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Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, located on the northern coast at the western end of the island of Java. It is a mixture of a city and a big village. In some places you can see high-rise buildings, luxurious hotels and shopping centres, and in the others you can see the small houses of poor.
The province of DKI (capital area of) Jakarta spans north through the Thousand Islands, the small islands scattered off Jakarta bay. Some islands are located in the underwater preservation area, a nice place to go snorkelling and diving.
Jakarta sprawls from the port to the mountains, with true centers and neighbourhoods hard to find. There is plenty to see at Sunda Kelapa port while Ancol is a separate seaside recreation area. Kota ("downtown") refers to a crowded, poor, but generally very interesting area that begins south of the port. Kota has shopping, nightlife, traditional markets and Chinese temples. Just to the south, Pasar Baru has a shaded Indian market and interesting environs. The national monument (MONAS) is a large park in an area which used to be central but is no longer, as the city has shifted vast distances in all directions, but especially southward. Not far from Monas is Jl. Jaksa, Jl. Sabang and the long-standing Sarina department store. This area retains a central feel, as does the Cikini area just to the east of Monas.
The old Dutch neighborhood of Menteng separates the Sarina area from Plaza Indonesia, Kuningan and the banking district (Jalan Sudirman). Official residences, churches and embassies are housed here, often in attractive buildings under large trees. As the sprawl finally reached Bogor and the Puncak mountain resort areas, new centers emerged. The Plaza Indonesia area and the old Hotel Indonesia has received considerable developer attention as has Kuningan, especially Mega Kuningan. However, these are more real estate concepts than neighborhoods. Just five years ago the focus was on Semanggi, less of a neighbourhood than a shopping mall.
In South Jakarta, the Senayan area is full of attractive shopping centers, parks, and nightlife. To the south - once again -is Blok M, which is due for a renovation but remains popular. Even further (from Kota), are other true neighborhoods such as Kebayoran Baru, Senopati and Dharmawangsa. Here you find houses, trees, and space to breathe. Kemang, a popular residential area for foreigners, has a lot to offer in terms of galleries, restaurants, boutique stores and nightlife, but also narrow roads. Blok M is between 30 and 90 minutes from Kota, depending on traffic. Suburbs like Cilandak and Cipete are as many as two hours from Kota in bad traffic, but otherwise a part of Jakarta.
You can see old buildings from Dutch colonial time. Even the train station (Jakarta Kota Station) is still using the same station since the Dutch colonial time. There are museums like the Fatahilah Museum (used to be the Dutch major's office, with jails in the basement which used to be soaked with water), Wayang (Puppet) Museum, Marine Museum. If you are interested to see traditional/old-fashioned ships, go visit the old port of Sunda Kelapa.
The Ragunan area in Jakarta is known for the zoo, which people call Ragunan Zoo. An interesting part of the zoo is the Schmutzer's Primate Centre, donated to the city of Jakarta by the late Mrs. Puck Schmutzer, an animal lover. The primate centre has many kinds of primates (monkeys, gorillas, and the kind) mostly which had been taken by humans from their natural habitats. The zoo is more of an animal conservation rather than a commercialized place. There are many endangered species. You can see them but mostly you cannot interact with them, to keep them as they are. But there is a spot where you can ride an elephant.
Ancol Recreation Park is located at Jakarta bay (North Jakarta). It is also the departure port for the Thousand Islands.
This Indonesia miniature park has traditional design houses from all around Indonesia, from Sumatra to Papua. Each house is a museum showing traditional clothes, ceremonies (e.g. wedding), and music. TMII is a big park with many other attractions such as Fresh Water Aquarium, Marine Museum, Philately Museum, Science Museum, Bird Park, Flower Park, Butterfly Park, etc. You can ride a cable car and see the big park from above. TMII was built under the government of President Soeharto, and is said to be "built" by the first lady at the time, the late Ibu Tien Soeharto. At the front area of TMII there is a big museum that keeps many souvenirs Soeharto got from his presidential visits to other countries.
There are many places to shop and eat in Jakarta. From traditional market to modern shopping malls.
