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Finding places in Jakarta, especially smaller buildings not on the main arteries, tends to be difficult due to poor signage and chaotic street names. The same name is used for different streets on different parts of the city, and it's often difficult to find the correct street/address without the postal code/region.

Alleys off a main road are often simply numbered, in a sequence that may or may not be logical, so a street address like "Jl. Mangga Besar VIII/21" means house number 21 on alley number 8 (VIII) off or near the main road of Jl. Mangga Besar.

If you don't want to waste time, ask for the descriptions/name of nearby buildings, billboards, color of the building/fence and the postal code of the address. If you still cannot find the address, go to the nearest post office and ask a postman.
[edit] Understand
Canalside slums in East Cipinang
Canalside slums in East Cipinang

Jakarta's nickname is the Big Durian, and like its fruit namesake it's a shock at first sight (and smell): a sweltering, steaming, heaving mass of some 10 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl, the contrast between the obscene wealth of Indonesia's elite and the appalling poverty of the urban poor is incredible, with tinted-window BMWs turning left at the Gucci shop into muddy lanes full of begging street children and corrugated iron shacks. The city's traffic is in perpetual gridlock, its polluted air is matched only by the smells of burning garbage and open sewers, and safety is a concern especially at night. There are few sights to speak of and most visitors transit as quickly as possible.

Keep in mind that rules and regulations are very rarely enforced in all aspects of life in Jakarta. This is not so much an encouragement for you, but an explanation on why many of its citizens act so haphazardly, particularly on the road.

All that said, while initially a bit overwhelming, if you can withstand the pollution and can afford to indulge in her charms, you can discover what is also one of Asia's most exciting cities. There is plenty to do in Jakarta, from cosmopolitan shopping at Plaza Senayan to one of the hippest nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia.
[edit] History
Map showing Jakarta within Indonesia
Map showing Jakarta within Indonesia

The port of Sunda Kelapa dates to the 12th century, when it served the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran near present-day Bogor. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese, who were given the permission by the Hindu Kingdom of Pakuan Pajajaran to erect a godown in 1522. Control was still firmly in local hands, and in 1527 the city was conquered by Prince Fatahillah, a Muslim prince from Cirebon, who changed the name to Jayakarta.

By the end of the 16th century, however, the Dutch (led by Jan Pieterszoon Coen) had pretty much taken over the port city, and the razing of a competing English fort in 1619 secured their hold on the island. Under the name Batavia, the new Dutch town became the capital of the Dutch East Indies and was known as the Queen of the East.

However, the Dutch made the mistake of attempting to replicate Holland by digging canals throughout the malarial swamps in the area, resulting in shockingly high death rates and earning the town the epithet White Man's Graveyard. In the early 1800's most canals were filled in, the town was shifted 4 kilometers inland and the Pearl of the Orient flourished once again.

In 1740, there was a rebellion by Chinese slaves against Dutch. The rebellion was put down harshly with the massacre of thousands of Chinese slaves. The remaining Chinese slaves were exiled to Sri Lanka.

In 1795, the Netherlands were invaded and occupied by France, and on March 17, 1798, the Batavian Republic, a satellite state of France, took over both VOC debts and assets. But on August 26, 1811, a British expedition led by Lord Minto defeated the French/Dutch troops in Jakarta, leading to a brief occupation of Indonesia by the British (led by Sir Stamford Raffles of Singapore fame) in 1811-1816. In 1815, after the Congress of Vienna, Indonesia was officially handed over from the British to the Dutch government.

The name Jakarta was adopted as a short form of Jayakarta when the city conquered by the Japanese in 1942. After the war, the Indonesian war of independence followed, with the capital briefly shifted out to Yogyakarta after the Dutch attacked. The war lasted until 1949, when the Dutch accepted Indonesian independence and handed back the town, which became Indonesia's capital again.

Since independence Jakarta's population has skyrocketed, mostly thanks to migrants coming to the city in search of wealth. The entire Jabotabek (Jakarta-Bogor-Tangerang-Bekasi) region is estimated to have 16-18 million people, a figure projected to double to 30 million by 2016. The official name of the city is Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Raya (DKI Jakarta), meaning "Special Capital City Region".
[edit] Get in
[edit] By plane

Departure taxes

As of November 2006, Soekarno-Hatta Airport charges departure taxes of Rp 100,000 (USD 10) for international flights and Rp 30,000 (USD 3) for domestic flights, payable in cash only. You cannot pay in any foreign currency. Forgetting this could be very awkward!

International and nearly all domestic flights land at Soekarno Hatta International Airport [[2] (CGK) at Tangerang, Banten, 20 km (12 miles) to the northwest of the city. The unintuitive airport code comes from Cengkareng, a district near the airport.

There are only two seasons in Jakarta – dry season and rainy season. During the raining season the road to and from Cengkareng can be flooded, so be prepared and allow more time to reach the airport if you have a flight to catch.

