It feels like only yesterday that we took a taxi to the airport [to fly to Jakarta]. Wait a minute… It was yesterday.
I just came back from a weekend trip in Jakarta. It wasn’t our (D and I) best planned trip but getting out of SIN and smell another country’s air (whether it is fresh or not is up for debate)
I bought the tickets to Jakarta on a whim. AirAsia was having a sale and the tickets to the capital of Indonesia was around S$100 for a return trip.
While we did read up on interesting things to do, we didn’t achieve much. One reason was that there were no tourist maps to figure out where we were. The other was that we didn’t take enough notes. The weather was also too hot.
Enough excuses, here’s a run down of our 30 hours in Jakarta. While I wish it looked like something from the NYT, it’s really just a journal of two people getting lost and eating a lot.
Day 1, Saturday
11.10am Plane arrives on time. Take the airport grounds shuttle to airport. Find counter for pre-booked cab into the city.
11.30am-1pm Stuck in traffic from airport to hotel.
1.30pm Hotel system down so cannot check in. Have lunch at hotel restaurant.
2pm Finished lunch. Check in.
3pm Freshen up. Get out. Take Trans Jakarta bus to Glodok, slightly worried about one hour (according to Google Maps) bus ride.
3.30pm Thanks for bus lane, reach Glodok earlier than expected. Walk aimlessly because of no maps. End up in electronics shopping mall and clothes/phone/lots of stuff mall.
4pm End up in Kota (one bus stop away.) Cannot find entrance to Kota Station, climb like monkeys to get onto platform. Take bus to other end of terminal at Blok M. Stare at Jakarta’s enormous malls while bus zips past. See Pizza Man Statue.
5pm Reach terminal. Lose way at terminal, walking past interesting pre-buka puasa stalls. Find right terminal.
6pm Reach Hotel K for dinner buffet. Food so so but patrons are very interesting. Rich ladies here are dressed to the nines while there husbands look rich (aka well-fed). Children deck out in kid’s wear section of branded clothing lines.
8.30pm Leave restaurant. Spend time at bookstore. Buy two Sharpies, a kid’s guide to Arabic alphabets and some stickers for name card.
10pm Take cab back. Cabbie almost take wrong direction, directed him to right way.
Day 2 Sunday
~6.30am Wake up, do morning routine.
7:00 am Go in search of a breakfast place. End up at BlueBerry Pancake House, have its buffet breakfast. Load up stomach with fried rice, toast and coffee.
8.30am Take a stroll on Jalan Jaksa, trying to look for the illusive Tourist Information Center to get a map of the city. Find a shack with “Jaksa Tourist Information Center”.
Man at shack does not have maps but asks if we want a city tour in his car. Decline, continue walking.
9.30am Find retro kopitiam. Have two coffees while enjoying its Wi-Fi–Java coffee with grounds and Vietnamese coffee.
10.30am Take cab back to hotel. Finish packing everything.
12noon Leave hotel for lunch and grocery shopping. End up at Bakmi GM which has the most horrible tasting noodles–how on earth can anyone swallow that thing?
Head to McCafe for a Mango Frappe. Read. Head back to hotel before 3pm.
3pm Leave on pre-booked car to airport. Napped on airport, waking up at times to answer driver’s questions.
4pm to 6.50pm Reach the airport with a lot of time to spare. Check in. Ate a cream puff and strawberries. Had a half-hour foot massage which left my feet feeling very light. Fly back
First thoughts of Jakarta
My first thoughts about Jakarata were: OMG why is everything so freaking big here.
I swear, the buildings (except residential areas) are all at least five storeys high! All the shopping malls are like gigantic pyramids (if pyramids were cubes or rectangular-shapes).
The traffic is crazy but if your routes are along the Trans Jogja stops, it’s a literal breeze since the bus company has its exclusive “busway”.
Bakmi GM’s noodles were disgusting. How is it possible when Yogyakarta’s Mie Nusantara was so good we visited twice? Do Jakartarians not know what is good noodles?