Tag Archives: Ubud

Travel Budget & Summary: Indonesia

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So here it comes, the first of many travel budget posts, in which I disclose exactly how much money we have spent in each country we travel through.

I've been umm-ing and aah-ing over whether or not to write these kinds of posts. Talking about money is a very private subject and I worry about being judged about our style of travel by others - while we consider ourselves budget travellers, we certainly do not rough it. Some will read this and scoff that we could have done it a lot cheaper (yes, its true!), whereas others will wonder how it is possible to spend so little on a month long trip for two people!

However, I have decided to go ahead divulge exactly what we are spending on the road, as Alan and I found these kinds of posts by a number of different bloggers insanely helpful while planning how much money we needed to make this trip possible. If this can inspire just one reader to realise that living your travel dream is financially possible - and not as scary as it looks - then this will all be worth it!

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The life of a backpacker ain't so bad - Ubud, Bali

Indonesia: Our Itinerary

As New Zealand citizens, we received a 30 day visa on arrival into Indonesia (we flew into Denpasar, Bali). We stayed in Indonesia for 28 nights, and visited a grand total of four islands. Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands, so we barely scratched the surface!

Indonesia: Travel Budget Breakdown

Please note these costs are in New Zealand dollars (NZD), unless otherwise stated.

Total we spent over 29 days for two people: $2,307.45 ($1,153.73 per person)

Daily average per person: $39.80 (our daily budget is $50 each)

We came in 20% under our maximum budget - hooray! How about a category breakdown? Note these costs are for two people and I have rounded to the nearest dollar.

  • Accommodation: $710
  • Food and drink: $700
  • Transport: $520
  • Entertainment/attractions: $201
  • Visas: USD$70 ($35 each for visa on arrival)
  • Shopping: $50 (this includes items like shampoo and soap, but is very high for Indonesia because we purchased our Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Lonely Planet on the way to Bali!)
  • Massages: $47
  • Laundry: $10

Summary

Accommodation

On average we spent about $25 per night on accommodation ($12.50 each), however some places came in well under $20 a night and others we splurged on $30 or more a night - its all about balance, right?

We use Agoda for the majority of our bookings as they have great value 'insider' deals, and most importantly it means we can pay in New Zealand dollars via credit card, which saves us in both currency conversion fees and ATM withdrawal fees!

We always try and book accommodation that includes breakfast, to help offset the cost of food. All but two of our accommodations in Indonesia included breakfast.

We stayed in private double rooms, mostly at guesthouse style accommodations. Private bathrooms (as in, adjoined to your room and not shared) are common in Indonesia, and all of our rooms had them.

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Food

On average we spent about $25 a day on food and drink, for both of us. Mostly, this included lunch and dinner, as breakfast was usually included with the accommodation. Some of our cheapest meals were $2 for both of us (crazy cheap!), whereas our more expensive ones were western food and hovered between $15 and $20 for two (mainly Yogyakarta and Ubud). An average meal of a plate of noodles or rice-based dish with a smoothie at a sit down restaurant, cost about $8 for both of us.

This category also includes beer, which we would have most days (often one with dinner, sometimes a couple more), plus our unhealthy obsession with pringles and cornetto ice creams which is a bad habit that we are working on! Beers typically cost about 20,000 - 30,000 rupiah each ($2-3). We also had quite an unnecessary splurge on Starbucks at Jakarta airport on our final morning, ridding our wallets of our remaining rupiah.

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Transport

We hired a scooter in Ubud, Nusa Lembongan and Lovina, costing us between $5-8 a day. We love the independence of having a scooter!

We used tourist buses to get from place to place in Bali, and a mixture of local and minibuses throughout Java. We wanted to catch trains but unfortunately our route didn't really make much sense to take the railway, we would have had to combine with bus travel making it more expensive and more complicated. Long, sticky bus journeys were the best way round for us.

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We were really pleased with ourselves for coming in well under budget in Indonesia - so much so that we splurged much of what we had saved on visiting Universal Studios in Singapore! Because, um, YOLO. But thats a story for another time.

Tell me what you think - is it interesting to read about our travel budget? Are you surprised with how little (or how much) Indonesia cost us?


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Volunteering at a Dog Rescue in Ubud, Bali

A huge part of the reason Ubud had me captivated was because we spent much of our time at a dog rescue shelter, where they rescue street dogs (and cats, and sometimes even monkeys), sterilise them, bring them back to health and work to adopt them out.

A friend of ours is currently volunteering there, and it is no secret that I love dogs, so we took advantage of her invitation to pop in one afternoon and see what it is all about. We ended up spending much of the next couple of days there - washing puppies, playing with the sick little puppies, feeding the animals (including bottle feeding tiny little newborn puppies!), and playing with the bigger dogs.

The second I stepped in the gate, I left a piece of my heart at this place. Even though I had only known them for mere hours, I love all of those dogs to bits!

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Some of the dogs are, sadly, disabled. There are many whose back legs don’t work and have become a little bit deformed because of this.

One of the dog’s back legs had become almost bat-like which made it easier for him to walk on his front legs. Another had just had his back legs amputated and was recovering from this surgery, yet still managed to bound around on its front legs - quite incredible!

There were two blind dogs, one with cataracts and another that had both of its eyes removed. There was a dog that had a gash in his head from a machete, as he unknowingly tried to eat a farmer’s chicken. This dog was nick-named 'Maggot-head' so I'm sure you can imagine the condition he was in when he first arrived to the dog rescue shelter.

There was a dog that had been kicked in the mouth and could no longer open it, he had to eat his dinner through the only small gap he could open in the side of his mouth and slowly slurp his food in. There were dogs that were so sick they could barely lift their heads.

There were puppies who were so sick that had no hair and skin of scabs, plus dogs with all sorts of skin conditions, that just needed some love and care.