The Soekarno Hatta airport has two terminals, further split up into subterminals, which are really just halls in the same building. Terminal 1 (A-B-C) is used by domestic airlines except Garuda, while Terminal 2 is used by all international airlines (D-E) and Garuda domestic flights only (F). A free but unreliable shuttle bus runs between the terminals; if you're in a hurry, it's a safer bet to take a taxi, although they'll ask for a rather steep Rp 50,000 for the service (not entirely unjustified, as half of this goes to paying their parking fees).

For many country's citizens, visas on arrival are available at the airport, see the main Indonesia article for the details of the rules. If possible, use exact change (in US dollars) and ignore any requests for bribes. ATMs and currency exchange services are available in the baggage claim hall, and Terminal D has a left luggage service.

To get to the city, the easiest option is to contact your hotel to pick you up in the airport, as many hotels in Jakarta provide free airport transfers. If you want to take a taxi, follow the "Taxi" signs out of the terminal and take a taxi from the Silver Bird counter; ignore the many touts. Silver Bird is a very reliable operator but pricier than the rest at around Rp 120,000 to the Golden Triangle (including airport surcharge and tolls). Other operators will charge you in the vicinity of Rp 70,000-90,000.

If you have more time than money, hourly DAMRI shuttle buses connect to Jakartan destinations Rawamangun, Pasar Minggu, Blok M and Gambir (Rp 15,000) as well as directly to the neighboring cities of Bekasi and Bogor (Rp 20,000).

The older Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (HLP), to the southeast of the city, is used by military, VIP flights, charter flights, helicopter leasing company, private jets, commercial pilot training and some smaller turboprop operators, notably Deraya's commuter flights to Bandung, and Merpati's flights to Cilacap (Central Java).
[edit] By train

The current main station for long distance passengers in Jakarta is the Gambir station, located in Central Jakarta, just east of the Monas. Eksekutif (AC) and some bisnis (non-AC) class trains depart from this station. Trains to Bandung are frequent, providing almost a two-hourly service, departing throughout the day. Most trains to farther cities (Purwokerto, Yogyakarta, Solo, Semarang, Malang and Surabaya) depart in the mornings and the late afternoon to the evening.

More economical trains without air-conditioning generally use the Pasar Senen station located two blocks east of Gambir. Beware that the location is rife with crime.

Most trains arriving in Jakarta also stop at Jatinegara station in the eastern part of the city, giving better access to the eastern and southern parts of the city.

Jakarta Kota station is located in the old part of the city, and serves as the departure point for commuter trains and some trains to Merak. It is almost worthy of being a tourist attraction in itself.

Information about train ticket from PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) is available on the Web, but no on-line reservation is possible. Ticket reservations are generally made in the Juanda station, across the Istiqlal mosque and the Roman Catholic Cathedral, north of Gambir. Ticket sales for same-day travel is made in the north part of Gambir station. Beware of ticket scalpers! They will offer their wares even to people waiting in the queues in front of the ticket sales points. On the other hand, if tickets have been sold out, you might make use of the ticket scalpers, although you should expect to pay 50-100 percent more.

An airport bus service connects Soekarno-Hatta Airport with Gambir station.
[edit] By bus

Passengers from other cities arrive in bus terminals such as Kampung Rambutan (Southeast Jakarta), Pulo Gadung (East Jakarta) or Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta). It is advised to avoid these places as they are rife with muggers and pickpocketters. However, if you act cool, non-chalant and confident, also maintain certain distances from people in the bus station, you will be safe. The downside of going to these terminals is you HAVE TO speak a functional Indonesian. If you are from North America or Europe, ignore the hawkers trying to sell you stuff by calling, "Hey Mister, mister".
[edit] By boat

The national ferry company, PELNI, and other sealines, operate passenger services to destinations across the archipelago from Tanjung Priok port in the North of the city. Some smaller speedboats, particularly to the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu), depart from Ancol also on Jakarta's north shore.
[edit] Get around

How to speak prokem like a Betawi

The everyday speech of Jakartans (Betawi) is liberally laced with slang (prokem) expressions. Like any slang, words come in and out of fashion with bewildering rapidity, but some features can be distinguished:

* f becomes p
* z becomes j
* The prefix me- for verbs becomes ng-
* The suffixes -i and -kan turn into -in

A short glossary of common Jakartan expressions:

tidak → nggak
saya/aku → gua/gue
kamu/anda → lu/lo
maaf → maap
to come up
menaik → naek
to take
mengambil → ngambil
to look
melihat → ngeliat
to use
memakai/menggunakan → pake/ngegunain
to visit
mengunjungi → ngunjungin

Getting around Jakarta is a problem. The city layout is chaotic and totally bewildering, traffic is indisputably the worst in South-East Asia with horrendous traffic jams (macet "MAH-chet") slowing the city to a crawl during rush hour, and the current railway system is inadequate to say the least. The construction of a monorail system, started in 2004, soon ground to a halt over political infighting and the main glimmer of hope is the gradually expanding busway system.

Various areas of the city have different levels of chaos. For example, North Jakarta (the poorer area of the city) is more chaotic than areas in South Jakarta (more upscale).
[edit] By train

Commuter trains in Jakarta connect the city center with outlying regions, namely Tangerang, Bekasi, Depok, Bojonggede, Bogor and Serpong. Air-conditioned limited-stop services are available, but not as frequent as the economy service with no air-conditioning. Visits to tourist attractions in Bogor is best made using expresses, which are fast and relatively comfortable.

