We arrived at Jakarta at night and it took us around 2 hours to get to our hostel (traffic is apocalyptic and we were driving during rush hour!). Six Degrees hostel has won 3 consecutive years “best hostel in Indonesia”, its pretty awesome with a pool table, a roof garden/bar and 2000 movies to choose from.
After recovering from our lack of sleep and early mornings from previous days, we went to visit a few sights in Jakarta. This city is not touristy at all, actually nobody really recommends it for travelers because of the pollution, traffic, terrorism and not many interesting things to see. I call it the “Mexico City of the east” as they are creepily similar considering they are on the opposite side of the world. Police officers dress exactly the same, the streets look dirty and disorganized and the crime levels are rampant. The only difference is that Mexico City actually offers a lot of things to do and the food is great, we couldn’t say the same of Jakarta.
Our first place we visited was Taman Mini, or mini Indonesia. This is a park full of museums of all kinds (don’t expect the Louvre), but the most interesting attraction is that they have traditional houses from all Indonesian regions. The most beautiful ones were the Western Sumatra:
We took a cable car that gave us an aerial view of the different architectures which let’s just say didn’t have that safe secure feeling like a ride at Disneyland. This park also included a fake Disney castle with some sort of fake Mickey Mouse walking around, and water park that cost $10 to get in and includes Athletes foot for free with the admission price.
This is Sarah being a celebrity white tourist for the last time in Indonesia. She is so nice she can’t say no.
The only way of safe transportation here are the BlueBird taxis, they are a national taxi chain and are super reliable, cheap and rest assure you will not get raped during your trip. We took one of these to the National Monument, the panoramic view on the top floor was closed but were able to walk around it. This is as 132 m in the center of Merdeka Square, built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesian independence.
We came back to the hostel and it started to rain so hard. We attempted to find an Indonesian restaurant that seemed half decent to eat at since this was our last dinner in Indonesia but it was hard to find one and we didn’t want to be walking the streets of Jakarta at night so ended up at a KFC around the block (their menu is definitely different from in the US).
We enjoyed our delicious fried chicken and decided relax at the hostel and watch the movie “The Beach” which is a rite of passage for any backpacker and Sarah hasn’t watched it. We also enjoyed chatting with all the different foreigners at the hostel who were all also on long trips like us and we were able to get some travel tips from places we are going where they have already been. Sarah is learning how doing what we are doing is quite common in most parts of the world besides the US, except that our trip is MUCH more planned out than how the average backpacker travels.
As we leave Indonesia today, we will always remember how everybody we met welcomed us with a smile, how school kids said hi to us respectfully by saying “hello mister”. How amazing Bali and the beautiful volcanoe in Java were. We will definitely not forget the many times we needed to wake up at 3:00 am to go hike in pitch darkness, the delicious food that gave us explosive diarrhea and the beautiful Borobudur sunrise. We leave happy from here but we are ready for Thailand tomorrow…. Terima kasih (thank you) Indonesia.
Bonus pic of the day: Jakarta is full of CFCs (California Fried Chicken) that are identical to the KFCs, is this copyright infringement?
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Isn’t it great to feel you’ve really seen a place and are ready to move on to the next?
indeed, this is one of those places where we were ready!
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Exactly how we felt in Jakarta..