Tips for traveling in Asia

So far all my tips for traveling in Asia in one place. Hope it will be useful for your travels.

Tips for traveling in Asia Indonesia

Tips for traveling in Asia Malaysia

Tips for traveling in Asia Vietnam

Have more questions? Need more tips for traveling in Asia, especially in Indonesia? Contact me and I will try to help you :)

What can you do with 1 euro in Indonesia

Some people, when they arrive to Indonesia, feel like millionaires. Here, everything is counted by thousands and millions. In Indonesia there are only 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 thousands banknote and 100, 200, 500, 1 000 coins. Paradox but more than 57% of all Indonesian inhibits earn till 1,78 EUR per day.

Money are using not only for shopping
Indonesians cure fever with metal coins. They scratch the back with coins for wind get out from the body. Indonesians believe that wind, makes them get fever and metal coins attracts bad spirits. This “procedure” (others say it “massage”) called “kerok”.

As well, like probably in many countries, money is given like presents.

In the end of Ramadhan, during Idul-Fitri, when relatives visiting relatives, if in the family there are any kids – guests brings colorful envelopment with money inside (usually 10 000 Rp – ~0,69 EUR) for kids. Even before this celebration banks specially is changing big amount of cash to smaller. Nobody surprised when kids, during Idul-Fitri, comes to guests and showing their wallets (asking money).

In the traditional Muslim weddings you rare will see guests with flowers or presents. Almost everyone brings envelopment with money. When you come, first of all you need to “register” in guest book and beside this book is always stands the box to put the money. There are not written rules how much you need to put, but it’s good gesture if one person brings at least 50 000 Rp (~3,43 EUR).

Before Christmas, Catholics in Indonesia are used to give money for kids like a present. The amount is ~20 000 Rp (1,37 EUR). It should be new banknote in beautiful envelopment. Some street sellers, especially for Christmas sells new banknote already packed. Of course for this “service” you need to pay extra ~2 000–5 000 Rp (0,14–0,34 EUR).

Different prices in different cities and for different people
For example, in Yogyakarta prices are ~1,5 times less than in Jakarta or Bali island.
As well different prices sellers gives for local people and for foreigners. Even if you already know how to barge in Indonesian language, still usually the final sum will be a bit bigger than for locals. Some Indonesians even don’t hide, that foreigners they see like walking ATM’s, so they try to take as much as possible cash from them :).

What can you do with 1 euro in Indonesia?
So what is possible to buy for 1 EUR in Yogyakarta city? Like EUR currency all the time changing let’s take average -1 EUR=14 500 Rp.

  • Eat food in local restaurant “Rumah makan” (where is menu from which you can choose).
    1 portion simple rise (“nasi putih”), fried mushrooms (“jamur goreng”), sambal sause with guava natural juice – 13 500 Rp (0,93 EUR).
  • Have a dish in street restaurant “Warung makan” (food made and putted in the window, there are no menu, you take what is putted)
    1 portion simple rice, vegetables (“sayur”), 2 balls of smash potatoes (“perkedel”), 1 chicken thigh in sweet suce (“ayam bakar”) and natural guava juice – 14 000 Rp (0,96 EUR).
  • Eat in street restaurant (where you see how food is preparing for you)
    1 portion fried rise (“nasi goreng” – called national Indonesian dish) with chicken scrap, omelet, several vegetables and cold drink  “es jeruk” – 11 000 Rp (0,76 EUR).
  • Take away food from street vendors “kaki-lima”.
    1 portion rice cooked in coconut oil (“nasi uduk”), 2 peace “tempeh” and 2 peace of “tahu” – 7 000 Rp (0,48 EUR).

It’s really possible to find where to eat cheaper but I don’t go to places where I see that food is made and kept not in the best conditions :)

If you don’t have big requirements for food and don’t eat big portions, per day in Yogyakarta is possible to eat 3 times for 24 000 Rp (1,65 EUR): for breakfast instant coffee and 4 coffee cake; for lunch – rice, vegetables, chicken, simple drink; for dinner – rice, “tahu” and “tempeh”.

