Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, located on the northwest of the island of Java. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre and the most populous city not only in Indonesia but in Southeast Asia as a whole.
Although the city is known for its heavy traffic and high level of pollution it is filled with an exciting nightlife and vibrant shopping areas. The city is also the centre and melting pot of Indonesian culture which might be the thing for you to enjoy Jakarta.
One excellent surprise you'll find in Jakarta is that once you past the taxi drivers who offer their services at the airport and really meet the locals, you will find that the people are among the most friendly, hospitable, and helpful people you'll find on earth, if you keep away from the mini-bus drivers who are notorious for being the harshest on earth. However, understand that Jakarta being a melting pot, you are guaranteed to meet people of all sorts here.
Jakarta is administratively divided into the following named districts (note that these district except central Jakarta are very dense in terms of area):
Satellite cities: The Jabodetabek mega-city of 30 million includes Jakarta and the following satellite cities:
Jakarta's nickname among expats is the Big Durian, and like its fruit namesake, it's a shock at first sight (and smell): a sweltering, steaming, heaving mass of some 28 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl. The so-called megapolitan is a charm for Indonesians, both as a business and a government center, as it is the most developed city in Indonesia. But all of this comes at a cost: the city has been struggling very hard to keep up with the urban growth. Major roads are packed up during rush hours, while the public transportation system has been unable to alleviate that much traffic. Housing the population has been a problem too and adding to that, the numerous people's mentality are yet to make the city a great place to live in, as dreamed of.
All that said, while initially a bit overwhelming, if you can withstand the pollution and can afford to indulge in its charms, you can discover what is also one of Asia's most exciting, most lively global cities. There is plenty to do in Jakarta, from green parks & historical centers, to cosmopolitan shopping, diverse gourmet choices, and one of the hippest nightlife in Southeast Asia!
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, and in 1527 the city was conquered by Prince Fatahillah, a Muslim prince from Cirebon, who changed the name to Jayakarta.
By the end of the 16th century, however, the Dutch (led by Jan Pieterszoon Coen) had pretty much taken over the port city, and the razing of a competing English fort in 1619 secured their hold on the island of Java. The Dutch razed the old Jayakarta port during their conquest and rebuilt the town with dutch style of town planning, fort and canals. 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.
During these times the town flourishes as the center of the Dutch East Indies Trading Company and grow radpidly, and during this time as well that Chinese and Eurasian population grew within the city. In order to keep order and control the Dutch banned the native Javanese to live within the walled part of the city while encouraging Chinese immigrant to flock the commercial walled city with its canal. It is also known that after the Dutch conquest of Malacca, Significant number of Portuguese decent people from Malacca were taken as captive to Batavia and they live in area called "Kampung Tugu".
The old Batavia which were planned in Dutch planning and canal were not doing so well, in fact the canal itself became breeding ground for mosquitoes. The city centre became unhealthy and filthy and the city were nicknamed "The Cemetry of the Europeans, this is also the reason why the city grew more in land.
In 1740, Chinese settlers rebelled against the Dutch. The rebellion was put down harshly with the massacre of thousands of Chinese settlers. The remaining Chinese settlers were exiled to Sri Lanka.
In 1795, the Netherlands were invaded and occupied by France, and on March 17, 1798, the Batavian Republic, a satellite state of France, took over both VOC debts and assets. But on August 26, 1811, a British expedition led by Lord Minto defeated the French/Dutch troops in Jakarta, leading to a brief liberation and subsequent administration of Indonesia by the British (led by Sir Stamford Raffles of Singapore fame) in 1811-1816. In 1815, after the Congress of Vienna, Indonesia was officially handed over from the British to the Dutch government.
In the early 1800s most canals were filled in, the town was shifted 4 km inland and the Pearl of the Orient flourished once again.
In the 18th century, more than 60% of Batavia's population consisted of slaves working for the VOC. The slaves were mostly engaged to undertake housework, while working and living conditions were generally reasonable. Laws were enacted that protected slaves against overly-cruel actions from their masters; for example, Christian slaves were given freedom after the death of their masters, while some slaves were allowed to own a store and made money to buy their freedom. Sometimes, slaves fled and established gangs that would roam throughout the area. From the beginning of the VOC establishment in Batavia, until the colony became a fully-fledged town, the population of Batavia grew tremendously. At the beginning, Batavia consisted of approximately 50,000 inhabitants and, by the second half of the 19th century, Batavia consisted of 800,000 inhabitants. By the end of the VOC rule of Batavia, the population of Batavia had reached one million.
The name Jakarta was adopted as a short form of Jayakarta when the city was taken over by the Japanese in 1942. After the second world war, the Indonesian declared their independence at Koningsplein which is today's Merdeka Square. The Indonesian war of independence followed after the second World War, with the capital briefly shifted to Yogyakarta after the Dutch attacked. The war lasted until 1949, when the Dutch accepted Indonesian independence and handed back the town, which became Indonesia's capital again.
Since independence Jakarta's population has skyrocketed, thanks to migrants coming to the city in search of (illusive) wealth. The entire Jabotabek (Jakarta-Bogor-Tangerang-Bekasi-Depok) metropolitan region (now officially Jabodetabekjur last census count (2010) was 28 million people, a figure projected to have hit 30 million already. The official name of the city is Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Raya (DKI Jakarta), meaning "Special Capital City Region".
Jakarta has a tropical monsoon climate and the average rainfall measures 1.816mm (71.4 inches). The city experiences very small seasonal variations, since the average 24-hour temperature ranges from 26.1°C (79°F) in January to 27.2°C (80.6°F) in May, while heat and humidity persist year round. Temperatures have never fallen below 18°C (65°F) or risen above 36°C (97°F). The majority of precipitation falls from November to April.
At the airport
Departure taxes|As of February 2015, Soekarno-Hatta Airport departure taxes (Passenger Service Charge) are included in the cost of the air ticket. There is no need for further cash payment at the airline counters.
Soekarno Hatta International Airport (IATA: CGK; ICAO: WIII),  at Tangerang, Banten. All international and most domestic flights land here 20 km (12 mi) to the northwest of the city. The counterintuitive airport code comes from Cengkareng, a district near the airport. If you don't have non-stop options between your origin city and Jakarta, try connecting via Singapore or Kuala Lumpur as there are more than a dozen flights a day between these cities and Jakarta.
