Cost of Living
US$5.00 and higher
US$20.00 and higher
The Asian economic meltdown badly affected the rupiah. After a roller
coaster ride, it has now pegged against the US dollar. As a result,
costs are not as low in dollar terms as they were a two years ago,
but they still represent value for your dollar. Jakarta
is the most expensive city in the Indonesia with
costs outside major centres being significantly lower.
Travellers cheques and cash, preferably US dollars
are the favored currency in Jakarta. Credit cards
are accepted by higher end hotels, restaurants and shops, but not
for day-to-day expenses. In major centres, you can always find a
bank that can advance cash on a Visa or MasterCard. Credit card
advances at ATM's are possible, but somewhat limited.
Tipping is not a normal practice but is usually
expected for special service. Someone who carries
your bag or guides you around a tourist attraction will most likely
expect a tip. Jakarta taxi drivers expect you to round the fare
up to the next 1000 rupiah. Hotel porters usually get a few thousand
rupiah per bag.
Everyday purchases normally require bargaining.
Tourism has taken a drastic downturn in most parts of the archipelago
and, despite price hikes, many hotel rooms are liable to be discounted.