What possible to buy for 1 EUR in Surabaya city? (Thank you Abriani Ori Ratnasari for information)
1 EUR  Abriani calculate like 15 000 Rp. Here is the list what you can do with 1 EUR:

  • Buy food in KFC “goceng package”. You can choose: ice cream, soup, love float, melon float, grape float, burger and others.
  • Buy food: rice, chicken and ice tea – 5 000 Rp (0,33 EUR)
  • Buy books
  • Buy pensil case
  • Buy ticket for public transportation like “angkot” or bus – it’s only 5 000 Rp (0,33 EUR) one way, for 1 person
  • Buy 3 underwear units (for girls)

More things what can you do with 1 euro

  • Eat sandwich with cobra meat– 13 000 Rp (0,89 EUR).
  • Order 2 natural juice in local restaurant – 10 000-14 000 Rp (0,69-0,96 EUR).
  • Try Robusta coffee from Flores island in local restaurant– 10 000 Rp (0,69 EUR).
  • In small shop buy 13 packages of instant coffee – 13 000 Rp (0,89 EUR).
  • In small shop buy 10 packages of instant noodles (Indonesians just love this ”dish”)– ~14 000 Rp (0,96 EUR).
  • Buy ~ 1,2 kilo simple rice – ~14 000 Rp (0,96 EUR).
  • In big supermarket buy “Coca cola” 1,5 l – 13 000 Rp (0,89 EUR). Or in small shop buy 3 small bottles (425 ml) – 12 000 Rp (0,82 EUR).
  • Buy 4 bottles of water in not touristic are (500 ml) – 12 000 Rp (0,82 EUR).
  • Buy 1 kilo tomatoes and cucumber in local market – 14 000 Rp (0,96 EUR) (locals can buy cheaper ;)).
  • Buy 1-2 kilo of seasonal fruits (banana, mango…) – 7 000-13 000 Rp (0,48-0,96 EUR).
  • In small shop buy food „package“ – 2 packages of instat coffee, pie, jam – 13 500 Rp (0,93 EUR) or 0,5 kilo of rice, small package of sauce and 2 pieces of “tahu” and “tempeh” – 13 500 Rp (0,93 EUR).
  • Put the fuel almost 2 l in petrol station – 14 800 Rp (1,02 EUR).
  • Buy bus ticket from Yogyakarta to Magelang city – 13 000 Rp (0,89 EUR).
  • With “becak” go short distance (that takes no longer than 10 min.) – 10 000 Rp (0,69 EUR).
  • Pay for motorbike parking 7-14 times – 14 000 Rp (0,96 EUR). The price depends where you want to park – touristic places more expensive.
  • Go with taxi ~2-4 km – 12 000-14 400 Rp (0,82-0,99 EUR).
  • Buy local cigarettes 1-2 (with „kretek“) – 8 000-14 000 Rp (0,55-0,96 EUR).
  • Buy small souvenirs in Malioboro street, for example T-shirt– 13 000 Rp (0,89 EUR)
  • Visit 1 person, 1 time Sultan palace “Kraton” – 13 500 Rp (0,93 EUR) or Water castle “Taman sari” – 14 000 Rp (0,96 EUR).
  • Put to mobile “pulsa”– 11 000 Rp (0,76 EUR).
  • Buy cleaning stuff for home, for example in small shop liquid for cleaning the floor – 9 700 Rp (0,67 EUR).
  • Buy hygienic stuff (in small shop): tooth paste, soap, wet napkins – 13 700 Rp (0,94 EUR).
  • Take laundry service for ~5,5 kilos – 13 750 Rp (0,94 EUR).
  • Buy 1 pair of slippers – 12 000 Rp (0,82 EUR).

And some other things possible to do with 1 EUR ;).

