Jakarta is a big city, with lots and lots of skyscrapers. A city with a big contrast between rich and poor. The poor neighbourhoods right next to those big skyscrapers. Jakarta is not for everyone, but believe me it does have its charms. A visit of a few days are enough to experience different sides of Jakarta.
Food & drinks
I could tell you what the hotspots are in Jakarta (think about all those rooftop bars), but today I choose to share the smaller beautiful places and also some other must visits. As you may know, the Indonesian culture is al about cozy get togethers which always include lots of food. Food connects people and that’s what it’s all about. When you want to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner you can go everywhere. I prefer the little ‘warung’ (little food stands/trucks) at the side of the roads. They offer al kinds of dishes and everything seems to taste better here. I can really enjoy a plate of ‘nasi goreng’ (fried rice) and it almost costs nothing! Simple, but so tasty…
You can see the tropical fruits hanging on the trees here in Indonesia, so you can get delicious fresh fruit juices at lots of places here. My advise, in this case, is to ask the stand owner if they use cooked water for the ice cubes. Your stomach can react in a bad way to it, because the local water is different than we’re use to back home.
Machet (traffic) is a well known term here in this big city. I can tell you; the traffic here is the worst! You need a lot of patience if you travel by car in Jakarta. The hotel where I stayed the last time when I was there is called the ‘Swiss-Belinn’ and is about 10 minutes away from the airport of Jakarta. It’s great if you’re traveling to another part of the country or Asia after your days here. I went to the North of Sulawesi after being in Jakarta and I was in no time at the airport.
On the road
In the weekends the locals often go to some places just outside the city; like Bandung or Bogor. These are such beautiful places if you ask me. As I mentioned before already, you need to have patience if you want to get somewhere here in Jakarta. The traffic rules are also very different and it’s kind of dangerous to drive the car yourself if you’re not known with the rules. But you can easily rent a car with a driver. You’re able to book this at local agencies. I went to Bandung for a weekend and it took us some hours. But it isn’t boring to stare out of your window and watch the beautiful green environment once you leave the city.
On our way to Bandung we saw beautiful vegetations and these sawa’s (rice fields)… it was unbelievable. One of the most beautiful places to visit is in my opinion, ‘Kawah Putih’ (White Crater) which is a crater lake 47km south from Bandung. De colour of the water is minty blue, as you can see on the picture below. I would really recommend you to visit this place. The prices can be really different for locals and tourists at these kind of things… So it’s good to do some research before you want to some certain things which require an entrance fee.
We also went to Bogor for a few hours and if you really want to relax and get away from the crowd you should visit the botanical garden of Bogor: ‘Kebun Raya Bogor’. Beautiful, isn’t it?