Difference between revisions of "Jakarta"
Revision as of 05:12, 3 October 2006
Jakarta  is the capital of Indonesia, located on the northwest part of Java. Java is located at the south part of Indonesia. The official name is Jakarta, Special Capital Region or Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Raya (DKI Jaya) or DKI Jakarta. The head of government in Jakarta is a governor ("gubernur").
The population of Jakarta is 7, 520,153 people. The total area of Jakarta is 662 sq. km. The population density is 11,360 people/sq. km.
Jakarta is administratively divided into the following unimaginatively named districts:
Finding places in Jakarta, especially smaller buildings not on the main arteries, tends to be difficult due to poor signage and chaotic street names. The same name is used for different streets on different parts of the city. It's difficult to find the correct street/address without the postal code/region.
Alleys off a main road are often simply numbered, in a sequence that may or may not be logical, so a street address like "Jl. Mangga Besar VIII/21" means house number 21 on alley number 8 (VIII) off or near the main road of Jl. Mangga Besar. The searchable online map is a very useful resource. Several major streets have no reliable numbering system.
If you don't want to waste time, ask for the descriptions/name of nearby buildings, billboards, color of the building/fence and the postal code of the address. If you still cannot find the address, go to the nearest post office and ask a postman.
Jakarta is an interesting but not an attractive city: a sweltering, steaming, heaving mass of 10 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl. More than 2 millions people live at the slum area in Jakarta without proper sanitation, public health facility and clean water. The rivers in Jakarta are dubbed as the longest public lavatory in the world. Most Industries in Jakarta and surrounding areas dump waste products into the rivers or the air without any processing.
During rainy season (December, January, February), lower parts of Jakarta are often flooded. The low lying areas in Jakarta: West Cengkareng, Kedaung Angke, Kapuk, South Utan Kayu, Kayumanis, Balimester, Kampung Melayu, New Pisangan dan Cipinang Melayu.
The city's traffic is in perpetual gridlock and traffic jam. The number of vehicle in Jakarta had reached more than 6 million units. From 2000 to 2005, the number of vehicle in Jakarta had increased by 7 percent/year. The ratio between public transport and privately owned vehicle is one to 50.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), Jakarta is the 3rd most polluted city in the world after Mexico City and Bangkok. Government offer unleaded gasoline, but most people prefer to use cheaper regular gasoline. The new regulations about reduction of vehicle exhaust emissions are ignored by the owners of the vehicle who prefer to bribe the inspectors.
While initially a bit overwhelming, if you can withstand the pollution and can afford to indulge in her charms, this is one of Asia's most exciting cities. There is plenty to do in Jakarta, from cosmopolitan shopping at Plaza Senayan to one of the hippest nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia.
Keep in mind that rules and regulations are very rarely enforced in all aspects of life in Jakarta. This is not so much an encouragement for you, but an explanation on why many of its citizens act so haphazardly, particularly on the road.
The port of Sunda Kelapa dates to the 12th century, when it served the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran near present-day Bogor. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese, who were given the permission by the Hindu Kingdom of Pakuan Pajajaran to erect a godown in 1522. Control was still firmly in local hands.
On 1527 the city was conquered by Prince Fatahillah, a moslem prince from Gunung Jati, Cirebon, West Java, who changed the name to Jayakarta. On February 23, 1956, based on research by Professor Soekanto, Jakarta government stated that the city of Jakarta was officially established in 1527. For the official birthday, they selected June 22. On June 22, 1945, the Indonesian independence preparation committee declared "Jakarta Charter" (Piagam Jakarta). A slightly modified version of this charter is used as the preamble of Indonesia 1945 constitution.
By the end of the 16th century, however, the Dutch (led Jan Pieterszoon Coen) had pretty much taken over the port city from Prince Wijayakrama (Prince of Jayakarta) and then razing of a competing English fort in 1619 secured their hold on the island. Since March 20, 1602, the official ruler of Batavia and East Indies is a Dutch trading company called VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie).
Under the name Batavia, the new Dutch town became the capital of the Dutch East Indies and was known as the Queen of the East.
