Vaccinations for Indonesia

You can find many information what kind of vaccinations for Indonesia you may need, if you are planning to come to here for longer time (or shorter). But the risks to health whilst traveling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities in Indonesia, length of stay, in which part of Indonesia you will stay and general health of the traveler. As well maybe some of the vaccines you already got in the childhood?

It’s recommended that you consult with your general practitioner or practice nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travelers can’t be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

My suggestion:

    • First of all check in your medical report which vaccines you got in the childhood and for how long it valid (or ask your parents)
    • Second, talk with the doctor, give as much as possible information – where exactly you will stay in Indonesia, for how long, what are your plans for traveling around.

The doctor will recommend vaccines and you can choose which one you really need. Don’t make too many vaccines just because of safety. Many things will depend on you, for example where you will eat, how you will take care of your hygiene, how you prevent yourself from mosquitoes and etc.

Before coming to Indonesia I made such vaccines:

      • Hepatitis A (I manage to make only 2 before coming and after all I found out that I didn’t need this one at all, like I got it in childhood)
      • Hepatitis B (I made 2 before coming to Indonesia and 3rd in Indonesia)
      • Tetanus-diphtheria
      • Typhoid


Which vaccines to make suggest some internet sources (you can find and other recommendations)
  • Courses or boosters usually advised: Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid.
  • Other vaccines to consider: Cholera; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies.
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travelers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Notes on the diseases mentioned above:

  • Cholera: spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. More common during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water. It would be unusual for travelers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.
  • Diphtheria: spread person to person through respiratory droplets. Risk is higher if mixing with locals in poor, overcrowded living conditions.
  • Hepatitis A: spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.
  • Hepatitis B: spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.
  • Japanese Encephalitis: spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is higher for long stay travelers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Rabies: spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when per-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
  • Tetanus: spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
  • Typhoid: spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes. You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.
  • Malaria risk is present in most areas, except Jakarta municipality, main cities, urban areas and the main tourist resorts, throughout the year. Risk is highest in rural areas and in the five eastern provinces of East Nusa Tengarra, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua and West Papua.
  • In North Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu, Borneo/Kalimantan, Central, South East and North Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara, risk is not high enough to warrant antimalarial tablets for most travelers, however, it may be considered for certain groups who may be at higher risk e.g. longer stay in rural areas, visiting friends or relatives, those with medical conditions, immunosuppression or those without a spleen.
  • There is low to no risk in Jakarta municipality, the main cities, urban areas and the main tourist resorts, including Bali and Java.
  • Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable antimalarial tablets. Atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is the first choice.
  • Malaria precautions: avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
  • If you have been traveling in a malaria’s area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly.
  • Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.
  • If traveling to high risk malaria’s areas, remote from medical facilities, carrying emergency malaria standby treatment may be considered.
Dengue Fever
A viral illness that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, severe joint, bone and muscular pain – hence its other name “break bone fever”. There is no vaccine and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites. Every 5 years in Indonesia exist outbreak of Dengue fever, this year (2015) was the 5th year, so many people got it.

Some information used from internet sources.

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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.

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How to save money in Indonesia

In Indonesia many foreigners feels like millionaires like here everything counted in thousands and millions. In one hand (comparing with Europe countries or others) in Indonesia you can say that everything is cheap but in another hand – when you live here longer and only from scholarship amount – you need to start to count and make some savings. So here is my recommendations how to save money during the stay in Indonesia. It’s just advices, nothing is mandatory. Even if I mentioned a lot about Darmasiswa scholarship, still everyone can save some money – foreigners students, travelers or employees. Also you will figure out something for yourself as well, after you spend some time in Indonesia.

Notice: all the prices written according 05 2015 information and from Yogyakarta south area.


  • Renting: try to agree to rent the place for first 6 months and then extend renting 3 months more, like in summer you most probably will travel more than staying at home. Your stuff you can ask to keep in other Darmasiswa student’s house. If owner wants to rent for 12 months, try to negotiate to rent only 9 months then you can save some money for travels or other things.
  • Empty place or not enough things that you need:
    • First, asks the owner of the place, maybe she/he have and not use things that you need.
    • Check “Facebook” groups of Darmasiswa students, maybe somebody sells things that you need or put ad what you are searching for.
    • Check second hand shops (for furniture, electrical devices and etc.). You can find there cheaper stuff, but before compare similar stuff prices in regular shops. Maybe the differences of the price between new and second hand won’t be so big and in shop you will get guarantee, second hand shops doesn’t give it.
    • Some of the things you can make by yourself, for example bamboo shelter, you just need idea, measurements, bamboo and ropes. All tools you can borrow from the house owner or neighbors.
    • Sometimes Indonesian people, if doesn’t use things, leaves in front their house – if you will see something that you need, before taking just ask if you can take it for free.
    • If you need just one piece of something (bamboo, rock or whatever else) just ask to take it for free, therefore can bring some cookies.
    • If you would like sometimes to cook but at home don’t have stove, buy small travel stove. You can use it at home and will be useful for the camping or longer trips. If you won’t use it frequently – can rent it for other student’s trips.
  • Drinking water: check in different places the prices of new gallon and refills. Like in some places you can find cheaper than in others. Different brands have distinctively different tastes, so try different and choose that you like best.
  • Electricity:
    • Turn off all equipment that you don’t use for a night (for example water dispenser) or during you are leaving, traveling.
    • If the owner will ask pay monthly agreed sum with old electricity counter, ask to show the counter numbers and pay only for amount that you use (but ask this in the polite way, like such request can be understood like you are not trust the owner, calling them a thief).
    • For the new counter – you can buy at once bigger amount prepaid card (“pulsa”) of electricity.
  • Gas: check in different places the prices of new gallon and refills. Like in some places you can find cheaper than in others. Depends on the size of gallon will be different price.
  • Internet: if near around your place is any free Wi-Fi spot (in coffee places with Wi-Fi enough to order a drink) – go there to use internet instead of buying internet modem (if you are not internet addicted). Before decide to buy modem ask local students which operator they are using. Like some operators have better connection in one area than in another. So don’t take operator that has worst connection in your area. You can ask local students maybe somebody has internet modem that they don’t use. So they can sell you cheaper or give for free. For example I bought internet modem from local student for 150 000 Rp and the same one, new in the shop costs 270 000 Rp. In providers client service offices managers put “pulsa” without fee.
  • Textile: if you want to cover something or to buy curtains and etc. you can make it by yourself – there are places where you can buy textile by kilos or buy material in shops. There are many places that can sew for you what you want. It will cheaper than to buy already sewed stuff in the shop and you will have exactly what you want and need.


