Indonesia for Digital Nomads
Facts About Indonesia
Indonesia has begun to emerge as an economic power in Southeast Asia, as well as a newly democratic nation. Its long history as the source of spices coveted around the world shaped Indonesia into the multi-ethnic and religiously diverse nation that we see today. Although this diversity causes friction at times, Indonesia has the potential to become a major world power.
The Republic of Indonesia is a large archipelago located between the Southeast Asian peninsula and Australia, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Indonesia borders Malaysia on the island of Borneo, Papua New Guinea on the island of New Guinea and East Timor on the island of Timor. It is home to over 258 million people. It is the fourth most populous nation on Earth after China, India and the US.
The official language, Bahasa Indonesia – a dialect of Malay – is spoken by almost everybody, although local dialects are usually the primary language.
Information About Entry and Departure
You don’t need a visa to enter Indonesia for visits of up to 30 days, calculated to include your date of arrival and date of departure. Visa-free visits can’t be extended or transferred to another type of visa.
Upon departing, airport tax is included in the cost of your ticket for all domestic flights within Indonesia.
It’s important to note that, compared with many places in the world, Indonesia is fairly safe. There are some hassles from the avaricious, but most visitors face many more dangers at home. Petty theft occurs, but it is not prevalent.
The official currency of Indonesia is the Rupiah, also known in currency offices as IDR.
Whether or not other currencies can be used varies from business to business. Large hotels and tourist stores may accept other currencies such as U.S. dollars. However, expect to generally end up paying more to use your foreign currency.
Credit and debit cards can be used in larger stores, restaurants and hotels in Indonesia. Though it’s still worth carrying cash for smaller transactions at cafes and markets or if you travel to some rural areas.
In recent years, the availability and speed of broadband connections in Indonesia have improved dramatically, since the introduction of 4G and fibre optics. WiFi is easily available in hotels and cafes, and typical connection speed for WiFi 512kbps – 2mbps some providers can offer higher speeds.
If you want a SIM Card for your phone, you can get one directly at the airport when you arrive (it’s a Telkomsel booth and will cost about 250,000 Rupiah (around 25 US Dollar) for the SIM Card plus 10 GB LTE). If you are willing to wait, you can also get one in town for around 100,000 Rupiah (10 US Dollar) for up to 35 GB. The best-known carriers are Indosat, Telkomsel (SimPATI) and XL Axiata.
Another possibility for mobile internet access is a MiFi device, which creates a WiFi network for you. I have tested the GlocalMe device and think it’s a really useful addition of my travel equipment. You can either use it as an ordinary wireless router with up to two SIM cards (very useful if you work with mobile TANs, you want to be available on your local number or if you want to use the social networks with a 2-factor authentication) but you can also use it without a physical SIM card but with the built in cloudSIM technology (which is of course more expensive) in over 100 countries worldwide. Apart from that it’s also a 6000 mAh powerbank, which is never bad to have with you.
Living in Indonesia as a Digital Nomad
Space is at a premium in Jakarta so expect to pay a lot more if wanting a house with a garden in an expat area. Most people opt to live in apartments. Expats can be expected to pay up to two years cash in advance for rental property so they should choose wisely and do their research. If choosing to live in an expat area be prepared to pay a lot more than if living amongst the indigenous population. In major Indonesian cities, traffic can be horrific so, ideally, expats should try to live somewhere that is as close to work as possible.
Taxis are abundant and ridiculously cheap compared to the West, and if tipping well the driver will wait for passengers while they do their shopping. It is very uncommon for expats to drive in Jakarta and most people employ a driver. A good driver is worth it as they have knowledge of all the side streets to make traveling around more bearable. Having a driver in the West would be considered a luxury; in Indonesia, it is a part of life for most people with a stable income. However, in Bali, it’s a different story. The so-called taxi mafia is taking care of prices to be pretty high, especially when compared to Uber prices. Unfortunately, those apps are prohibited and in case you do choose to call an Uber / Grab / GoJek, you risk having your driver beaten up by taxi drivers. So, my recommendation is to get the number of one (or more) driver, which you call directly when you need to go somewhere special. But you should definitely get a scooter to be independent and travel wherever you wish on your own.
Eating out is very cheap if alcohol is not included. Shopping for local fresh products in the markets and warungs – local restaurants with a kind of buffet – is fun and there are great bargains to be found. If buying locally and skipping the supermarkets, one can live very cheaply and healthy.
Hubud– Hubud is Bali’s first coworking space, located in the beautiful Ubud in the uplands of Bali. Globally renowned for yoga, holistic healing, organic food and stunning scenery. The coworking space is well-known for its strong sense of community, and collaborative environment.
Outpost– Outpost is a collaborative, productive community. Our coworking/coliving facilities and services are uniquely-tailored for individuals and groups seeking to immerse themselves in developing a new concept or grow existing ideas.
20 important words/sentences in Indonesian:
|Thank you!||Terima kasih!|
|Where is …?||Dimana….?|
|My name is …?||Nama saya adalah ….?|
|I don’t speak Indonesian||Saya tidak berbicara bahasa indonesia.|
|Do you speak English?||Apakah Anda berbicara bahasa Inggris?|
|I’m German.||Saya dari jerman.|
|Could you help me?||Dingin kau membantuku?|
|I need …||Saya butuh ….|
|How much is this?||Berapa banyak ini??|
The Numbers in Indonesia
The Indonesian Guides for Digital Nomads
Live Like a Local
Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in Indonesia?
You should check out the guides below!