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Living in Indonesia: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Indonesia | Expat Exchange
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Ubud on Bali Island, Indonesia

Living in Indonesia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 01, 2024

Summary: People describe life in Indonesia as vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity. Expats love the friendly people, the tropical climate, the beautiful beaches, and the low cost of living. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,000 to $2,000 per month, depending on lifestyle and location. The population of Indonesia is approximately 270 million people, making it the fourth most populous country in the world. The largest cities in Indonesia are Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, and Semarang. The cons of living in Indonesia include the high levels of air pollution, the lack of reliable public transportation, and the prevalence of corruption. Additionally, the cost of living can be higher in some areas, and the healthcare system is not as advanced as in other countries.

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What do I need to know about living in Indonesia?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Indonesia, they said:

"Don't drink tap water. Eat only at restaurants that are recommended and tested by others. Learn the language. Have patience, therefore one can adapt accordingly. Don't expect too much from the people," said one expat who made the move to Jakarta.

"Expats considering retiring in Indonesia should familiarize themselves with the country's unique visa requirements and residence permits. They should also take into account the cost of living, healthcare and other important areas such as availability and quality of education. It is advisable to research the various areas in which one is looking to live and to check for any civil unrest or areas known for high crime rates. Additionally, expats should investigate what cultural customs and habits are observed in Indonesia in order to get a better understanding of the local culture and way of life," explained one expat living in Indonesia.

"Don't worry too much. It's pretty easy life here but will require patience a plenty. Traffic is horrible! But I get lots of reading done in my Mitsurbishi Grandis. Good staff are very important and should be rewarded with your trust and better than average pay if you find good ones. We love ours. Finally, as usual, a little bit of the local language goes a long long ways. Vocabulary is the key here b/c the rest of the language is easy," mentioned one in Jakarta.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Ubud on Bali Island, Indonesia

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