Ok, I LOVE this place

Jakarta Travel Blog

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So before I left for Jakarta, everyone was telling me what a hole it is. How polluted it is. How little there is to do.
But no one told me how awesome the people are. How fantastic the shopping is.  And how different it is to where I come from (New Zealand).
The first thing that hit me when I stepped off the plane was the heat.  It wasn't just hot - it was like being smacked with a heavy wet blanket.  But having come from a city (Wellington) that gets just a month of summer every year (and that's being kind) - was I gonna complain?!
My work colleague and I were picked up by one of the staff at our Jakarta post, and taken to our hotel, the Mulia Senayan. Unfortunately it was dark by then, so I wasn't able to get a feel for the countryside on the way to the hotel.
Upon waking up the next morning, and venturing outside, I again marvelled at the heat. What a lovely change from my home town!  It was fab to be able to wear shots and t-shirts. We were picked up from the hotel, and driven off to the office.
My impressions of Jakarta are that there are many, many poor people, and many, many rich people. There don't seem to be very many in between. I hated that people would come up to the car when stopped in traffic trying to sell crazy stuff, or just stand there holding their filthy baby. How could you not give them money?  It broke my heart to see so much poverty, and nothing really being done about it by the Indonesian government.
But at the same time, the people are just fantastic - everyone I encountered was friendly and happy and wanted to chat if they could.
And the shopping! Oh what a revelation. Coming from a western country, I don't get to appreciate the whole 'knock-off market' phenomenon nearly as much as I'd like to, but boy some asian countries do it well :o)  And the malls! Wow. I bought Skechers shoes for less than half what I'd pay in NZ, and that's in a mall. 
Plaza Senayan and Senayan City - if you go to Jakarta, they're a must. Also, the ITC Building, in Mangga Dua and Pasaraya, Blok M.
Not that I was there to shop of course, but unfortunately I didn't get to do much else, as the work took over a bit :o(  I pretty much only had evenings free, so that ruled out a lot. The fact that everything is so far away from everything else makes it difficult to go anywhere in a hurry,
and the traffic is so bad. 
If you enjoy visiting developing countries, then Jakarta is for you. It is not geared up for the tourist (they have concentrated their energies on places like Bali), but there's plenty to see and do within the city and it's outskirts. I only wish I'd been able to see more of it.
Next time!

So, if you ever go to Jakarta, here's what I've learned:
- No one walks anywhere. Taxis are ridiculously cheap.
- The shoppping is amazing. Take millions (of Rupiah that is :o)
- The city is beautiful. Lots of tropical greenery.
- It rains a lot. The rain drops are the size of marbles. little boys appear from nowhere when it rains and offer you umbrellas to hold while you go to the car/office etc. for a thousand Rupiah.
- It is hot.
- It is polluted, but some days it doesn't seem to be.
- The people are some of the friendliest, nicest people I've ever met.
- It is AWESOME!


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Jakarta Hotels & Accommodations review
The Mulia is listed as a 5 star hotel, and it certainly was very nice. Other people have mentioned the beds, and I did enjoy the bed - soft without be… read entire review
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photo by: cicie