Indonesia remains one of the most reasonably priced destinations in Asia. Hotels will probably be your greatest expense, but by Western standards, they're still a great deal. Credit cards are accepted only at major hotels and shops, with an additional 2–4% surcharge from sellers. ATMs are becoming more common around the country and almost all of them accept international cards. When paying cash, you’ll routinely get shortchanged, with prices always rounded up to the nearest Rp1,000.

Currency and Exchange

Indonesia’s currency is the rupiah. Note denominations are Rp1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000; coins Rp50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000. Pink Rp10,000 and Rp100,000 are easily confused; a newer purple Rp10,000 also circulates. Change for Rp50,000 and Rp100,000 notes can be difficult, so keep small bills handy. US$1 equals about Rp9,500, as of this writing. Prices are sometimes quoted in U.S. dollars, occasionally in Euros, but payment is always in rupiah. For currency exchange, use PT Central Kuta branches, some of which are in Circle K convenience stores. Other moneychangers frequently cheat; receiving stacks of small bills can signal a scam.


There’s a 10% service and 11% government tax on services at hotels and upmarket restaurants, so factor that into your budget. Other restaurants may charge tax, service, both, or neither. There are no sales or value added taxes on common items; luxury goods prices reflect import duties. Rp150,000 departure tax must be paid in cash at the airport. A crackdown on the once-flourishing gray market in imported wines and liquors has tripled retail prices. Use your duty-free allowance to bring in up to one liter per adult of your preferred tipple.

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