On 1740, there was a rebellion by Chinese slaves against Dutch. The rebellion was put down harshly with the massacre of thousands of Chinese slaves. The remaining Chinese slaves were exiled to Srilanka.
However, the Dutch made the mistake of attempting to replicate Holland by digging canals throughout the malarial swamps in the area, resulting in shockingly high death rates and earning the town the epithet White Man's Graveyard. In the early 1800's most canals were filled in, the town was shifted 4 kilometers inland and the Pearl of the Orient flourished once again.
In 1795, Dutch was invaded and occupied by France. On March 17, 1798, the Batavian Republic, a satellite state of France in Netherlands, took over both VOC debts and assets. In 1803, the Batavian Republic issues colonial charter making the East Indies government directly responsible to the Batavian Republic (unlike the VOC).
In 1806, the Batavian Republic was transformed into the 'Kingdom of Holland. In 1807, Kingdom of Holland appointed Daendles as the new governor-general of East Indies. In 1808, Daendles moved his residence from Batavia to Buitenzorg (now Bogor). In 1810, the Kingdom of Holland was annexed by France. Dutch Colonies including East Indies technically becoming French.
On August 26, 1811 a British expedition led by Lord Minto defeated the French/Dutch troops in Jakarta. France/Dutch retreated to Semarang, Central Java. After France/Dutch surrender in Salatiga, Central Java (September 18, 1811), there was a brief occupation of Indonesia by the British (led by Sir Stamford Raffles) in 1811-1816. Based on Conggres of Vienna (1815), Indonesia was officially handed over from British to Dutch government.
On March 1, 1942, Dutch left Jakarta after Japanese force landed in Merak, Banten and Indramayu, West Java. Jakarta is declared as open city. On December 1942, Japan officially changed the name of the city from Batavia to Jakarta.
The name Jakarta was adopted as a short form of Jayakarta when conquered by the Japanese in 1942.
Republic of Indonesia (RI) independence was proclaimed by Soekarno and Hatta on August 17, 1945. Dutch government refused to recognize the new RI. On September 1945, allied force (British and Dutch) landed at Tanjung Priok harbor. RI soldiers and Indonesian freedom fighters often clashed with allied force who try to reoccupy the country.
Because of dangerous situation in Jakarta, on January 3, 1946, the RI's capital was moved to Jogyakarta and Dutch (KNIL/NICA) occupied the town. After 5 years of war between Dutch and RI, Dutch government recognized RI independence on December 27, 1949.
Jakarta was handed over to RI in a ceremony at Gambir Palace (now Merdeka Palace). The representative of Dutch government was AHJ Lovinnk. The representative of RI government was Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana IX. The next day, Presiden Soekarno moved the RI's capital back to Jakarta.
On August 1962, the Fourth Asian Games was held in Jakarta with 1460 athletes from 16 countries. The main event was held at Senayan Sports Complex. Indonesian government established the first TV Station in Indonesia (Televisi Republik Indonesia/TVRI) in Senayan at the same time.
Since 1964, the governors of Jakarta was appointed directly by Indonesian President.
Governor Henk Ngantung was a famous artist/painter. His famous Welcome/"Selamat Datang" statue was installed on Hotel Indonesia (HI) roundabout. He was sacked at the end of 1965 because of his close friendship with former President Soekarno.
All of Henk Ngantung's succesors are retired military generals/admirals. The most popular Jakarta governor is retired Admiral Ali Sadikin ("Bang Ali").
In 2002, President Megawati re-appointed retired General Soetiyoso as the governor of Jakarta. There will be a direct election for the new Jakarta governor in 2007.
Since independence Jakarta's population has skyrocketed, mostly thanks to migrants coming to the city in search of wealth. The entire Jabotabek (Jakarta-Bogor-Tangerang-Bekasi) region is estimated to have 16-18 million people, a figure projected to double to 30 million by 2016.
If you use chartered airplanes from Singapore, Christmas Island (Australia), you may request (in advance) for a special permission to land at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, East Jakarta.