The Soekarno Hatta airport has three terminals, with lettered sub-terminals indicating separate, but interconnected, halls within the same building:
The airport is undergoing full-scale renovations for lifting the burden of the terminals and increasing passengers capacity.
Terminal 3, now fully-operational since August 2017 with the completion of east wing of the building to be ready in November 2017, has plenty of public spaces, a small park, high roofs, directly adjacent parking and hosts a large variety of shops. Terminal 1, in contrast, is far more utilitarian and only has a few restaurants scattered outside the check-in area. Terminal 2 is considerably closer to T3; visitors have very limited access to it, but is reasonably modern and has a variety of shops inside. Comfortable lounges for visitors are plentiful in both T2 and T3 - you may be qualified for a free stay based on your flight or bank membership, or you can pay for Rp 100,000-250,000 depending on the lounges as well. Public seating for other visitors is available in both T2 and T3, with some more past the traveller-only security point.
To travel between terminals, there are free but less-than-reliable shuttle buses; travelers in a hurry may opt to take a Taxi for about Rp 50,000 instead - ensure it's a metered ride. Buses stop at designated points in the arrival hall and have no external storage compartments, which can get cumbersome during peak times. Garuda Indonesia has a dedicated transfer service between Terminals 3 and 2 with ample signage in between. The Airport have its own skytrain providing transports between terminals.
Visas on arrival (VoA) are available at the airport, see the main Indonesia article for the details of the rules; they may be paid in cash or credit card. ATMs are available either in or past luggage collection in all 3 terminals, and as Indonesian taxis don't all support credit card, it's advisable to have some Rupiah on hand for your journey onwards. These ATMs may have low withdrawing limits; ask your driver to drop by another ATM on your way into town if necessary. Taxis are available at designated queues outside the arrival halls.
For overnight transits, there are a few hotels near the airport:
Get into town
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. GoJek and Grab are online ride-hailing services which will ensure you a fair price while requiring minimal communication with the driver. Getting a taxi is a little more complicated.
GoJek and Grab
Using your mobile phone and the respective free apps from Google Play or the iOS App Store, you can use the free airport WiFi to call a driver from GoJek or Grab. Remember the type of vehicle and license plate, and walk past the first set of lanes for taxis. You will find a second road for passenger pickup, where you can wave down the driver to pick you up. Using one of these online services will generally provide the cheapest fare and save you the hassle of negotiating, since the price is automatically calculated and displayed in the app when you request the car. Fares can be paid in cash if your credit card has not already been set up in the app.
All taxis use meters (argo), yet some touted taxi may insist on not using meters and charging inflated fix price (borongan), visitors should avoid this scam. Passengers are responsible for paying roadway tolls, prices are posted at the toll booths and a receipt is given. The airport has a docket system for payment of an airport surcharge in addition to the normal taxi metered charge. It is detailed on the docket and is determined by destination distance. You are asked for your destination when arriving at the taxi rank and the docket is issued accordingly when you are assigned a taxi. If you do not make it clear that you require a taxi you may not be assigned one. Usually, taxi staff are uniformed. If someone offers you a taxi and they are not wearing the same uniform as the taxi company drivers then you are well advised to ignore them. Some of the uniformed taxi brokers are involved in a scam of telling foreign tourists about a high minimum payment for short trips. They receive a kickback from the drivers for setting tourists up to overpay.
An economical alternative is the frequent DAMRI shuttle buses (15 min to 60 min between buses, depending on route and time) which connect to numerous Jakarta destinations; Gambir (the most appropriate for those going to Jalan Jaksa and Central Jakarta area), Rawamangun, Blok M, Tanjung Priok, Kampung Rambutan (for Depok), Pasar Minggu, Lebak Bulus and Kemayoran (Rp 40,000) as well as directly to the neighboring cities of Bekasi (Rp 45,000), Serang (Rp 60,000), Bogor (Rp 55,000) and Cikarang (Rp 50,000). The bus service from the airport operates until midnight (despite what taxi touts may say to you). It is reliable, comfortable and air-conditioned. You can get the tickets in the many counters after the airport exit.
If arriving by an international flight at Terminal 2, head further to the left after going out of the building until you see DAMRI ticket booths and bus stops. In terminal 3, the bus stop is in front of it just behind taxi ranks. Note that DAMRI service to the airport shuts down much earlier - for example, the bus from Gambir operates from 3.30am to 7.30pm. From Terminal 1 (domestic), just cross the taxi stop, the bus stop is on the other side of the road (signs read Shelter Bus).
Damri buses operate from 3 a.m. (Western Indonesia Standard Time) to 9:30 p.m. from the city, and to midnight from the airport. Buses stop to pick up passengers at departure areas in all terminals. All buses use the Prof. Dr. Sedyatmo Toll Road. Travel time to and from the centre of Jakarta (e.g. Gambir Railway Station) takes around 70-90 minutes (sometimes longer), depending on traffic. Buses to the airport leave from the various terminals in central Jakarta (Gambir) and surrounding areas (It may vary depending on traffic).
Information about train tickets from PT Kereta Api (Persero) is available on the Web (en.tiket.com/kereta-api for easy booking in English, or kereta-api.co.id for Indonesian). Be aware that most foreign cards will not be accepted on either website and you may have to purchase the tickets in-person. In Jakarta, you can buy your tickets in the major stations up to 90 days in advance or you can log in on its website to get code booking and pay either in the stations or many Indomaret and Alfamart stores with no additional fee. In some (but not all) inner-city Indomarets and Alfamarts you can purchase the ticket directly from the stores without booking online. You can also buy your tickets online and then pay your tickets at the Indomaret/Alfamart stores. Make sure you get the right booking number and pay cash. You may also pre-order meals when you buy your tickets. All trains have restaurant coaches so don't worry about being hungry. Nobody frowns at you if you buy nasi padang somewhere inside the station compound or out of the station and enjoy it on your trip either. The food sold on the train is quite costly.
If you intend to buy a ticket directly at the train station, there will be two sets of windows. The lower numbers are for purchasing same-day tickets. If purchasing a ticket for a following day, you will need to find a machine that dispenses queue tickets. Press the green button and grab the ticket. Then fill out a ticket request form provided at the nearby counter, and wait for your number to be called - announcements are in Indonesian, but you can look at the screen of the machine for the current ticket. Be aware that during the afternoon, wait times can take two hours or more. In the stations beware of ticket touts! They will offer their wares even to people waiting in the queues in front of the ticket sales points. You should expect to pay 50-100% more if you do so, and you could find that your coach hasn't any empty seats anyway. The safest and nicer way is online booking and then go to the stores and pay.