Singing is becoming popular in Jakarta as a way to release stress and have fun with family and friends. Don't worry, English popular songs are the most in list; Along with Indonesian, Mandarin, and some Japanese songs.
Record your own audio CD:
Off Jakarta bay is the Thousand Islands. The small islands are scattered at shallow waters, which in some part is WWF underwater conservation area. Some islands are nice for water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat riding; some others are nice for snorkelling and diving. Be careful of sting rays, sea urchins, and jelly fish.
Located at the suburbs, water parks are popular to families with children for splishing and splashing in the pool and enjoying the spiral water slides.
Jakarta citizens need a little time to balance their body, mind & soul. Either by doing some stretching, meditation, or just having a body massage or the like. You might want it after an exhausting trip around the city.
The weather is mostly bright and sunny during the dry season, which normally happens from May through September. And it is usually overcast and rainy during the wet season from October through April, although some sunshine is possible as well. Humidity and temperatures are always high. Daytime temperatures are around 31 °C, nights are around 24 °C.
|Avg Max||29.9 °C||30.3 °C||31.5 °C||32.5 °C||32.5 °C||31.4 °C||32.3 °C||32 °C||33 °C||32.7 °C||31.3 °C||32 °C|
|Avg Min||24.2 °C||24.3 °C||25.2 °C||25.1 °C||25.4 °C||24.8 °C||25.1 °C||24.9 °C||25.5 °C||25.5 °C||24.9 °C||24.9 °C|
|Rainfall||384.7 mm||309.8 mm||100.3 mm||257.8 mm||133.4 mm||83.1 mm||30.8 mm||34.2 mm||29 mm||33.1 mm||175 mm||84 mm|
Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK) is about 20 kilometres from Jakarta. Several dozens of airlines serve the city. Non-budget airlines include:
Budget airlines serving Jakarta are:
To/from the airport
Jakarta is reachable by train from cities on the island of Java, like Bogor and Yogyakarta. It takes about 2 hours from Bandung by Argo Gede executive train (good couches with air conditioner), through scenic areas between the cities.
Buses connect Jakarta with numerous cities around Java, including Bogor, Bandung, Surabaya and Yogyakarta. Bus terminals such include Rawamangun (East Jakarta) Kampung Rambutan (Southeast Jakarta), Pulo Gadung (East Jakarta), Kali Deres (West Jakarta) or Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta). The terminals are notorious for muggers and pickpockets, so observe normal safety precautions.
The national ferry company, ASDP Indonesia Ferry, and other sealines, operate passenger services to destinations across the archipelago from Tanjung Priok port in the north of the city. Some smaller speedboats, particularly to the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu), depart from Ancol also on Jakarta's north shore.
Due to bad traffic, it is best not to drive yourself. It is best to have a local who knows Jakarta streets well drive for you. You can rent a car with the driver.
TransJakarta is the city's bus rapid transit system. There are currently 7 routes in operation. Buses have their own dedicated lanes to ensure they don't get stuck in traffic. To get on a bus, passengers must pass through turnstiles to get to a platform. You will need to purchase one ticket for your journey. The ticket can be used on connecting buses, and is valid until you exit the turnstiles. A single ticket costs Rp3,500. If you are travelling before 7:00am, you can get a discounted ticket for Rp 2,000.
The Jakartan equivalent to Thailand's tuk-tuk is the bajaj, orange mutant scooters souped up in India into tricycles that carry passengers in a small cabin at the back. Beside the average orange bajaj, there is blue bajaj, which uses gas as their fuel. They're a popular way to get around town since they can weave through Jakarta's interminable traffic jams much like motorbikes can. Although slow, boneshaking, hot and windy, riding around in these little motor-bugs can really grow on you. There are no set prices, but a short hop of a few city blocks shouldn't cost much more than Rp 5,000. Be sure to agree to a price before you set off.
Jakarta is quite a big city and unlike Singapore, Indonesia rarely has independent retail stores on street and easy access by the pedestrians, all international branded retail stores located inside malls and plazas. It is never been good idea to getting around Jakarta by foot and pedestrian walk also terrible and narrow.
Indonesia is a country of spices.The food is good and tasty. And Jakarta has all kinds of food from traditional food to Oriental to European food. For a different experience, try the street food and sit together with local people.