Soekarno-Hatta Jakarta International Airport, Jakarta 19101 Tel.: terminal B: (62)(21) 550 5177, terminal C: (62)(21) 550 5189, terminal D: (62)(21) 550 5655, terminal E: (62)(21) 550 5580, terminal F: (62)(21) 550 5596 Fax: (62)(21) 550 6823. Website: Soekarno Hatta Airport.
The Soekarno Hatta airport has two terminals, further split up into subterminals, which are really just halls in the same building. Terminal 1 (A-B-C) is used by domestic airlines except Garuda, while Terminal 2 is used by all international airlines (D-E) and Garuda domestic flights only (F).
On Terminal 1, there are banks, post office and money changers On Terminal 2 there are banks, ATMs, and a post box.
Lounges: First and Business Class Lounges 1. JAS CIP Lounge: Qantas, Lufthansa, Gulf Air, EVA Air, Saudi, SIA (Raffles Class), Cathay Pacific and British Airways. 2. Pura Indah Lounge: SIA (first class), KLM, MA, Cathay Pacific and China Airlines. 3. ACS (Aerowisata Catering Services): Garuda Indonesia (GIA), GECC cardholder, 4. Transit lounge.
Check your baggage after collecting it from convenyor belt. For reporting lost baggage or lost valuable items inside your baggage: 1. Contact the airline staff BEFORE leaving the restricted area. 2. PT. Jasa Angkasa Semesta, Sub Terminal D, Tel.: (62)(21) 550 7244, (62)(21) 550 7069. 3. For Garuda's passengers: Garuda Indonesia Airways, Sub Terminal F, International, Tel.: (62)(21) 550 6073, (62)(21) 5506276.
There is a small clinic with emergency room at the airport complex. If you need any medical help at the airport, contact "Satpam" (security guard) or airline staff. The cost of Ambulance service to a major hospital in Jakarta: Rp 25000.
A free but unreliable shuttle bus runs between the terminals; if you're in a hurry, it's a safer bet to take a taxi, although they'll ask for a rather steep Rp 50,000 for the service (not entirely unjustified, as half of this goes to paying their parking fees).
For many country's citizens, visas on arrival are available at the airport, see the main Indonesia article for the details of the rules. If possible, use exact change (in US dollars) and ignore any requests for bribes. ATMs and currency exchange services are available in the baggage claim hall, and Terminal D has a left luggage service.
Don't put valuable items (cameras, electronics, etc) inside your checked baggage. After picking up your baggage from the convenyor belt, check the baggage before leaving the restricted area. If there are missing items from your baggage, report it to the airline staff before leaving the restricted area.
After leaving the restricted area, watch your baggage closely, because many thieves steal baggage at the airport's lobby.
To get to the city, the easiest option is to contact your hotel to pick you up in the airport, as many hotels in Jakarta provide free airport transfers. If you want to take a taxi, follow the "Taxi" signs out of the terminal and take a taxi from the Silverbird counter; ignore the many touts. , between the D and E exits of Terminal 2, Silverbird is a very reliable operator but pricier than the rest at around Rp 120,000 to the Golden Triangle (including airport surcharge and tolls). Other operators will charge you in the vicinity of Rp 70,000-90,000.
If you have more time than money, hourly DAMRI shuttle buses connect to Jakartan destinations Rawamangun, Pasar Minggu, Blok M and Gambir (Rp 15,000) as well as directly to the neighboring cities of Bekasi and Bogor (Rp 20,000).
The older Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (HLP), to the southeast of the city, is used by military, VIP flights, charter flights, helicopter leasing company, private jets, commercial pilot training and some smaller turboprop operators, notably Deraya's commuter flights to Bandung, and Merpati's flights to Cilacap (Central Java).
The current main station for long distance passengers in Jakarta is the Gambir station, located in Central Jakarta, just east of the Monas. Eksekutif (AC) and some bisnis (non-AC) class trains depart from this station. Trains to Bandung are frequent, providing almost a two-hourly service, departing throughout the day. Most trains to farther cities (Purwokerto, Yogyakarta, Solo, Semarang, Malang and Surabaya) depart in the mornings and the late afternoon to the evening.
