Friday, August 2, 2013

Jakarta Travel Tips

Like any other cities in the world, Jakarta is a noisy and chaotic metropolis.  And same as those cities, there are cautions to be conscious of.  Jakarta is much fun if you know what you are doing so if it is your first time in the city here are some travel tips for you.

Customs and etiquette are very important anywhere but in Indonesia there are some certain points that you must remember.  Although Indonesians are usually laid-back, there are some dos and don’ts that you must be sensitive just so you won’t offend.  When entering temples, mosques, and even some shops, shoes should always be removed.  Skits and shorts must cover your knees when in town.  Pointing is also prohibited and eating with your left hand is offensive as it is only used for toilet duties.

Smooching or public display of affection with partner or with a local is considered too be very offensive.  Keep it cool and keep your temper in check even in the most tempting circumstances.  Although Jakarta is not tip-heavy at least be a bit generous more especially to a non-service-charging restaurant and the rounding up of a cab bill.

When it comes to money matters, the local currency is the Indonesian rupiah (Rp), with notes ranging from Rp500 to Rp100,000 and coins of up to Rp1,000.  If you you got to change money, you must go directly to the banks instead of having them changed in the hotels because you will have a bad time due to their worst exchange rate!

But good thing about Jakarta is they are a fairly credit card-friendly city with shops, restaurants and hotels all generally accepting Visa and MasterCard.  Be careful of high ATM charges and remember cash is king in the inexpensive markets.

It is hot year round in Jakarta because of it close proximity with the equator with little deviation in the seasonal sense.  During October to February, the monsoon season goes and it is particularly wet while June through September is generally boiling hot and the best time to visit is between March and June.

Jakarta is pretty big and you need to use public transportation.  Jakarta Monorail is a new monorail system in use to the more colorful and touristy parts of town, as well as a fairly recent bus network.  Every district is accommodated by bus with dedicated lines, as minibuses take in localized routes.  And also, trains run to Ancol from downtown Jakarta and motorized rickshaws and there are also plenty of metered taxis.

Hotel shuttles, if your hotel has one, are the most excellent choice for transport from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK).  Taxis are a bit quite hard to negotiate with but there is limousine desk and a desk for ordinary taxis at the airport that you can try to talk to.  What’s more, there is an airport shuttle bus to choose from in downtown destinations and cheaper DAMRI shuttle buses.


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