Anyone who has experienced Jakarta and loved it will tell you it is one grand place. If you have never been, you might experience what experts refer to as a culture shock. Naturally, it wouldn’t do to expect things to be the way they are back home when you visit a foreign country.
A few of the things you will find completely alien include the food, the culture, the language as well as mannerisms. Fortunately, Indonesia is a tourist hub. You will almost always find someone who speaks English and if you find their cuisine unpalatable, they have cuisine from all over the world.
You will Find a Little Fame
Don’t get used to the superstar treatment you might get when you get there. Once you land, locals will be very friendly and willing to help you find your way around. That is just the way they are; very friendly.
That is not to say you should not be careful. It may be wise to stick to the staff at your hotel and the tour guides to be safe. While Jakarta has an impressively low crime rate for its size and population, it is still possible to have some crafty local take advantage of your visitor status.
Here are a few more experiences you should look forward to in The Big Durian as the expats refer to Jakarta.
You have 137 malls to browse…and counting. New ones pop up every few months. These malls are stocked with everything including designer wear that you would probably not even approach on a casual shopping spree.
These malls are not only built for shopping. You can go there to hang out with your friends at the indoor cafés, try out the karaoke bars or experience the popular billiard lounges. Almost like home but with a little twist. They are easily accessible from all 5 star hotels in Jakarta.
For $1 you get 14,285.50 Indonesian Rupiah. This is how cheap you will find everything in Jakarta. You will be surprised how far $100 can last in this city. Jakarta is a shopping paradise because everything is insanely cheap wherever you choose to shop.
Do not fail to visit the Mangga Dua district when you get to Jakarta. The prices practically take a nose dive over there.
Indonesian food is delicious. You get to experience food from across the archipelago and taste the different cultural offering the country has to offer. You are unlikely to run out of restaurants to eat at.
The best thing about these restaurants is that they are so many so competition is quite high. As said earlier, everything is cheap here. That includes eating out. Due to the high number of restaurants in the city, they will do anything in their power to ensure that you patronize them.
What you will find as a result are comfortable couches, a great ambiance with great trendy music, excellent service and excellent food. You will want to hang out all day.
Luxurious Movie Theaters
There is nothing as beautiful as watching a favorite movie or a much-anticipated blockbuster from a comfortable reclining chair while sipping wine and enjoying in-house service that comes with popcorn on a silver platter delivered to your seat. No standing in line for popcorn here.
It’s all been good till now but I will have to burst your bubble just a little bit. Jakarta has possibly the worst traffic that you will ever experience anywhere. 10 million people crammed in one city will have problems getting around. The place is jammed. New York is a larger city and has less population than Jakarta.
People rely mostly on buses and trains. The buses will stop in the idle of the road to pick and drop passengers off. The trains do not stop at convenient places for people to use them daily. There are other options such as cars taxis, motorcycle taxis and the Bajaj.
A distance that would normally take you a few minutes may take two hours. You must always plan ahead when travelling; maybe leave earlier to avoid getting agitated.
Despite the traffic woes, Jakarta is a city you will not regret experiencing. It is always nice to see how people in other worlds live as well as to experience a little bit of their culture. Book a trip to Indonesia and make Jakarta a priority.