Riding the ekonomi class is not advisable: crime and sexual harrasment are known to happen inside packed trains. During the non-rush hours, though, economy train travel is quite an interesting experience. It is a tour of Jakarta's darker side, with peddlers offering any imaginable article (from safety pins to cell-phone starter kits), various sorts of entertainment, ranging from one-person orchestras to full-sized bands, and a chance to sample real poverty; you are riding slums on wheels.

The Sudirman station, formerly Dukuh Atas, located just south of the Hotel Indonesia in Central Jakarta is an important hub, providing access to the heart of the city from the outskirts. Commuter services operate from 5 a.m. (first train departing Bogor to Jakarta) to almost 9 p.m. (last train leaving Jakarta for Bogor). Trains often run late and theft can be a problem. Weekend special services connect Depok and Bogor with the popular Ancol entertainment park in Jakarta.

Commuter services operate over these lines:

* Central line (1): JAKARTA KOTA - Jayakarta - Mangga Besar - Sawah Besar - JUANDA - GAMBIR - GONDANGDIA - Cikini - Manggarai - Tebet - Cawang - Duren Kalibata - Pasar Minggu Baru - Pasar Minggu - Tanjung Barat - Lenteng Agung - Universitas Pancasila - Universitas Indonesia - Pondok Cina - DEPOK BARU - DEPOK - Citayam - BOJONGGEDE - Cilebut - BOGOR
* Central line (2): Angke - Duri - TANAHABANG - Karet - Manggarai - Tebet - Cawang - Duren Kalibata - Pasar Minggu Baru - Pasar Minggu - Tanjung Barat - Lenteng Agung - Universitas Pancasila - Universitas Indonesia - Pondok Cina - DEPOK BARU - DEPOK - Citayam - BOJONGGEDE - Cilebut - BOGOR
* Tangerang line (1): JAKARTA KOTA - Kampung Bandan - Angke - Duri - Grogol - Pesing - Kembangan - Bojong Indah - Rawabuaya - Kalideres - Poris - Batuceper - Tanahtinggi - TANGERANG
* Tangerang line (2): MANGGARAI - SUDIRMAN - Karet - TANAHABANG - Duri - Grogol - Pesing - Kembangan - Bojong Indah - Rawabuaya - Kalideres - Poris - Batuceper - Tanahtinggi - TANGERANG
* Serpong line (1): JAKARTA KOTA - Kampung Bandan - Angke - Duri - TANAHABANG - Palmerah - Kebayoran - Pondokranji - Sudimara - Rawabuntu - SERPONG
* Serpong line (2): MANGGARAI - SUDIRMAN - Karet - TANAHABANG - Palmerah - Kebayoran - Pondokranji - Sudimara - Rawabuntu - SERPONG
* Bekasi line (1): TANAHABANG - Karet - Manggarai - Jatinegara - Cipinang - Klender - Buaran - Klenderbaru - Cakung - Rawabebek - Kranji - BEKASI
* Bekasi line (2): JAKARTA KOTA - Jayakarta - Mangga Besar - Sawah Besar - JUANDA - GAMBIR - GONDANGDIA - Cikini - Manggarai - Jatinegara - Cipinang - Klender - Buaran - Klenderbaru - Cakung - Rawabebek - Kranji - BEKASI
* Bekasi line (3): JAKARTA KOTA - Kampungbandan - Rajawali - Kemayoran - PASAR SENEN - Gang Sentiong - Kramat - Pondokjati - Jatinegara - Cipinang - Klender - Buaran - Klenderbaru - Cakung - Rawabebek - Kranji - BEKASI

Station names written with CAPITALS are regular express stops. This means that express trains stop at other stations only at certain times (usually the mid-day services). Non-airconditioned trains do not stop at Gambir station.

There are news recently suggesting that the train network in Jakarta will be using the same ticketing system as the Transjakarta Busway to reduce fare evasion beginning in 2007. It is not yet known whether the ticket will be fully integrated with the Busway.
[edit] By busway

The Transjakarta Busway (in Indonesian known as busway or Tije) is the only remotely functional and comfortable form of public transport in the city. The bus is often crowded during rush hours. As of January 2006, there are three lines operational:

* Line 1: Blok M - Masjid Agung - Bundaran Senayan - Gelora Bung Karno - Polda Metro - Benhil - Karet - Setia Budi - Dukuh Atas - Tosari - Bundaran Hotel Indonesia - Sarinah - Bank Indonesia - Monas - Harmoni - Sawah Besar - Mangga Besar - Olimo - Glodok - Kota
* Line 2: (to Harmoni) Pulo Gadung - Bermis - Pulomas - ASMI - Pedongkelan - Cempaka Timur - Rumah Sakit Islam - Cempaka Tengah - Pasar Cempaka Putih - Rawa Selatan - Galur - Senen - Atrium - RSPAD - Deplu - Gambir I - Istiqlal - Juanda - Pecenongan - Harmoni Central Busway

