Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jakarta...Before Phuket

Apa kabar ? Welcome to Jakarta !!!

Someone’s very excited to visit her friends in Phuket tomorrow ! Haven’t packed anything, was going to bring my laptop so I can work a bit from the hotel and maybe updating my blog what’s new in Phuket and around, but then I think it’d be better to leave them home and just enjoy my holidays. Doesn’t mean I won’t share with you guys my simple joys being with my favorite people trying out Thai dishes, hanging out in the beach, and many more. Stay tuned !!
This time I will share about where I’m coming from, what I love to do when I’m in town, things I’d love to recommend you all if you ever happen to visit JAKARTA…the capital city of Indonesia ( heard some tourists think that Bali is the capital city of Indonesia )
If you have plans traveling to South East Asia, including Indonesia and thinking should or shouldn’t you spend couple of days in Jakarta or just skip this town and go somewhere else, well I won’t say anything but telling you guys about Jakarta a bit, in the end you can decide you still want to do it, or skip…
I was born in Jakarta. Everyone here always complain about traffic and hustle bustle of Jakarta, you can practically stuck for hours in the main road, even worse when it’s rainy season. It drives all of us nuts to stuck in a traffic jam when you have to hurry for some appointments, but complaining won’t change anything. Meanwhile, congrats to Mr. Jokowi just won the gubernatorial election couple of days ago, hope he can bring real big changes in Jakarta.

What I love about Jakarta...my friends, shopping and definitely Jakarta street food scenes ! Go to Blok M, Sabang, Menteng, Mangga Dua / China town and other big streets to try wide selections of culinary from chicken satay, fried rice, fish cake / pempek, Chinese food to Western food, you name it, deeliisshh food with reasonable price from $1 - $5 for a big plate of food and drinks, but of course it will cost you more if you eat at the cafe or restaurant, will cost you from $2 - $10 / person.

Get Nat to try Soto Ayam

Street food at Blok M

3 am at Monumen Nasional or Monas. The boys kidnapped me for coffee :)

Or if you’re in the mood to enjoying Jakarta metropolitan atmosphere at night sipping your drinks with good friends, check Skye Bar and Restaurant, 56th Floor Menara BCA Jalan MH Thamrin or Social House at Grand Indonesia, just next to Menara BCA. My other favorite bars to chill with my friends after work would be De Hooi bar at Pondok Indah, Murphys Irish Bar at Kemang, Beer Garden at SCBD area, soooo many bars and restaurants I could recommend you. Meanwhile for brunch, lunch or dinner I love to go to Koi at Kemang, Amigos at Kemang ( Mexican food ), Monolog at Plaza Senayan, Turkuaz at Gunawarman street next to Blok M ( Turkish food )…maybe next I should blog for culinary in Jakarta.
Always loving Sunday morning swimming...quiet Jakarta

Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa

Breakkie with Yola

My favorite designer and her cappucino

Speaking about shopping, Jakarta has sooo many malls, from Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia, Senayan City, Plaza Senayan, Pondok Indah Mall ( those are malls name ;p ), there’s a new one Kota Kasablanka – haven’t been there, even tho to be honest kinda sick of skyscrapers and malls, but well they still have few good coffee shops, bookstores and shops I regularly go to in the weekend or after work. If you’re not in the mood for malls with AC, go try Tanah Abang, ITC Mangga Dua, ITC Cempaka Mas, and ITC Ambasador Kuningan, you can always bargain here, they have latest fashion collections and of course fake branded bags. Cheap ? YES !
When I was working as a tourist guide back in 2008, I always brought my tourists to Monumen Nasional / Monas then to Kota Tua to see historical buildings, we rent a bike to the old port, and have dinner at Café Batavia at Kota Tua. I simply love their vintage furniture and evening atmosphere, very romantic. Even now when I have friends coming to visit Jakarta, I love to take them to Kota Tua by busway from Blok M. It’s a nice way to get them feel the atmosphere of Jakarta.

Cafe Batavia @ Kota Tua. Yona's waiting for her drink

Monumen Nasional / Monas

at the port

What about getaway places out of Jakarta ? Any beaches ? Yes ! Why don’t you check out my previous post Just Another Trip to Semak Daun Island, 3 hours boat drive from Muara Angke port in North Jakarta to Pulau 1000 or thousand island, go to Semak Daun Island, Tidung Island, or Tiger Island / Pulau Macan.
Other places you can visit, take a train from Kota Tua to the last station, Bogor. Spend your whole afternoon in Bogor Botanical Garden, super niice. I wish they have park or botanical garden in Jakarta, then for sure I’m just gonna spend my weekend over there with books, Pringles, and Ipod.
Or, drive to Puncak to do morning tea-walk, fresh air, Safari zoo ( I love night safari ), then paragliding. Avoid to go to Puncak in the weekend, the traffic will be crazy as people from Jakarta loves to spend their weekend over in Puncak. You can also drive to Bandung, again…for culinary, shopping, and nature, but to be honest I’m not a fan of Bandung, just love Puncak better.
My girl and her new....boy toy at Safari Zoo

Fun time at the zoooooo
tea walk

tea walk

Where to find cheap places to stay ? Go to Jalan Jaksa, the backpackers district in Jakarta. Don’t really imagine hectic backpackers district like in Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia.
So that was something about Jakarta from me. By seeing the photos, hope it will help you making decisions skip Jakarta or not ?

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