What makes Indonesia a perfect travel destination?
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. I believe all of this end even more.
To check out more photos, see also my top 20 photos to inspire you to visit indonesia
Exchange rate. 1 Euro = 14,750 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 at the airport as most of airport places does not have bad exchange rate. And get some more later on outside tourist areas.
Food – 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. Also 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.
Accommodation – If you have enough time in advance look up for other people who are also heading to same location and rent a villa! Ok, but lets start from 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. I found online booking systems working quite well here. More expensive and luxurious places might cost us anything from 400,000 IDR per night and villas? Depending on how long we would like to stay but we might get a real great deals here sometimes even lower than hostels per night. Look up for facebook Indonesia rental groups or nomad groups as this style of life is quite common in Indonesia.
Transportation – 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 200 000 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 very cheap here, it might be a great idea to include Bali as one of the stops or a start and return destination.
Activities: 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, museum or monkey forest till 400 000 or higher for diving, parachute or some other extreme experience. I will try to give more examples while describing activities.
Bargain hard – do not be affraid. This is not going to be taken wrong way. It is king of tradition here. Also in tourist areas this is a way of life and great profits. Some prices might be even 2, 5 or 10 times higher as what they can be negotiated to.
My Personal suggestion would be to prepare at least 300 000 IDR for each 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 visit destination ! Although it might be little crowded in most famous areas, it is one of the most favorite islands across tourists, yoga fans, people running nomadic life style or working remotely. And there are good reasons for this. You can find almost everything Indonesia is famous for. Western or rather North West part of the island as well as airport and south area is very urbanized full of villas and high resorts, while eastern part stays a little bit raw and in some cases it seems to be running away from civilization. Amed and Tulamben are a great snorkeling or diving destinations. I do not know if anyone can count number of diving or snorkeling centers there. Therefore prices are very affordable. Ubud temple and Ubud monkey forest near are truly amazing. You definitely should see evening or morning dance. Rice terraces, waterfalls, coffee plantations or local markets would be something I would recommend to focus on.
Gili Islands, a great place for water sports and a stunning party place. 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 is 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 !
Eat on the street – 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. 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. After you fill better you might try some pizza bread, and eventually some vegetables. Boiled egg is also a good choice, stay hydrated.
If you are catching belly problems easily, do not drink water other than bottled or mineral water.
Exchanging money – 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 them
All in all note
Indonesia is one of this destinations you do really come back with your memories, and thinking about going there again.