Jakarta Favorite Tips by latte18 Top 5 Page for this destination
Jakarta Favorites: 89 reviews and 74 photos
Jakarta's International Airport (CGK)
Favorite thing: Don't use up all your Rupiahs! When departing Jakarta, you're subjected to an airport tax of Rp 100,000 for International departures and Rp 25,000 for Domestic departures.
Expatriates with KIMS card and all Indonesian residents should also pay a hefty departure tax (commonly known as Fiskal) of Rp 1,000,000.
So make sure you have enough Rupiahs left for these taxes :)
Favorite thing: You need to check your email but your hotel room doesn't offer broadband connection, the business center downstairs is closed, and the nearest cybercafe is miles away. Fear not! Now in Jakarta and virtually anywhere in Indonesia, as long as you've got your laptop with you and a phone line, you can get connected to the cyberspace the old-fashioned way via Telkomnet. Telkomnet is a non-subscription based service that offer instant Internet access from any phones. Simply dial the access number 0809 8 9999, type in the username: telkomnet@instan and the password: telkom and voila you're connected! The charge is a low Rp 165 / mins and will go to the phone bill.
The convenient service is quite fast for dial-up standard and works for both PC and Mac. So now you don't have to look around for an Internet cafe while in Jakarta to check your email, just remember to bring your laptop!
Fondest memory: To use Telkomnet service, simply configure your modem setting to the following:
Access number: 0809 8 9999
User name: telkomnet@instan
Jakarta's National Museum in Central Jakarta
Favorite thing: Jakarta is actually five cities (with 5 different mayors for each city) rolled into one, much like New York City with its 5 boroughs. The 5 cities are called the no-brainer North, West, Central, East, and South respectively.
Central Jakarta: The heart of Jakarta. The three major thoroughfares that bordered Central Jakarta have turned this region into Jakarta's commercial center. Upscale hotels, nightlife, and shopping malls are located here as well monuments, museums and the famous backpackers' paradise Jalan Jaksa.
North Jakarta: The old colonial Jakarta downtown is located here. Although most of the commercial activities have moved southward towards Central Jakarta, North Jakarta are not showing any signs of slowdown. Home to the Ancol Dreamland, the port, and the Chinatown. Many wealthy Chinese also call this region home.
West Jakarta: Also home to many Chinese, West Jakarta is the first region that you'll past on the way to the city from the airport. Throb with commercial activities, this region is also home to Mall Taman Anggrek, one of the largest shopping malls in SE Asia and the gateway to the West.
South Jakarta: Arguably the best region to live in (and not just because I live here :) ), this region is home to many expatriates. South Jakarta is filled with trendy cafes, small boutiques, leafy neighborhoods and posh residential enclaves like Kemang and Pondok Indah. The infamous Blok M red light district is also located here.
East Jakarta: Not many sights to see here, but this region is home to Taman Mini and Lubang Buaya and is also the gateway to the East and South.
ondel-ondel - part of the Betawi culture
Favorite thing: Being Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta is the hub of the country's business, political, and industry. This has attracted countless people from many parts of the country. The Betawis and its culture, the real locals of Jakarta, has been slowly supplanted by the arrival of these other cultures.
Thumbs up to the local government who urge the preservation of the Betawi culture. Condet, an area in South East Jakarta has been designated as the center for the preservation of the Betawi culture.
The Betawis has a very rich culture and is reflected through many art forms such as the Tari Topeng (Mask Dance), Ondel-Ondel (three-meter tall masked puppet), and the Lenong Betawi (comedy play) to name a few. These and other Betawi arts make frequent appearance in many Jakarta's celebration.
Istiqlal mosque - SE Asia's biggest
Favorite thing: Being the capital city of the country with the largest muslim population in the world, naturally Jakarta is dominated by Muslims. But, that doesn't stop Jakartans to practice other religions peacefully.
There are tons of mosques in Jakarta, tucked in every corner of the city, but other worship places are abundant. Churces in different sizes and styles for Catholics and Protestants alike, Hindu temples, Bhuddist's Vihara, even traditional Chinese worship places.
Although the recent crisis brought rifts and frictions to the harmonious condition of Indonesians' religious life, Jakartans can still practice their religions fairly peacefully. This is witnessed in the celebration of Christmas or Chinese New Year, which in recent years were celebrated as vibrant as the Lebaran, the biggest Muslim holiday.
Fondest memory: The harmony in Jakartans' religious life can be seen from the location of the biggest mosque and church in the city. Istiqlal, southeast asia's biggest mosque, is located in a complex just across from the Catholic Cathedral. Moreover, during Christmas Eve Mass, worshippers can park their cars on the Mosque's parking lot and vice versa during the Lebaran.
Starbucks: part of Jakartans' growing cafe culture
Favorite thing: Hanging out in malls is part of the affluent Jakarta teens' lifestyle. They have an acronym for every popular malls, such as PS for Plaza Senayan, PIM for Pondok Indah Mall, and so on. These teens usually just sit around in the food court and people watch, which is something I also loved to do in my teenage years and I have to admit it was quite fun.
Busy, young professionals have also taken up this lifestyle, although they tend to hang out in trendy cafes while sipping their lattes to unwind with their friends after a long day's work.
Blok M Plaza
Favorite thing: Just like any metropolis, Jakarta is more than just a business hub, with over 70,000 square meters of retail space added during the last year alone, Jakarta is also a major shopping hub. You certainly cannot say you've been to Jakarta unless you've gone shopping in one of its dizzying malls.
Shopping malls in Jakarta ranges from upscale, air-conditioned shopping malls to a more traditional, non-air-conditioned malls. From the latest Louis Vuitton handbags to the traditional batik or wayang kulit, Jakarta has it all. The key to a fulfilling shopping in Jakarta is to be patient in hunting for the object of your heart's desire.
The best time to shop in Jakarta malls is during the week, as weekend the malls are always packed. Most of the malls open promptly at 10 AM and close at 10 PM sharp. Most early morning shoppers are housewives, with teenagers replacing them by mid-day. By the end of the office hours, young professionals begin to swarm the mall to unwind after a long day's work.
With this in mind, have fun shopping. Just don't go overboard or you'll have to pay those hefty excess baggage charge :)
An armed policeman in front of the Marriott Hotel
Favorite thing: The key word for Jakarta during this period is "security". There are metal detectors EVERYWHERE! Cars are searched when entering carpark compound of malls. Hotels are not spared the stringent checks. Pedestrians are searched at the entrance to these buildings and have to walk through a metal detector. Armed guards overlook the procedures. Despite the dark undertones to the scene, I've never felt more secure with these checks and am sure glad the government is finally taking the terror threats seriously
Jakarta Kini Magazine
Favorite thing: If you're in town, don't forget to pick up your copy of the local guides. My favorites are Jakarta/Java Kini and Free Magazine, among others. They are usually available in abundance at most cafes, restaurants, and hotels and are free-to-take.
These guides not only list the happening events in the city but they also provide a comprehensive reviews and listing of Jakarta's top restaurants and night spots. True some of them are poorly written in English, but all in all they offer great insights into what's hot in Jakarta at the moment, which is rather hard to keep up really.
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