(to Pulo Gadung) Harmoni Central Busway - Balai Kota - Gambir II - Kwitang - Senen - Galur - Rawa Selatan - Pasar Cempaka Putih - Cempaka Tengah - Rumah Sakit Islam - Cempaka Timur - Pedongkelan - ASMI - Pulomas - Bermis - Pulo Gadung

* Line 3: (to Kalideres) Harmoni Central Busway - Pecenongan - Juanda - Pasar Baru - Juanda - Pecenongan - Jelambar - Indosiar - Taman Kota - Jembatan Gantung - Dispenda - Jembatan Baru - Rawa Buaya - Sumur Bor - Pesakih - Kalideres

(to Harmoni Central Busway) Kalideres - Pesakih - Sumur Bor - Rawa Buaya - Jembatan Baru - Dispenda - Jembatan Gantung - Taman Kota - Indosiar - Jelambar - Harmoni Central Busway

* Line 4: Pulo Gadung - Pasar Pulo Gadung - Tugas - Pertamina - Telkom - Tarakanita - Sunan Giri - Ikip - Kehakiman - BPKP - Utan Kayu - Pasar Genjing - Pasar Pramuka - Matraman - Manggarai - Pasar Rumput - Halimun - Dukuh Atas
* Line 5: Kampung Melayu - Pasar Jatinegara (to Kampung Melayu) - Kebon Pala - Slamet Riyadi - Tegalan - Matraman - Salemba UI - Kramat Sentiong NU - Palputih - Senen - Departemen Keuangan - Budi Utomo - Golden Truly - Lautze - Kartini - Jembatan Merah - Mangga Dua Square - WTC - Ancol
* Line 6: Ragunan - Departemen Pertanian - Gotong Royong - Mangga Besar - Pejaten - Buncit Indah - Warung Jati Indah - Imigrasi - Graha Ferostal - Mampang Prapatan/Hero - Kuningan Timur - Depkes - Yayasan RPI - Pasar Festival - Plaza Kuningan - Jasa Raharja - Menara Duta - Sultan Agung - Latuharhari
* Line 7: Kampung Rambutan - Tanah Merdeka - Makro - Rumah Sakit Harapan Bunda - Pasar Induk Kramat Jati - Terminal Cililitan - Mayjen Sutoyo - UKI - Bakornas Narkoba RI - Rumah Susun - Gelanggang Remaja - Depkeu - Kampung Melayu

The transfer points for the Transjakarta Busway lines are:

* Dukuh Atas: Busway Line 1 and 4
* Halimun: Busway Line 4 and 6
* Kampung Melayu: Busway Line 4 and 7
* Harmoni Central Busway: Line 1,2 and 3
* Juanda: Busway Line 2 and 3 (for those who is coming from Pulo Gadung and want to transfer to Line 3)
* Pulo Gadung: Busway Line 2 and 4
* Matraman: Busway Line 4 and 5
* Senen: Busway Line 2 and 5

Unlike Jakarta's other buses, busway buses shuttle on fully dedicated lanes and passengers must use dedicated stations with automatic doors, usually found in the middle of large thoroughfares connected to both sides by overhead bridges. The system is remarkably user-friendly by Jakartan standards, with station announcements and an LED display inside the purpose-built vehicles.

Buses run from 7 AM to 10 PM daily. Tickets cost a flat Rp 3,500 and transfers between lines are free. However, do note that the ticketing system will be changed to be based on distance travelled once busway line 4-7 is operational. The buses can get very crowded, especially during rush hours at 7 AM and 4 PM, when office workers are on the move.
[edit] By bus

It's advisable to refrain from using other buses for intracity travel; stick with taxis as they are safer. If you're feeling adventurous, as of October 2005 the flat fare for regular buses is Rp 2000, while air conditioned buses (Mayasari or Patas AC) cost Rp 5000. Some buses have a box at the front next to the driver where you can pay your fares, while others employ a man or a kondektur who will personally collect the fares from passengers.

Cheaper yet are mikrolet (mini-buses) and angkot (small vans) that ply the smaller streets and whose fares vary from Rp 1500 to 2500, but good luck figuring out the routes. You pay the fare directly to the driver after getting off.

You may need to spare one or two Rp 500 coins before boarding the bus, since there are on-board "entertainment" and distraction. On a typical day, you may find street musicians singing unplugged version of Indonesian and western pop songs asking for donation at the end of the performance, and street vendors, one after another, trying to sell almost everything, starting from ballpoint pens, candies, to boxed donuts and health goods. If you do happen to be travelling in a bus, refrain from sitting or standing at the back area of the bus as this is where muggers find their prey. Always keep an eye on your belongings and be alert at all times as pickpocketting occurs.

