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Nine Ways to Spend a Dollar in Indonesia

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expatriate information for Indonesia

In today's world a dollar seems like loose change, but if you are in Indonesia, or plan to visit in the future, here are nine ways you can have fun, and spend a dollar in Indonesia.

1. Have a Coffee and a Snack in a Street Café

Indonesia is renowned for its street café culture, which can be found in the most unusual, and scenic places. Stop by the seafront in Riau, order a coffee and Indomie, or simply take a walk. Or order a drink with a local spicy snack on any island in Indonesia.

2. Visit a Mall

Most urban areas in Indonesia have a shopping mall, where you can walk around in air-conditioned luxury and stop by a food court for a snack. Inside a typical foodcourt you can order an inexpensive ice tea or coffee and watch the crowds.

3. Have a Haircut and Head Massage

Hair salons are common in Indonesia, and some offer a haircut along with a relaxing head massage. This is relaxing way to while away a few hours in any Indonesian city or town.

4. Take a Local Bus and Explore a City

30 cents will usually pay for a journey on one of the numerous local buses that drive around all Indonesian urban areas. Take a cultural journey by meeting the local people, and view the sights from your window.

5. Go Fishing

Indonesia is a land of islands, and all you need is a bamboo pole, a line, and some bait, and you can enjoy the waterfront and simply relax while you fish. A bamboo fishing rod costs less than a dollar from passing street sellers.

6. Browse the Internet

For a couple of hours you can chat, surf the net or simply watch an online movie at most Internet cafes that have spread to even the most remote areas of Indonesia.

7. Call Your Friends

Indonesia has some of the lowest national phone rates in the Asian region. A Sim card can cost as little as 25 cents, and a dollar would be enough to call friends in Indonesia for at least three hours.

8. Explore a Local Market

Local traditional markets (pasar) are plentiful, and for a dollar you will be surprised what you can buy, from several pairs of socks to a couple of posters or even some local handicrafts.

9. Visit a Local Museum

Most museums outside Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, cost less than a dollar to enter, and you can explore Indonesian history for hours. Discover ancient wayang puppets, or the arts that have made Indonesia so famous.


Indonesia is both a modern and traditional country, where every street brings a surprise. Exploring Indonesia, can be an affordable, and fascinating experience, even on the lowest budget.

Our thanks to Mark Medley for submitting this story !

by Mark W Medley

Copyright © 2011, Mark W Medley, City of Dreams: An extraordinary journey, inside the heart of Indonesia's capital - Jakartabooks about indonesia

Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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