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Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, a sweltering, steaming, heaving mass of people packed into a vast urban sprawl. All of the high points (bustling culture, events, sights) and low points (massive poverty, grinding traffic, crime, pollution) of a major Asian capital.

Get in

By plane

International flights land at Soekarno-Hatta Airport (CGK), to the north of the city. Visas are available on arrival, as well as ATMs and currency exchange services. Departure tax from CGK is Rp 100,000.

Get around

Getting around Jakarta is a problem: the traffic is horrendous and there is no urban rail system or canal boats to shortcut the mess.

By taxi

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 the Blue Bird group is known for its reliability and will among other things actually use the meter.

By bajaj

The Jakartan equivalent to the Thailand's tuk-tuks is the bajaj, mutant motorcycles souped up to carry passengers. Determine the fare before you get in.