Travel Expenses: Indonesia

This is probably the first international trip (not counting Australia) wherein I didn’t make a travel budget prior to leaving. After last year’s trips, I now have a pretty good idea of how much damage I can do to my wallet when I travel. Also, I got too busy and lazy to thoroughly research everything, much less create a spreadsheet. True enough, the amount was as I projected.

The cost of traveling in Indonesia is pretty much the same as other Southeast Asian countries — not as expensive as Singapore, though not as cheap as Vietnam. It’s not a dirt cheap trip — it wasn’t meant to be. It was a vacation, and I don’t want to scrimp. A lot of people have done the same trip far cheaper than I have, but they’re them and I’m me.

I also decided to give CouchSurfing another try so I CouchSurfed with Zuky in Jakarta. Actually, I had intended look for accommodation when I get to Jakarta, but I couldn’t stand the thought of arriving without any accommodation. I tried to find a good, cheap place in Jakarta but the ones that had decent reviews are either already fully booked or are too expensive. I turned to CouchSurfing when I ran out of options, and luckily, Zuky welcomes last minute requests. I requested to CouchSurf with her the night before I had to fly to Jakarta, since the host I initially contacted canceled at the last minute. I had two tickets out of Yogyakarta actually, and I was already considering taking the August 25th flight instead of the 24th in case I can’t find a place. Thankfully, Zuky replied quickly, so I made my way to Jakarta and had a very positive CouchSurfing experience.

Of the three cities in Indonesia, Bali is the most expensive (and has the most touts), but it’s also the most interesting. Admittedly, I am partial to beaches, but it wasn’t the beaches of Bali that endeared me to the place. It was the Balinese culture that’s making me want to go back and explore the island.

Indonesia and Singapore 2010
August 21 – September 5, 2010

Currency exchange rate varies. Rate used is the current rate for each day or rate used by my bank.

In local currency In Peso
Air transport
Manila to Singapore
Jetstar Asia US$ 200.00 PHP 9,528.40 1

Singapore to Yogyakarta
Air Asia SG$ 44.00 PHP 1,496.13 2
Includes Red seat (SG$11 fee)

Yogyakarta to Jakarta
Air Asia IDR 21,000.00 PHP 106.19 3

Yogyakarta to Denpasar
Air Asia IDR 21,000.00 PHP 106.19 3

Denpasar to Singapore
Air Asia IDR 114,200.00 PHP 564.75 4
Includes Red seat and meal (IDR 99,200)

Manila airport tax PHP 750.00 PHP 750.00
Philippine travel tax PHP 1,620.00 PHP 1,620.00
Yogyakarta departure tax IDR 25,000.00 PHP 125.97
Jakarta departure tax IDR 40,000.00 PHP 201.56
Denpasar departure tax IDR 150,000.00 PHP 749.54

Transport to and from airport – Manila PHP 720.00 PHP 720.00
Transport to and from airport – Yogyakarta IDR 120,000.00 PHP 603.63 5
Transport to and from airport – Jakarta IDR 60,000.00 PHP 302.34 6
Transport to and from airport – Denpasar IDR 310,00.00 PHP 1,533.68 7

1001 Malam – Yogyakarta
Double room with breakfast, 2 nights US$ 77.88 PHP 3,446.58 8

Tune Hotel Legian – Bali
Double room, 2 nights IDR 450,960.00 PHP 2,389.06 9

Puri Saraswati Bungalow
Single room with breakfast, 1 night US$ 60.00 PHP 2,661.36 10

Jakarta IDR 100,500.00 PHP 506.06 11
Bali IDR 125,000.00 PHP 399.74 12
Singapore SG$ 20.00 PHP 665.04 13

Meal expenses
Yogyakarta IDR 287,400.00 PHP 1,495.03 14
Jakarta IDR 260,700.00 PHP 1,352.65 15
Bali IDR 397,999.00 PHP 1,994.78 16
Singapore SG$ 45.00 PHP 1,495.80 17

Borubudur tour IDR 200,000.00 PHP 1,605.71 18
Ramayana ballet IDR 310,00.00 PHP 1,555.61 19
Jakarta History Musem IDR 2,000.00 PHP 10.07
Wayang Museum IDR 2,000.00 PHP 10.07
Beach lounge chair and umbrella IDR 30,000.00 PHP 150.68 20
Kecak Dance IDR 75,000.00 PHP 374.77 21
Souvenirs IDR 360,000.00 PHP 1,807.42 22
Internet IDR 14,000.00 PHP 70.00
Toilet fee IDR 1,000.00 PHP 5.00
Roaming IDR 37,000.00 PHP 185.45 23

