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Indonesia

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Currency information

Code IDR
Symbol Rp
Coins
Rp 25, Rp 50, Rp 100, Rp 200, Rp 500, Rp 1000
Banknotes
Rp 1000, Rp 2000, Rp 5000, Rp 10,000, Rp 20,000, Rp 50,000, Rp 100,000

Expert tip

It’s best to do any currency exchanges at a dedicated currency facility. Shops that offer money exchange as a secondary service are more likely to rip you off.

ATM access

3/5 stars – it is reasonably easy to locate an ATM.

Tipping

Outside of Bali, tipping is rarely expected in Indonesia. If you feel obligated to tip at a restaurant, 10,000Rp is a polite amount to hand to your waiter.

Most hotels will have included a service surcharge in your bill, so tipping here is neither mandatory nor expected. Feel free to round up your fare when catching a taxi (especially since your driver may not have the right change for you anyway!).

Bargaining scale

4/5 stars – haggling is possible.

Indonesia is a mecca of marketplaces and the stall owners at these will always expect shoppers to haggle.

Savvy shoppers can also achieve success in ‘fixed’ price stores by using polite negotiating techniques. If any item in Indonesia has no price tag, you can expect the seller to exaggerate when you ask for the price – this is your invitation to begin bargaining.

Card access

While some establishments will accept payments via credit card, others will require cash.

It’s a particularly smart idea to get some rupiahs before departing for Indonesia, as you may be charged a visa fee upon your arrival in the country.

If you do plan to use your cards during your time abroad, contact your bank beforehand so they don’t deem your transactions suspicious.

Cost of a coffee

15,000-35,000Rp – Indonesia is also home to kopi luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world!

Transport

Getting around Indonesian cities can be done via a variety of transport options, including ojeks (passenger motorcycles), local buses and taxis. All options are generally very affordable. The starting price for a taxi is roughly 7,500Rp and you can expect to pay around 4,000Rp per kilometre.

For journeying between the islands, your best bets are ferries or domestic flights, which can cost around 450,000Rp depending on the airline.

Pickpocket security rating

2/5 stars – theft is common.

Thefts of opportunity are a common occurrence in Indonesia, so keep your possessions close and safeguarded. Make sure any handbags or backpacks are secured, as these can be snatched by thieves both on foot and on motorcycles. Wearing any bags on your front rather than back is a good tip for protecting your belongings from would-be snatchers.

Scammers and ripoffs

One of the most common frauds encountered in Indonesia is the “three card trick” scam, which can cheat you out of many rupiahs.

The country is also home to its fair share of timeshare schemes. If you are in a position to invest in real estate overseas, be sure to do your due diligence before agreeing to any offers! If it sounds too good to be true, you should assume it is.

Also be wary of general scams that target tourists, such as overcharged tour fees and shortchanging.

Departure tax

Previously, there  was a 200,000Rp departure tax payable by passengers, but this has been replaced by a new system. Since February 2015, airlines must include a departure tax (or ‘Passenger Service Charge’) in their fares instead.

Visa costs

New Zealanders previously paid a US$35 visa upon arrival in Indonesia for up to 30 days visit. But, as of March 2016, New Zealand citizens can now enter Indonesia as tourists without a visa for a short visit (30 days). If you intend to stay for more than 30 days then you can apply for a visa from an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia, or get it on arrival (for US$35). If you enter Indonesia under the visa-free facility, you cannot extend your stay for longer than the 30 days.

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