More economical trains without air-conditioning generally use the Pasar Senen station located two blocks east of Gambir. Beware that the location is rife with crime.
Most trains arriving in Jakarta also stop at Jatinegara station in the eastern part of the city, giving better access to the eastern and southern parts of the city.
Jakarta Kota station is located in the old part of the city, and serves as the departure point for commuter trains and some trains to Merak. It is almost worthy of being a tourist attraction in itself.
Information about train ticket from PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) is available on the Web, but no on-line reservation is possible. Ticket reservations are generally made in the Juanda station, across the Istiqlal mosque and the Roman Catholic Cathedral, north of Gambir. Ticket sales for same-day travel is made in the north part of Gambir station. Beware of ticket scalpers! They will offer their wares even to people waiting in the queues in front of the ticket sales points. On the other hand, if tickets have been sold out, you might make use of the ticket scalpers, although you should expect to pay 50-100 percent more.
An airport bus service connects the Soekarno-Hatta airport with Gambir station.
Passengers from other cities arrive in bus terminals such as Kampung Rambutan (Southeast Jakarta), Pulo Gadung (East Jakarta) or Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta). It is advised to avoid these places as they are rife with muggers and pickpocketters. However, if you act cool, non-chalant and confident, also maintain certain distances from people in the bus station, you will be safe. The downside of going to these terminals is you HAVE TO speak a functional Indonesian. If you are from North America or Europe, ignore the hawkers trying to sell you stuff by calling, "Hey Mister, mister".
The national ferry company, PELNI, 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.
Various areas of the city have different levels of chaos. For example, North Jakarta (the poorer area of the city) is more chaotic than areas in South Jakarta (more upscale).
The drainage system on major roads are poorly maintained. During rainy season (December, January, February), after a heavy rain, several major roads are flooded. After the flood, there will be traffic jam for several hours.
Commuter trains in Jakarta connect the city center with outlying regions, namely Tangerang, Bekasi, Depok, Bojonggede, Bogor and Serpong. Air-conditioned limited-stop services are available, but not as frequent as the economy service with no air-conditioning. Visits to tourist attractions in Bogor is best made using expresses, which are fast and relatively comfortable.
Riding the ekonomi class is not advisable: crime and sexual harrasment are known to happen inside packed trains. During the non-rush hours, though, economy train travel is quite an interesting experience. It is a tour of Jakarta's darker side, with peddlers offering any imaginable article (from safety pins to cell-phone starter kits), various sorts of entertainment, ranging from one-person orchestras to full-sized bands, and a chance to sample real poverty; you are riding slums on wheels.
Weekend special services connect Depok and Bogor with the popular Ancol entertainment park in Jakarta.
The Sudirman station, formerly Dukuh Atas, located just south of the Hotel Indonesia in Central Jakarta is an important hub, providing access to the heart of the city from the outskirts.
Commuter services operate from 5 a.m. (first train departing Bogor to Jakarta) to almost 9 p.m. (last train leaving Jakarta for Bogor). Note that sometimes trains run late for more than 10-15 minutes.
Commuter services operate over these lines:
Station names written with CAPITALS are regular express stops. This means that express trains stop at other stations only at certain times (usually the mid-day services). Non-airconditioned trains do not stop at Gambir station. Warning: group of thieves often steal wallets, cellular phones, and valuable items from commuter train passengers. Sometimes they threw the victims from the train.
The Transjakarta Busway (in Indonesian known as busway or Tije) is the only remotely functional and comfortable form of public transport in the city. The bus is often crowded during rush hours. As of January 2006, there are three lines operational:
(to Pulo Gadung) Harmoni - Balai Kota - Gambir II - Kwitang - Senen - Galur - Rawa Selatan - Pasar Cempaka Putih - Cempaka Tengah - Rumah Sakit Islam - Cempaka Timur - Pedongkelan - Asmi - Bermis - Pulo Gadung
Unlike Jakarta's other buses, busway buses shuttle on fully dedicated lanes and passengers must use dedicated stations with automatic doors, usually found in the middle of large thoroughfares connected to both sides by overhead bridges. The system is remarkably user-friendly by Jakartan standards, with station announcements and an LED display inside the purpose-built vehicles.