  • Cook at home: if you calculate that cheaper to cook at home than eat in “warungs” – do it. The main thing, if you don’t have fridge the food won’t be fresh couple of days. The fruits are fresh in Indonesia, so you need it eat during maximum couple days, otherwise ants and other insects will make their job :D
  • Markets/ small shops: buy food and small stuffs in nearest market (better to visit in early morning till ~8:00 am) or in small shops near your place. For me was surprise that the same stuffs in big supermarkets are more expensive than in small ones. As well check couple of different small shops, sometimes even in the same street different shops sells cheaper the same stuff.
  • Neighbors: if it’s possible buy fruits, vegetables or other stuff from neighbors. It will make stronger relationship with neighbors as well you can get better price.
  • “Warungs”: eat in “warungs” in small streets. Check some streets around your place. Sometimes “warungs” in front of busy streets are more expensive than in small streets. For example “soto” (rice soup) in small street “warung” cost ~ 6 000 Rp, in bigger street ~ 10 000 Rp.
  • Imported food: everywhere imported food will be expensive. If you need some spices for your cooking (like oregano and etc.) ask to send your family from home country – probably in your country it’s more cheaper than here.


  • Misfit: if you have some clothes that not fit you anymore, damage some parts and etc. instead of buying new, you can try to make from it something else. For example from pans – shorts, T-shirt with sleeves – without sleeves and etc.
  • Dislike: if you dislike some of your clothes, you can organize clothes exchange between other students. They will have as well things that they don’t wear anymore – so you can just change, instead of buying new ones.


  • KITAS (“Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas” – temporary stay permit card): to most of the visiting places you will get bigger discount with KITAS than with student card. So be patient and visit for example Borobudur after you will get KITAS.
  • during the travels stay in “couchsurfing” members places.
  • Local friends: ask you Indonesian friends maybe they have relatives of friends in place where you are planning to go, so maybe you could stay in their place, rent cheaper a motorbike and etc.
  • Time: go to trips during rainy season – the prices will be cheaper and in different islands rainy season is different. For example in January, when in Java was raining a lot, in Lombok island 3 weeks during my trip – wasn’t any rain.


    • Ask local students which operator they are using, like mostly they are using the cheapest one and that has good connection in the exact area. But the cheapest one – sometimes means not the best quality of connection and sometimes can’t be reachable in some areas.
    • Before choosing operator answer yourself what you need mostly – write SMS, use internet in mobile and something else? Compare some operators prices by your requirements and then choose,
    • Instead of writing SMS you can use “Watsapp”, “Viber” like Indonesians use this programs more often that writes SMS and also it will be cheaper.
    • Put at once bigger amount of prepaid sum “pulsa” – like every time to put “pulsa” (for service) will cost.
    • Talk with local peoples/neighbors: usually they knows someone who can help you, knows someone who have something and etc. – so you can get things a bit cheaper.
  • Fuel for motorbikes: put the fuel in petrol stations it will be cheaper around ~500 – 1 500 Rp per liter than buy in the streets from bottles. In the evening the petrol stations can be closed, so take care to put fuel before, because at night people who are selling fuel in bottles asks more money than during the day time.
  • Natural products: instead of buying some chemicals product you can try to use naturals ones.
    • For example if your home floor is made from cement and it dusty, use coconut cutting – it will make your floor darker and the dust won’t stuck.
    • From coconut milk you can make some products for your skin, hairs (in internet there is many recipes).
    • To clean oily hands you can use plant (in bahasa Indonesian) “kemangi”.
    • Instead of buying air fresher for bathroom – use coffee, it will observe all bad smells in bathroom.
    • Talk with elder neighbors – they will give you many advices for what to use natural products.
  • Before buying anything: spend some time to check some different places and compare the prices of the same stuff. It can help you to save some money especially when you will just arrive and will need to buy some stuff as well for things that you are planning to buy quite often.
  • Laundry: if you don’t want to pay for laundry service – clean your stuff by yourself. To dry it during the rainy season will be a bit more difficult but possible.
  • Parking: usually the motorbike parking cost 1 000 – 2 000 Rp (other places and 3 000). If you are going somewhere with a friend with 1 motorbike (for example shopping in supermarket) the friend can stay on motorbike and you take all stuffs that needed – in such case the parking guys won’t charge you for parking fee.


The main tip how to save money – negotiate the price anywhere, anytime.

  • If you know that some things you will buy all the time, try to buy in the same seller to show your locality and ask to get those things cheaper.
  • Barge the price in second hand shops, markets. Like first price will be given like for foreigner, better even go with local friend, ask him to barge the price.
  • Ask a discount in transport and any other places – like you are student can show your student card.
  • If in the shop there are no price tags – you can negotiate the price.

Do you know other ways how to save money in Indonesia? Share your advice and help others! :)

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