In 2015 we first fell in love with Indonesia. A three week holiday left such a big impression, we were eager to go back for more.
We were here before on our holiday two years ago and loved to see more. During our three weeks through Java by train we found enough impressive Dutch history, we were stunned by the gorgeous ricefields and had our breath taken away on top of a volcano. Oh my, what a trip!
In Indonesia there are many forms of transport. Airplanes, trains in some of the islands, coaches, public buses, mini buses, taxis, becaks and (horse) rickshaws.
Our favourite is Grab, is easy, cheap and safe and very comfortable.
For those not familiar with Grab, Go-Jek or Über (which is not available in Indonesia), this is how it works:
You download the app and make an account. Fill in you creditcardnumber if you want or choose cash payment.
At the homepage of the app fill in your location if it doesn't do that itself, if it does check if your own location is correct. Then fill in where you want to go and if a car is available you'll see the price on the bottom of your screen. You order the taxi and get a name and a car registration number, so you can look out for the car. On your screen you see the car moving towards you and sometimes they will call you for your exact location, so entering your local sim number is quite useful. Also when you order the taxi you can enter a note for the driver like 'at the hotel entrance' or 'I have an orange backpack'. Also while you're waiting you can send the driver a message or even cancel your order.
When you've been brought to your location you exit the taxi and the amount will be withdrawn from your credit card if you don’t pay in cash. You can give stars to the driver in the app and maybe give a compliment or a comment about the ride.
Safe? We have never felt unsafe or uncomfortable. With Grab, all cars we had were very new, actually we think there is maybe a opportunity for the drivers to drive a new car if they join Grab.
Costs? We estimate the Grab costs to about € 1.50-2.00 per 5 kilometres.
We were in Indonesia from the end of July until the end of October. The temperatures in the first month (about 24 degrees centigrade) were fantastic, especially in Sumatra the nights were much cooler (about 18 degrees C) and even during the day we could be much more active. An occasional shower cooled things off and the fresh breeze was sometimes even a bit chilly.
Traveling southwards ánd further into the season the temperatures in Java were much hotter, but most days of September the temperatures were still an acceptable 28 degrees. Almost no rain. Reaching Bali and especially further east around Komodo Island in October the heat was a disaster. No wind and a relentless burning sun on your skin all day long of 34 degrees plus.
The best time to visit these southern islands is probably in may or june at the beginning of the dry season.
Currency: 10.000 Indonesian Rupiah = € 0.64
In these 89 days in Indonesia we've spend:
Transportation: € 1074.50
Accommodations: € 1035.00
Food and drinks: € 1268.00
Entrance fees: € 84.00
Other: € 302.00
That brings us to a daily budget of: € 42.25 for two persons including everything, except international flights and diving activities.
On Bali everything is overpriced and it’s hard to find a restaurant with ‘normal’ Indonesian prices. We've stayed in a double room with private bathroom, pool and including breakfast.
Here are some examples of products and prices in Euro:
White bread in supermarket: € 0.60-1.25
Coffee latte in a lunchroom: € 0.90-1.90
Beer (650 ml) in a cafe: € 2.50-3.50
Beer (650 ml) supermarket: € 1.50-2.00
Coca Cola in restaurant: € 0.60-1.50
Fresh fruit salad in restaurant: € 1.50-3.50
Fried noodles in restaurant: € 1.00-3.50
Applying for a 60 day Social Cultural Visa for Indonesia was not very complicated, we did it in a day at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuching, Malaysia.
Extending the Visa for 30 days was a whole different story. We got acquainted with some serious bureaucracy.
Read our experience and tips below!