Untitled by dskusumo
I had an internship in Jakarta for the summer of 2005 (picture is where I worked – Wisma BNI). Jakarta is not a “tourist-friendly” place. Unless you had a local guide, I would recommend that westerners skip out on Jakarta because of the trouble you might get yourself into.
It’s hard getting around if you don’t have a driver. Public transportation is a joke unless you’re a local and taxis would be your primary choice; even then, you need to make sure you’re picking the right one or you might get taken for a little ride (figuratively and with your wallet). If you are a shopper, Jakarta is the place to be with its countless malls. Those looking to pick up counterfeit products (movies, purses, clothes) are in heaven and can be found on the cheap.
If you’re looking for other points of interest outside of shopping, I would recommend visiting one of Indonesia’s smaller cities to experience more of Indonesia’s cultural aspects. Jakarta is such an exceptionally busy city. The traffic might just ruin your day if you’re trying to go from place to place. Even worse, run into the law and hope they like you or you may be facing false accusations and have to fork over money (to bribe them) in order to stay out of trouble. Come to think of it, the only non-indonesian people I encountered were there for business of some sort. I did not meet any tourist there.
Bottom line: unless you are truly adventurous, stay away from Jakarta and spend your extra time that you will save in Bali relaxing and taking in their culture.over 6 years ago