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Destinations

INDONESIA - WHAT TO EXPECT

A paradise on earth! Here you have the best that Asia has to offer. It has ancestral culture and monuments that have been forgotten in the jungle for hundreds and hundreds of years. It has beaches of fine and thick sand, pink and black, and… the best surf in the world!
Nature here speaks louder, whether on land or sea, with mighty volcanoes and extraordinary marine life.
There are six official religions, with Islam and Hinduism being two of them. But this religious diversity coexists door to door in this country, and its influence on local culture makes everything even more interesting.
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, with 17,508 islands… yes, you read it right: more than 17 thousand islands! So you can always come back and see a different place.

AVERAGE COSTS

Transportation - It's impossible to visit Indonesia and stay in just one city. So the best thing to do is to rent a vehicle. Of course, if you are alone and don't want to drive great distances, a motorbike is the best option. A liter of gasoline is around $0,60.
If you are traveling on a low budget and want to use public transport, know that on average, a single ticket costs $0,35.

Accommodation - If there's a place in the world where you can indulge in some extravagances in terms of accommodation, it's Indonesia. The values range from the cheapest you will ever get to the probably most expensive in the world. It's all about evaluating what you have to spend.
Use Booking.com to find the stay that best suits your needs and budget. In Ubud, on Bali's island, for example, a room can go from $7, in a homestay, to $44 for a deluxe double room in a villa... with breakfast.

Food - If you are in a central city, the restaurant offer is diverse, and there's something for every taste and wallet. But if you go to a smaller town, get ready to taste local delicacies.
Usually, eating at a cheaper restaurant averages $1,70. In a more average place, lunch for two, with two main courses and dessert, can be for $13. It all depends on what you're looking for or how much you want to test your stomach.

Suggested daily budget – 50-60 USD / 45-55 EUR (Note: This is an indicative budget only, assuming car rental, with fuel for 200 km, accommodation in a villa with breakfast and two meals in an average restaurant. However, if you choose a car with a driver, accommodation, or higher-end restaurants, expect a higher daily cost. All the values mentioned above were based on the website Preciosmundi and Booking.com at the time of publication of this article).

TIPS AND TRICKS

1. Negotiate everything! – Although in Indonesia there are hotels, shops, and restaurants that only work with “fixed price”, if you are shopping outside major tourist centers or trying to stay at a homestay, bargain the amount you’ll pay.

2. Drugs are death penalty – Let’s believe it is not something you do, but if you are at night or in a more touristy place and someone offers you drugs, thank them and turn away. Drug trafficking and consumption in Indonesia is a serious crime and can even lead to the death penalty.

3. Always wear a scarf or pareo – Even if you’re a man! Most of the temples in Indonesia can be visited, but you’ll not be able to enter if you have bare shoulders or bare legs. The same for men. Some temples refuse entry if the men’s shorts are too short.

DO’S AND DON’TS

DO'S: Respect local customs, even those you don't understand. / Learn a few words, like ``selamat pagi`` (``good morning``) or ``terimakasih`` (``thank you``), to break the ice and help communication. / Accept taking a picture when someone asks you to. Remember how many you've taken without asking for consent. And be patient when you are bombarded with (often personal) questions. Indonesians love to know more about the person in front of them and where they come from. / Don't forget to take some essential medicines with you, namely those that help with belly problems.

DON’TS: Don’t leave your bag unattended. Always pay attention to your backpack or bag. Small thefts can happen, sometimes by monkeys’ hands, when you’re visiting a temple or natural park. / Don’t argue with the locals. Respect their position and if you disagree, leave the place. / Don’t walk alone at night in areas you don’t know. / Don’t travel without travel insurance. Indonesia is a country that can be unsafe, if only because of the natural phenomena that often happen in this part of the world. Book through this link and get a 5% discount on the policy you choose.

Marlene is the creator of Marlene On The Move. A journalist by profession, she created the blog to share her adventures, in Portugal, destination on which she writes for Portuguese digital publications, as in the World. It's not uncommon for her to travel to new countries and discover new cultures with a surfboard under her arm.

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