Tickets cost a flat Rp 3,500 and transfers between lines are free. There are ambitious plans to expand the system in the coming years.
Despite the convenience, the buses can get very crowded especially during rush hours at 7 AM and 4 PM when office workers leave for their respective offices/homes. It is advised to wait after rush hour is over to utilize this service. The Transjakarta Busway is operational everyday from 7.00 AM to 10.00 PM.
Currently, the Jakarta local government is constructing the Busway Lines 4-7. They are:
The transfer points for the Transjakarta Busway lines are:
All these new lines will be in operation beginning 15 January 2007.
If you travel in a group, you can hire big or small bus with the driver from Big Bird (from Blue Bird Group), Hiba, Damri or other companies.
It's advisable to refrain from using other buses for intracity travel; stick with taxis as they are safer. If you're feeling adventurous, as of October 2005 the flat fare for regular buses is Rp 2000, while air conditioned buses (Mayasari or Patas AC) cost Rp 5000. Some buses have a box at the front next to the driver where you can pay your fares, while others employ a man or a kondektur who will personally collect the fares from person to person.
Cheaper yet are mikrolet (mini-buses) and angkot (small vans) that ply the smaller streets and whose fares vary from Rp 1500 to 2500, but good luck figuring out the routes. You pay the fare directly to the driver after getting off.
You may need to spare one or two Rp 500 coins before boarding the bus, since there are on-board "entertainment" and distraction. On a typical day, you may find street musicians singing unplugged version of Indonesian and western pop songs asking for donation at the end of the performance, and street vendors, one after another, trying to sell almost everything, starting from ballpoint pens, candies, to boxed donuts and health goods. If you do happen to be travelling in a bus, refrain from sitting or standing at the back area of the bus as this is where muggers find their prey. Always keep an eye on your belongings and be alert at all times as pickpocketting occurs.
List of bus terminals in Jakarta: Block M, Lebak Bulus, Pasara Minggu (South Jakarta), Grogol, Kota, Kali Deres (West Jakarta), Manggarai, Pulogadung, Rawamangun, Kampung Melayu, Kampung Rambutan (East Jakarta), Tanjung Priok (North Jakarta), Senen (Central Jakarta).
Rental cars are available, but unless you are familiar with local driving practices or lack thereof, take reputable taxis. If you're from foreign country, it is not recommended to rent a car and drive on your own. The chaotic and no-rules traffic will certainly give you a headache. Renting a car with a driver is much a better idea. The fixed price of gasoline is Rp 4500/litre and the price of diesel fuel is Rp 4300/litre (since October 1, 2005).
There is a toll road circling the city: Pluit Interchange - Jembatan Tiga - Kota - Ancol Barat - Kemayoran - Ancol Timur - Tanjung Priok Interchange - Sunter/Kelapa Gading - Cempaka Putih - Rawamangun - Jatinegara - Cawang Interchange - Kuningan - Semanggi - Slipi - Tomang Interchange - Grogol - Jelambar - Angke - Pluit Interchange.
Tol fare: passenger cars, bus: Rp 4500, large bus and truck: Rp 6000, large truck: Rp 7500. Note: watch out for buses entering the tol road through the exit lane. Most bus drivers enter the toll road illegally without paying the fare.
Toll road from Airport to the city: Soekarno Hatta Airport - Cengkareng - Kamal - Kapuk - Pluit. Tol fare: passenger cars, bus: Rp 5000, large bus and truck: Rp 6000, large truck: Rp 7000. Note: you must pay at 2 toll booths. Example: for cars: Rp 2500 for the first booth and Rp 2500 for the second booth.
Route from Airport Soekarno Hatta to Jl. Sudirman/Jl. Thamrin: Airport - Cengkareng - Kamal - Kapuk - Pluit - Jelambar - Grogol - Tomang - Slipi - exit before Semanggi bridge. If you use a taxi from Airport, you must pay 3 toll charges: Rp 2500, Rp 2500 and Rp 4500.
