The standard of living in Indonesia reflects extremely favourably on a per dollar basis when compared with that of western countries.
While it is a given that prices for everyday goods and services will vary across this huge country there is still a very marked difference in favour of those choosing to teach English here on a permanent contract basis.
The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah (Rp) and the comparison chart below will show just how significant the cost of living Indonesia is when compared to the average in your own country.
It should be understood that living in the capital city of Jakarta will see increases to the averages below, and that the cost of living in Bali, which is a well-known and long-established tourist destination will also vary.
The approximate increase should be taken as around 10+% higher than average prices across the country, but even when these increases are taken into account the cost of living Indonesia is still a very attractive proposition for westerners.
The most noticeable savings will be found when eating out. An inexpensive meal at a local restaurant will cost just 25,000 Rp ($1.86), a mid-range 3-course dinner for 2 people comes in at around 150,000 Rp ($11.19) and a fast food visit to purchase a McMeal or similar will cost just 45,000 Rp ($3.36).
Another place where low prices quickly become apparent and ensure that the standard of living in Indonesia will be far higher than in your own country are the local markets.
These markets can be sectioned into selling fresh foods only, clothing and accessories only, or a mix of the two. They are extremely lively places to visit and make for a pleasant outing on a regular basis. Visitors will likely purchase fresh food to eat on the go or buy fresh ingredients to cook at home.
If the market you are visiting sells clothing and accessories they will be secured for a snip of what you would pay in your home country.
These local markets operate from early morning until late evening. Fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruit are sold at prices that reflect the abundance of such goods and at the going rate which sees the local farmers and stall-holders making a reasonable living. As for the clothing; this is handmade and priced to tempt a quick sale as well as increased turnover.
Here is a comparison chart showing the cost of living in Indonesia in dollars of some every day and essential items (all prices in US$).