Category Indonesia

Japan – Be Smart and Save Your Money

For years, I’ve been putting off going to Japan because I was afraid of how expensive it would be. The rumors I’d heard about the country’s high prices made me hesitant to go. I’ve always loved Japanese culture, and I knew any visit would involve gorging on sushi and ramen, visits to lots of temples, and heavy train travel through the countryside. And the thought of how much that would cost always made me think, “I’ll wait until I have more money.”


But at the end of April, I had the chance to finally visit. I was shocked to discover that, while it isn’t cheap, Japan isn’t the prohibitively expensive country people may think it is. In fact, I actually found Japan to be very affordable and on par with (and sometimes cheaper than) countries in Western Europe.

Here’s how...

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Bali – Ubud

For my first few nights in Ubud I stayed at Narasoma. It is in Beji Lane, just off Monkey Forest Road in a small lane and is gorgeous accommodation and very, very quiet. I think it was really good value for 90,000 rupiah per night. There are only four rooms, on the second and third stories of a family house (in a traditional walled family compound). The rooms are large, with lovely high ceilings and a good bed. There is a good sized bathroom with shower and bath and a ceiling fan. The rooms open onto a little balcony on one side (overlooking a small valley) and onto a veranda on the other side. Breakfast is included and there is a fridge on the veranda for guest use.

bali ubud
Then I stayed at Gandra House for about 6 weeks...

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West Sumatra – Bukittingi and Padang

Just returned from three months lazing away in West Sumatra. I stayed in three places (yes…only three places in three months. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was ‘lazing’). I spent a few nights in Padang, and about 6 weeks divided between Bukittingi and Danau Maninjau.

I thought a report on accommodation etc might be useful for people travelling to this area. This is part 1, about Bukittingi, and I’ll write about Lake Maninjau and Padang in the next part.


First of all, if you are considering a trip to this area all I can say is GO!! Luscious scenery, low prices, fascinating culture and not too many other tourists. The other plus is that it’s so easy to get to from Singapore or S/E Asia...

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Lake Maninjau – Indonesia

I arrived at Lake Maninjau last week.  The last time I was here was 5 years ago, and, sadly for the locals, tourist numbers are WAY down now.  So, if you’re looking for somewhere quiet, beautiful, and not very touristy – come here!!  

Over the past 5 years I think I’ve spent about 2 years travelling to different places in Indonesia and SE Asia – and I think Maninjau is my favorite place.   It is beautiful, the locals are friendly and have a fascinating culture and the guesthouses are quiet and well-run. I think it’s a hidden gem on the SE Asian backpacker trail. 


I flew into Padang from KL, on Air Asia which is just a 1 hour flight, and then got a taxi to Maninjau...

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Cost of Travel in Indonesia

Indonesia is a huge country that is made up of a massive archipelago of over 17,000 islands. Each island offers an incredible natural environment and a diversity of cultures, traditions and ethnic groups.

In a country where you are able to relax on pristine islands, see Orangutans in the wild, climb volcanoes, and visit ancient historical sites, the cost of travel in Indonesia ensures it will continue to be a good deal for budget travelers.

Indonesia uses the Rupiah (IDR) currency – $1 = 8,710 IDR



Cost of Accommodation

Accommodation in general is quite affordable, if not outright cheap! Hostels are set up more as guest houses, it’s often easier to find double rooms than dorm beds. Some double rooms come en-suite, while other have communal bathroom facilities...

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