Most travel agents will also be happy to sell you train tickets to any destination. Simply order the tickets, pay (preferably) in cash and later in the day they will be delivered to your hotel.
Jakarta has several train stations, and here are the most important ones.
The current main station for long distance passengers in Jakarta is the Gambir station, located in Central Jakarta, just east of the Monas. Eksekutif (Executive Class) and some bisnis (Business Class) trains arrive at this station. Be aware that the metro train passes by but does not stop at Gambir - you can get off at an adjacent station (Gondangdia or Juanda) and take one of the waiting moto-taxis ("ojeks) to Gambir for 5,000-10,000 IDR.
An airport bus service connects Soekarno-Hatta International Airport with Gambir station.
Stasiun Pasar Senen
Long haul ekonomi (economy class) trains use the Pasar Senen station located two blocks east of Gambir. To reach the station, you may use the Transjakarta bus network, corridors 2 and 5 (you'll need to walk a little from the bus halt) or the KRL Commuterline (which stops at the station). Beware that the location is rife with crime, although the station itself has been spruced up recently. Anyway, these ekonomi trains take slightly longer than bisnis or eksekutif trains due to making more, longer stops, however all trains are now equipped with air conditioning and electrical outlets, and you can save money on these tickets at the expense of a slightly more vertical backrest. Just expect crowded trains.
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 KRL commuter trains heading to Bogor. It is an interesting Art Deco style building that is currently being restored.
When buying tickets for buses out of Jakarta, you're better off to buy them at each bus company's booth. Do not buy from anywhere outside the booth as the prices are more expensive and the bus they will take you to is questionable. Jakarta has many bus terminals, but not all of them have inter-city services. Look for the sign AKAP (Antar Kota Antar Provinsi or Inter-city and Inter-Province).
Fortunately these terminals are easy to reach. City bus services, as well as airport shuttles, start and ends at bus terminals & busway services stop by there too. Note that even though the listing says the destination the terminal mainly serves, some services may be available to other parts of Java.
If you are arriving from Sumatra, you will most likely arrive from these 2 terminals:
This terminal has multiple bus services that serves major cities across Sumatra.
Recently, the expansion of minibus has taken over the short distance intercity giant bus services. Most minibus companies such as Cipaganti , CitiTrans & XTrans will take you to Jakarta from Bandung or even to the Soekarno Hatta airport! Up to 8 people can fit inside a van. Fares from Bandung are typically up to Rp 100,000 if you choose to get off at the downtown area. Up to Rp 125,000 if you get off at the Soekarno Hatta airport. Note that the buses will most often not drop you at hotels, but at their pools instead.
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.
Traveling by car, unless on weekends, is usually not a good idea. Congestions can extend well past rush hours and a hesitation at any ring road tollway in Jakarta can have a domino effect on other tolls. There are three tollways that ends at Jakarta: Jakarta-Merak cuts through Tangerang and leads to the western edge of Java, the Merak port for connections to Sumatra Island. Jagorawi tollway goes south to Bogor and Puncak holiday resorts, and Jakarta-Cikampek traverses east, passing through Bekasi to Cikampek. Since 10 June 2015, a new tol named "Cikapali" that connects Cikampek to Palimanan (near Cirebon) has been operational. So, you can now go from Jakarta to Cirebon straightaway entirely on tollways. There is also a cut-off tollway continuation (Cipularang or officially called Purbaleunyi) that can be used for travel to Bandung. There are roads that are parallel to the tollway and ends close to both tollway ends too, should you wish not to pay.
Getting around Jakarta is more often than not, problematic. The city layout is darwinistic and bewildering with horrendous traffic jams (macet "MAH-chet") slowing the city to a crawl during rush hours (several hours in the morning and in the evening), and the current public transportation is still not adequate enough to alleviate the congestion. The gradually expanding Transjakarta Busway (Bus Rapid Transit) system) helps to make things easier, but this is not enough for the biggest city in the world without rail rapid transit system. If you have a lot of time, 12 corridors of TransJakarta is useful for orientation. The first line of Jakarta MRT is currently scheduled to open in 2018.
Various areas of the city have different levels of chaos. The better organized traffics are mainly at the business districts (MH Thamrin, Jendral Sudirman, and H.R. Rasuna Said.)
If you can afford it, it is highly recommended to hire a private car, else use a taxi everywhere. For the less risk-averse, a moto-taxi (ojek) will speed between cars to get you to your destination in about half the time and for less than half the price of a taxi.
Online ride-hailing apps
Using your smartphone, you can now easily hail a moto-taxi or car with pre-calculated prices - cheaper than standard taxis. Uber no longer operates in Jakarta (despite their website saying so as at July 2018) as they were bought out by "Grab". Two other companies can be used; GoJek' and Grab, and are very popular and provide you with both motorbike and car drivers (if taking a motorbike, the driver will provide a helmet). You may find it worth the small investment in a SIM card with data so that you can use these apps to get around the city without having to locate a taxi and explain your destination to the driver. Fares can be automatically paid if you have set up your credit card in the app, otherwise you can use cash to pay for these services. Be aware that many of the streets in Jakarta are divided by a median, and many others are one-way, so do your best to set your pickup location on an undivided, two-way street, and by an easily recognizable landmark or storefront. Otherwise, you may find a driver that appears to be close by will need to navigate around several blocks in heavy Jakarta traffic to pick you up. If you're in a hurry, on a tight budget, or just want to experience the thrill of zooming between the horns of Jakarta's traffic, the motorbike option can get you to your destination much faster than a car.
Commuter trains in Jakarta connect the city centre with outlying regions, namely Tangerang, Bekasi, Depok, Bojonggede, Bogor and Serpong. It is usually worth to try if you wish to traverse to other points in Jakarta swiftly, especially from the west to the east vice versa or north to south vice versa, as the train is often on schedule, except in the event of a mishap, congestion, or equipment problem. Riding the train is generally safe and comfortable but of course, cramped during rush hours. A dedicated area for females can be found on the front and rear ends of the train.
Commuter services operate from 4AM (first train departing Bogor to Jakarta) to almost midnight (last train leaving Jakarta for Bogor). Trains often run late, though.
With subsidies from government, since July 1, 2013 the commuter train ticket is cheaper than before with only Rp 2,000 for first 5 stations and only Rp 500 for additional 3 stations. E-ticket is implemented within closed system.