Per day, if not spread out the money, possible to live for ~ 30 000 Rp (2,06 EUR). That’s why mostly people use banknotes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 thousand. Those banknotes are mostly dirty and damage. Sometimes I see when locals get new banknote of 2 000 Rp, they are smiling while looking at them, because not many new banknotes you can see of such amount.

As well, sometimes it’s happens (especially in small shop) when they don’t have back change, they give back small candies (I really don’t like it). But when I tried once in the same shop pay with the same candies – I didn’t manage :D

What you managed to buy with 1 euro in Indonesia?

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

How to save some money before going to Indonesia
How much cost live in Yogyakarta
How to save money in Indonesia



Scholarship amount

One of the main question new Darmasiswa students have after selection – „Will be enough scholarship amount for living in Indonesia?“ And it‘s not possible to answer just „yes“, „no“ or „maybe“, like each person have different habits, will live in different city where the prices are different. For example to live in Yogyakarta much more cheaper than in Jakarta or Bali but the scholarship amount is the same for everyone.

The scholarship amount (monthly) depends on the place where you will choose to study:

  • Area 1 Rp. 2.850.000  (Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Denpasar, Makassar, Manado)
  • Area 2 Rp. 2.450.000,- (Aceh, Padang, Palembang,Purwokerto, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Malang, Samarinda)

When I was selected for this scholarship the amount was 2 000 000 Rp (doesn’t matter in which area do you live). And recommendations how divide this amount was like this (it was written in agreement when you will sign it):

      • Living cost – 1 200 000 Rp
      • Book allowance – 200 000 Rp
      • Local transport – 200 000 Rp
      • Medical/health care – 200 000 Rp
      • Pocket money – 200 000 Rp

Like this year, the amount is higher – the sums above will be changed as well.

Usually university should give full scholarship amount each month (the dates when they give it, depends on the university, one pays at the 1st day of month, others at 15th and etc.). But some universities can give less than official scholarship amount because they will take from your scholarship amount the sum that it‘s written in contract for example „book allowance“ (200 000 Rp) and you will get only 1 800 000 Rp. Is it „legal“? I don‘t know, like in ISI Yogyakarta we all the time got all sum and could spend it how we want. If such thing will happen in your university I suggest to discuss about it with Darmasiswa scholarship office in Jakarta, just to clarify the situation.

I don‘t know if any student managed to live like suggested to divide allowance but I can share just example of prices when I was a student by this scholarship.

Notice: all the prices written according 08 2016 information and from Yogyakarta south area.

Living place renting

The prices for renting in different cities, the same city districts can be very different. In Yogyakarta in north more expensive than in south, as well the price depends for how long you are renting, is it furnished place or not and etc. As well for foreigners the prices higher than for Indonesians;) For example prices from Yogyakarta south area:

    • Dormitory for 1 year (very small room with only bed, shared kitchen, bathroom with 6 or more people) – ~1 200 000 Rp/per year.
    • A room in the house for monthly rent (without internet, shared kitchen, bathroom with 2 and more people) – ~ 300 000 Rp/per month.
    • A room in the 5 room house for monthly rent (with internet, laundry, cleaning the place, shared kitchen, bathroom) – ~ 700 000 Rp/per month.
    • A brick house without furniture for 1 year can start from ~7 000 000 Rp/per year , with furniture ~21 000 000 Rp/per year and more.
    • A traditional house (with bamboo cover, without furniture) for 1 year can cost ~ 2 500 000 Rp/per year.

