Saturday, April 29, 2017

SEA Backpacking Series: Guide to Jakarta Indonesia

We went to Jakarta Indonesia for the last leg of our South East Asia Backpacking Series! Initially when we were doing research, we found that there was not much to do in Jakarta aside from going to shopping malls. But we still decided to include it in our trip since it was just an hour away from Bali and we also had our friend living there who we wanted to meet. Thankfully, we were hosted and toured by our friend for our entire stay in Jakarta!

Public transportation and traffic are bad in Jakarta similar to the Philippines, hence a lot of people bring their own cars. The best way for you to go around the city is by riding a taxi which we did from airport to our hotel which cost around 150,000 Rupiah or 550 Pesos. We figured going around the city might be a bit more expensive because of the taxi cost and the traffic everywhere which is why we were in luck when our friend decided to tour us around the city. Disclaimer: we don't have any instructions on how to get to these places since we did not use any public transportation throughout the trip.

Things to do in Jakarta, Indonesia:
1. Visit their National Monument
If you've been to Rizal Park in Manila, this is exactly what you'll see in Jakarta's National Monument. It is a very iconic building that commemorate the independence of Indonesia. It's a very huge tower where you can go up the building, visit the observatory and learn more about the history of Indonesia. We decided to skip this due to the long lines. So we just took a picture that was directed by our very own driver haha.

2. Visit their Grand Mosque and Cathedral
It was interesting to see a Mosque and Cathedral located side by side which each other. There are a lot of Mosques found in Jakarta mainly because almost 90% of the population are Muslims. We went to Masjid Istiqlal which was the largest and most iconic mosque in Indonesia. The mosque actually provides you with an official tour around the huge complex and the guide will explain the significance of the Mosque. You'll first be escorted to a changing room where they'll provide a robe to cover your body. There is no entrance fee and anyone is free to visit, but we were told that it is common practice to give donations to the tour guide after the tour.
Just next to the Mosque, you'll see a huge Cathedral. You can walk across it and go inside as well. The second largest religion in Indonesia is Catholic so you'll still have a huge population who goes to Catholic church. 
3. Visit Fatahillah Square (formerly known as Batavia City)
Fatahillah Square is similar to Luneta Park of the Philippines where there is a lot of people going around the area for sight seeing and other recreational stuff. There is not much to do here so we just strolled around the area and went to the Puppet Museum and ate in the famous Cafe Batavia. We had dimsums for  "merienda" or afternoon snacks in the cafe. It was a bit expensive though as we paid around 400 Pesos per head for the snacks.
The puppet museum is called Museum Wayang and it's found inside Fatahillah Square. There is an entrance fee of 5,000 Rupiah per person. The museum shows Indonesian history and culture through their puppets. It's worth a visit if you're fond of understanding the country's culture. But it's very old and not a well-maintained museum similar to the museums you see in the Philippines. You can go around the museum for 10-20 minutes.
4. Go to Shopping Malls
There are A LOT of shopping malls in Jakarta which you see next to each other. We only visited a couple of shopping malls which we don't recall what was called. The most famous one is the Grand Indonesia Shopping Town which you can visit by riding the TransJakarta Corridor. The shopping malls are similar to what you see in the Philippines and their is nothing special about it which is why we did not take any pictures anymore. We were not able to shop as well as prices are more expensive than what we see and most the brands are the same that we see back home. We just had lunch and dinner in the restaurants in the mall.

5. Spend a day in Ancol
Ancol is about 40 minutes away from the city center. You can eat fresh seafood, stroll around "mini beaches" and spend a day in Dunai Fantasi theme park. Ancol is similar to Manila Bay and Star City area in the Philippines. It's a bit old but you can relax and spend an entire day there. If you have time to spare, do make sure to include this trip but if you're pressed for time it's okay to skip as you'll not miss out on a lot and the cost is a bit expensive due to the taxi ride and entrance fee if you'll enter the theme park.  


  1. Wow, what a beautiful place. Nice blog with all information needed! Thank you I read your full blog and it was very informative, and helped me a lot. Travel Agency in India

  2. Oh thank you for this travel guide to Jakarta. It's my first time in Indonesia. Thanks for sharing this with us! travel guide coron

  3. The first shared picture is so adorable, thanks for sharing.
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  4. Indonesia is one of the most amazing places to visit.
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  5. A lot of people bring their own cars for enjoyment.
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  6. We figured going around the city might be a bit more expensive.
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