The requirement for obtaining Indonesian driver license for foreigners: 1. Valid Passport or KITAS or KIMS (permit for temporary residence in Indonesia) or official government letter (for foreign diplomat). 2. Valid International driver license or valid driver license from other countries. 3. Pass the driving test. 4. Medical certificate from Doctor.
The driver license for foreigner is valid for 1 year. The driver license for foreign diplomat is valid for 5 years.
Finding parking place in residential areas is difficult (narrow roads). On busy shopping centres/mall, it's difficult to find a parking place. Be patient and follow people who bring their shopping bag to the car. Never use the parking break when you left your car on the parking lot.
The parking fee in Jakarta is Rp 1000/hour. On major roads, the parking fee is Rp 2000/hour. In shopping centres, mall, hotels, office building, the parking fee is Rp 2000/hour. The parking fee for motorcycle, bicycle is Rp 500/hour.
Most visitors opt to travel by taxi, which is cheap and occasionally even fast. There are a multitude of taxi companies of varying degrees of dependability, but Blue Bird group (tel. +62-21-7981001, 24 hours) is known for their reliability, has an efficient telephone order service and will among other things actually use the meter. The Blue Bird group also runs Silver Bird, Morante, Cendrawasih and Pusaka Nuri taxis; the Silver Birds "executive taxi" charges a premium.
Some other large, generally reliable companies include : Gamya, Express and Dian Taksi. You can generally determine a good cabbie by asking "argo?" ("meter?") - if they say no or "tidak", get other taxi.
Taxi fare: Blue Bird and other taxis (starting October 2005): Flagfall charge is Rp 5000, distance charge: Rp 2600/Km. Minimum charge for reservation by phone/waiting time: Rp 25000. Silver Bird premium taxi (starting December 2005): Flagfall charge is Rp 6000, distance charge Rp 3200/Km. Minimum charge for reservation by phone/waiting time: Rp 50000. Several taxi operators still use the old rate: Flagfall charge is Rp 4000, distance charge: Rp 1800/Km. Minimum charge for reservation by phone/waiting time: Rp 18000. Tipping is not necessary but rounding the meter up to the nearest Rp 1000 is expected.
Keep the doors locked and the windows closed when traveling in a Jakartan taxi, as your bag and watch make attractive targets when stuck in a traffic jam or traffic light. Criminal groups in Jakarta often attack passengers who use their cellular phone during traffic jam or near traffic light.
Think twice about using the smaller taxi companies if you are alone, and try to know the vague route - the driver might well take you a roundabout route to avoid traffic, but you will know the general direction. Stating your direction clearly and confidently will usually pre-empt any temptation to take you on the long route. It is also not uncommon for taxi drivers to be recent arrivals in Jakarta - they often don't know their way around and may be relying on you to direct them - establish that they know the way before you get in!
Safety tips for taxi passengers: 1. Black listed taxi operators: President Taxi or Prestasi Taxi. Color: red and green. 2. Make sure there is a meter and the picture of the driver on the dashboard. Robbers usually cover the picture using their clothes. 3. Make sure nobody hide in the front of the seat beside the driver and inside the baggage compartment. 4. Make sure there are levers for opening the door and lowering the windows on the door. 5. Write down/remeber the number on the door of the taxi and the license plate. 6. If there is a danger, you can break the windows using your shoes and yell "Rampok" (Robbers).
List of Taxi operators:
The Jakartan equivalent to Thailand's tuk-tuk is the bajaj (pronounced "badge-eye"), orange mutant scooters souped up in India into tricycles that carry passengers in a small cabin at the back.
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 (suspension is not a feature in a bajaj), hot (locals joke about the "natural A/C") and the quick way to breathing in more exhaust fumes than you ever thought possible, 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 5000. Be sure to agree (read: haggle) a price before you set off! Bajaj drivers often think nothing of overcharging visitors. Also, since bajaj aren't allowed on some of the larger roads in Jakarta, your route may well take you through the bewildering warren of backstreets. Try to keep an eye on what direction you're going, because some unscrupulous bajaj drivers see nothing wrong with taking the "scenic" route and then charging you double or triple the price.
