Farah Ramos' Blog

Jakarta, Indonesia (Day 1)

Posted in Adventures by Farah Ramos on July 23, 2012

It was a 3-hour trip from Manila, Philippines to Jakarta, Indonesia. I couldn’t concentrate on my sleep because two (2) old Americans were talking as if they wanted all the people in the plane to listen to their conversation. It was my first time to travel to an international destination by myself so I was very much excited!

When I got to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, I took a Blue Bird Taxi as instructed by Jem Austria, a friend who lives in Jakarta for 2 months now. I had the biggest mistake of not asking for a metered taxi so I paid 250,000 rupiyah going to my hotel. Anyway, the taxi driver spoke good English which made me feel welcome here in Indonesia.

Blessing Residence, the place where I’m staying, is actually a guest house. It’s really not a hotel. It’s actually pretty hard to locate, so I had to trust the taxi driver. The place wasn’t bad at all! Here’s a photo of the lobby:

I arrived at 1:30 am Indonesian time (Philippines is 1 hour ahead) so I just unloaded some of my stuff, went online for a while, then went to bed. I didn’t wake up til lunch so I ordered food at the roof deck. I knew Indonesian cuisine is spicy so I instructed the waiter not to make it spicy… but still… It tasted so good but I just couldn’t take spicy foods. I was fighting off my tears while eating, it was a first haha!

After eating, I decided to go to the mall. So I went back to my room and prepare for my first adventure here in Jakarta:

I asked the receptionist on options on how to get to Ambassador Mall just here in Kuningan. It was either a taxi or Ojek (motorcycle taxi). I chose the latter since I didn’t wanna spend much on transportation. I went back to my room to change into my pants. I paid 30,000 rupiyah for the Ojek ride.

An adventure indeed! If the jeepney drivers are the “kings of the road” in the Philippines, it’s the ojek drivers in Indonesia. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to capture photos during my ride. It was really an interesting experience. They have even smaller streets… streets you won’t imagine any mode of transportation could pass through. I won’t forget the 1-meter wide street beside a river. CRAZY! Anyway, here’s a photo before me and ojek driver took off:

Apart from a cute sleeveless shirt, accessories, and a vest, there wasn’t much beautiful items at the Ambassador Mall. I was a bit taken aback by the prices. It looks like Divisoria but the prices were a more expensive. So I took an ojek again going to Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia. I paid 25,000 rupiyah for the ride. Here’s a shot I took of Plaza Indonesia. I couldn’t take more photos since I was too excited to go inside:

And here’s the view from Plaza Indonesia:

Found these traditional Indonesian instruments. Don’t I look like a local here? 😛

I was pretty amazed with their food court. It looked extraordinary. It wasn’t just a simple area with chairs in the middle. I felt like I was in a castle. Look at this shot:

After hours of alone time, I went back to the guest house to freshen up. Jem followed me there… then off we went to the mall and I found “TALAGA” restaurant. In Tagalog, it means “indeed.”

After dinner, we decided to just stay at Jem’s apartment, grabbed some Blueberry-flavored Vodka first then spent some bonding time. Right before my last sip, I dozed off…

…end of Day 1

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4 Responses

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  1. buildingmybento said, on July 23, 2012 at 7:05 am

    One of the weird things about Grand Indonesia is its ostensible envy of Manhattan. Did you notice many a New York-related icons too? If you need advice on getting around Jakarta, even though you have a mate there, let me know.

    • Farah Ramos said, on July 24, 2012 at 6:07 am

      Yup, but since I’ve never been to Manhattan or any country outside Asia, I was pretty amazed with Grand Indonesia.

      Anyway, I am planning to go to Bandung and Ancol. Where else would you suggest I go? 🙂

      • buildingmybento said, on July 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm

        Well, I thought there were enough “New York”-related scenes that consumers would recognize from movies, because it’s surely not the New York I know:~)

        Bandung, to be fair, I haven’t yet been, but it seems to be the garden city of Java. Jakarta on a small scale may be pessimistic, but my former bosses are from there and seem so much more laid back. There are plenty of (mini-) buses that ply the route in under three hours (depending on when you leave, of course-by now you probably are familiar with the awful traffic! Maynila has it pretty bad too…but Bandung is supposed to be leafier, and a visit to Jalan Asia-Afrika might do you good.

        Ancol has a cable car, a water park, some piers to view the sunset, a rather new mall (in case you haven’t seen enough of those…), and it’s a good place to people watch. You can take a Transjakarta bus there (the route that goes along Jalan Gunung Sahari), and perhaps before/after going to Ancol, and you’re in the mood for cheaper goods, Mangga Dua is a possible point of interest.

        Have you heard of Bogor? It’s the closest attraction to Jakarta that ISN’T in Jakarta; it’s home to a botanical garden to the south of the capital where a Dutch governor used to live.

  2. Farah Ramos said, on July 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I love how laid-back it is here. Traffic though isn’t too bad this week since it’s Ramadhan. People are mostly on vacation. And besides, I sometimes take the ojek to get to my destinations to get rid of the traffic.

    Bandung is on my list… but I am not so sure about Ancol since my days here are limited. I might fly back to Manila on Saturday but I am also considering extending my vacation here. I have to admit Jakarta is starting to become a home away from home for me.

    I might get a chance to visit more places even Bogor if I extend my trip. Thanks so much for your suggestions. I went to your blog yesterday and I suddenly got jealous of how much of a traveler you are. 😛


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