i'm heading to indonesia in a couple weeks and i'm just wondering where would be my best bet to do some currency exchange! i land in bali, will spend a couple days in kuta, then just going to where the wind takes me...
also, any suggestions on places to stay in ubud? i'm heading up there and looking for budget... thanks!
#1 ziplok has been a member since 31/7/2009. Posts: 4
Best bet is to use the ATM's to get currency, if you have to change money be very careful! The scam works something like this..you are probably not used to so many zeros at around 15,000 to the £ 0r 11,000 to the $. So you change 50 pounds and need to count 740,000 local washers (actually 733,000). you will be given 703,300. It sounds easy to spot, but actually they catch a lot of people this way; that is why the money changes offer a better rate than the banks because they expect to rip off a lot of people. I had this scam tried twice in money changes and even once at a bank!
In many indonesian towns including kuta there are moneychangers in a small booth or shop type setup.I have changed plenty of cash with them at good rates and never had any problems. Easy to find one. You can also change money in the banks. Lastly the shops that sell gold double as moneychangers . This was what i did recently in padang. The rates at the airport are not so great, so wait till you get to town if you can. Maybe i'm just lucky , but it's not that hard to count the rupiah. ps , sorry haven't stayed in ubud.
#3 smallhouse has been a member since 24/2/2010. Posts: 5
Many of the ATM machines have a limit of 1,200,000rp or so which is a pain (and expensive) if your bank is charging $$ per withdrawal. I found a few that gave out 2,000,000 and one that gave out 3,000,000. Ask around - or check the discarded withdrawal slips that are invariably lying around to see how much the machine has dispensed. They don't usually post signs to tell you the maximum.
The 3,000,000rp ATM that I came across was (I think, by memory and looking at google maps!) on Jalan Werkudara (near the Jalan Padma Utara intersection). I can't remember which bank it was, but one of the major ones.
Permata tends to have 3,000,000 Rup withdrawls, some BNI have 2,500,000. I once saw a 4,000,000 one, but can't remember the bank off the top of my head.
If it's your first time in Indonesia then it's not THAT easy to count Rupiah! I noticed that in Bali the money changers advertising very good rates tend to be very reluctant to give you large denomination notes in exchange for your foreign currency. This is probably because when you change a few hundred dollars it's a lot easier for tourists to count 100,000s and 50,000 accurately than a huge pile of 10,000s and 20,000s.
Also 10,000s and 100,000s are fairly similar in colour and easy to confuse if you aren't used to them. Best to ask for 50,000s if you don't want to use an ATM as they are very easy to recognize.
Re the other part of your question. I stayed at Kajeng Bungalows in Ubud and can recommend it. Nice rooms with a pool, hot water showers and a decent breakfast for 150K/night. It's well situated too, within easy walking distance of both the town and the rice paddies. Good value I thought.
Breakfast which is brought to your balcony:
Additional remarks on exchange booths. As a reasonably frequent traveller to SEA generally including half a dozen trips to Indonesia I am used to currency exchange. This trip to Bali, I had the misfortune of staying in Kuta for a few nights requiring me to exchange money on Jl. Legian which is known for currency scams. I went to a total of five exchange booths between Poppies I & II the last one telling me to 'go away you're too smart' after he'd watched me walk away from his four scamming friends.
So the trick they were using was: exchanging $100AUD they went to count out 825,000Rp. They got to 820,000 then asked me if I had 5,000Rp so the total could be made up to 830,000Rp. At the first booth, while I was looking for the small change, he 'recounted' my money. I handed him 5,000Rp and then counted the stack again, finding 720,000Rp. They then handed me back my $100AUD and asked me to leave. I asked if I can just have my 100,000 back to which they said they 'don't have'. With the following four booths I didn't look for the 5,000Rp but they still 'recounted' the money, again cleverly taking 100,000 from the stack and asking me to leave once I recounted for myself and discovered the fraud.
All in all this was just a frustrating experience because I just wanted to buy milk, juice and Bintang for our apartment. However, the slick nature of their operation made me believe this was a ongoing concern for these exchange shops rather than a 'one-off'. My suggestion is to accept a 1-2000Rp per dollar difference in rate and exchange at a hotel. Most hotels will have a tour desk which will exchange money and not require you to be a guest there. Alternatively, most banks will have an exchange counter some with very minimal commission.
#8 susanneweb has been a member since 22/8/2005. Posts: 1