Do note that buses do not run according to any schedule or timetable. Sometimes a bus may take a while to come,in other circumstances it is possible that two of the same bus routes may come together and these drivers will definitley drive aggresively in order to get more passengers. They do not stop at any particular bus stop and can stop about anywhere they like to. If you want to alight, simply say "kiri" (to the left) to the "kondektur" or just knock on the ceiling of the bus for three times (be sure that the driver hears your thumping), and the bus driver will find a place to drop you. An additional tip to alight from these buses is to use your left foot first to maintain balance and try to get down as quickly as possible as they do not fully stop the bus.

List of bus terminals in Jakarta: Blok M (South Jakarta), Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta), Pasar Minggu (South Jakarta), Grogol, Kota, Kalideres (West Jakarta), Manggarai (South Jakarta), Pulogadung (East Jakarta), Rawamangun (East Jakarta), Kampung Melayu (East Jakarta), Kampung Rambutan (South Jakarta), Tanjung Priok (North Jakarta), Senen (Central Jakarta).

[edit] By car

Rental cars are available, but unless you are familiar with local driving practices or lack thereof, take reputable taxis. If you're from foreign country, it is not recommended to rent a car and drive on your own. The chaotic and no-rules traffic will certainly give you a headache. Renting a car with a driver is much a better idea. The fixed price of gasoline is Rp 4500/litre and the price of diesel fuel is Rp 4300/litre (since October 1, 2005).

Toll roads circle the city and are faster when the traffic is good, but are very often jammed themselves. The drainage systems of major roads are poorly maintained and during rainy season (Dec-Feb) major roads may be flooded, leading to total gridlock as motors stall.

Finding parking places in residential areas can be difficult due to the narrow roads. Paid parking in shopping malls, offices and the like is Rp 1000-2000/hr.

If you do decide to drive by yourself or having a driver in Jakarta, please remember that there is a 3 in 1 system implemented in certain roads in the morning from 7.30-10.00 AM and in the afternoon from 4.30-7.00 PM where there is a requirement of having a minimum of three people in a car. The routes include the whole stretch from Kota train station through Blok M via Jl. Hayam Wuruk, Jl. Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman; Jl. Gatot Subroto from the Jl. Sudirman intersection to the intersection with Jl. HR Rasuna Said. There are intentions from the local government to change this system to an Electronic Road Pricing system beginning in 2007.
[edit] By taxi

Beware the false Blue Bird

Blue Bird's reputation has spawned a host of dodgy imitators, so just because it's blue doesn't mean it's safe. Check the following before you get in:

* Door and roof logo is either the Blue Bird or the Pusaka/Lintas "flying egg"
* Windshield says "Blue Bird Group"
* Driver is in uniform
* Headrests have Blue Bird logos

Blue Bird taxi
Blue Bird taxi

Most visitors opt to travel by taxi, which is cheap and occasionally even fast. There are a multitude of taxi companies of varying degrees of dependability, but Blue Bird group (tel. +62-21-7981001, 24 hours) is known for their reliability, has an efficient telephone order service and will among other things actually use the meter. The Blue Bird group also runs Silver Bird, Morante, Cendrawasih and Pusaka Nuri taxis; the Silver Birds "executive taxi" charges a premium.

Some other large, generally reliable companies include Gamya, Express and Dian Taksi. You can generally determine a good cabbie by asking "argo?" ("meter?") - if they say no or "tidak", get other taxi.

The standard taxi rate (effective October 2005) is Rp 5000 flagfall, and Rp 2600/km after the first 2 km. Some taxis (marked TARIF LAMA) use the older, cheaper rate, while Silver Bird is more expensive. Tipping is not necessary but rounding the meter up to the nearest Rp 1000 is expected, so prepare for small changes, or else you will be rounded up to the nearest Rp 5000.

Keep the doors locked and the windows closed when traveling in a Jakartan taxi, as your bag and watch make attractive targets when stuck in a traffic jam or traffic light. Criminal groups in Jakarta often attack passengers who use their cellular phone during traffic jam or near traffic light.

Think twice about using the smaller taxi companies if you are alone, and try to know the vague route - the driver might well take you a roundabout route to avoid traffic, but you will know the general direction. Stating your direction clearly and confidently will usually pre-empt any temptation to take you on the long route. It is also not uncommon for taxi drivers to be recent arrivals in Jakarta - they often don't know their way around and may be relying on you to direct them - establish that they know the way before you get in!
[edit] By bajaj

The Jakartan equivalent to Thailand's tuk-tuk is the bajaj (pronounced "badge-eye"), orange mutant scooters souped up in India into tricycles that carry passengers in a small cabin at the back.

They're a popular way to get around town since they can weave through Jakarta's interminable traffic jams much like motorbikes can. Although slow, boneshaking (suspension is not a feature in a bajaj), hot (locals joke about the "natural A/C") and the quick way to breathing in more exhaust fumes than you ever thought possible, riding around in these little motor-bugs can really grow on you.