Monthly payment for housing

      • Drinking water. In Indonesia don‘t drink water from the tap, you will need to refill water gallons. The new gallon in the shop can cost from ~ 45 000 Rp. Refill 1 gallon in the shops cost ~14 500 Rp. You can refill cheaper for ~5 000-6 500 Rp/ 1 gallon – it’s water cleaned with special devices. Those who are selling such water should have a certificate.
      • Gas. Depends on the size the gas refill can cost ~10 000-~20 000 Rp. If you have portable gas stove the can cost 230 ml – ~16 000 Rp, 120 ml – ~12 000 Rp. Refill such can ~10 000 Rp (but it’s not many places who refills the gas can).
      • Electricity. Usually it can cost ~20 000-40 000 Rp/per month (with old type counter). For the new counter – each time you will need put “pulsa” (service for it) cost 1 000-1 500 Rp + amount that you want to put.
      • Internet. The price of new internet modem can be very varieties depends on modem brand, qualifications and etc. can starts from ~ 100 000 Rp.
        You will need to put prepaid cards (“pulsa”) each time when you will finish your internet limits. The “pulsa” price depends which operator you will choose, how much monthly limit of GB you want to have. For example I use “Smartfren”, the internet card cost 8 000 Rp (bought only once), monthly for me enough 2 GB and I pay for it 60 000 Rp + “pulsa” service 1 000 Rp (in other places “pulsa” service 1 500 Rp, in client service office – free).
      • Trash. In some places the companies collects the trash. Monthly usually it cost ~20 000 Rp. They come to take trashes once per week.
      • Food. Everything depends on your taste and habits. Where you want to eat – in cheap „warungs“ or Europen style restorans. Just for example the prices: „soto ayam“ (rice chiken soup) from ~8 000 Rp, „nasi goreng“ (fried rice) from ~8 000 Rp, „es jeruk“ (orage cold drink) from ~2 500 Rp (in small „warungs“ but not the cheapest ones).
      • Mobile. The phone card cost from ~6 000 Rp (depends on operator brand). Every time to put “pulsa” (for service) will cost you 1 000 – 1 500 Rp. How much you will spend during the month depends on your habits. For example for me enough ~30 000 Rp/ per month.
      • Laundry. Most probably many your stuff you will put to laundry, like at home won’t be washing machine. Different places can give you different prices. For example in some places you will pay for a kilos, price start from ~ 2 500 Rp per kilo. If you want to wash blankets, bags and similar stuff they can ask for it separately – one stuff for ~ 2 000 Rp. Other places ask money not for kilos but for the stuff that you give – jeans, jackets and etc. they will calculate separately.
      • Motorbike rent. Usually you can find rent a motorbike for ~500 000-600 000 Rp/per month. You will be lucky if you will find cheaper.

Some of the students decide to buy a motorbike and then after scholarship to sell it again but it’s not so easy to do, like those who drives already have motorbikes and new students not ready to buy, like they don’t know many things. If you want to sell motorbike after you bought it usually you need lower the price at least ~2 000 000 Rp. The prices of full automatic motorbike (~5 years old) the simplest brand can cost from ~4 000 000 Rp (the main thing you need to check if all documents are completed – the motorbike has blue bigger book – owners documents and technical passport – smaller brown papers, there should be written the date till what it valid). As well important to buy motorbike in your city, in another case, you will need to go to another city to extend your documents all the time. Some information about driving license.

      • Fuel in petrol station. Cost ~7 400 R/per litre. In streets from the fuel from the bottles can cost ~8 000-10 000 Rp/per litre.

Or you can buy bicycle – the price can start from ~90 000 Rp.

      • Motorbike parking. Usually motorbike parking cost 1 000 – 2 000 Rp (other places and 3 000 Rp).
      • Entertainment. Everything depends on your habits and how often you like to go outside. Usually the entrance to clubs for girls are free, for guys – ~100 000 Rp. Local beer in eating places start from ~35 000 Rp for big bottle. The entrance to simple concert cost from ~50 000 Rp, the coffee in „kedai kopi“ starts from ~ 10 000 Rp.
      • Studies. Depends on your studies object, sometimes you will need to buy something – for example for dances I needed to buy some parts for the dance clothes, cost ~80 000 Rp per once.
      • Travels. Depends on your habits how you like to travel – hitch-hiking, go by plane, train and etc. As well where you will stay and how long you will be there. So it‘s hard to write the sums. Just for example cheapest train ticket from Yogyakarta to Banyuwangi ~ 90 000 Rp/ one way, ferry ticket from here to Bali ~8 000 Rp one way.


