We have very low expectations of Jakarta but we were pleasantly surprised by it that we came home full of charming and heartwarming memories to remember it by. Come to think of it, most of our travel memories that lingers with us stems from the most unexpected adventures.
Jakarta is exactly as they say; chaotic, noisy and polluted; but amidst the chaos, noise and pollution, Indonesians are one of the sweetest, friendliest neighbors we’ve met. Not only once did someone went of their way to help us find our destination when we were desperately lost – one even acted as our tour guide and photographer and flat out refused the tip we were insisting on. Indonesians we found are always, always with a ready toothy smile.
And their food! Delicious! We savored every bit and relished every taste. Word of caution though, when a local tells you the dish is not spicy, DO NOT believe him. You’ll thank me for it.
WHAT TO SEE:
Passer BaroeBuilt in 1821, it’s the oldest shopping center in Jakarta. Much like Manila’s Tutuban, cheap shopping, you can basically find anything here from knock-off designer items to authentic batik products, household items and furniture, textile shops and shoe stores and lots and lots of street food.
Taman Fatahillah also called Taman Square or Old Batavia
The largest mosque in Southeast Asia, visitors are welcomed Muslim or not. A local at the entrance asked us to take off our shoes and led us to some sort of viewing deck where you can take pictures. Please be advised that at the exit someone will approach you for a donation, this is not a scam so don’t be too dismissive, they might take you to a room and ask you to sign a guestbook and if you’re lucky, you might get a bit of a history lesson as well.
Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport – IATA Code: CGK located 20 kilometers west of Jakarta city center
Currency: Indonesia Rupiah exchange rate at that time (Augusut 2013) 1USD = 12040 Indonesian Rupiah.
Electrical outlets – 2 round pins
Philippine time is an hour advance.