Total: PHP 40,589.26

1 I stalled and ended up booking my ticket late. I was aiming for Singapore Airlines, but I waited too late and by the time I was ready to buy, the fare has shot up. It was either Jetstar or PAL, but since my trip is more than 8 days, it was cheaper to go with Jetstar. Other airlines that fly to Singapore aren’t into consideration because the 20 kilo baggage allowance is important to me.
2 In my previous trips, I noticed that the Red seat section of the aircraft was always almost empty. Decided to try them out and modified my booking several days before I had to fly out.
3 Oh yes. Booked this and all the Air Asia flights in this trip back in November 2009 during Air Asia’s Zero Fare sale.
4 Modified booking again to include Red seat selection and Nasi Lemak meal
5 Taxis from the Adisucipto International Airport in Yogyakarta have fixed prices depending on your destination. It cost IDR 50,000 from the airport to Sosrowijaya in downtown Jogja and IDR 70,000 for the car from 1001 Malam to the airport
6 This is shockingly low because I took the X-trans (minibus) from Soekarno Hatta Terminal 3 to BSD City
7 Taxis from the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar are also on a fixed rate. It was IDR 60,000 to Double Six in Legian/Seminyak. Since Ubud is 1 hour inland, I had to pay top money for a car to the airport. At least I had the car to myself and it’s blissfully airconditioned.
8 Ack! Expensive, I know! I booked this through Agoda, mainly because if I book through the site, I can pay via Paypal (thus reducing the damage done to my pocket money and credit cards). Agoda charges an additional 10% for their services.
9 Room with double bed, 24-hour aircon credit and one 24-hour internet access
10 Decided to splurge for my last day and I do not regret it! My room and the resort’s environs is definitely worth the $60
11 I took all manners of public transportation in Jakarta from taxis to angkot (their version of a jeepney or songtheaw) to ojek (motorcycle taxi) to the busway (bus that has its own lane) to the train (not the MRT-type train, mind you!)
12 Two taxi rides, one ojek ride and one 50-minute ride in a non-airconditioned bus to Ubud
13 My brother lent me his EZ-link card, so I topped it up with a SG$20 credit. My actual usage was approximately $30 for 8 days
14 Ate mostly at restaurants catering to tourists. Breakfast included in hotel and temple tours
15 Pretty expensive considering I was technically just in Jakarta for 2 days. A chunk came from my meal at Plaza Indonesia and my Starbucks fix at the airport. Zuky even treated me to dinner on my last day, and our extra food was my breakfast the following day.
16 I was running out of cash and I even had the gall to order a Php700+ dinner! I figured that since I wasn’t doing the tours and dining at Jimbaran Bay, I might as well splurge for the seafood at Legian. Meals in Bali were a mix of cheap beach brunch, fast food, restaurants, an Anthony Bourdain approved babi guling and a junkfood dinner.
17 My meals in Singapore actually avaraged at SG$6.00 not including drinks. This is very low for 8 days in Singapore since I ate most of my meals at home and was treated to a couple of meals by friends and family
18 I initially meant to hire a car with driver and guide, but it was too expensive, so I just opted to join a group tour. It was a great decision since there were only 2 of us. Admission fee for the Borubudur and Prambanan is $15 each, but the Simple Tours agency offers it at only $12 each. Transport that covers both temples and a couple of temple stops only cost IDR 80,000 and includes a light breakfast at Borubudur.
19 The Ramayana Ballet was highly recommended by Marvin and Babes, so signed up for it as well. Decided to splurge and got VIP tickets (IDR 250,000). Transport included (IDR 60,000)
20 This is optional; you can still lay your sarong or towel on the sand.
21 This is a traditional Balinese dance that tells the story of the Ramayana. I was lucky that there are several sites around Ubud where you can watch this dance.
22 Includes a wayang kulit, flower clip, vanilla pods and saffron.
24 Bought an Indonesian sim card since Globe Telecom’s roaming service sucks (won’t let me text but I can call).
RELATED:   Travel Expenses: Malaysia

Indonesia 2010.xls (20k)
Indonesia 2010.pdf (76k)

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 20 Comments
  1. chyng says:

    lakas ng loob mo sa couchsurfing. ibang level ka talaga!
    pero what if di mo bet yung room ng host? ano gagawin mo? =)

    standard ba yung rate sa departure tax pag international trip? say, uwi ng pinas from jakarta? around P700 din?

    • Ryu Ng says:

      Departure tax out of Jakarta to any international destination is IDR 150,000. This is always not included in the ticket price. Still cheaper than our very expensive travel tax of PhP 1620.

  2. gosh! parang kelangan ko mag-couch surf! tipid mode uli ako as usual. haha I might skip Bali, mahal airfare eh at ang tagal naman cguro if by bus. oh well, i should plan my itinerary na asap.
    thx for sharing this Nina! :)

  3. nina says:

    Chyng: What do you mean di ko bet? Di ko type? Well, yan na part of the risk. Makakalibre ka na ga eh magrereklamo ka pa ba? XD But I think hosts try to make the sleeping quarters as comfortable as possible, since they would want the same when they surf.

