Country recap and budget tips: Indonesia

Posted by Beth | May 25, 2016

Days in the country: 9

Islands visited: Bali (Kuta and Ubud) and Java (Yogykarta)

Favorite lodging: Four Points Bali Kuta Beach

Favorite food: Toss up between the crispy duck in Ubud and the bbq pork ribs at Hog Wild in Seminyak.

My favorite coconut drink in Indonesia had fresh squeezed orange juice, limes and ice inside.

Favorite drink: Fresh coconuts! The delicious, cheap fruit was the perfect welcome back to Southeast Asia.

Favorite activities: Taking a surfing lesson, walking around Yogyakarta (specifically around the Water Palace/Underground Mosque area), seeing Uluwatu and Tanah Lot temples at sunset, cheap massages right on the beach

What we enjoyed the most: We really enjoyed our day trip to Ubud. Hiring a private driver is the easiest way to get around and it’s quite affordable (about $45 for the entire day). We got to see a local market, a waterfall, the rice fields, a coffee plantation and had an amazing lunch.

What we enjoyed the least: The streets in Kuta Beach weren’t well lit and were only wide enough for one car and yet seemed to contain two-way traffic and a ton of motorbikes. Not a pleasant place for pedestrians but there’s usually nowhere else to walk.

What surprised us: How much we enjoyed Yogyakarta. We knew very little about the area beforehand but it was beautiful and not as touristy as Bali. Definitely well worth the short flight over for a few days.

What we would have done differently: We loved our hotel on Kuta Beach and it was very nice to stay put for five straight nights, but it also would have been cool to stay on Seminyak Beach (slightly more upscale than the backpacker area of Kuta Beach) and a night or two in Ubud instead of doing it as a day trip.

Favorite person we met: We met so many great old Indonesian men

Our best pro tips: 

  • Head to Double Six Beach (just past Legion Beach) for sunset. Most of the restaurants and bars have bean bags set up on the beach with live music playing and drink specials.IMG_6362
  • Uber is available in Bali. Read more about our Uber experiences here.
  • Redeem SPG points for affordable, great hotels across Indonesia.
  • If you’re wanting to enjoy dinner on the beach in Jimbaran Beach, it’s much more affordable as part of a package tour. Our 1/2 day trip included  a private driver to Uluwatu temple for sunset with the Kecak fire dance show, a two-hour spa treatment and dinner on the beach for about $50/person. According to the menu at the restaurant the meals alone were that much if you paid on your own, and were definitely not worth the price.

    The Kecak fire dance was just okay. It was hard to even pay attention because they kept cramming people in long after it started.

    The Kecak fire dance was just okay. It was hard to even pay attention because they kept cramming people in long after it started.

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (1USD=13681.99IDR)

Hotel points redeemed: 27,000 SPG points

Flexible points redeemed: 50,944 Citi points (flight from Sydney to Bali), and 6,845 Arrival points (flight from Bali to Yogyakarta)

Total out-of-pocket expense: $761.82

Daily average: $42.32 per person/day

Click here to see our itemized expenses from Indonesia: Indonesia Expenses

Overall we LOVED Indonesia and it was the perfect gateway back into Southeast Asia for us. But did we enjoy it more than our beloved Thailand? Caleb is working on another post comparing Bali to Thailand if you had to chose one for your vacation, so stay tuned to find out!

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