Enjoy Jakarta - Indonesia's Dynamic and Lively Capital PART 1

1:00:00 PM Pinoy Boy Journals 0 Comments

STORY: The last time i was at Jakarta Sokaerno-Hatta International Airport was back in 2014 after a month in the island of Java. I had to fly out to Singapore because my visa was expiring and i was in transit towards my next destination which was Myanmar. In time for the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian games, i flew to Jakarta from Manila to spend about five days in the lovely capital. First order of business was choosing which of these three cars will transport me to Novotel. This one?

How about this one?

Or this one?

I'm kidding, of course. I had to take a Grab Car, which have become my go-to mode of transportation coming to and out of an Asian airport, and in Jakarta. Never fails! 

I've traveled to many big cities, but Jakarta is a different class altogether. It's almost 700 Km2, part of the biggest island in Indonesia called Java, and is populated by more than 10 million people. Can you imagine that? Navigating its many districts seems scary at first. But apart from its traffic jam, Jakarta is fairly easy to navigate. Transportation is growing, and options to get from A to B are many. But to save cash, and streamline my spending, i use Grab and pay via credit card. It's that easy!

Arriving at Novotel at night gave me a glimpse of Kota Tua's lively nightlife. It's extra nice to be billeted at a central location because i'm quite spontaneous with my activities. Finding an open restaurant serving Nasi Goreng at 12MN was such a delight. But first thing's first, i needed my daily supplies of goodies which i can munch on in my room during lull times, and conveniences stores are plenty around the area. Food!

I knew that my room is located on the top floor so i assume i have a good view. The lovely concierge at Novotel made sure i had a great experience. I didn't know that i had a great view, instead. Waking up to this never fails to get me excited to roam around Jakarta. On some days i woke up early, on other times i woke up late. This is the main reason why getting out of my room every day was always a struggle to me. 

First Meal
I know this was bad diet, and for the first meal of the day, more awful. Having an apple together with instant noodles and TimTam is not an excuse to go unhealthy on everything else. I had to do better next time. 

But as they say, An Apple a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away. Shopping in Jakarta is very cheap, so buying healthy food is not worrisome. I've had peaches, bananas, grapefruit, dragon fruit and even Kiwi on the other days, alongside greasy but yummy fried rice and noodles.

The hotel has a pool, and probably as the only guest who uses it, i had it all to myself. My mornings were spent here having quick cardio workout, before rushing to head out to explore the city. 

Having this drink instead of the usual coca cola is such an Indonesian thing to do. 

Choosing Novotel was a great decision. Because i stayed at such a central location, all the places i want to visit were quite near already. This meant that i didn't have to worry about the traffic and delayed arrivals, and more expensive transportation rides to the other end of the city. Of all my Grab rides in Jakarta, i never experienced anything untoward. Although the cars aren't squeaky clean, at least the drivers were really nice and great navigators. 

Yayoi Kusama
I was quite lucky to be able to catch Yayoi Kusama's exhibition "Life is in the Heart of the Rainbow" featuring the infinity room at Museum Macan (Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara). I'll write more about this on a separate post. Went here on a weekday at noon was the best decision ever. There was no line to get inside, and i can stay a while at the infinity room. My first big purchase in Jakarta was here, too. 

Going back to the hotel late in the afternoon after a full day of sightseeing is a thing i look forward to. At Novotel, they kept the place exceptional. For those asking, this is not a sponsored post. I just had a great time at the Novotel, and my room was perfect for me. What a great experience. 

When i'm not at the sports center, i would take the day to travel around familiar places in Jakarta. Kota Tua Old Batavia is really the place to go to if you want to experience the local culture and way of living. It's such a happy place!

Cafe Batavia
Going to Cafe Batavia is a must, if not for the great food, and even greater view. On some nights, there's even a band performing. I went on a late afternoon for an early dinner so i wasn't able to catch any performances. Having cocktails while listening to jazz performer must have been a great experience. But i had shrimp and chicken which were so appetizing already, like all Indonesian food. How do they make their dishes so tasty?

The interiors speak for Cafe Batavia's historical value. So many famous people have visited this place, and i felt really honored to have dined in here. I actually took my time since i had nothing to do that night. I ordered Bintang to cool off from the intense heat that day. 

I guess having no itinerary apart from the Asian Games, gave me enough time to just sit and people watch. I did just that at the old town. Still feeling stomach-high from my fabulous meal, i went around to check out and experience local culture. Sunsets here are pretty nice!

Kota Tua
"To enjoy Jakarta sightseeing to the fullest, you must not miss out on Kota Tua from your itinerary. It is a neighborhood that comprises of downtown Jakarta. Admire the Dutch-style architectures that date back to the 17th century. Glodok is also a part of Kota Tua only. So, make sure you visit that too if you are coming down here anyway. If you are a history buff, then you are going to love coming here." Source

Entry Fee: None
Timings: None

Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

You have street performers like this one, 

and cosplayers, too. 

Grab Bike
If i'm heading to a place less than a kilometer away, and i'm feeling lazy, i ride a Grab Bike. Every single time, i see priceless look of disbelief when the drivers find out i'm not Indonesian. It has become such a conversation starter, like always in this lovely country. 

Louis Vuitton
The rest of the days where just like that. I went to Louis Vuitton to purchase two travel books which i collect and buy in my travels. I'll probably blog about this collection soon. 

Holland Bakery
Every morning, i would walk from my hotel to Holland Bakery to buy freshly baked breads, and this one in particular is so good. 

I told you earlier about my fascination for Kiwis, and because Kiwis are sold so cheaply in Indonesia, i bought so many i've had it for five days straight. 

But most of the days, i would wake up early to go to the Asian Games event location. It was my first time attending a sport event outside the Philippines so you can imagine my excitement.  

This post is getting long, and i think i need to write more about my latest trip to Jakarta, Indonesia soon. Watch out for it.