After a long debate where to go we decided that a return to Asia will be nice. But then with so many options and favorite destinations: I wanted Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore and my boyfriend wanted Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines haha In order to make it fair and square we started to look after a nice deal for the period of time we wanted to travel in Asia and the offer was to Indonesia. NO REGRETS, the country is very beautiful! And there are sooo many things to see and try! This is how we ended up boarding to this destination 😀
When should you take your backpack to Indonesia?
Well, nowadays is somehow hard to predict the weather and even though it says dry and rainy season you will never be 100% sure to have clear sky all the time you’ll be there. Most of the country has the rainy season starting from October through April, but certain places have their rain season from March to August. If you travel to Indonesia during that period of time then you should expect shower rains sometime around the noon that will last for some hours and even for the rest of the day.
The dry season, and the busiest one, is in April and lasts until October. September and March are periods just before the high season, it’s quieter than in the high season and the rain is generally limited to a couple of hours at the end of the day.
After a very long. cold and windy winter, our last desire was to travel during the rainy season. I was craving for sun rays and this is why we agreed that the best time to go is May month.
After a very nice travel to Dubai and lots of good experience there, we were glad to arrive super early in the morning (~5am) in Jakarta. What was next surprised me very much.
Nice wide streets that linked the city with the airport, but then all the chaos started. People on motorbikes driving like crazy on both ways, regardless of the traffic rules or directions.
So that a trip that had to take us 20 minutes, took more than an hour and we’ve been told that this is something normal in Jakarta.
The reason is simple: no infrastructure and the buses that run in this city have a bad management, poor quality service and can stop whenever the passenger feels like going out.
For a city of 14mln of people and with the surrounding cities and villages it counts more than 24mln of people, Jakarta is becoming a real challenge for those who want to drive, are in a hurry or have a strict schedule 🙂
The good news is that the project to build a metro (subway) line is approved by the city governor and soon they’ll start building it…..the thing is that Indonesian people looove to take it easy, therefore the final results to be expected not very soon.
Besides these challenges, Jakarta, as well as all the other cities in Indonesia, have few more things to think over when trusting people to take you around…especially when you don’t know directions and need to hire a cab (taxi). The verified and trusted by many taxi company is the Blue bird. Whenever you go, look for this taxi company, they seem to be honest and if you’re curious enough you might have the chance to have a great chat with the driver 🙂
Then the nice things about Jakarta : MALLS! If you think your city have plenty, go to Jakarta! There are malls almost at every corner. I even asked my friends if there’s a point of having sooo many, are they profitable???….it seems so 🙂
The low income class malls look mostly like markets. If you ever been to Shanghai’s fake markets, well, these malls look almost like those markets with a difference – in Jakarta these malls are much cleaner and people seem to be more polite 🙂
The high end malls are shining of cleanliness, the luxury sparkles everywhere: Gucci, Prada, Dior, Gabbana, ets..If you think these items are cheaper than back home, think twice and better check the price tags in your country before spending a cent. We have looked around at Furla, Prada and few more brands and it seems that you can easily pay a double price than in Europe (say Milan for e.g.) and that makes sense why are so many Asian tourists carrying bags from these brands in Milan 😀 Do you think other Western brands are cheaper here? I’m sorry to say, but the answer is again a bid fat NO!
There are very few touristic points in this city, this is why most of the tourists go to Bali or Yogyakarta – the old capital of Indonesia and fly to Jakarta because it’s easier to fly into the country and sometimes cheaper this way.
Where should you eat?
I cannot recommend you one specific place smply because there are plenty to choose from. Just go to a mall and check their food courts. I’m sure you’ll find something that you’d want to try. If this is too expensive for you and your stomach is strong (also you have taken all the immunization required for tropical destinations) you may find some delicious street food at low price. Just follow the rules —-> lots of locals means good, safe and cheap food! 😉
Two more things before I go 🙂
- If you can, then you should avoid rainy seasons, especially in Jakarta, where the downtown is becoming a huge river….you’ll need a boat and not a car to go around 😛
- One of the main streets in the downtown of the city – Jalan Sudirman – is closed for private cars from 6am to 11am on every Sunday and is called Car Free Day. If you want to meet locals or maybe have a walk, that is the right moment!
Curious about Jakarta? Well, here‘s the official page of the city 😉
Travel safe and wise!