Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia; it is the country’s melting pot for politics, business, entertainment and many more. Compared to other cities in Indonesia, Jakarta is much more developed and crowded — yes, I really meant what I said, crowded.
With over 10 million inhabitants swarming the streets in almost every area in the city, there are two things that cannot be avoided on a daily basis: traffic jam and chaos.
As a native inhabitant of Jakarta, I was strongly encouraged to write a mini survival guide to take Jakarta by storm! (figuratively speaking…)
Just a note, the article was specifically written for foreign and first-time visitors.
• Plan your trip itinerary ahead
First and foremost, setting the budget for your trip to Jakarta should be the highest priority. Whether you are planning to stay in a 5-star accommodation or go as backpackers, it is advisable to have your flights, accommodations and perhaps, personal transportation, planned and booked in advance. By doing this, you could save a lot amount of money, different to booking your flights and accommodations last minute or on the spot.
• Book your transportation from well-known and trusted transportation providers
From stories that I have heard, it is very risky to use transportation services (to be specific, taxis) from an unknown and shady transportation provider. Why? Because there are high chances of crime and they might be charging higher service fee from what you are supposed to pay. I would recommend Blue Bird Group taxis for getting you around the city. From what I have experienced, the service was excellent!
• Pack and wear lightweight clothing
Jakarta is well-known for its hot and humid weather, so do prepare and wear lightweight clothing made of breathable fabric. If you tend to sweat easily in your home country, you might perspire even more. However, it is advisable to bring a cardigan or a light jacket with you if you are planning to go to shopping centers or movie theaters where it might get a little bit colder.
• Drink from the tap
Unlike in European countries, Germany in particular, the water system in Indonesia makes it impossible for its citizens to drink water from the tap. So, I advise you to buy bottled mineral water from any nearby minimarkets or stores, I recommend you to buy from well-known brands such as Aqua or Nestlé PureLife.
• Purchase food from street vendors frequently
It is an exciting feeling for first-time and foreign visitors to try and indulge on local street food, however, I highly advise that you should not do this frequently due to hygiene concern. Some street vendors tend to prepare meals with cooking oil that has not been changed for days, even for weeks. Therefore, please do be careful when purchasing your food. Also, it is advisable that you should stay away from local food, especially the spicy ones, unless you are a frequent traveler to the country or have a stomach made of steel 😀
• Forget to bring your medications
Visiting a foreign country with different weather might give you some setbacks on your well-being and health. Do prepare the medication that you usually take. It is advisable that you bring along medications for diarrhea and food poisoning, just to be careful in case you experience both unfortunate events during your trip to Jakarta.
Even though Jakarta is fully crowded and swarmed — it is surprisingly safe and cozy 🙂
I really hope that this mini survival guide could be useful for your future trips to Jakarta.
Be sure to take full advantage of bab.la’s Indonesian page before and during your trip to Jakarta—many useful features include dictionaries, vocabulary tests, quizzes and many more. You can access bab.la’s Indonesian page at: http://www.babla.co.id/
Here is a glimpse about Jakarta, in videos:
Hope you will get to enjoy Jakarta as much as I do 🙂 sampai jumpa!