There are two types of E-tickets:
"Tapping" of the E-tickets are required only on the origin station (tap-in) and destination station (tap-out). Transits are free as long as you are remain in the station "paid area". Mistakes in the tapping will be fined with longest route fare (Rp. 7,000) and missing your ticket will be fined Rp. 50,000.
It is best not to carry valuables on the train, but if you do, keep then secure, and preferably in front of you. Wallets kept in the hip pocket are vulnerable.
The destination of the train is not always clearly marked. Make sure you know the number of the platform and listen the announcement (only in Indonesian) before the train arrival. You can ask the station guards by clearly mentioning your final destination. Some of the guards know basic conversational English.
Commuter services operate over these lines (stations in CAPITALs are recommended transit station):
The Transjakarta Busway (in Indonesian known as busway or TJ) is modern, air-conditioned and generally comfortable, although sometimes service can be spotty (they have a knack of going to the depot for service and refueling at the same time during the rush hours). Do note that the bus service is quite unreliable resulting in waiting time for a bus up to 1 hour especially during rush hours. There are twelve lines operational as of mid-February 2013.
Buses run 24 hours for several routes and the rest is from 5AM-11PM daily. Tickets cost a flat Rp 2,000 (5AM-7AM), and Rp 3,500 after. You are required to purchase a 40,000 IDR electronic card (with 20,000 IDR balance) from the kiosk, which will be used to deduct the price of the ticket. The balance is non-refundable. Another swipe is required to exit the bus stations but most locals will be happy to scan you through as the rule is not strictly enforced.
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. Grab onto a handle as soon as you enter the bus as they move away from the stop suddenly and quickly. However, said lanes sometimes lack a barrier between them and the regular car lanes and on occasion cars will move onto the special lane. Police have been cracking down on violating drivers recently (which is a start) but have so far been sometimes unsuccessful, as a recently viral video of an officer latching onto the windshield of a perpetrator in an attempt to stop them shows.
Park and Ride facilities are in Ragunan, South Jakarta, Kampung Rambutan, East Jakarta and Kalideres, West Jakarta and in late 2010 the city administration was holding a tender for the construction of Park and Ride facilities in Pulo Gebang, East Jakarta. That construction of that facility is planned to start in 2011.
Transfers between lines are free be careful not to exit the system until your journey is completed. The hub at Harmoni station is the busiest interchange. The buses can get very crowded, especially during rush hours at 7AM and 4PM, when office workers are on the move. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, a Transjakarta Application map is also available to download. As of May 2009, the application is free. For blackberry users a Transjakarta Guide for Blackberry software download is available.
Regular Routes :
Inter Corridor Routes :
Suburban / Satellite City Corridor :
Free Bus :
Jakarta City Tour (Leisure Bus Free) :
By tour bus
Jakarta is one of the many cities in the world whose government provides tour buses. Dubbed the City Tour Jakarta, the buses are double decker and you can ride them for free. The bus follows a loop road, traversing through some of Jakarta's places of interest:
Hotel Indonesia Roundabout- MH Thamrin - Medan Merdeka Barat - Museum Nasional - Majapahit - Harmoni - Komplek Sekretariat Negara - ANZ Bank (Pecenongan)- Pasar Baru - Jakarta Art Theater (Gedung Kesenian Jakarta) - Lapangan Banteng - Masjid Istiqlal - Juanda - Veteran II - Medan Merdeka Utara - Istana Negara (Medan Merdeka Barat) - Indosat - Medan Merdeka Selatan - City Hall - MH Thamrin - Sarinah - Hotel Indonesia Roundabout.
Note that the buses will stop only at designated shelters. Buses run from 09.00 to 19.00 every hour, depending on traffic.
By public bus
A multitude of bus companies operate at the streets of Jakarta. However buses do not run on schedule. Most maps bought not from Indonesia do not show bus routes, so Google Maps would be the best method to figure out what bus you should take. Most bus stops also posted what route number and destinations stop there. If you want to get somewhere quickly and are not prepared to get lost, avoid the buses (remember that taxis are cheaper than most local buses in the West). However, they make for a good adventure if you're not in a rush and don't mind being the centre of attention.
List of local city bus companies :
Bus fares are generally less than Rp 10,000 with a flat rate system, Non AC Kopaja, Kopami and Metromini are flat rate Rp. 4,000. You must pay to the kondektur or to the driver.
Cheaper yet are mikrolet (mini-buses) and angkot (small vans) that ply the smaller streets and whose fares vary from Rp 3,000 to 6,000 depending on the distance, 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 is on-board "entertainment" and other distractions. On a typical day, you may find street musicians singing unplugged versions of Indonesian and Western pop songs asking for donations at the end of the performance, and street vendors, one after another, trying to sell almost everything, from ballpoint pens and 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 pickpocketing occurs.
Note that buses do not run according to any schedule or timetable. Sometimes a bus may take a while to come, in other circumstances it is possible that two of the same bus routes may come together and these drivers will definitely drive aggressively to get more passengers. They do not stop at any particular bus stop and can stop just about anywhere they like. If you want to get off, simply say "kiri" (to the left) to the "kondektur" or just knock on the ceiling of the bus for three times (be sure that the driver hears your thumping), and the bus driver will find a place to drop you. An additional tip to alight from these buses is to use your left foot first to maintain balance and try to get down as quickly as possible as they do not fully stop the bus.
Also note that seats in these buses are built for Indonesians who are typically shorter and more slender and agile than people with a larger build such as Caucasians and Africans. Non-Indonesians might find the seats in these buses to be confining and uncomfortable.
List of bus terminals in Jakarta:
Jakarta is infamous for its rampant congestion, lasting for up to three hours per jam. Any road rules are viewed as nothing more than prattling and are blatantly ignored. Expect locals to treat one way roads as two, three or even four way ones; turn without signalling; and frequently get into crashes. Be very careful with the motorcyclists that swarm the roads as hitting one can lead to a mob of bikers attacking your car.
Rental cars are available, but unless you are familiar with local driving practices or lack thereof, take reputable taxis. If you're from a foreign country, it is not recommended to rent a car and drive on your own. Renting a car with a driver is a much better idea.