There are no set prices, but a short hop of a few city blocks shouldn't cost much more than Rp 5000. Be sure to agree (read: haggle) a price before you set off! Bajaj drivers often think nothing of overcharging visitors. Also, since bajaj aren't allowed on some of the larger roads in Jakarta, your route may well take you through the bewildering warren of backstreets. Try to keep an eye on what direction you're going, because some unscrupulous bajaj drivers see nothing wrong with taking the "scenic" route and then charging you double or triple the price.
[edit] By ojek

If you're in such a hurry that you're willing to lose a limb to get there, then Jakarta's motorcycle taxis (ojek) might be the ticket for you. Jakarta's ojek services consist of guys with bikes lounging around street corners, who usually shuttle short distances down alleys and roads but will also do longer trips for a price. Haggle furiously.
[edit] By helicopter

If you're in a hurry and seriously loaded, Derazona Air Service (tel. +62-21-8093427) will be happy to charter a helicopter for you.
[edit] By boat

Jakarta is launching waterway using canals as a medium for public transportation manage by Transjakarta (busway). As of August 2007, the new service is still being pilot tested.
[edit] On foot

There are still many parts of Jakarta which are traffic free and full of trees, flowers, little red roofed houses and friendly people. These areas are generally safe for walking.[3]

Some people would say that walking around the centre of Jakarta is not recommended. With the exception of a few posher areas, sidewalks are crowded with pushcart vendors, drivers disregard pedestrians, crossing streets can be suicidal. On many busy streets there are no pedestrian crossings, so it's best to latch onto a local and follow them as they weave their way through the endless flow of cars. Muggings do occur, especially on overhead bridges, and can happen even in the daytime. If you use pedestrian bridge, watch out for motorcycle and bicycle that often use the bridge illegally.

In the near future, it will be probable to walk around the Jakarta Old Town area as the local government is currently undertaking a project to create the old town area into a pedestrian-friendly zone.
[edit] See

Jakarta is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles. Please help sort them out if you are familiar with this city.
Dunia Fantasi.
Dunia Fantasi.
Jakarta History Museum, Kota
Jakarta History Museum, Kota

* Jakarta Old Town (Kota)

* Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

* Museum Nasional

* Pasar Baru

* Monas (National Monument)

* Textile Museum

* Gedung Proklamasi

* Lubang Buaya

* Museum Sasmita Loka

* Museum Adam Malik

* Museum ABRI (Military Museum)

For more details of these sights in Jakarta, please see the district sections of Jakarta
[edit] Do

* Cinema: Movie theatre are a more affordable escape at around Rp25,000 for a plush seat in any of the capital's shopping malls. Beware the heavy hand of the Indonesian censor though. The price of popcorn, drinks are exorbitant. Several cinemas also show Indian, Chinese and Indonesian movies. The largest chain of cinemas in Indonesia is 21 group. Website: 21 Cineplex.

* Fitness Centre: Large hotels provide free fitness centre for guests. Some hotels have sauna, spa, tennis court and jogging track.

* Golf: Golf is the number one pastime of the upper classes and, as so many other things here, relatively cheap by Western standards. Green fees can go as low as Rp60,000 on weekdays, although the better courses are twice that, and weekend rates are considerably steeper at Rp300,000 and up.

* Bowling: The fee for a game is US$ 2.00 to US$ 3.00. Guest can rent bowling shoes etc. The length of the lanes are 32 feet.

* Soccer: Do not watch any soccer match in Jakarta, because the supporters often turn into hooligans/rioters. During and after certain soccer games, foreign tourists should not go near the Senayan sports complex.

[edit] Work

Casual work in Jakarta is difficult to come by and Indonesian bureaucracy does its best to stop foreigners from getting formal jobs. As in the rest of Asia, teaching English is the best option, although salaries are poor (US$700-1000/month is typical, although accommodation may be provided) and the government only allows citizens of the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the U.S.A. to work as teachers.
[edit] Buy

Roadside retail

In the market for an aluminum hubcap, a large clay pot, some reupholstered car seats or perhaps a full-length mirror with elaborate ironwork? Not to worry, in Jakarta there's an alley out there just for you, with specialist vendors laying out their goods on streetside racks to entice people driving by. And given Jakarta's traffic jams, there's often plenty of time to browse too.

If you're stopping in Jakarta, consider buying an extra suitcase, because there's lots of good shopping to be done.

* Shopping Malls: Despite the crushing poverty exhibited in many parts of the city, Jakarta has a large number of giant, glittering malls. Note that, for imported goods, prices in some of the Plazas' designer shops could actually be higher than what would be charged in the same shop in other countries.

* Markets: In addition to malls, there are also numerous extremely large shopping centres, quite a few of which can be found in the Mangga Dua (Two Mangoes) area. These include the huge Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua and the gigantic WTC (Wholesale Trade Center) Mangga Dua, massive indoor markets with hundreds upon hundreds of shops selling everything at wholesale prices. Note that Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua does not have air conditioner installed. When you shop in those places, you can always bargain the price.

* Duty Free Shops: Duty Free shops are available at Soekarno Hatta airport and small number of shops in the city. Bring your passport to the shops.

[edit] Eat
Colonial swank at Cafe Batavia
Colonial swank at Cafe Batavia

Jakarta has a vast range of food available if you know where to find it. In addition to selections from all over the country, you can also find excellent Chinese, Japanese and Korean food thanks to the cosmopolitan population. Longer-term visitors will wish to dig up a copy of "Jakarta Good Food Guide", although unfortunately the last edition dates from 2002. You can find Jakartan versions of many dishes, often tagged with the label betawi (Indonesian for "Batavian").

