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Jakarta

As one of the largest metropolis’ in the world, Jakarta is not a city to be passed over quickly. Most tourists visiting Indonesia end up in Jakarta, primarily because it is where one of the main airports is located. Unfortunately, however, most travelers use the city of Jakarta as a transit stop, and fail to take the time to appreciate Jakarta in all it’s crazy, bustling, high- energy glory.

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. Because of this, the city is rich with a distinct history and vibrant culture. Queue up on the street to try some of the best food in the world, and later, take a quick 30 minute boat ride to visit one of the “thousand islands” that Indonesia has to offer. A city of over 10 million people, we promise there will always be something interesting going on in the city. From music festivals, to open market places, to holy temples older than our mind can comprehend, Jakarta is sure to please even the most picky of travelers.

Jakarta

Indonesia

Bahasia Indonesia, Bahasia Jakarta (local dialect)

Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Important dates in Jakarta

  • January 1 – New Years Day
  • March 28 – Hari Raya Nyepi/Balinese New Year
  • April 14 – Good Friday
  • April 24 – Isra Miraj
  • May 1 – Labour Day
  • May 11 – Waisak Day/Birth of Buddha
  • May 25 – Ascension Day
  • Jun 1 – Pancasila Day
  • 
June 25 – Hair Raya Puasa/End of Ramadan
  • June 26 – Hari Raya Puasa/Eid Al-Fitr
  • 
August 17 – Independence Day
  • September 1 – Idul Adha
  • September 21 – Muharram/Islamic New Year
  • 
December 1 – Maulidur Rasul
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 26 – Cuti Bersama (extra holiday declared by govt)

Interesting facts

  • Indonesia is an Asian country with the most change in foreign power. Italian, Portuguese, Spain, Britain, the Dutch and the Japanese. Many argue the Arabs also came to colonize but excluded but he locals).
  • The world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia Arnoldi, only grows in Sumtra, Indonesia. It weighs up to 7 kg and petals grow to half a metre in length.
  • Indonesia has the largest muslim population in the world.

Good to know



Visa-on-Arrival – USD $35 issued on arrival valid for 30 days. This can be extended once for a maximum of 30 days, for another USD $35

Click here for the most updated information. It is recommended to check with your own country’s embassy to verify the visa requirements.

Culture and Etiquette in Jakarta

Indonesia’s national motto is “Unity in Diversity” being made up of 17,000 islands , Indonesians are known to be friendly and welcoming. 

Indonesian’s speak fairly quietly, speaking loudly or shouting in public can cause offence. It is also a non-confrontational society in general and confrontations may often be counteracted with smiles. Public-blaming and criticising is also seen as a no-no.

 Public displays of affection between members of the opposite sex are frowned upon. 

 Avoid touching someone’s head as it is considered sacred by some Indonesian’s. 

The influence of the artistocratic culture of Java and Malay early in their history are still alive and well, despite now being a republic.

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A bustling muddle of carts, cars, locals, and tourists, Jakarta is not the place for laid back and easy- going vacationers. Rather, Jakarta is a city brimming with energy and sounds, sights, and smells. It’s normal to get here and not know how or where to start… there are just so many different places to go and things to do! While Jakarta isn’t good for kicking back and relaxing, if you’re looking for a getaway that will leave you pumped with energy and surrounded by new cultures and experiences, this will be a destination you’ll remember for a very long time. Interested? Read on to learn more about some of our top picks for things to do in Jakarta.

Fill up your Shopping Cart at the Menteng District Flea Market

Famous for its Jalan Surabaya flea market and wonderful artisan goods, the Menteng District Flea Market is its own bustling epicenter of energy. At this market, you can find anything– from fabrics and clothing, to food and spices. Come ready to haggle, though. In this flea market, there are no prices marked, so make sure you come ready to know what you’re going to pay for a good, and how you’re going to get it. Not satisfied with just one flea market? Click here to read about all the different flea market options in Jakarta! You’re sure to find what you need, at the price you want!

Pull away from it all at Pulau Seribu

Known as Pulau Seribu in Indonesian, and the Thousand Islands in English, these islands offer locals and travelers a much- needed break from the craziness of Jakarta’s cityscape. Full of gorgeous, isolated beaches, hidden coves, and perfect little inlets for hiding away from it all, the Thousand Islands are great for those that just need a break, but want (or need) to stay close to Jakarta. Located as close as a 30 minute boat ride from the city (all the way up to a 3.5 hour ride), these islands offer great waters for snorkeling, swimming, or just soaking up some sunshine. Want more info? Click here to read more about some of the islands!

Get in Touch with your Wild Side at the Ragunan Zoo! 