The price of fuel in Indonesia is relatively low due to the application of subsidies by the central government. Pertamina outlets supply gasoline (bensin) (petrol) at Rp 6.550/litre, diesel fuel (solar) is at Rp 5,150/litre, and Pertalite (Hybrid of Bensin/Premium and Pertamax) at Rp 7.500. Non-subsidised prices for products such as Pertamax (RON 92 Pertamax high-octane gasoline are higher at around Rp 9,500/litre, RON 95 Pertamax Plus around Rp 10,350 and Pertamina-Dex (diesel fuel) is around Rp 10,100. Prices at outlets operated by Shell, Mobil and Petronas are similar.
Toll roads circle the city and are faster when the traffic is good, but are very often jammed themselves. The drainage systems of major roads are poorly maintained and during the rainy season from December to March major roads may be flooded, leading to even worst traffic congestion than normal.
Finding parking places in residential areas can be difficult due to the narrow roads. Paid parking is easy to find in shopping malls, offices and the price is Rp 4,000 to 5,000/hr. Street parking often requires to payment of Rp 3,000 to Rp 5,000 to a parking 'attendant', depending on the district as well.
If you decide to drive by yourself or having a driver in Jakarta, please remember that there is a odd-even traffic control system implemented in some of the main roads in the morning from 7.00-10AM and in the afternoon from 4.00-7 PM (from Monday to Friday, except Weekend or Public Holidays). Under the system, only vehicles with odd license plate numbers are permitted to travel on odd-numbered dates and even-numbered license plates on even-numbered dates. The fine for violations is Rp500,000, but taxis and public transportation are exempted. There are intentions from the local government to change this system to an Electronic Road Pricing system sometime in the future. In sum, only use cars when absolutely necessary.
The Blue Bird group ☎+62 21 79171234, (24 hr) is known for their reliability, has an efficient telephone order service and always uses their meter. Fares are Rp 6,500 flagfall (including the first kilometer) and Rp 400 for every subsequent 100 meters or minute stuck in traffic. They also have a very good mobile app that's convenient to use that allows you to GPS locate where you are or enter your address.
Alternatively the Express group ☎+62 21 26509000, is fast overtaking Blue Bird's reputation as best taxi firm in Jakarta. Unlike Blue Bird, Express requires a minimum of three years' experience at another Jakarta taxi firm from its drivers. As a result, Express drivers generally know their way around the city better than the often newly arrived Blue Bird drivers. Metered fares are at Rp 7,500 flagfall (including the first kilometer)and Rp 250 for every subsequent 100 meters or minute stuck in traffic.
Some other large, generally reliable companies include Taxiku, Gamya, Dian Taksi, Putra and TransCab. You can generally determine a good cabbie by asking "argo?" ("meter?") - if they say no or "tidak", get another taxi.
Taxis parked near train/bus stations, tourist attractions, and hotels often refuse to use the meter and quote silly prices (especially to foreigners) - in this case, it's a good idea to walk away a bit, then hail a passing Blue Bird or Express taxi.
Many taxis are mechanically unsound and have drivers of highly questionable skill. They also often engage in determined efforts to overcharge, including via rigged meters. There have been occasional but recent cases of people being robbed at knife-point after taking non-reputable taxis, so it's best to stick to the firms above. Be particularly vigilant late at night, when you will spot a number of taxis from firms you have never heard of or seen before roaming around.
Rates for taxis depend on the company, though the rate of Rp 7,500 flagfall (including the first kilometer) and Rp 400 for every subsequent 100 meters or one minute stuck in traffic has been widely adopted. Minimum charges apply to taxis ordered by phone, this should be posted on the inside of the taxi and generally varies from Rp 20,000 to Rp 40,000. There is now a minimum applied to taxis flagged off the side of the road in the case of Blue Bird or Express, and while other taxi companies may not have a minimum, they may be upset if you give them less than Rp 15,000.
Carry plenty of small denomination notes to pay fares as there is no guarantee that drivers will have any change (Indonesian: "kembali"). On the meter, fares are rounded up to the nearest Rp 1,000 as a matter of course and tips are generally expected from foreigners, though by no means mandatory. When paying, it is usual to round up to the nearest Rp 5,000. On a longer trip, if the service has been good, allow 10% for the tip and again, round up to the nearest Rp 5,000.
Keep the doors locked and the windows closed when traveling in a taxi, as luxury items or a bag can be an attractive target when stuck in a traffic jam or traffic light. Avoid using the smaller taxi companies especially if you are alone, and try to know the general 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 - ensure that they know the way before you get in.
By rental car
Another solution for getting around in Jakarta is to rent a car. However for most visitors it is best to use a local driver rather than self drive.
The Jakartan equivalent to Thailand's tuk-tuk is the bajaj (pronounced "bahdge-eye"), blue colored 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.The old version 2 cycles of Bajaj is gradually being changed by CNG version which eco-friendly, quieter and more convenient ones. There are no set prices, but a short hop of a few city blocks shouldn't cost much more than Rp 4,000. Be sure to agree to a price before you set off. Locals who regularly use the bajaj know what a typical fare should be and are happy to tell you.
If you're poking around narrow back streets, or just in such a hurry that you're willing to lose a limb or more 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. Ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Grab, and GoJek have made streetside ojeks harder to find, but they still often wait and offer their services near transit stations. Agree on the fare before you set off. And insist on a helmet, and wear it properly. No need to make it more insanely dangerous than it already is. The ojek drivers will insist you're safe with them and that they'll drive carefully, but this has little to do with reality. What locals normally pay to them is Rp 5,000 for a short ride and Rp 7,000 to 10,000 for a longer (roughly more than kilometer or 15 minutes walk) one. Foreigners are likely to be asked for more, but generally ojek drivers will accept the proper fare if you insist on it, unless they see you really need to use their service, such as if you're in a hurry but there's a huge traffic jam so using a taxi or bus will be too slow. Jakartan motorcyclists have honed unsurprisingly substantial skill at weaving around congested cars. If a car hits your ojek, expect revenge towards the 'assaultant' being given by fellow motorcyclists, but this carries risk of you being implicated in a court of law.
In November 2011, Ojek with argometer is called Taxijek has launched in Jakarta and is provided with company's driver identity card, a helmet for passengers, disposable shower caps to wear underneath and an extra raincoat. The fee is cheaper than the non-argometer ojeks make drivers of non-argometer ojeks jealous, moreover the Taxijek can enter the gate of elite housing complexes to pick up passengers due to Taxijek have special driver identity cards. The first flag start at Rp 4,000 ($0.44) and Rp 1,000 ($0.11) for another each kilometer. Call (021)94440739 or visit www.taxijek.com for more information.
