Living on a Budget in Indonesia
Unlike East Asian countries, staying in traveler-worn areas such as the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Bali (all of the cities described in this chapter are on one of these three islands) can be more economical than trying to go to more remote areas, especially since getting to remote islands usually necessitates air travel or a week of waiting for a boat that will take you.
In addition, it is more difficult to find a cheap hotel on the islands of Kalimantan, Maluku, and Irian Jaya, although if you are planning to stay for a while you should explore non-hotel options such as homestays. Jakarta is more expensive than other cities on Java, but in all of the cities we have mentioned it is possible to find cheap accommodations and meals. Aside from city choice, learning to live without air conditioning and taxi rides will save you a lot of money. If you are in a situation where bargaining is in order (wherever there is no printed price list), your first offer should be between a third and a half of the first price suggested by the seller.