More of ten than not, our countries are described by foreigners, telling us of their experiences there and trying to relate it other cultures, showing us the differences and similarities. There are praises, and of course there are complaints. But nothing beats the perspective of the local.
In preparation for V-Indonesia 2012, we’re posting some Indonesia-related posts to celebrate and promote the venue and perhaps familiarize foreigners to the area.
Our first post for this series is a summarized description of Jakarta, where most international flights will enter. It’s written by Thomas Atmadja. He is currently a Director of KBRU, a local insurance broker in Indonesia. Here’s his description in its entirety:
Jakarta is the Capital City of Indonesia. Its population during weekdays could be around 15 million, but on the weekends it could be around 12 million.
The weather is mainly hot and humid during the day and a little bit cool during the night. The average outside temperature during the day is around 32 degrees Celsius and during the night, it is around 28 degrees Celsius. Most hotels and shopping centers are fully air-conditioned to offer brief or lasting respite from the heat.
Jakarta is well known for shopping. There are so many shopping centers, varied from budget malls to high-end malls. There are two main budget malls for clothing and accessories: Mangga Dua area and Tanah Abang area. In Mangga Dua Area, the ITC Mangga Dua and Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua are well known in Jakarta Utara (North Jakarta). They are very busy during weekdays and weekends, starting at 10:00 to 17:00. In here, people need to bargain on the price – normally starting with 30-40% of the offered price. The same condition can be found in Tanah Abang located in Center Jakarta (Jakarta Pusat). For electronics, people can go to Mangga Dua Mall or Glodok Plaza (also in North Jakarta) to find affordable electronics goods.
For high-end shopping, people may go to Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia (both located near the Grand Hyatt Hotel); Senayan Plaza, Pacific Place (both located in the Senayan area Centre Jakarta). Various branded goods can be found in those malls.
For entertainment, there are good cinema theaters (XXI group) located in most of the shopping centers. The main amusement park is Taman Impian Jaya Ancol in North Jakarta where people could enjoy theme parks and good food. There are also some museums in Jakarta, including the National Museum and National Monument (Monas) which are located in the centre of Jakarta. However, most of the museums are not properly managed.
Night entertainments vary from night clubs, karaoke, to massage parlors, and can be found in several places. No casinos in Jakarta (as far as I know).
Dining varies from local foods to Western and Oriental foods. Seafood restaurants can be found in most of the area, but some are well known like Bali Jimbaran in Muara Karang (North Jakarta), Aroma Laut in Central Jakarta; Lembur Kuring is also fine. There are also some local restaurants; Japanese and Chinese restaurants can be found in most of the shopping malls. The western restaurants are mainly in the international hotels (Grand Hyatt, le Meridian; Shangrila; Mandarin).
Sports are mainly swimming and tennis, and gyms for these can be found in the hotels, but the most well-known outdoor sport in Jakarta is mainly golf. There are more than 10 good golf courses around Jakarta area.
The transportation in Jakarta is various, but private cars and taxi (Blue Bird group) are the most comfortable compared to public transportations. Traffic jams during rush hours (morning and afternoon) and during rainy days are very bad. In normal conditions, to reach places within 10 km would take around 30 minutes, but it could also take more than 1 hour if the traffic jam is bad.
Tipping is not compulsory in Jakarta, but depending on the service people might give tip between USD 1 – 5.
Personal safety is really a personal concern. In international hotels, there is a safety box available in each room. In the restaurant or public area, the best way is to keep your belongings to yourself (and discreet). Some shady people can pick your pocket in a crowded area, especially in markets or open public areas. Robberies could happen, but only in secluded areas at night. Walking outside alone is not recommended.
So there you have it. We only have 25 days before V-Con! Are you ready? Stay tuned for more updates!
You can find more of our Indonesia info at www.the-v.net.