I traveled around West Kalimantan for 6 days, flying into Pontianak, the main gateway for air travel and the capital of this province. I went overland from Pontianak to, Singkawang, Sambas ans returned via the Aruk land border.
In general, West Kalimantan is slightly more expensive than the usual Indonesian hotspot because of its relatively underdeveloped infrastructure and choice of accomodation. Nonetheless it’s still cheap compared to other countries in the region. I’ll breakdown what and how much I spent for 6 days.
The main hub for air travel is Bandara Supadio in Pontianak. The Kuching-Pontianak flight I took is serviced by AirAsia at a cost of MYR 70 one way.
Before arriving in Indonesia download Gojek from Google or Apple app store. It’s the Uber of Indonesia. Getting around via ojek, is the cheapest. A 10 minute ride is about IDR 5,000. As of 2017 Gojek and Uber only operates in Pontianak although Uber is not widely available. GrabCar is more widely used in Pontianak and Singkawang. Note that Gojek riders cannot pick you up from Bandara Supadio due to prior agreements between the company and the airport. Contrary to what other people or forums might say, there is no public bus from the airport to the city.
Intercity transport is a choice of rental car (with driver) or bus. Rental is fast, and charged per pax. There are no direct express buses, only local buses to stop and pick passengers in between which is vastly cheaper and slower.
Pontianak now only has one hostel, Canopy Centre Hostel. It’s a bit far from the city centre itself. A 12 bedroom dorm with AC is IDR 75,000.
Singkawang has no hostels and only twin rooms. The cheapest I found is IDR 170,000 for an AC standard bedroom smack in the city centre.
I stayed in Hotel Linsai in Sambas for IDR 70,000. Fan room with shared bathroom.
Expect to pay around IDR 25,000 for a local meal and a drink at a waroeng. With their vibrant coffee culture, a cup of amazing coffee range between IDR 5,000 to IDR 20,000.
Most places have free entry except for the West Kalimantan Museum at IDR 10,000. Some places do ask to donate freely.
Sundry and toiletries:
Relative to Malaysia or Singapore, really cheap. A bottle of 1.5L water is IDR 3,000, a bar of soap at IDR 2,000 and a tab of painkillers (Paracetamol) at IDR 13,000.
Internet and Simcards:
I used Indosat Ooredoo which cost IDR 75,000 for 5 GB. However Telkomsel has the best coverage throughout the province. Indosat is quite spotty in Singkawang. Kartu and pulsar are words you should keep in mind. Adaptors for charging cost me IDR 35,000. Indonesia uses the two pin plug (round). If coming from Malaysia you definitely need one.
Expect to spend IDR 200,000 daily (MYR 62/USD 14) per person. It’s not really shoestring but not too flashy either. There are some nice islands off the coast of Bengkayang which I didn’t have time for and would probably add to your budget.
Enjoy West Kalimantan!