Travel guide for Indonesia
1 Getting around
1.3 Public transport
2.4 Hotel/Guest house
3 Tips and traps
3.1 Money saving tips
3.2 Tourist traps
3.3 Suggested daily bugdet
3.4 Our bugdet
4 Our Top-Things-TO-DO
4.1 Our top 3
4.2 10 more things to do
4.3 food must-try
We have noticed that, when people think about Indonesia, the first thing that comes in their mind is “Bali”. Nevertheless, there is so much more to it. Indonesia consists of many Volcano Islands. The most known island is Bali, Lombok, Java and Sumatra. The population of Indonesia is around 261 million people and there are more than 270 difference language spoken.
Choosing the right transportation for you depends obviously on your time and budget. Longtime travellers are not in a rush, on a short vacation it’s plausible to choose time over money.
Renting a car
There are car rental companies which are mainly located near airports. As there is only one airport per island, they do not offer different drop-off locations.
Price – 300.000-500.000 IDR daily
It’s very popular to hire a driver in tourist areas like Bali, Yogyakarta and Lombok. If you plan on doing so, make a little plan what you would like to visit before you find your driver. There are many drivers around usually you get the best offers if you talk directly to a driver, not an agency.
Price – 600.000 IDR per day (up to 8 hours)
Renting a scooter
scooters are the most effective way to come around in Indonesia. You avoid being stuck in traffic in cities and get easily around in villages, where no public transport exists. Keep in mind that renting on weekends is often more expensive.
Price – 40.000 IDR – 80.000 IDR
nowadays applications on our smartphones make transportation easier and cheaper. Those apps show you before confirming the ride the price. It’s ideal for short distances like an airport pickup/drop-off. It’s usually half price of the local taxi price.
There are often promo codes online or even on advertising pillars – keep an eye out and remember they can save surely a couple of rupiahs, which are better invested in food and activities.
Price – minimum 10.000 IDR
Flying within Indonesia is cheap and fast, using websites such as skyscanner and traveloka make it easy to find the right price and the cheapest airline, there are for example budget airlines like Air Asia and Lion Air.
There are two different kinds of busses: Local and intercity busses. Indonesia’s infrastructure is not quite developed, which means that the average speed is below 50km/h. The local busses (open vans) for short distances are called Angkots. The intercity busses differenciate in high- and low-cost busses. It won’t make a difference in your travel time, but definitely in comfort.
No matter which bus you may take make always sure you carry your baggage with you on the bus and don’t storage it underneath in the luggage room.
Price – Local bus(Angkot) 4.000IDR – Intercity 30.000-50.000 IDR
There are two kinds of trains to differentiate: local and intercity trains. Keep in mind if using you will skip possible traffic, which might save you time, trains in Indonesia are quite cheap compared to other transport opportunities, travelling with either local or intercity trains is comfortable. Remember to bring a jacket, since air conditioning is on 16 °C.
Price – local 5.000-10.000RP
Using of Couchsurfing is highly recommended, it is an amazing opportunity to meet local people. Indonesia’s community is very active, which makes finding a host and a place to stay very easy. Especially in big cities you won’t have problems, in small villages along the way you need to be more flexible. Private rooms and shared rooms are offered.
Price – free of charge, but sharing your culture and company. Dont treat your host like hotel staff!
A hostel is a good place for travellers on a budget; hostels are spread all over Indonesia.. Meeting other travellers in hostels is nice for solo travellers, who are looking for company. You can share your knowledge and perhaps plan a day trip together. Hostelworld, or simply google maps are options to find a place to stay.
Price – 60.000-120.000RP.
Hostels or guesthouses can sometimes be the cheapest opportunity. Before booking an Airbnb or hostel we recommend you to compare your options e.g. on booking.com. Sometimes they have good deals in your area. Especially if you are travelling with more than one person, sharing the costs can be the cheapest and most comfortable way to stay together.
Price – 110.000-250.000RP.
Using Airbnb can be problematic in Indonesia, mainly foreigners rent out their own vacation houses or apartments, that can be quite expensive, and we do not recommend it.
Price – 150.000-1.600.000RP.
