The Costs of Getting Around Indonesia

When I first arrived in Indonesia, I exchanged my American dollars for rupiah (the Indonesian currency). The exchange rate on average is 9,900 rupiah for every American dollar. Here were a few of my expenses from the trip:
Indonesian Currency (rupiah)

Indonesian Currency (rupiah)

In Jakarta (the capital city):
Side of view of my hotel room at the Mercure Hotel in Jakarta.

Side of view of my hotel room at the Mercure Hotel in Jakarta.

  • 5 days, 4 nights at a U.S. standard, fancy hotel
    • 4.3 million rupiah ($430 American dollars or $107.50 a night)
In Palembang (capital city of the South Sumatra province):
  • 1 night in a low budget hotel. You will have to tolerate the  roaches that might crawl around, stained sheets, and giant lizards racing across your wall.
    • 400,000 rupiah ($40 a night)
Ogan Ilir (a smaller city in South Sumatra):
  • One 250ml Coke
    • 11,400 rupiah (57 cents)
  • A hired driver to take us to meet the head of Ogan Ilir Education Department
    • 10,000 rupiah ($1 for the 20 minute ride)

  • One way moped ride to the traditional market
    • 3,000 rupiah (30 cents for 15 min ride on the back of the moped)
The locals call this boat "quak quake" because of the loud clacking noise the motor makes. It sounded like the motor of a lawn mower attached to the boat.

The locals call this boat “clack clack” because of the loud clacking noise the motor makes. It sounded like the motor of a lawn mower attached to the boat.

  • 15 minute boat ride from the village where my host family lived to the village where the school was located
    • 5,000 rupiah (50 cents)
Although we were asked a few times about the pay for American teachers and administrators, I failed to ask them what was the typical pay for an educator in Indonesia. I am curious to see how the two compare.
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4 thoughts on “The Costs of Getting Around Indonesia

    • Because of the currency exchange rate, it was far from balling. It is more of a reflection of the situation when 75%-85% of the people in the area can not afford a car. I felt a little bad afterwards when I found out that the hotel that I referred to as the “roach motel” was considered a very nice hotel to the those who live in that area.

      I was not scared to ride the mopeds at all. It was actually fun and refreshing. My host teacher really wanted my travel partner and I to drive the mopeds. I didn’t want to because I didn’t want to be responsible for breaking it. My travel partner couldn’t get her coordination right behind the wheel. I didn’t realize until after that fact that she wanted to know if we could drive it because it is cheaper to rent or borrow a moped to get around than to hire someone to take us around.

  1. Wow! very interesting! I love hearing about your different experiences and the relation of them to our country. So proud and excited for you! And to think I knew you back when…. Lol!

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