25 Apr Bali currency or how not to be scared of zeros
Bali is an island of Republic Of Indonesia, so official currency here is Indonesian Rupiah. If you come here for the first time, you might be a little bit confused with amount of zeros on price tags. But by the time you will get used to Bali currency. For example, if you want to buy a sarong and someone tells you it costs 200 000 IDR, cross out 4 zeros and you will get $20 AUD. A little bit more difficult to convert it to US dollars: $1 USD = 13 000 IDR (approx.). But in the places where the price is not written down before buying something don’t forget to bargain, normally the first price is at least twice more expensive than real.
Bali currency or welcome to the world of zeros
The money of Bali is represented by banknotes and coins. Banknote denominations:
- 100 000 IDR
- 50 000 IDR
- 20 000 IDR
- 10 000 IDR
- 5 000 IDR
- 2 000 IDR
- 1 000 IDR
Small denominations of coins are pretty useless but still acceptable in small warungs:
- 1 000 IDR
- 500 IDR
- 200 IDR
- 100 IDR
Sometimes you can see a coin with a hole in the middle. It comes from Chinese traditions and now has only religious meaning. But a few centuries ago people used it as regular coins to pay for food and goods. Nowadays it’s used as offerings for Gods and spirits of the island.
If you’re not sure about exchange rate or your math skills use this website and you won’t have to lose your time on counting.
What you should know about ATMs and exchange offices
If you are going to Bali you should think what method is more preferable for you, ATM or exchange offices beforehand. To avoid any difficulties bring over USD, AUD or Euros. The exchange rate at the airport is pretty disadvantageous, so it’s better to exchange the essential amount for a taxi and your accommodation. Be careful with street “exchangers” – 90% they will rip you off. If you don’t have any choice just make make a double check to make sure that you get fair amount of local currency. For your note, you will get higher rate for $100 USD than for $20 USD etc.
If you come with a bank card make sure that ATM is inside of a shop or bank as well, don’t go to ATMs that are located on the streets – there is always possibility that they will skim your card. From the most of ATMs you can get 2,5 mil (approx. $200 USD) with 100k or 50k notes.
Just don’t ignore these simple rules and you won’t have anything to stress about. Enjoy being a millionaire and welcome to Bali!