Some good/favourite street food where locals go:
Alternatives to street food (if you are not sure about it):
When it's very late at night, and you are starving but too tired to go out and find something to eat, you can call the probably unwanted saviour, McDonald's 24-hour delivery service, on phone number 14045.
Jakarta may be the capital of the world's largest Islamic country, but it has underground life of its own. If you're the clubbing type, its nightlife is arguably among the best in Asia, except in fasting months when some of it are closed or open in limited time. From the upscale Kemang to the seedy Mangga Besar, nightlife is there for all levels of loudness, but bring a friend if you decide to brave the seedier places (though they tend to have the best DJs). Fans of live music, on the other hand, are largely out of luck if they go to budget bars, at least unless they're into Indonesian pop.
A complete list including travellers ratings:
|Alpine Hotel||Jalan Gunung Sahari Raya No.35 Jakarta Pusat||Hotel||57|
|Atlantic Hotel||Jalan Salemba Raya no.26 Jakarta Pusat||Hotel||-|
|Bangka Bed & Breakfast||Jl. Bangka XI A no. 26, Kemang Jakarta Selatan 1||GUESTHOUSE||83|
|IBIS Jakarta Tamarin||Jl. KH Wahid Hasyim 77 Jakarta Pusat||Hotel||77|
|Jakarta Bed & Breakfast||Jl. Jamblang no. 27, Cilandak KKO Jakarta Selatan||HOSTEL||76|
|Josephine Guest House||Jl.Iskandarsyah II No.91||Guesthouse||-|
|Tamara Guesthouse||Jl. Gunung Balong Raya No. 10 Lebak bulus III - Cilandak||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Grha Sindoro||Salemba Tengah No.7 Jakarta Pusat(Central Jakarta)||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Fontana Residence||Jl. Tebet Barat VIII no.4 Tebet||Hostel||-|
|Blessing Mansions||Jalan Tanjung Duren Raya Kav 5-9||Hostel||-|
|TravellerS Hotel Jakarta||Jl. Pangeran Jayakarta No.70 Jakarta Pusat||Hotel||-|
|KChrysant Hotel||Jl. Daan Mogot No.63||HOTEL||-|
|Anara House||Jl. Cilandak X no 11, Cilandak Fatmawati South Jakarta, Indonesia||HOSTEL||75|
|Sunny Days Hostel||Sudirman Park Apartment, Tower A/GF/ADAF1 Jl.K.H. Mas Mansyur Kav.35||Hostel||-|
|Kamar-Kamar for Backpackers||Jalan RS Fatmawati No 37 K Jakarta Selatan||HOSTEL||74|
|R Residence||Lebak Bulus III/15 Cilandak, Jakarta Selatan||Guesthouse||-|
|Harris Hotel Tebet||Jl. Dr. Saharjo No. 191 - Tebet||Hotel||-|
|Harris Suites fX Sudirman||Jl. Jenderal Sudirman, Pintu Satu Senayan||Hotel||-|
|Sofi Residence||Jalang Anggrek 5 no 2 Karet Kuningan Setiabudi||Guesthouse||-|
|Citi Residence||Jl. Hayam Wuruk 5/B-3, Harmoni Jakarta Pusat||GUESTHOUSE||77|
|Max One Hotel||Jalan KH.Agus Salim No.24, Sabang||Hotel||-|
|Hunny Hostel Jakarta||Jalan Alaydrus no 31, Harmoni, Jakarta Pusat||HOSTEL||-|
|Onyx Residence||Jl Penjernihan I No 15 Pejompongan||GUESTHOUSE||78|
|Hotel Amaris Senen||Jalan Kramat Raya 35 Senen||HOTEL||-|
|Amaris Hotel Bandara||Jalan Husein Sastranegara 1 Benda Tangerang||Hotel||-|
|Amaris Mangga Dua Square||Mangga Dua Square Jalan Gunung Sahari 1||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Amaris Mangga Besar||Jalan Mangga Besar Raya 7 - 11 Mangga Besar||HOTEL||-|
|Six Degrees||Jalan Cikini Raya 60 B-C||HOSTEL||88|
|Hippo Homestay||Pluit Permai 6 no 37||Hostel||-|
|SCBD Guesthouse||Jl. Cibeber 1 No. 17, Kebayoran Baru||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|The London Living||Kebagusan City Apartment Chrysant Tower, 23rd Floor Unit 18||Hostel||-|
|Rasuna Icon Hotel||Jl Karet Pedurenan No 3 HR.Rasuna Said Kuningan||HOTEL||-|
|Amelia Homestay||Jalan Kota Bambu Selatan 2 no. 1 RT 08 RT 08 West||HOSTEL||-|