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As a rule, walking around the centre of Jakarta is neither fun nor practical, especially for the disabled traveler you may find the city a true challange due to poor maintenace of pavement and missing sidewalk. With the exception of a few posher areas, sidewalks are crowded with pushcart vendors, drivers disregard pedestrians and crossing streets can be dangerous. 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, you may found yourself waiting for hours if you decided to wait for one of them to stop for you on pedestrian crossing. If you use pedestrian bridges, watch out for wonky steps and holes, and also look out for motorcycles and bicycles that often use the bridge illegally. Despite this horrible habits of the inhabitants, the downtown area itself does have adequate sidewalks, you may find yourself faster taking the path on foot than travelling by vehicles, there are few recommended guide for you to explore the city:
1) Kota Tua - pedestrian friendly square, you can walk in these area and explore the sight of dutch colonial charm that were once centre of the colonial seat.
2) Pasar Baroe - a pedestrian friendly zone market, that exist since the colonial era
3) Sudirman-Thamrin corridor - the downtown itself have nicely done paved pedestrian footpath for eager explorer all the way through rasuna said, there's available wifi too!
4) Monas and Kebon Sirih area - the city square is pedestrian friendly zone, and the surrounding area have several attraction such as president palace to old colonial churches
5) Car Free Day - the city centre enclosed itself from motor vehicle, every Sunday from 6.00 a.m. to about 11.00 a.m. This is the moment you can find yourself walking on the road of the city from Sudirman, Thamrin to Monas area, the busway service would still be running in the enclosed zone for travellers to reach their destination.
(note that majority of the museums in Indonesia do not have English translation, but major museum does)
Movie theaters are a more affordable escape at around Rp 25,000-35,000 for a plush seat (Rp 35,000-50,000 on weekend, up to Rp 70,000 if you watching in 3D, and around Rp 100,000 - Rp 150,000 for Premier Class) in any of the capital's shopping malls. Beware of the heavy hand of the Indonesian censor though. The price of popcorn and drinks are exorbitant. CGV Blitz (former: Blitz Megaplex) cinemas will typically show movies in any foreign language other than English. And the lesser ones also exhibit Indonesian B-Movies with erotic themes (still heavily censored). The largest chains of cinemas in Indonesia are the 21 Cineplex (branded as XXI in premium shopping malls) and CGV Blitz. IMAX theaters, as of now, are only available at Gandaria City's XXI, Mal Kelapa Gading's XXI, and Keong Mas in TMII. Although the latter doesn't always show commercial movies. Foreign cultural institutes hold regular indie film screenings : the Arthouse Cinema at Goethe Institut, the Cine-Macet at Institut Français.
Typically unbeknownst to the world, Jakarta boasts some of the world's largest music events and the many youth fans have attracted artists all around the world to regularly stop by Jakarta as part of their world tour, from rock concerts to Korean pop. The largest event is the annual Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival that takes place each March for 3 days, filled with over 40 international and local artists performing jazz, R&B, and reggae songs. The Hammersonic in April is a metal music event, while Java Rockin' Land entices you to a June night of rock & roll, and the Djakarta Warehouse Project in December will make you dance and be entertained by world famous DJs.
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 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.
If you're stopping in Jakarta, consider buying an extra suitcase, because there are lots of good shopping to be done. You can buy good used suitcases at Jalan Surabaya (see below) and you can see or but other good used things such as old gramophone plates or other 'antiques'.
Note that, for imported goods, prices in many of the more expensive stores can be much higher than what would be charged in the same shops in other countries. Jakarta has malls that vary from the upmarket malls to cheap malls. Global luxurious brands like Chanel, Gucci, Dolce and Gabanna can easily be found in the upscale malls such as Plaza Indonesia, Grand Indonesia or Plaza Senayan. Pacific place mall in Jakarta houses Asia's only Gallerie Lafayette department store. It is not hard for one to find international brands in the city as it exists nearly in all of its major shopping malls. There are also less attractive malls in Jakarta that sells various local cheap brands, electronic products, and mobile phone services, usually attached with a supermarket.
As general the city lacks a vibrant shopping street, the city plans Jalan Dr. Professor Satrio (or simply Dr. Satrio Road) that are said to be planned as Jakarta's Orchard road, in the Mega Kuningan area that houses many towering famous hotels such as the raffles. However, nothing drastic has been done with the exception of a new large mall opening up in the area and also new fly-over (or freeway) above Dr. Satrio Road called Flyover Kampung Melayu-Tanah Abang, though it houses several shopping centers as well.
Jakarta has a vast range of food available at hundreds of eating complexes located all over the huge city. In addition to selections from all over the country, you can also find excellent Chinese, Japanese, and many other international foods thanks to the cosmopolitan population. Longer-term visitors will wish to dig up a copy of "Jakarta Good Food Guide" (JGFG) or "Jakarta Java Kini". The JGFG, as its affectionately known to Jakartans, is now in its 3rd edition, with the latest version published in 2009 and covering over 600 restaurants and casual eateries in the city. The JGFG has now also been made into an iPod touch & iPhone application, so you can download all 600 reviews and have them in the palm of your hand for whenever you're craving a bite of some good local food.
Nowadays more popular apps for smartphones (such as Zomato, TripAdvisor, Yelp etc.) come in handy and are usually enough for those who seek recommended restaurants/stalls throughout Jakarta.
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. 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.
The food courts of Jakarta's shopping malls are a great way of sampling Indonesian and other food in more hygienic and air-conditioned comfort.
Mal Kelapa Gading
Most budget restaurants have delivery service or you can call Pesan Delivery service , ☎ +62 21 7278 7070. You can order take away foods from most budget restaurants. Some traditional Indonesian cuisine may be too hot and spicy for many foreign tourists. At some restaurants you can ask for food without chili: "Tidak pakai cabe" or "Tidak Pedas". Standard price is Rp 15,000-50,000.
Mid to Upper-scale restaurants are plentiful and prices range from Rp 30,000 and upwards for entrees.
The best gourmet splurges in Jakarta are the opulent buffet spreads in the 5 star hotels such as the Marriott, Hotel Mulia, Ritz-Carlton and Shangri-La, which offer amazing value by international standards. Standard price: Rp 150,000-300,000 per person
Jakarta may be the capital of the world's largest country with Islamic population, but it has underground life of its own and alcohol drinking is not prohibited. If you're the clubbing type, its nightlife is arguably among the best in Asia. From the upscale Blowfish, X2 or Potato Head Garage to the seediest discos like Stadium, 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 if they go to budget bars, at least unless they're into Indonesian pop.