* Sop iga sapi, beef spare rib soup that takes a simple Dutch dish and piles on Indonesian spices.
* Soto betawi, coconut milk broth with beef tendons, intestines, tripe.
* Kerak telor, omelette from egg cooked with glutinous rice and served with shredded coconut and a dried shrimp topping.
* Ketoprak, rice roll, tofu, bean sprout, crackers in peanut sauce.

Your stomach may need an adjustment period to the local food. Due to many spices locals used in their cooking and adjustments with local bacteria, some people will need to spend time in the toilet for half a day. However, this really depends on how strong your stomach/your health is before arriving in Jakarta. Standard price on this guide: The price for one main course, white rice ("nasi putih") and one soft drink, including 21% tax and service charge.

* Budget: The food courts of Jakarta's shopping malls are a great way of sampling Indonesian and other food in hygienic and air-conditioned comfort. Plaza Senayan (basement), Plaza Semanggi (level 3A), Taman Anggrek's Dapur Anggrek (level 4) all have good selections, but Mal Kelapa Gading's Food Temptation (level 3) claims to be the largest in Indonesia. Also at Mal Kelapa Gading are Gading Food City, offering a vast selection of mostly Indonesian outdoor eats with live music, and the more upscale La Piazza. There are low price set menu/packages on most budget restaurant (food and drink). Most budget restaurants have delivery service or you can call Pesan Delivery service, Tel.: (62)(21) 7278 7070. Website: Pesan Delivery. You can order take away foods from most budget restaurants. Several traditional Indonesian cuisine are too hot/too spicy for foreign tourist. On some restaurant you can ask for food without chilli: "Tidak pakai cabe". Standard price: maximum US$ 10/person.
* Mid-range:. Standard price: from US$ 11/person to US$ 25/person.
* Splurge: The best gourmet splurges in Jakarta are the opulent buffet spreads in the five-star hotels, which offer amazing value by international standards. Standard price: from US$ 26/person.

[edit] Drink
Something un-Islamic going on, Play
Something un-Islamic going on, Play

Jakarta may be the capital of the world's largest Islamic country, but if you're the clubbing type, its nightlife is arguably among the best in Asia. From the upscale X-Lounge to the seediest discos, Jakarta caters to all kinds of clubbers, but bring a friend if you decide to brave the seedier joints (though they tend to have the best DJs). Fans of live music, on the other hand, are largely out of luck, at least unless they're into Indonesian pop.

When out and about, note that even by South-East Asian standards, Jakarta has an inordinate number of prostitutes, known in local parlance as ayam (lit. "chicken"), so much so that the entire female clientele of some seemingly respectable bars (operated by five-star hotels, etc) is on the take. Westerners tend to draw a lot of attention, so if your luck seems a little too good to be true, there will probably be a price to pay in the morning.

Jakarta's most (in)famous nightlife district is Blok M in South Jakarta, or more specifically the single lane of Jl. Palatehan 1 just north of the bus terminal, packed with pubs and bars geared squarely towards Western visitors. While lacking the bikini-clad go-go dancers of Patpong, the meat market atmosphere is much the same with poor country girls turned pro. Blok M is now easily accessible as the southern terminus of BRT Line 1. For a more off-the-beaten track experience, head a few blocks south to Jl. Melawai 6 (opposite Plaza Blok M), Jakarta's de-facto Little Japan with lots of Japanese restaurants, bars and (what else?) karaoke joints.

To hang out where Indonesia's young, rich and beautiful do, head to Plaza Indonesia's EX annex, packed full of trendy clubs and bars. Plaza Senayan's Arcadia annex attempts to duplicate the concept, but with more of an emphasis on fine dining.

During the month of Ramadhan, all nightlife ends at midnight and some operations close for the entire month.
[edit] Sleep

The travel agencies at Jakarta's airport can have surprisingly good rates for mid-range and above hotels. In Jakarta, there are several classes of hotels: Budget hotels: Melati 1, Melati 2, Melati 3 (the best). Midrange - Splurge: 1 Star, 2 Stars, 3 Stars, 4 Stars, 5 Stars (the best). The standard room rate: published rate for standard room + 21% (tax and service charge).

* Budget: Hotels with standard room rate below US$ 25/night. Backpacker losmen can be found around Jalan Jaksa, which is close to the Gambir station, rooms starting from Rp30.000/night.
* Mid-range: Hotels with standard room rate of from US$ 26/night to US$ 100/night.
* Splurge: Jakarta has more than its fair share of luxury hotels, and after the prolonged post-crash hangover new ones are now going up again. Many remain good value by world prices, but opulent lobbies do not always correspond to the same quality in the room though. The standard room rate on splurge hotels are more than US$ 101/night.

[edit] Contact
[edit] Telephone

Wartel telephone shops are ubiquitous on the streets of Jakarta.