|Elvia GuestHouse||Jalan Kebon Kacang 9 No. 55 Jakarta Pusat||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Wisma17||Jalan Pisangan Baru Timur VI no. 17Jakarta Timur||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Casual work in Jakarta is difficult to come by and Indonesian bureaucracy does not readily facilitate foreigners undertaking employment in Indonesia. As in the rest of Asia, teaching English is the best option, although salaries are poor (US$700–3000/month is typical, although accommodation may be provided) and the government only allows citizens of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA to work as teachers. Formal work visas, residency permits and registration with several government offices is necessary. Formal approval from the Department of Manpower and the provision of documentation and guarantees from an employing sponsor is required to engage in any form of employment in Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia. Business visas are available for the purposes of conducting business related activities in Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia, this class of visa has strict conditions and requires a local business to sponsor the applicant. A business visa does not permit the holder to undertake any form of employment.
Internet is becoming more widely used in Indonesia, and warung Internet (warnet) - Internet cafés - are emerging everywhere. A lot of restaurants and cafés in big cities normally have wireless internet available for free. Internet connection speed in Indonesia varies between ISP and location. Prices vary considerably, and as usual you tend to get what you pay for, but you'll usually be looking at around Rp3,000 to Rp5,000 per hour with faster access than from your own mobile phone. In large cities, there are free WiFi hotspots in many shopping malls, McDonald restaurants, Starbucks cafes, 7 Eleven convenience stores, and in some restaurants and bars. Some hotels provide free hotspots in the lobby and/or in their restaurants and even in your rooms.
See also: International Telephone Calls
You can use 112 as an emergency number through mobile phones. Other numbers include 110 (police), 113 (fire) and 118 (ambulance).
The international phone code is 62.
If you have GSM cellular phone, ask your local provider about "roaming agreement/facility" with local GSM operators in Indonesia (i.e.: PT Indosat, PT Telkomsel, PT XL Axiata). The cheapest way is buying a local SIM card, which would be much cheaper to call and especially use internet compared to your own cell phone's sim card.
The Indonesian mobile phone market is heavily competitive and prices are low: you can pick up a prepaid SIM card for less than Rp 10,000 and calls may cost as little as Rp 300 a minute to some other countries using certain carriers (subject to the usual host of restrictions). SMS (text message) service is generally very cheap, with local SMS as low as Rp129-165, and international SMS for Rp400-600. Indonesia is also the world's largest market for used phones, and basic models start from Rp 150,000, with used ones being even cheaper.
Pos Indonesia provides the postal service in Indonesia. Pos Indonesia is government-owned and offers services ranging from sending letters and packages to money transfers (usually to remote areas which have no bank branch/ATM nearby) and selling postcards and stamps. Sending a postcards, letter or parcel is relatively expensive, but fairly reliable. It takes several days at least to send it within Indonesia, at least a week internationally. It is recommended to send letters from a Pos Indonesia branch, not by putting it inside orange mailbox (called Bis Surat) in the roadside, because some of the mailboxes are in very bad condition and aren't checked regularly by Pos Indonesia. Opening times of post offices usually tend to follow general business hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm (sometimes shorter hours on Fridays), Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm, closed on Sundays. Bigger cities, tourist areas and central post offices tend to keep longer hours, into the evenings.
Private postal services based in Indonesia include CV Titipan Kilat (CV TIKI), Jalur Nugraha Ekaputra (JNE), Caraka, and RPX. There are also foreign postal services that have branches in Indonesia, including DHL, TNT, UPS, and FedEx.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Jakarta searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Jakarta and areas nearby.
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