Though you may have visited your own hometown’s zoo a thousand times, it’s always fascinating to visit the zoo of another city– especially when that city has so many different native animals to it’s own local area! Home to Komodo Dragons, Tigers, and a plethora of local flora, the Ragunan Zoo is a great experience for both young and old. This zoo is not just a zoo, but can also be treated like a park! Because of the sidewalks and loads of walking paths, even if animals aren’t your thing, you’ll be sure to enjoy the scenery and taking in all the scents and sights of the native indonesian plants and flowers. Want to visit? Click here to visit the zoo’s website.

Watch the Sun go Down at Sunda Kelapa Port

Jakarta is a big and bustling city, and part of the reason is because of Sunda Kelapa Port. Jakarta’s access to water and large enough port to encourage through-traffic, but also accomodate a large amount of imports and exports is a big reason it became the developed metropolis it has now become. Not a lot of tourists realize the importance of this port, so if you go, it’s a good bet it might be a little less crowded than some of the other touristy spots in the city. Lucky for you though, becasue even if naval history is not your thing, it’s still a really nice place to watch the sun go down over the water and look at all the massive boats, many of which still look exactly like they did in the past. Visit here early– around 6 am– if you want to see the fresh fish of the day come in and watch all the action! Click here to learn more.

Gawk at All the Ancient Asian Remedies offered at Glodok

The largest Chinatown in Indonesia, and also one of the largest of the world, Glodok has developed it’s own distinct subculture within the larger culture of Jakarta. Full of little spice shops and herb/ health shops offering some naturopathic remedies a Westerner is sure to hesitate at, Glodok is a must- see sight for those that are interested in getting maximum exposure to different cultures while abroad. With its shops, temples, and markets, Glodok will keep you busy for awhile. While you’re there, make sure you also take a stop at the electronic store– the largest in all of Jakarta! Click here to learn more.

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Last year, CNN did an impromptu public poll of the “World’s Most Delicious Foods“. Number 1? A dish from Indonesia. It’s no wonder that our list lacks specific restaurants, but rather present our readers with a list of some of the most delicious and best foods you’ll ever taste– all found in Jakarta. With street markets and vendors as constant as the ever- present traffic jam in Jakarta, the food on this list can be found pretty much anywhere. Pick a place, any place, and if they don’t have these foods on their menu, pick a different place!

Rendang: a mouthwatering dish of chili- coated beef

Can’t handle spice? Too bad. Try and work through it, just so that you can successfully say you’ve tried the most delicious food in the world! A sensory overload of salty, sweet, and definitely spicy, this dish has won over the heart and stomach of hundreds, and millions, of people around the world. Melt in your mouth, this dish starts with some beef, slowly simmered for hours and hours with a coconut milk broth/ sauce mixed with lemongrass, galangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and chilies. True perfection.

Nasi Goreng: Fried Rice from the Gods 

Number two on the list of the World’s Most Delicious Food? Nasi Goreng. A completely mouth- watering mix of chili paste, onion, garlic, shrimp, and often topped with a perfectly fried egg, Nasi Goreng is everything you could ever want in one bowl. Delicious, filling, and ubiquitous, you should be able to find this dish in the street from local vendors, in sit- down restaurants, and especially in the home of Indonesian residents.

Gorengan: Fried Foods to Soothe your Soul

Though they may not be the healthiest, gorengan are a true local staple for the Indonesian cuisine. Jakartan street vendors fry up everything; from yams to pineapples, tofu to spring rolls, it’s like the Indonesian french fry. Available anywhere, and hard to screw up.

Nasi Padang: A True Indonesian Dining Experience 

Nasi Padang refers to a style of dining: nasi translates to rice, referring to the rice that the food is served with, and Padang, refers to the Padang region the food originated from. Nasi Padang is not just one dish– rather, it is a collection of small dishes ranging from meats, to vegetables, to curries and sauces. There are two specific styles to eat Nasi Padang, called pesan and hidang. Pesan refers to the street-style of eating, where you go to a vendor, they give you a plate of rice, and you choose which dishes you would like put over the rice. It is good for a quick bite and a meal on the go. For a more sit- down experience, hidang is the nasi padang experience where you go to a street vendor (typically a restaurant- looking place, but still less fancy than an actual restaurant) and they give you a plate of rice and lay out a whole selection of dishes for you to choose from. Double- decker arrays and selections of food are typical. Choose what you want to eat, eat them, and remember, don’t touch what you won’t eat. The bill is paid based only on which dishes you eat, even though all dishes are laid out on the table. A truly unique experience, if you have the time, the hidang nasi padang experience is one you should definitely not miss!

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