What makes Indonesia a perfect travel destination?
In shot – this amazing destination has something to offer to everyone. Even most picky traveler will find something interesting in Indonesia. Over 13,000 islands, variety of beaches covered with white, dark sand or even stone, temples, cliffs, lot of activities from water sports, trekking till some very extreme ones. But what makes Indonesia so special? Beautiful landscape and islands surrounded by very clean water full of sea life? A very inexpensive local food together with low priced accommodation? Or sociable, open minded people, who simple live to enjoy the life.
Exchange rate. 1 Euro = 14,750 in high season should be considered a very good rate. Same with USD, 1 USD = 113400 would be a great rate. I advise to get some local currency straight at the airport. To pay for taxi or anything else with local curency. Most of airport does not have bad exchange rate.
Local food is extremely tasty and very cheap, prices of street food can start from 10,000 IDR. An inexpensive meal at a local bar or restaurant can cost us 20,000 IDR. And a full meal at a mid-range restaurant? This can cost us 80,000 IDR or even higher. What we need to be aware of is that some locals might add 11% or even 21% of service charge. While some of them does not do it at all. This however should be written in small letters on the bottom of our menu. Any kind of western food is much more expensive but still relatively affordable. A good medium size pizza in pizza hut was 125,000 IDR.
If you have enough time in advance, you can look up for other people who are also heading to same location and rent a villa! This is by far one of the most luxurious and afordables locations to rent and share villas with planty of backpackers willing to share it with. Something smaller? Hostels or more like – Homestay – usually cost around 120,000 IDR per night, and in most cases they do not have air conditioner. Some might also have shared toilets and bathrooms. A private double room would be a cost of 180,000 IDR. In 90% of the locations we will have Free WiFi we might also have breakfast included. Online booking systems works quite well. More expensive and luxurious places might cost us anything from 400,000 IDR per night. Villas? Depending on how long we would like to stay we might get a real great deals – sometimes even lower than hostels with price per night. Look up for facebook Indonesia rental groups or nomad groups in Indonesia.
You do need to rent a motor bike if you are in Indonesia. No, really! You just should do it. Price of rentals can start from 40 000-45 000 IDR and this is one of the best deal. Taxi is also very common but, make sure to negotiate and agree for the price before you jump in. Example, my colleagues paid for taxi from Kuta, Bali to Ubud 450 000, which is a common offer at the airport, while we paid only 180 000 IDR. Always negotiate, smile and be polite. For traveling between islands, boat ferries are our only option, this might be different for different companies. Better check online prices and hours of departure. Flights, are also quite cheap here. It might be a great idea to include Bali as one of the stops or a start and return destination across Asia.
This topic is wide as Indian and Atlantic ocean. Activities can cost us anything from 3 000 – 10 000 IDR for single entry tickets to enter a beach (yes, in some places you need to pay to access the beach ). A one person tour to Museums and ‘Monkey forest’ would cost you 400 000 ( excluding entrance fee ) or even higher. Scuba diving, Snorkeling or some other extreme experience are also quite popular here.
Go for shopping and bargain hard
Do not be affraid. This is not going to be taken wrong way. It also is a kind of tradition here. Some prices in touristic areas might be even 2, 5 up to 10 times higher as what they can be negotiated to.
My Personal suggestion would be to prepare about 300 000 IDR for each day if you are planning an active day and have some spare cash for souvenirs and activities. Oh and.. be aware if you are planning to take more money with you. Amounts exceeding IDR 100,000,000 – require an approval from the Central Bank or External Affairs.
What to do in Indonesia?
Bali, is a MUST SEE destination ! Although it might be little crowded in most famous areas, it is by far one of the most common and beloved islands across backpackers, yoga fans, nomads and many more comunities. And there are good reasons for this. Western or rather North West part of the island as well as airport area and south area is very urbanized full of villas and high life resorts, while eastern part stays a little bit raw and in some cases it even seems to be running away from civilization. Amed and Tulamben are a great snorkeling or diving destinations. I do not know if anyone could count number of diving or snorkeling centers there. Therefore prices are very affordable. Ubud temple and Ubud monkey forest are truly amazing,and worth checking. In Ubud you definitely should wait for evening or morning dance. Rice terraces, waterfalls, coffee plantations or local markets would be something I would recommend to focus on too.
A great place for parties, water sports and a chilling with friends. Could you imagine whole island going out and having fun in pubs, at the beach, around clubs and having fun everywhere? Yes, this is Gili Travangan. Location you would not like to miss if you are interested in this kind of fun. Gili Travangan and Gili Air are also a great place to see and swim with turtles and colorful fishes. Please check my top-5-things-to-do-in-gili-islands to find out even more.
What else to be Aware of !
You can pick up tasty local fare for under 10,000 IDR, which is a great way to save extra money. But be aware BALI BELLY or digestion issues might get you everywhere. And the last thing you would like to have on a trip to Indonesia is that. Ask locals, ask other tourists, be sure what are you eating before you do. And if it will catch you. Best way to recover quickly is to give up other food than rice, dry crackers, toasts – bread only, French fries. And getting some pills for belly problems, as it will not go away fast just by itself. After you fill better you might try some pizza bread, and eventually some vegetables. Boiled egg is also a good choice, stay hydrated.
Please remember. If you are catching belly problems easily, do not drink water other than bottled or mineral water.
Please be aware! In very touristic areas or center of busy cities, many locations might offer you higher rate. BUT might not inform you about service charge till the end of transaction or might be run by sticky hand magicians 😉 who will simply take one or few of your banknotes and hide them quicker than you might spot it.
All in all note
Indonesia is one of this destinations you do really come back with your memories, and thinking about going there again.
Let me show you a bit more with my eyes.
Here are my top 20 photos to inspire you to visit indonesia