If you're in such a hurry that you're willing to lose a limb to get there, then Jakarta's motorcycle taxis (ojek) might be the ticket for you. Jakarta's ojek services consist of guys with bikes lounging around street corners, who usually shuttle short distances down alleys and roads but will also do longer trips for a price. Haggle furiously.
Walking around Jakarta is not recommended. With the exception of a few posher areas, sidewalks are crowded with pushcart vendors, drivers disregard pedestrians, crossing streets can be suicidal. On many busy streets there are no pedestrian crossings, so it's best to latch onto a local and follow them as they weave their way through the endless flow of cars. Muggings do occur, especially on overhead bridges, and can happen even in the daytime. If you use pedestrian bridge, watch out for motorcycle and bicycle that often use the bridge illegally.
If you don't have time to visit all of Indonesia, this is the perfect place for you to visit if you want to know about the culture of the country. There are traditional houses on display from all of the provinces of Indonesia. Included in them are traditional musical instruments, clothes, etc. Apart from traditional houses, there are also several museums within the compound. They include:
There are options of getting around Taman Mini. It is possible to walk and explore the Theme Park, but it would be quite a distance to cover all of them in one day. There is free shuttle circling the Park, but the variability of the service varies, depending on the total of visitors to the park. Another way to get around is by using the cable car that runs from one end of the park to the other. The return ride is at a fare of Rp. 10,000 and gives a good aerial view of the Park. One distinctly view not to be missed is the artificial lake depicting the map of Indonesia. The other way of going around is by using the Monorail that circles the Park. However, it has not been in operation for a few years. There are no news yet when it will resume operation.
- A taxicab ride would cost around Rp. 35,000 - Rp. 50,000 - Take the Transjakarta Busway Line I to Dukuh Atas, then take the Line IV to Matraman, then Line V to Kampung Melayu, and Line VII to Kampung Rambutan. From Kampung Rambutan bus terminal take any bus that goes to the gate of Taman Mini.
Casual work in Jakarta is difficult to come by and Indonesian bureaucracy does its best to stop foreigners from getting formal jobs. As in the rest of Asia, teaching English is the best option, although salaries are poor (US$700-1000/month is typical, although accommodation may be provided) and the government only allows citizens of the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the U.S.A. to work as teachers.
Jakarta has a vast range of food available if you know where to find it. In addition to selections from all over the country, you can also find excellent Chinese, Japanese and Korean food thanks to the cosmopolitan population. Longer-term visitors will wish to dig up a copy of "Jakarta Good Food Guide", although unfortunately the last edition dates from 2002. You can find Jakartan versions of many dishes, often tagged with the label betawi (Indonesian for "Batavian").
Your stomach may need an adjustment period to the local food. Due to many spices locals used in their cooking and adjustments with local bacteria, some people will need to spend time in the toilet for half a day. However, this really depends on how strong your stomach/your health is before arriving in Jakarta. Standard price on this guide: The price for one main course, white rice ("nasi putih") and one soft drink, including 21% tax and service charge.
Jakarta may be the capital of the world's largest Islamic country, but if you're the clubbing type, its nightlife is arguably among the best in Asia. From the upscale X-Lounge to the seediest discos, Jakarta caters to all kinds of clubbers, but bring a friend if you decide to brave the seedier joints (though they tend to have the best DJs). Fans of live music, on the other hand, are largely out of luck, at least unless they're into Indonesian pop.
When out and about, note that even by South-East Asian standards, Jakarta has an inordinate number of prostitutes, known in local parlance as ayam (lit. "chicken"), so much so that the entire female clientele of some seemingly respectable bars (operated by five-star hotels, etc) is on the take. Westerners tend to draw a lot of attention, so if your luck seems a little too good to be true, there will probably be a price to pay in the morning.
Many criminals posing as prostitute often rob drunk foreign tourists. The criminals often put sleeping pills in the beverage. According to United Nations, Indonesia is one of the countries with the fastest-growing AIDS epidemics in the world. Other veneral diseases: gonorrhea, syphillis, chlamydia, herpes.
