There’s nothing more frightening than being in the most dangerous city of a country without knowing where to go and what to do, especially without understanding things to prepare. Well we have to say that all around Indonesia, Jakarta is the most dangerous city. But it’s still safe for a traveller like you to getting around. We have 10 practical guides to get yourself ready when visiting Jakarta that you should follow to have unforgettable experience.
The first spot you’ll likely end before getting to anywhere else is Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. This is the major entrance for foreigners after arriving in Indonesia, especially Jakarta. There are various transportations you can choose to get into your hotel. The most famous among all is taxi. To do the right decision, here’s the tip. If you travel on a budget, avoid taxi with no label (locals say “taksi gelap” – unofficial taxi) at all cost. Choose only the recommended ones such as Blue Bird, Silver Bird, White Horse Premium etc because they are all metered and monitored now. Depending on the traffic and road conditions, the fare should be approximately IDR 100,000 to IDR 250,000 and will take 45 minutes to 2.5 hours to the city centre. Other alternatives, you can ride on an airport bus to the city centre or choose to rent a car. But for the best choice, choose a bus instead.
- Local Hotels or Places to Sleep
Let’s assume that you already decide to visit Jakarta merely to have fun and have a good time as a tourist. If so, then you should find hotel around Jalan Thamrin or Jalan Wahid Hasyim. There’s also a favorite district to find some good hotels, also well-known for backpackers, the ones around Jalan Jaksa. Most of hotels in Jakarta are priced between $20 to $50 a night, though might be cheaper for some. Although there are some good hotels with various prices, stay in at a local’s house is maybe the best choice in time. CouchSurfing, Airbnb and similar sites will make it easier to find friendly locals with available space for you to stay a couple nights.
While enjoy exploring Jakarta, you have to stay update with all the required information, bunch of which you can find online. Feed yourself with useful information as often as possible.
Fancy restaurants, even though spreaded in the whole city, might not your best choice. Local foods by local businesses are what you always need. There are bunch of street foods you can enjoy, though they are not always clean and hygienic. To get some local foods, mid-class eateries might be your best choice. The prices are vary, depending on what kind of foods you’re looking for and where to eat.
What to Eat?
Popular choices such as otak-otak (cake made with fish), sate, ketoprak Jakarta, pecal, gado-gado, kerak telor (typical food of Betawi), fried duck, pork, martabak, sop buntut, etc.
- Public Transportations
Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. It means all your travelling needs can be fulfilled easily, especially in finding the right public transportation. There are major transportations everyone usually uses such as busway (Trans-Jakarta), monorail, angkot and other buses, motorcycle-taxi (or Ojeg in Bahasa), and taxi. Even becak can be found easily. For safe and comfort method, just use busway or monorail. You can also book ojeg and taxi online using most-used online platforms such as Go-Jek for ojeg and Uber for taxi. Exploring Jakarta on-road can be a nightmare mostly, so just sit tight and be patient. You can rent a motorbike or car.
- Where to Go?
It’s necessary to decide what kind of traveling you’re gonna do beforehand. There are so many places you can visit around Jakarta such as famous landmarks (National Monument-Monas, Presidential Palace, etc), historical sites (Kota Tua, Sunda Kalapa Port, Textile Museum, Surabaya Street, Gedung Proklamasi, etc), arts and culture (Jakarta National Theatre, Museum Wayang, Wayang Orang Bharata Theater, etc), parks and recreation (Pantai Indah Kapuk, Ancol Dream Park, Ragunan Zoo, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, etc), or simply have several cups of beers at various fancy bars and clubs. You should enjoy the nightlife as well.
- On-street Safety
We previously mentioned that Jakarta is the most dangerous city in Indonesia. So stay safe by keep watching your back as soon as you head out of your hotel. Pickpockets are sometimes the most frustrating thing that can happen to anyone, no matter who they are. Always take a walk on not too crowded and not too empty street. Also beware when crossing a street, always use pedestrian bridge if available. Watch out for the passing train will save your life, and don’t be a racer when driving. And don’t forget to only use the official and trustworthy services, it will save your money for good.