Navigating your way through life in Indonesia can be challenging.
Fear not, dear reader – follow these (legal) tips and tricks, and life on the archipelago is guaranteed to become a little bit simpler and a whole lot easier!
So here are WowShacks 11 Lifehacks everyone should know…
1) Takeaway Nasi Padang
When buying nasi Padang, always ask for the take away option. The amount of rice will be doubled – this may be because they don’t have to bother with your dishes!
2) Ojek Price Agreement
If you’re travelling by ojek or becak, agree on the price beforehand. “10,000 aja ya bang?”. If you don’t agree on the price first, you’ll be overcharged when you arrive at your destination.
3) ATM Pulsa
If you need to buy Pulsa for your phone, use an ATM. Warungs will always charge you a small fee, i.e. Rp27,000 price for Rp25,000 pulsa. Click here for more information on how it’s done.
4) 3G Data Paket
Rather than letting 3G Internet usage chew up your regular pulsa at an extortionate rate, buy a ‘Paket’ instead. This gives you far better value for money. If you’re with Telkomsel, dial *363# to see your options.
5) Basement Restaurants
Looking for somewhere cheap to eat at the mall? Head downstairs to the basement. There are usually plenty of cheap restaurants used by the mall employees.
6) Laptop Fan
If your laptop easily overheats due to the relentless Indonesian heat, consider purchasing a freestanding fan rather than having the one inside your computer replaced. This option is cheaper and more effective.
7) Taxis – Know Where You’re Going
When catching a taxi, use GPS to work out an efficient route beforehand. If you simply tell your driver the address, there is a good chance he’ll intentionally make the journey longer and more expensive. We recommend using Blue Bird taxis.
8) Temporary Cleaners
It’s much cheaper to hire someone to clean your house once every two weeks or so, rather than employing a full-time pembantu. It generally costs around Rp40,000 – Rp50,000 for a one-off clean.
9) Free Teh Hangat
When eating at a Padang restaurant, order Teh Hanget – it’s almost always free! However, if you’re a foreigner, think twice about drinking any unpackaged beverages! Your stomach might not be prepared…
10) Cheap Pharmacy Water
If you’re at a mall and feeling thirsty, find a Century or Guardian Pharmacy. They usually sell mineral water for less than nearby restaurants or cafes.
11) Traffic Apps
Driving a car? Download the following apps to help you beat the traffic.
- Waze – a community-powered mapping and navigation app that gives you real-time traffic information and road alerts.
- LewatMana – Similar to Waze, LewatMana keeps you updated with the traffic conditions around you. LewatMana has set up webcams around Jakarta, so you can always browse traffic CCTV.
- Google Maps – provides directions, interactive map, and satellite/aerial imagery.
Comment below if you have any lifehacks to add to the list!