    I read that IDR 150,000 din ang departure tax sa Jakarta, so around Php 700 nga. When are you going?

    Gael: May mga reasonably priced hostels naman, but fully booked na kasi. But if you want to try Couchsurfing, dun ka rin kay Zuky, okay siya :)

    How long are you staying ba? If you’re going to Yogyakarta, overnight nalang yun to Bali ;)

  4. Hi Nina! :) My CS profile ako pero di ko na binibisita. hehe Cge cge, try ko, I’m pressed for time again, 1 week lang po ako. Salamat sa recommendation, I’ll open my profile sa CS pagbalik ko. I’ve seen some bloggers din na gumamit na ng CS, sofar ok naman experience nila. salamat ng marami! :)

  5. bertN says:

    I wish i can keep tab of my expenses when I am on the road the way you meticulously do, kaya lang baka masiraan ako ng bait LOL.

  6. Ed says:

    this is one of the websites i checked before i went bungy jumping in Macau. It was a really awesome experience!

    I have a CS account though I haven’t been really active. Maybe I should reincarnate it.

  7. Nins, were the departure taxes charged in Indonesia for all flights or just for the domestic ones? (Thanks again for this breakdown!)

  8. Lois says:

    I love your budget posts! Great to hear you had a positive CS experience. I have tried in in the US and in Europe and most recently in Thailand last April this year and I’ve had the best CS experiences. Not just staying with people but meeting up with them has been pretty amazing.

    I’m going on a budget trip to Thailand for 9 days this weekend and after seeing your excel sheet on Bangkok I’m more confident it can be done.

    You can read all about it here:

  9. nina says:

    bertN: Bored lang ako hahaha. It’s part of the discipline as a travel blogger, I guess?

    Ed: Sarap ng feeling mag bungy no? You don’t need to travel to participate in CS. There’s a very active Manila group, and I think there’s a gathering at least once in two weeks!

    Chris: It’s a standard IDR 150,000 for international trips, while it varies naman for domestic departures.

    Lois: Good luck on the challenge! I don’t think I’ll be able to do 8K, specially in Bangkok!

  10. Yanin says:

    Nice blog. Budget traveler din ako, pero nag-start palang. He he
    Went to Singapore for 4 days last Aug. Nice city.
    Hopefully mkapnta din ako Indonesia next year.

    Btw, san pla mgnda magtravel ng solo. Gusto ko itry para maiba namn. Mahirap kc minsan mag-aya ng ksama. Usual budget constraints. :)

  11. Ranes says:

    How much to spend is the most important information that we need when we travel… the budget, I believe, should be considered before hand in order to know what to expect and how much to prepare when you travel. Traveling can be not too expensive if we want to.

  12. davidd says:

    $923.00 USD in travel expenses? Hey, what happened to our Niña!?! ;-)

    Uh… of course… that’s nine-hundred bucks for a FIFTEEN DAY VACATION IN BALI!

    How about some posts on how to take 15 days off work to loaf on the beach in Bali? ;-p

  13. nina says:

    Davidd: Not paying attention! I only spent 4 days in Bali; 8-days total in Indonesia :P

    I’m lucky enough to be working for a boss that lets me take extended vacations. Without pay, of course. I just need to notify him ahead of time so we can schedule the projects I’m handling.

  14. aleah says:

    yeah, zuky is great isn’t she? we had a blast when i went there. she took me around and even lent me her room! your site is nice, i really should update my travel blog more regularly.

  15. chloe says:

    Hi! Pano po magpunta ng Borobudor from Bali?

  16. Manix Genabe says:

    hi nina,

    the departure taxes are not included in the ticket?

    We will be travelling to the ff destinations and would you have any ideas with the taxes that we have to pay at the airport? We don’t want the hassle of not having the local currency to pay at the airport. Here’s our itinerary, maybe you could guide us:

    Manila – Kota Kinabalu
    Kota Kinabalu – Kuala Lumpur
    Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta
    Jakarta – Bali
    Bali – Phuket
    Phuket – Krabi (on land)
    Phuket – Bangkok
    Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur
    Kuala Lumpur – Manila

    would you have any ideas the amount we have to settle at
    each airport?
    thank you!


    • nina says:

      Hi Manix, Thailand and Malaysia do have departure/airport taxes, but they are already incorporated into your ticket. What you’ll need to pay are:
      Manila: Philippine travel tax – Php 1,620
      Manila: Airport terminal fee – Php 750
      Jakarta: Departure tax – IDR 40,000
      Bali: Departure tax – IDR 150,000

      Enjoy your trip! :)

  17. Raymund says:

    Yeah I agree that Bali is the most expensive pero for me jan yung pinakamagandang pasyalan sa Indonesia. Most of our villas are located in Bali. BTW We have a blogger conference in Bali this year, maybe we will invite you to join :)

  18. […] Tune was at Penang, during my 30-day Southeast Asian backpacking trip in 2009, the second during my Indonesia trip in […]

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