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There were some of the happiest dogs you've ever seen, yet it was still such a sad and upsetting sight to see. The minute you took a sick little puppy out of its cage, had lots of playtime and cuddles and tummy rubs with it, their eyes would light up and you could see the happiness and love just absorbing into its body!

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Its such a challenging, dirty and tiring (physically and emotionally) job the volunteers at these shelters do. One dog came in with problems with its back legs and the vet had said the legs either had to be amputated or the dog be put down. They persevered, initially he was able to drag his back legs along, and now he is learning to walk again! He can walk on all fours now, sometimes his back legs get a bit tangled and he trips over himself, but hey, that happens to the best of us!

There are so many dogs, and I wonder with a very heavy heart what is going to happen to them all - they need loving adoptive homes!!! I did consider adopting 20 or so and sending them back to New Zealand, but unfortunately I’m not a millionaire 🙁

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It just really reinforces the point, no matter where you are in the world, please rescue dogs instead of buying them! There are so, sooooo many dogs needing homes, not only in Bali but all over the world. And, if you can afford it, please come to Bali and rescue a dog from one of the many animal rehabilitation centres - they are the most loving, beautiful animals!!

There are a lot of great animal shelters doing great things in Bali. We spent our time at BARC.

Have you ever spent time an animal rescue shelter? I would love to hear your stories!


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Ubud, Bali: I could have stayed forever

The Lonely Planet describes Ubud as the kind of place that you come "for a day or two and end up staying longer, drawn in by the rich culture and many activities."

They hit the nail on the head right there. We took note of this so planned a generous stay of four nights, though still ended ended up extending our stay by an extra night! If we did not have a gajillion other places on our list we want to visit in Indonesia before our 30 day visa expires, I could have easily stayed in Ubud a lot longer!

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We travelled from Kuta to Ubud and simply booked a tourist shuttle the day before. It cost us IDR 60,000 (approx $6) each and picked us up from our accommodation in Kuta and dropped us off centrally in Ubud a couple of hours later. This is by far the easiest option and fairly budget-friendly.

Our friend who is currently living in Ubud organised a guesthouse for us, and it was the most incredible setting, nestled amongst the rice paddies. What a view to wake up to!

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We even had an incredible outdoor shower, and outdoor kitchen in which we attempted poached eggs and toast for breakfast one day. Fancy!

The place we stayed is very new and has only been open for two months, so is still yet to be named. It was on Jl Bisma - right down the end towards Monkey Forest.

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Ubud is an easy place to stay. It is very chilled out, especially for us having come direct from crazy Kuta! There are a lot of expats living in Ubud, so it has become quite westernised in terms of the food offering - we had great and authentic mexican food, delicious italian pizza, serious health food (think probiotic, vegan, raw...) and some good Indonesian food while we were there. Word on the street is there is some pretty tasty sushi around too.

There is some magic in Ubud and I don’t know, it just got me. I definitely considered throwing in the towel on this whole travelling thing and staying in Ubud forever….but there are plenty more places to see first!

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What we did in Ubud, Bali

HIRED A SCOOTER

The minute we got to our guesthouse we hired a scooter straight away, and this made Ubud so easy for us. It would have been such a hassle having to walk everywhere as Ubud is quite spread out, so with the scooter we were able to jump on and go! It is far less hectic for scooters than in Kuta, even though at times I felt like my life was in Alan’s hands! Depending on how long you are hiring for (days, weeks, months) you will get a different price, we hired for five days at IDR 60,000 a day, though later found out this was at the higher end of the spectrum (expect to pay approx IDR 50,000/day).

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SACRED MONKEY FOREST SANCTUARY

The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is very centrally located in Ubud, and is a series of 3 temples nestled in a lush, green forest - with about 600 hungry monkeys calling it home! At some points on your stroll through there are women selling (overpriced) bananas that you can hold up above your head, for monkeys to climb up you to grab it. We didn't buy any bananas but it was good fun watching everyone else do it. Even though we didn't have any bananas a monkey still tried to befriend Alan by climbing on his head.

Tip: stick to the paths and don't taunt the monkeys, just let them do their thing - they are known to bite and we saw more than one child in tears there!

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 GOA GAJAH

Dating back to the 11th century, Goa Gajah is a religious complex containing both a Hindu and a Buddhist temple. It is most known for the Elephant Cave and the bathing pool. We wandered around and took in the serene atmosphere for half an hour or so before discovering a dirt track that we thought looked interesting. We ambled down the track, further and further - until I was convinced we were the only ones in the forest! About 10-15 minutes down the path we came across a flowing river, it was so tranquil. We dangled our feet in the water for a while - one of those truly content moments 🙂

Tip: Don't be forced into buying a sarong from one of the many hawkers in the parking area at Goa Gajah, you can loan one for free on entering. We drove ourselves on our scooter from Ubud, it is about 6km away.

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 DOG SHELTER

We spent a fair bit of our time in Ubud at a dog shelter, where they rescue street dogs, bring them back to health, shower them will love and cuddles, and work to rehome them. Although we only spent a couple of days there I still found it so difficult and heartbreaking to leave! I have plenty of memories and some photos from this place so look out for more on this in another post.

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My obsession with the dog shelter and the time it took for us to plan out our next steps (combined with maybe a little too much relaxation...and laziness) meant we didn't get around to doing yoga like I had hoped. If you are planning on some yoga in Ubud, Yoga Barn is probably the most well known and has a variety of classes every hour or so with all types of yoga and meditation, classes are about $11usd.

We had a GREAT time in Ubud, and every day since then I think about our time there and how easily I could simply live there. Life is lush in Ubud. I'll let you know how I get on with convincing Alan of that one...!

Have you been to Ubud, Bali? What were your highlights?


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