Tips and Traps
Money saving tips
It will save you a lot of money if you stuck to traditional Indonesian dishes, such as Nasi or mie goreng ayam. Vegetarian meals are normally cheaper and the serves are bigger. Compare prices, when you get to the restaurants. If you can’t see prices it’s often not a good sign. In non-tourist areas you pay between
7.000 and 25.000 IDR. The more tourists the more expensive is the food.
Using local/public transportation (bus, train, vans) can save you a lot of money. Drivers and taxis don’t seem to be expensive compared to the country where we’re coming from, but public transport is often 10 times cheaper. It’s more the quantity which makes the big difference on your bank account at the end.
Avoid them. Doing guided tours can be expensive and it’s reasonable. A guide showing you around costs money everywhere in the world, but doing things by yourself or with friends cost nothing and can be super adventurous and fun.
As there are no fixed prices or price tags on products or attractions in Indonesia and especially in Bali, it’s very important to have an idea about the “regular” prices and then bargain to get the product you want for that price. Generally you can get everything for a 3rd of what they offer you.
By looking up things online before going somewhere, talking to locals or other traveler about where they have been is a good idea since it can help knowing the right price and destination.
SKIP TOURIST TRAPS
Below we list some places, which are huge tourist attractions. They are very popupular, but also completely over priced and packed with people. If any of this attractions is on your bucket list we definitely recommend going there, but keep in mind that it might cut a hole in your bank account or travel bugdet.
Suggested daily bugdet
Indonesia is one of the cheapest countries in Asia, it’s a good place to spend less money and save the rest for more expensive countries.
Budget Indonesia (13 days)
The following charts showing our actual expenses and our budget while travelling Java, including flights,, accommodation, food, transport and activities.
1. Ijen mountrain
Location – Banyuwangi East Java
Price – tour 250.000RP – by yourself 150.000RP.
Time – 6-8 hours.
Recommended period – February / May.
Hiking this mountain is one of a kind, it is not just that the hike itself is amazing, but inside the Volcano, there is a sulfur mine, and a huge blue lake. You start by using transport to get to the ground of Ljen, and we recommend you to start the hike around midnight. Climbing up can be quite hard, but there will be plenty of people around, and many toilets all the way.
2. Nusa Penida
Location – Island out of southeast Bali
Price – by fast boat 100.000, one-way
Time – 3-4 days.
Recommended period – February – May
Visiting this island is a must while you traveling around Bali, it’s only an hour away from the harbor of Sanur, we recommend that you stay at the island for at least a couple of days. Bali is a tourist island, so going to Nusa Penida is a perfect place to get away, and into the local and enjoy the culture. This Island have so much to offer, beautiful beaches, snorkeling in reef, climbing mountain or enjoying the amazing atmosphere.
3. Puspita Rumah Sahabat Anak
Location – Bogor, West Java
Price – free Time – 1-7 days
Recommended time – all year (October – November)
Going to Bogor is one thing, the city is so filled with beautiful places, but in the surrounding area there is a small gem hiding, a boarding school for poor kids, and a place where they live in harmony and joy, to learn about life and its wonderful meanings. It is a place where foreign people are more than welcome, to share their journey or knowledge to a very wonderful and cheerful family.
10 more things to do
- Explore the Island Sumatra
- Go diving in Flores
- Sail to Lombok
- Climb Mt. Bromo
- Enjoy Yogyakarta city life
- Visit rainbow village in Malang
- Surf in Bali
- Sunrise hike
- Tempel tour around Yogyakarta
- Surf a couch in your favourite city
What to eat
Mie goreng – fried noodles
Nasi goreng – fried rice
Nasi campur – rice with a choice of different meat or veggies, varies from warung to warung
Kari Ayam – chicken in curry sauce
Nasi Padang – special paste made from spices from Sumatra, you can find different meat or vegetarian options marinated
Rujak Manis – mixed fruits with peanut sauce and shrimp paste
Pecel – it’s a variety of vegetables with a side of rice, and a spicy peanut sauce
Gado gado – it’s a vegetarian dish, which varies from place to place but includes always veggies, egg and peanut sauce.