When out and about, note that Jakarta has a fairly high number of prostitutes, known in local parlance as ayam (lit. "chicken"), so much so that much of the female clientele of some respectable bars (operated by five-star hotels, etc) is on the take.
A nightlife district popular among expats is Blok M in 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 single male 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. D's and My Bar are two of the most popular spots. 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, karaoke joints and ayam girls.
Jalan Jaksa is also popular among expats and backpackers. Jalan Jaksa has the cheapest (or equal cheapest) beer in Jakarta. Generally a little cheaper in other respects as well, Jalan Jaksa is also a bit more laid back. Papa's Cafe is a popular spot, and the Beatles can be heard most nights at Memories Cafe. However there is a variety of other entertainment in a friendly, casual athmosphere. Jalan Jaksa also has cheap food and cheap to moderately priced accommodation.
To hang out where Indonesia's young, rich and beautiful do, head to Plaza Indonesia to it's numerous bars and sky-high lounges are. Plaza Senayan's Arcadia annex attempts to duplicate the concept, but with more of an emphasis on fine dining. The Kemang area in Southern Jakarta is popular with expats and locals alike. It has numerous places to eat, drink and dance as well houses several boutiques and shops. The Senopati and SCBD too are now flocking with Indonesia's young, rich and beautiful go.
The Kota area in northern Jakarta is the oldest part of town with numerous colonial buildings still dominating the area. It is also considered to be the seediest part of town after midnight. Most karaoke bars and 'health' clubs there are in fact brothels who mostly cater to local Jakartans. Even regular discos such as Stadium and Crown have special areas designated for prostitutes. Other notable establishments in this area are Malioboro and Club 36 which should not be missed. This part of town has a large ethnic Chinese population who also dominate the clubbing scene there.
The bulk of the clubbing scene is spread throughout Jakarta however, most usually found in office buildings or hotels. A help of an experienced local with finding these places is recommended. Do note that nightlife in Jakarta tends to be pricey for local standards.
In general, dress codes are strictly enforced in Jakarta: no shorts, no slippers. Drunken, rowdy behavior is frowned upon. During the month of Ramadan, all nightlife ends at midnight and many operations close for the entire month.
Please see the individual Jakarta district articles for accommodation listings
The travel agencies at Jakarta's airport can have surprisingly good rates for mid-range and above hotels. Star ratings are reserved for midrange and better hotels, while budget places have "Melati" rankings from 1-3 (best). Tax and service charge of 21% is usually added to the bill.
Budget: Backpacker hostels (losmen) can be found in Jalan Jaksa, which is close to Gambir Station (to the east) and Sarinah (to the west) with the Trans-Jakarta busway. Rooms start from Rp 50,000/night. Clean, air-conditioned rooms with own bathroom start at about Rp 100,000/night. Hotels with standard room rate start at about US$22/night.
Mid-range, Hotels with standard room rate of from US$26-100/night.
Splurge, Jakarta has more than its fair share of luxury hotels, and after the prolonged post-crash hangover new ones are now going up again. Many remain good value by world prices, but opulent lobbies do not always correspond to the same quality in the room. The standard room rate on splurge hotels is more than US$100/night. Accor Group hotels (Mercure, Grand Mercure, Ibis, Novotel, Pullman), Intercontinental, Le Meridien, Shangri-La, Kempinski are just to name a few existing foreign chains, as well as local brands such as Mulia and The Sultan Hotel & Residence whose hotels are situated in Senayan, and Santika hotels.
For a stay of a month or more, monthly rental rooms (called kost) and apartments are a good alternative to budget and mid-range hotels, respectively. Fully-furnished rooms (with TV, A/C, large bed, hot shower, kitchen outside) can be rented for Rp 1.5-4 million/month. In most cases, rental fee already includes electricity and water usage, often there are additional services included like laundry, Internet access, breakfast, etc. There are cheaper rooms as well (starting from Rp 500,000-700,000), but those are usually small, without window, and the furniture includes just bed or even nothing. Also, some cheaper places are exclusively for either men or women (no opposite sex tenants or visitors allowed); many others allow couples to stay together - but only if they're legally married. Check on this before committing to rent.
For apartments (one or more rooms + private kitchen + often balcony), prices are from Rp 3-4 million and up. Cheaper rates can be obtained in some places which are oriented to the long-term rental (6 months or 1 year minimum); however, there may be same limitations as for cheaper rooms. Once again, check before committing.
The high-profile terrorist bomb blasts at the JW Marriott in 2003, the Australian Embassy in 2004 and the JW Marriott (again) and the Ritz-Carlton in 2009 mean that security in Jakarta tends to be heavy, with car trunk checks, metal detectors and bag searches at most major buildings. Statistically, though, you are far more likely to be killed in the traffic. The city is relatively safe for travelers to explore, but it doesn't mean that there are no risks.
Avoid bringing drugs into Indonesia or Jakarta. Eight foreigners were executed in 2015 for drug-related offenses. The tolerance for drug smuggling is very low, and Westerners and Africans are sometimes stereotyped as drug users or dealers by the general populace. The police have a long-standing reputation for being quite corrupt, so the less you deal with them, the better.
Criminal problems have become more serious in the last 10 years. Pick-pocketing or bag snatching are the most common crimes. Be on your guard in crowded places such as markets, because pickpockets often steal wallets and cell phones. Keep a close eye on your valuables and choose your transportation options carefully, especially at night. Business travelers need to keep a close eye on laptops, which have been known to disappear even from within office buildings. 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. Lock your car doors and windows, and show no cell phones or wallets on the dashboard. Often simply catching the thief in the act will cause him to run away. Because the police are seen as useless or corrupt, Jakartans will usually come to the aid of a victim. Just ask for help ("Tolong!"). In many neighborhoods, a thief caught by the local residents will be punished "traditionally" (often quite brutally) before being taken to police. Most local neighborhoods employ their own security.
However, there are an increasing number of violent crimes, such as mugging. Traffic lights at night can be potentially unsafe, so stay alert. Use of guns remains rare in Jakarta. There may also be school or neighborhood fights that should be avoided.
