A city not to everyones taste

Jakarta Travel Blog

 › entry 171 of 658 › view all entries
Jakarta History Museum housed in the old City Hall

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia)

Our bus ride from the airport to Jakarta was a taste of what was to come, as we passed brand new shining skyscrapers, followed by ramshackle dwellings that looked like they would struggle to remain standing during a strong wind. After getting dropped at Gambir train station we caught a small tricycle to Jalan Jaksa and packed in with all our bags, happy memories of arriving in Beijing flooded back. We found a cheap room, had a look down the main tourist strip and after some dinner called it a night.

The following day we checked out of Kresna homestay which had been far too hot and full of mosquitos and checked into Bloen Steen homestay, literally next door.

Chicken Market Bridge, an old Dutch draw bridge
After this was accomplished we set out to attack the sights of the city. We caught the local train up to Kota and found a shopping mall to grab some food in, before venturing to the 'sights'. On route we passed over several rivers/sewage systems that thoroughly stank the place out and i was horrified to see some guy actually bathing amongst it.

The district of Kota is the oldest section of town and hosts the Taman Fatahillah (Old Town Square), which is skirted by the old town hall and several other buildings left as remnants of the Dutch colonisation. We also walked to Gereja Sion, which is the oldest Church in Jakarta and the Chicken Market Bridge, which is an old Dutch drawbridge. After an hour or so we were tired of the smell, the heat and the smog and decided to head back to the centre, thoroughly disappointed with what we had seen and saddened by the obvious poverty of the area.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah - Sumatra style house

After spending 30 minutes trying and failing miserably to buy a train ticket, we eventually succeeded with the help of a friendly guy and caught the train to go and see the colossal Mesjid Istiqlal mosque. Next up we walked to the Presidential Palace and National Monument (Monas), which is believed to represent a huge phallus - make up your own mind :) We walked around Lapangan Merdeka (Freedom Square) before taking a look at the Arjuna statue and finally making it back to Jalan Jaksa. It certainly tasted good to drink a chilled beer after a day in the searing sun.

Our second full day in Jakarta was spent taking a trip out to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, which could be described as a cultural theme park i guess. On our trip, we did not have any small change to pay for a bemo ride and a young Indonesian couple paid for us, to stop the driver keeping $5 from us, when it only cost 80cent.

Sulawesi style house at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
They were walking off without expecting anything back, but i managed to break some change at a vendors and Julia chased after them with the money. They seemed surprised to get it back and thanked her, although she assured them it was them that deserved our gratitude. It really put us in a great mood for the day.

The most interesting things to see at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah are the houses that represent each of the 26 provinces of Indonesia. It gives a vague outline to the huge differences that occur throughout the huge archipeligo of islands that comprise Indonesia. We spent several hours walking around the different houses and also got to see a rhinoceros hornbill up close for the first time, in the aviary that they had. The other amusing thing to happen was a car full of Indonesian people pulled up, jumped out and all took photos with us, they seemed absolutely chuffed to be photgraphed with 2 white people!

Our trip back to Jakarta was a slow one as we were put on 3 wrong buses, then when we eventually did get on the right one the ticket man refused to give me my change.

Rhinoceros Hornbill
I asked him 3 times and he muttered something and walked off each time. Eventually i asked another passenger what they had paid and i was correct that we were been triple charged, so the next time he came back up the bus i stopped him and made him give us at least some of the change - he still refused to give us it all! Its clearly a common occurrence and no-one seemed surprised to see it happening.

After some dinner we headed down to Gelora Bung Karno Stadium to watch the quarter finals of the Asian Cup between Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. As we walked around the ground, we were approached many times and people kept shouting Uzbek at us, as they couldn't work out why any other white people would have been at this game other than if they were from Uzbekistan! We played along with it as Julia is from near enough there anyway! The ground held an impressive 100,000 people although it was far from full, but the people that were there were still very vocal at encouraging both teams.

Gelora Bung Karno Stadium
The result ended 2-1 to Saudi Arabia, and 'our team' must have felt hard done by, having had by far the better chances. We decided that after this experience we wanted to watch the final the following week and thus planned to leave Jakarta through the week and head back the next Sunday.

Before setting off on Monday, Julia paid a visit to Western Union to collect some birthday money and we were introduced to the greatest rip off ever. Mot only did her parents have to pay $20 to send the money, but she had to pay to receive it, all be it only $1. BUT the big rip off came when they refused to give her the money in dollars (her Mum had lost money having to exchange roubles into dollars to send it originally) and insisted she must accept it in rupiah, with their exchange rate 10% lower than that offered in the bank we were collecting it from! I found this appauling and would urge anyone who reads this never to use this company.

Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia warming up
We grabbed some mie goreng and caught the deluxe train to Bogor, only to find that there were no seats, so we actually ended up sitting on the floor - now thats deluxe!

Deats says:
Yesh, many more interesting place to visit in Indo!
Posted on: Sep 11, 2014
The-Jellyfish says:
thanks, i was hesitant about visiting Jakarta but it seems now that it's OK to skip it
Posted on: Sep 09, 2014
almond72 says:
You're lucky you aren't on the roof of the minivan. I've seen 4 chaps sitting astride them doing over 90km/h. I was doing 90km/h in a car.
Posted on: Jul 24, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Jakarta History Museum housed in t…
Jakarta History Museum housed in …
Chicken Market Bridge, an old Dutc…
Chicken Market Bridge, an old Dut…
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah - Sumat…
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah - Suma…
Sulawesi style house at Taman Mini…
Sulawesi style house at Taman Min…
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium
Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia warmin…
Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia warmi…
Funny place to take a bath... and …
Funny place to take a bath... and…
Mesjid Istiqlal
Mesjid Istiqlal
Belai Seni Rupa
Belai Seni Rupa
National Monument (Monas)
National Monument (Monas)
Presidential Palace
Presidential Palace
Arjuna Statue
Arjuna Statue
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Julia makes some new friends at Ta…
Julia makes some new friends at T…
Papua style House at Taman Mini In…
Papua style House at Taman Mini I…
Childrens castle at Taman Mini Ind…
Childrens castle at Taman Mini In…
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium
Photographers kept in check
Photographers kept in check
Uzbekistan sing their national ant…
Uzbekistan sing their national an…
Saudi Arabia celebrate their first…
Saudi Arabia celebrate their firs…
Saudi Arabia attack against Uzbeki…
Saudi Arabia attack against Uzbek…
Jakarta
photo by: cicie