Jakarta's most (in)famous nightlife district is Block M on South Jakarta, or more specifically the single lane of Jl. Palatehan 1 just north of the bus terminal, packed with pubs and bars geared squarely towards Western visitors. While lacking the bikini-clad go-go dancers of Patpong, the meat market atmosphere is much the same with poor country girls turned pro. Blok M is now easily accessible as the southern terminus of BRT Line 1. For a more off-the-beaten track experience, head a few blocks south to Jl. Melawai 6 (opposite Plaza Blok M), Jakarta's de-facto Little Japan with lots of Japanese restaurants, bars and (what else?) karaoke joints.
To hang out where Indonesia's young, rich and beautiful do, head to Plaza Indonesia's EX annex, packed full of trendy clubs and bars. Plaza Senayan's Arcadia annex attempts to duplicate the concept, but with more of an emphasis on fine dining.
There is a rule that during the month of Ramadhan, bars, nightclubs, karaoke louges, discotheques, restaurants, cafes are closed at midnight. Massage parlour, prostitution/red light area ("lokalisasi") are closed during the month of Ramadhan.
Extreme moslem groups often ransacked and burned bars, nigtclubs, karaoke lounges, discotheques, restaurants, cafes that remain open after midnight. They insisted that all nightlife entertainment places must close its door on the first day of Ramadhan.
Gambling, casino are strictly forbidden in Indonesia.
The travel agencies at Jakarta's airport can have surprisingly good rates for mid-range and above hotels. In Jakarta, there are several classes of hotels: Budget hotels: Melati 1, Melati 2, Melati 3 (the best). Midrange - Splurge: 1 Star, 2 Stars, 3 Stars, 4 Stars, 5 Stars (the best). The standard room rate: published rate for standard room + 21% (tax and service charge).
Wartel telephone shops are ubiquitous on the streets of Jakarta.
If you see a public telephone, lift the receiver and check the number in the display near the keypad. If the number is not 000, don't insert coins, because the phone is broken. They usually are, but are very cheap (just 0,001 $/ minute) when they do work.
If you have your own laptop, it may run free WLAN networks at many of the capital's malls. Ask at the information desk for access codes. Free hotspots are also available on most McDonald restaurants and StarBucks Cafes. Several hotels also provide free hotspot on their lobby.
Internet cafes are available in many parts of the city with a price of Rp. 4,000 - Rp. 5,000. However, most of them only have dial-up capabilities. Most of the internet cafes can be found around universities, and in most shopping malls. However, the internet connection speed can be better in the internet cafes found at malls.
If you are keen on using the internet for long hours, try to get the "happy hour" deals provided by internet cafes near universities. They provide 6 hours of surfing on the internet for Rp. 12,000, but only available at midnight to 6 AM.
Theft and robbery are the main security problems for a foreign tourist. Don't leave cash, valuable items and important documents in an empty hotel room. Put it on hotel's safe deposit box. Bring your passport and a copy of your ID card/driver license all the time. Put a copy of your passport and the original ID Card/Driver License on the hotel's safety deposit box. If you are inside the hotel room, always use the deadbolt/chain lock. If you suspect something is wrong, call the front desk.
Keep a close eye on your valuables and choose your transportation options carefully, especially at night. Avoid large crowd and crowded places because pickpockets often steal wallets, cellular phones. For all-night party excursions, it may be wise to keep your cab waiting — the extra cost is cheap and it's worth it for the security.
The various bomb attacks in Jakarta mean that security in Jakarta is heavy, with car trunk checks, metal detectors, and bag searches at most major buildings. Still, statistically this is more a nuisance than a real threat, and enforcement of the security rules tends to be lax at best. Recently a fake bomb put inside an hotel's airport transfer van, passed undetected through security check at Soekarno Hatta airport.
There is a new law against smoking at public places in Jakarta. The smoker will be fined up to US$ 5000. If you want to smoke, ask other people first: "Boleh Merokok"?