If you see a public telephone, lift the receiver and check the number in the display near the keypad. If the number is not 000, don't insert coins, because the phone is broken. They usually are, but are very cheap (just 0,001 $/ minute) when they do work.
[edit] Internet

If you have your own laptop, it may run free WLAN networks at many of the capital's malls. Ask at the information desk for access codes. Free hotspots are also available on most McDonald restaurants and StarBucks Cafes. Several hotels also provide free hotspot on their lobby.

Internet cafes are available in many parts of the city with a price of Rp. 4,000 - Rp. 5,000. However, most of them only have dial-up capabilities. Most of the internet cafes can be found around universities, and in most shopping malls. However, the internet connection speed can be better in the internet cafes found at malls.

If you are keen on using the internet for long hours, try to get the "happy hour" deals provided by internet cafes near universities. They provide 6 hours of surfing on the internet for Rp. 12,000, but only available at midnight to 6 AM.
[edit] Tourism information

* Jakarta City Government Tourism Office, Jl. Kuningan Barat No. 2, tel. +62-21-5205455 ( Website: Tourism Office.

[edit] Emergency

* Ambulance: 118.
* Police: 110.
* Search and rescue team: 115.
* Indonesian Police HQ: Jl. Trunojoyo 3, South Jakarta. Tel.: (62)(21) 7218144.
* Jakarta Police HQ: Jl. Jendral Sudirman No. 45, South Jakarta. Tel.: (62)(21) 5709261.
* Hospitals with 24 hour emergency room (ER): see the Jakarta district pages.

[edit] Stay healthy

Tap water in Jakarta is not drinkable. Always use bottled water, even for brushing your teeth.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), Jakarta is the 3rd most polluted city in the world after Mexico City and Bangkok.

During rainy season (December, January, February), lower parts of Jakarta (mostly those to the north) are often flooded.

There is a new law against smoking at public places in Jakarta, and the smoker can (in theory) be fined up to US$5000. If you want to smoke, ask other people first: Boleh merokok?
[edit] Stay safe

Strict gun control laws make Jakarta safer than, say, Manila, but theft and robbery are problems. Be on your guard in crowded places such as markets, because pickpockets often steal wallets and cellular phones. Keep a close eye on your valuables and choose your transportation options carefully, especially at night. For all-night party excursions, it may be wise to keep your cab waiting — the extra cost is cheap and it's worth it for the security.

Theft and robbery are the main security problems for a foreign tourist. Don't leave cash, valuable items and important documents in an empty hotel room. Put it on hotel's safe deposit box. Put a copy of your passport and the original ID Card/Driver License on the hotel's safety deposit box. If you are inside the hotel room, always use the deadbolt/chain lock. If you suspect something is wrong, call the front desk.

* Bring your passport and a copy of your ID card/driver license all the time.
* Never show or carry your valuables like wallets, jewelry, gold watches, cellular phones, personal digital assistant (PDA), mp3 player, large camera prominently.
* If possible, don't bring any bags. If you must, keep them in front of you, not on your back or by your side.
* In cheap hotels, the hotel's safe deposit box is probably safer than leaving valuables in your room. Deadbolt/chain lock the room when inside, and call the front desk if you suspect an intruder.
* Avoid quiet or dark places.
* Choose reputable taxi companies and make sure the doors are locked and the windows are closed. Blue Bird Group taxis are the safest bet. Check for "Blue Bird Group" in large white letters emblazoned at the top of the taxi's windscreen.
* Always split your valuables in 2 places (e.g. keep your money in your wallet and also in your pocket. You may also want to keep some in reserve under your socks).
* Police are largely useless when it comes to crime prevention, and may attempt to extract bribes from any foreigners (the going rate for not having your passport with you is Rp. 50,000).
* If you're very unfortunate and meet some bad guys, just let them take your valuables. By doing so, at least your personal safety is guaranteed. Of course, if you have ju-jitsu black-belt, you can try to practise it (but don't say we didn't warn you).
* Keep/remember the contact number of your country's embassy and other important emergency numbers.

The high-profile terrorist bomb blasts at the JW Marriott in 2003 and the Australian Embassy in 2004 mean that security in Jakarta is heavy, with car trunk checks, metal detectors, and bag searches at most major buildings. Still, statistically this is more a nuisance than a real threat, and enforcement of the security rules tends to be lax at best.
[edit] Get out

* Anyer resort beach 160 Km west of Jakarta. Driving time: up to 4 hours.
* Bandung — some 180 km southeast of Jakarta, another popular tourist destination. Driving time: up to 3 hours (through Cipularang toll road).
* Bogor — cooler climes and a beautiful botanical garden an hour away. Several great Golf courses are located in Bogor. Sentul A1 Race Circuit is located in Citeurerup, Bogor. Driving time: up to 2 hours. On weekend, the trip may take up to 3 hours.
* Puncak beautiful view of tea plantation. Taman Safari Wildlife Recreational Park, Jalan Raya Puncak 601, Cisarua, Bogor, 16750. 100 km south of Jakarta. Driving time: up to 3 hours.
* Ujung Kulon, a beautiful national park, southwest of Jakarta. Driving time: up to 5 hours.

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