  • Visiting doctors. It can vary from ~ 30 000 to 150 000 Rp for visit. And medicine price depends on your diagnosis.
    Like I have Lithuanian travel insurance I went only to private places. But before going to any private place it’s better with you have at least 300 000 Rp or even better 500 000 Rp (like you need to pay for doctor check-in, medicine and analysis if will be done).
  • Something that not included – cigarettes, clothes, postcards, cleaning liquids and etc.

So how much money you need during 1 month?

Here is not counted buying equipments, gallons, furniture, only expenses for daily life.

      • Renting the place – let‘s count the average sum of renting 300 000 Rp/per month.
      • Water refill – let‘s count refill from the shop, 1 gallon per week – 58 000 Rp/per month.
      • Gas refill – let‘s count the average sum, if you don‘t cook too much, 1 bigger gallon will be enough for a month – 15 000 Rp/per month.
      • Electricity „pulsa“ – with „pulsa“putting service – 41 500Rp/per month.
      • Internet „pulsa“ – with „pulsa“ putting service, 2 GB – 61 500 Rp/per month.
      • Laundry – once per week, for 1 kilo, in total – 10 000 Rp/per month.
      • Mobile „pulsa“ – with „pulsa“ putting service – 31 500 Rp/per month.
      • Motorbike rent and fuel – 500 000 Rp/per month for renting. Full tank (2,5 l) of fuel in petrol station (if you not go often to another side of the city is enough for ~ 2-3 days) in total – 277 500 Rp/per month.
      • Parking – let‘s count average sum for 20 times parking, in total – 40 000 Rp.
      • Food – let‘s count that you will eat breakfast at home (bread, cookies with coffee), lunch and dinner in small „warungs“ – 650 000 Rp/per month.

In total – 1 985 000 Rp/per month. 

In this case from scholarship (that I get before) amount left 15 000 Rp for: entertainment, studies, travel, other. Truly to say with this left scholarship amount you can buy just a package of cigarettes (not the cheapest one :)).

It‘s only example – probably in first couple of months you will spend a bit more, like won‘t know yet where is cheaper place to eat, buy food and etc. But I believe than after you can manage to have ~ extra saving ~200 000 Rp from scholarship amount (of course if you will leave quite economically).

But to have extra money for each month ~500 000-1 000 000 Rp (from savings or…) I think will help you to live more relaxed :).

Additional money for first months

You will may need some your extra money to spend in the first 2-3 months because:

      • Paying the rent for 6 months or 1 year – you will need all amount of renting – for example 4 000 000 Rp (it‘s already more than one months scholarship amount).
      • Buy a water dispenser if the house will be empty – new dispenser with heating the water in the shop can cost ~150 000 Rp. You can buy not electric one or second hand – the price can start from ~75 000 Rp.
      • Water gallon – you will need to buy new gallon that can cost ~45 000 Rp.
      • Furniture – if the house are totally empty you will need for sure at least for the beginning a mattress – simple one, for one person can start cost from ~200 000 Rp, pillow, blankets – ~100 000 Rp. To buy some plates, cups, cleaning stuff and etc. ~80 000 Rp. Later you will see what you need more.
      • Internet modem – the price of new internet modem can be very varieties depends on modem brand, qualifications and etc. can starts from ~ 100 000 Rp.
      • Mobile card – can start from ~6 000 Rp.

In total you can need extra your own money from~4 681 000 Rp.
Everything depends on living place condition, what you want to buy and the prices. And scholarship amount I didn‘t include in this sum.

Useful? Great! :) You might also like these:

How to find a place to stay
How to save money
“Power” of 1 EUR in Indonesia