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Indonesia has an extraordinary range of ac, accommodations, much of it good value. Most cities have a number of hotels offering air-conditioned rooms with TV, mini bar, hot water, swimming pool, etc. for $100/night and up. While at the other end of the scale, you can stay in a $2/night losmen room with communal squat toi~ let (bring your own toilet paper), a tub of water with ladle for a bath, and a bunk with no towel or clean linen (provide your own). And there's just about everything in between: from decrepit colonial hill stations to luxurious new thatched roof huts in the middle of rice fields.
A hierarchy of lodgings and official terminology has been set by the government. A "hotel" is an up-market establishment catering to businessmen, middle- to upper-class travelers and tourists. A star-rating (one to five stars) is applied according to the range of facilities. Smaller places with no stars and basic facilities are not referred to as hotels but as losmen (from the French logement, wisma (guesthouse) or penginapan (accommodation) and cater to the masses and budget tourists.
Prices and quality vary enormously. In the major cities that don't have many tourists, such as Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan, there is little choice in the middle ranges and you have to either pay a lot or settle for a room in a losmen.
In areas where there are a lot of tourists, such as Bali and Yogja, you can get very comfortable and clean rooms with fan or air-conditioning for less than $25 a night. In small towns and remote areas, you don't have much choice and
all accommodations tend to be very basic. It's common to ask to see the room before checking in. Shop around before deciding, particularly if the hotel offers different rooms at different rates. Avoid carpeted rooms, especially without air-conditioning, as usually they are damp and this makes the room smell.
Advance bookings are necessary during peak tourist seasons (July to August, Christmas and New Year and the Muslim Lebaran holiday). Popular resorts are always packed on weekends, and prices often double, so go during the week when it's cheaper and quieter.
In many hotels, discounts of up to 50% from published rates are to be had for the asking, particularly if you have a business card. Booking in advance through travel agencies can also result in a lower rate. Larger hotels always add 21% tax and service to the bill.

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Balinese Bathroom Etiquette
When staying in losmen, particularly when using communal facilities, don't climb in or drop your soap into the tub of water (bak mandi). This is for storing clean water. Scoop and pour the water over yourself with the ladle/dipper provided.
If you wish to use the native paper-free cleaning method, after using the toilet, scoop water with your right hand and clean with the left.
This is the reason one only eats with the right hand-the left is regarded as unclean. Use soap and a fingernail brush (locals use a rock) for cleaning hands. Pre-packaged alcohol towelettes may make you feel happier about opting for this method. But don't throw the towelletes down the toilet.
Bring along your own towel and soap (although some places provide these if you ask).

Staying in Balinese Villages
Officially, the Indonesian government requires that foreign visitors spending the night report to the local police. This is routinely handled by losmen and hotels, who send in a copy of the registration form you fill out when you check in. Where there are no commercial lodgings, you can often rely on local hospitality. But when staying in a private home, keep in mind the need to inform the local authorities. One popular solution is to stay in the home of the local authority, the village head (kepala desa).
Carry photocopies of your passport, visa stamp and embarkation card to give to officials when venturing beyond conventional tourist areas. This saves time, and potential hassles, for you and your host.
Villagers in rural Indonesia do not routinely maintain guest rooms. If a cash arrangement has not been prearranged, you should leave a gift appropriate to local needs-cookies, clothing, cigarettes, or D-cell batteries for radios in remote villages. Note down their address and send prints of the photos you took of them.

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