indonesia, Masks are usually used in art shows and religious activities. The shape of the masks are also vary depending on the function and origin of the mask.
Masks turns out to have artistic and historical values in Indonesia. In Cirebon, West Java, for example, Masks are used as means of preaching to spread Islam. While from the value of art, Mask usually becomes one of the attributes in regional art performances. For example the mask dance from Betawi which is very popular in Indonesia.
Every mask used in a mask dance has its own meaning and character. Mask art is present in various regions of Indonesia. Of course, with their own stories and characters.