Here’s the third in our All About Indonesia series and the first one in a series about modes of transport in Indonesia!
This is the bajaj. It is often described as “Bright orange and noisy” (which some foreigners have described as “a lawnmower on wheels”). These traditional transportation vehicles became popular in India where they were developed with Vespa and later imported to and built in Indonesia. Similar vehicles are known as rickshaw in Africa, Tuk-Tuk in Thailand and MotoTaxi in Peru. With an estimated 20,000 bajaj in Jakarta, it is evident that it has become a part of Indonesia’s cultural identity.
A bajaj seats two passengers comfortably and may also seat up to five passengers—depending on the size of the passenger of course. Their areas of operation are limited to one mayoralty in the city. The drivers are not allowed to go out of their area and aren’t allowed onto many main roads, so their routes tend to go in a roundabout manner.
You have to bargain for your fair. It’s always best to ask an Indonesian what they would pay for a trip to a particular destination from your point of departure, and then bargain and pay accordingly.