This is the first time I’m going to share about my travel expenses and share some helpful tips if you’re planning to visit Indonesia. I try my best to keep my expenses minimal by using budget airlines and staying in hostels. I usually splurge on food and if I needed to sleep or work, I opt for a hotel.
Since January, I have been traveling around SE Asia but I am mostly staying in Malaysia because my family is there. I still have one more continent (yep!) to explore *happy dance* before I head home.
I spent the last days of March in Jakarta and welcomed April in Yogyakarta. Overall, I had a really relaxing stay in Indonesia.
Here’s how I spent my whole week in Indonesia:
I stayed in The Packer Lodge in Jakarta and it’s a good hostel. They have a lot of Instagram-worthy corners and they provide a simple breakfast (Bread, Sandwich Spreads, Banana, Tea, Coffee and Hot Water). I stayed in one of their single rooms and it was a bit run down and they didn’t clean my room for the whole duration of my stay. I didn’t stay in their dorm rooms because I needed a good night’s sleep and the rate is almost the same as their single rooms. What I really like was the floor they dedicated for entertainment. They had lots of books, DVDs, some board games and they have a football table too. I appreciate their long table where you can work and they provided two PCs free to use (I think).
I also booked through their website because they have “pay at the hotel” option.
- Free Simple Breakfast
- Nice Common Areas
- Have entertainment available
- Near stores and food places
- Love their rough blanket; so comforting
- Good internet connection; it was fast
- Staff were quite helpful in booking my GrabCar
- Room was a bit run down
- Bathroom wasn’t well kept
- They didn’t clean my room during my stay
- Pillow felt like a dehydrated fruit (I don’t know any comparison that’s fitting)
- Sheets have holes in it
- There were always mosquitoes (Tip: You can buy patches to ward off mosquitoes if you don’t like lotions or spray. I usually buy these before traveling)
- They have a TV in the room but only local channels
In Yogyakarta, I chose KJ Hotel despite the low number of reviews because it was the most affordable hotel that looks really good in pictures and it’s a new hotel plus they have a free airport pickup. I’m not really in the mood to deal with airport taxi drivers. *grin* I requested for one large bed but they gave me a twin room. I’m not fussy about it and I was really happy that it was a nice room. The bathroom had a funny smell though, I couldn’t get myself to find what it was. The water in the faucet and shower heads (they have two) smelled bad. I believe it’s because the hotel is still new. It was the same smell I had in my bathroom water when our house was newly built. As for the buffet breakfast, it was a bit lower than average. They don’t refill their food and I’ve never had a croissant as hard as what they were serving.
I booked through Agoda because the prices were so high in their website and costs even more when you book in the hotel. I extended my stay twice through Agoda and I saved around 2,000,000 IDR as I only paid around 1,200,000 IDR.
- Nice bed, pillows and blanket
- Love the big space and the table in the room
- Their TV have English Channels; was able to catch up with CSI
- Aircon works really good (and not noisy!)
- Free airport pickup
- Good location
- Good internet connection (I had connection problems on my 2nd night though)
- Not much variety in breakfast and food wasn’t tasty
- Their room service fee is a bit high
- They didn’t clean my room for 2 days
- They have a morning wake up call even if I didn’t ask for it. It happened every morning so I just hang up the phone *laugh*
- They have ants and like fruit flies in the room (doesn’t really bother me too much)
- Some staff don’t speak english so I encountered some problems and had to do some unnecessary payments
- I ordered pizza but they informed me that it will take 2 hours to make it *gasps* so I had to change my order
- Pool is not yet done
Here’s how much it costs for my whole stay in Indonesia:
The Packer Lodge: 535,350 IDR (1992.64php)
KJ Hotel: 4,456.41php
For all my flights, I flew with AirAsia because the prices were really affordable. Here are the flights I took:
Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta: 113.00 MYR (1261.19php)
Jakarta to Yogyakarta: 356,500 IDR (1326.94php)
Yogyakarta to Kuala Lumpur: 586,000 IDR (2181.17php)
I usually get the package they offer like a hot seat or pre-book meals as it would make flying more convenient. It doesn’t cost much too. I would pay more for comfort especially if the flight time is above 2 hours.
The amount of Stir-fried Kuy Teaw and tofu I ate is way too high in Indonesia *grin*. I tried eating in different places and tried different dishes but my palate wasn’t in for a surprise, *sobs*.
I was really surprised because most of the dishes I’ve tried lacked in flavour. The best stir-fried kuy teaw I’ve tried was in PappaRich in Malaysia.
I’d love to say more but I would let my pictures speak for itself 🙂
I mostly used GrabCar and airport transfers during my whole stay in Indonesia. Grab is the most convenient transportation option in Southeast Asia. Yes, I totally recommend it. You only need an app and an internet connection. If you can’t use your data, you can try and find a place with wifi then access the app from there. In my case, I had my data roaming on from my sim card in Malaysia (I use Maxis) and it only costs 10 RM for 1 GB.
I didn’t really want to deal with taxi drivers so I opted for GrabCar. I didn’t encounter problems with haggling because Grab has a fixed rate but I struggled in communicating with them. Most of them didn’t speak English which made it really hard for me to explain things.
I also noticed that the GrabCars were mostly Avanza, both in Jakarta and Yogyakarta which is great if you’re traveling as a group. But since I was traveling alone, I had plenty of room for my bags.
I didn’t join any tours whilst in Indonesia because it either costs too much or it was more convenient to use GrabCar.
I explored Jakarta on my own and used GrabCar to reach my destinations. I thought about joining the free bus tour but the staff in the hostel told me that it was better to explore on my own because there weren’t many buses available and you have to wait for a while for the next bus to arrive, which could take longer especially during peak hours.
I did the same thing in Yogyakarta and accessed the places I wanted to visit by using GrabCar. You should also check the opening times beforehand as I went to the chocolate factory on a Saturday but it was closed.
I didn’t visit Borobudur this time because the weather wasn’t really great (it was always raining) and I couldn’t find any good tours online. I have read some blogs about how to go there on your own but most of them used a scooter/motorcycle and I don’t know how to drive one.
I honestly decided to join a sunrise tour through Manohara Hotel but sadly, they didn’t reply to my enquiry. I will definitely go back to Yogyakarta when the weather is great. It’s a great place to relax.
I spent a great deal just relaxing during my whole travel and I know I could’ve explored more but it was either the weather wasn’t on my side or I had to catch up on some deadlines. One more tip I can share before I wrap up this post is to exchange your money at a stand alone money changer. The exchange rate in the malls and in the airport were almost the same.