There are also occasional scams, especially in tourist-filled areas. Some scams include: play-acting as staff or salesperson with an interesting promo package or lottery to get the victim to an ATM and withdraw money from his or her account; pretending to recognize the victim, chatting him or her up, and then offering a laced snack or drink; and pretending to offer a ride to the victim, only to mug him or her during the trip.
In general, just exercise awareness and precaution. Know your destination, avoid walking alone at night (especially in slums), avoid flaunting valuables, and be wary of strangers. Keep your passport secured at all times, and try to avoid carrying too much cash at one time.
There are three sources of tap water in Jakarta: 1) from drinking-water company, 2) from deep artesian wells, and 3) from shallow wells. Water from source #1 and #2, originally are drinkable when it leaves the source, but some pipes maybe ill-maintained. And there is no way for you to know if the source of your water is not from source #3 or not (unless if you ask). Hence, to be on the safe side, always drink bottled water, or boil your water before drinking it. Never drink tap water directly. In Depok and Bogor boiled tap water is considered drinkable, but in most areas of Jakarta, make your tea and coffee from bottled water.
If buying bottled water from a street vendor always check the 'tamper proof' seal is intact.
In the coastal areas of Jakarta, such as North Jakarta, the water quality is even worse and if you have a 'bak mandi' in your bathroom using the water from shallow well, adding one capfull of Detol to the 100 to 200 litres of water may be a good idea. To the south eg, South Jakarta, Depok and Bogor, the water quality is better - but still don't drink it un-boiled.
During the rainy season (December, January, and February), lower parts of Jakarta (mostly those to the north) are often flooded, turning the lower parts of Jakarta into 'Little Venice' or 'Jakarta's Venice' because of the roads changing into canals that resemble Venice, Italy. Thanks to the completion of East-Flood-Canal, much of the water is channeled directly to the sea without a chance of passing through the central part of the city.
There is a law against smoking at public places in Jakarta, and the smoker can (in theory) be fined up to US$5,000. You may see the signs threatening a fine (denda) of Rp 50 million or 6 months jail for smoking, although that law seems not to be enforced (due to the extreme level of tolerance of most Jakartans). You can see that some locals still smoke on the street and even in local buses, as anywhere in Indonesia, but when reminded they usually stop smoking. It's generally prohibited to smoke, however, inside shops, offices, and air-conditioned buildings generally. If in doubt, take the safer side: Don't smoke.
Learn from Jakartans about how to stay comfortable in the heat and humidity of the city: Wear only cotton clothing to absorb the extra sweat + humidity of the air. And wear it long so that it function as comfortable SPF-200 sun protection at the same time. Street workers in Jakarta usually wear wide straw hat or bamboo hats to protect their head and face from the sun, and they always have a super mini towel ready within reach to wipe the sweat.
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 broken, but are very cheap (just $0.01/min) when they do work. Keep in mind that the public telephone can't make calls to cellular phone and long-distance calls and even international calls.
DO BUY A SIM CARD AS YOU GET TO THE AIRPORT for your cellphone. For $2 or less you can get a local SIM and some credit. Top up to up to $10 to get 4G LTE, which is generally good and you can use to navigate around the city. Telkomsel is the biggest provider and generally has the best reception in Jakarta and throughout Indonesia, "3" from Hutchinson is the cheapest, otherwise Indosat Ooredoo and XL isn't too bad either.
If you have your own laptop you may be able to access networks at many of the capital's malls. Ask at the information desk for access codes. Free hotspots are also available at most McDonald restaurants and StarBucks Cafes. Several hotels also provide a free wifi hotspot in their lobby. There are also free available Wifi at Thamrin-Sudirman road corridor in the center of the city.
Internet cafes are available in many parts of the city with a price of Rp 4,000-5,000. Many internet cafes (locally known as warnet) can be found around universities and residential areas. Most shopping malls provide wi-fi, typically through individual stores or restaurants.
If you are keen on using the internet for long hours, try to get the "happy hour" deals provided by internet cafes near universities or residential areas. They provide 6 hr of surfing on the internet for Rp 12,000, but only available at midnight-6AM.
Jakarta City Digital Map and Travel Guide , Wisma 77 Lantai 5 Jalan Letjen S. Parman Jakarta Barat. ☎ +62 21 5369 0808 .
Anyer resort beach 160 km (99 mi) west of Jakarta. Driving time: up to 4 hours.
Krakatoa Krakatoa (Gunung Krakatau) is a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The eruption of Mount Krakatoa in 1883 was one of the most violent volcanic events ever recorded.
Bandung some 140 km (87 mi) southeast of Jakarta, full of colonial buildings, universities and famous for both its food and its fashion markets. Driving time: 2-2.5 hours (through Cipularang toll road). X-Trans shuttle transport depart hourly from several location for Rp 80,000.
Bogor cooler climes and a beautiful botanical garden an hour away. Several great golf courses are located in Bogor. Sentul A1 Race Circuit is located in Citeurerup, Bogor. Express train takes a bit over an hour, economy a little longer. (Waiting and train cancellations are the bigger issue.) Driving time: up to 2 hours. On weekends, the trip may take up to 3 hours by road, and the trains can be crowded.
Puncak — cooler climes and beautiful view of tea plantations. Up to 2.5 hours by tollway.
Ujung Kulon National Park — a beautiful national park, southwest of Jakarta. Driving time: up to 5 hours. Application in advance should be endorsed first, because the national park is prioritized for researchers.
Taman Safari Wildlife Recreational Park — Jalan Raya Puncak 601, Cisarua, Bogor. 70 km (44 mi) south of Jakarta. Drive time 2.5 hours from Jakarta (outside rush hours) and about 20 km (12 mi) past Bogor, close to the Gunung Gede mountain. Drive-through zoo with lions, tigers, hippos, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, as well as plenty of other animals in well-kept large enclosures. There are also some amusement park attractions for children, a water park, a baby zoo, as well as conventional zoo exhibitions including penguins, snakes, monkeys and apes, kangaroos and Komodo dragons. This is a well maintained zoo, but after the steep price hikes in the last years without corresponding investment in the park itself has made it uncompetitive (money is better spent going to the Singapore zoo). Admission is Rp 300,000 (foreigners; this is approximately USD 22 / 19 Euro) or Rp 140000 (locals), and Rp 15000 for vehicles. When visiting with children reserve a full day. For adults 3 hours is enough to see the most interesting animals, but if you want trekking please add 1 to 3 hours anymore depends on the trekking routes. Night Safari is available and you can sleep also in the park lodges.