Monday, September 7, 2015

Jakarta 2010

It was my first overseas trip as a working adult. I was super excited to finally be able to go somewhere outside of Malaysia with my friends.

I remembered how worried my parents were about me flying off for a holiday but they were supportive too. My late dad even gave me some pocket money to spend in Jakarta while my mom gave a long list of things to buy for her.

And so off we went for my first independent holiday adventure. We were quite confident as we had a friend who has been going to Jakarta on a regular basis.

Upon arriving we immediately took a cab and headed for our hotel. We did not prebook so we went from one hotel to another looking for available rooms. Finally we ended up in the hotel in one of the smaller roads, Jalan Jaksa.

We paid the hotel and were looking forward for our first shopping trip. Jakarta as the capital city of Indonesia is also known as a shopping haven.

Most stuffs in Indonesia are cheaper compared to Malaysia due to the lower currency of rupiah to Ringgit Malaysia.

We headed to Mangga Dua (one of the most popular shopping centre for tourists) and was ready for some serious spending.

We took the public bus in order to save some cash. The bus being a public bus was packed and crammed. Our friend reminded all of us to be mindful of our handbags and money and we did as the crime of pick pockets were quite rampant.

One of the most adventurous part of the trip was when our friend made us jump from the moving bus to the street. Boy, we nearly got killed. Phew!

As we were heading to do some shopping I fished in my bag in order to see the list of things I was supposed to buy for my mom and suddenly I realized that my purse was missing.

Getting all panicky I continued to search but could not find it. To make a long story short, I lost all my Indonesian money in the one purse where I stacked all my rupiah. It was almost 2k plus of Malaysian Ringgit.

It was an invaluable lesson. After that fateful incident I have never ever stacked or placed all my money in one purse ever again.

I tried to be positive although initially I was feeling a little upset and almost wanted to fly back to Malaysia. After all one of the main reasons I went to Jakarta was to do some bargain shopping and what kind of shopping was I able to do without any cash.

My friends were really supportive and persuaded me to stay. I finally decided to borrow some cash from my then employer in Malaysia. And the next day Alhamdulillah they managed to send me some money.

And so we headed to another famous shopping centre called Tanah Abang. Tanah Abang is one the most popular textile centres in South East Asia. It has 6 to 7 floors of shops selling cloths, clothes, praying cover for ladies, scarves.. you name it.

They also sell other clothing items, accesories, bags and many other stuff. I assure you that it will take you many hours just to have a look around.

After finally spending a few hours at Tanah Abang,  we then visited the National Monument in Jakarta called The Monas. The monument commemorates and symbolizes the sacrifices of the soldiers in gaining the independence from the Dutch occupation.

In the evening we went to a Mall called EX. It was situated next to The Hard Rock Cafe. The mall mostly sells high end products. Most visitors were dressed to the nines with Louis Vuitton handbags and Louboutin heels.

The  most obvious disparity of Jakarta is the people and their level of living standards. In certain parts of Jakarta you can witness the poor society, so poor that they have to beg from stalls to stalls for money using small children. Some even sings or dances just to earn a few coins. This real living situation in Jakarta eased my pain of losing all my cash on the first day.

While in another part of Jakarta, the rich roams the malls in their expensive clothes and cars.

We spend another few days in Jakarta doing some more shopping such as their marvelous brownie and cakes. If you do visit Jakarta make sure to buy those moist steamed brownies. Those are really different from the fudgy brownies that we have here in KL.

Another popular food in Indonesia must be their 'kek lapis' or layered cakes. It is an Indonesian traditional cake made from spices. It's also very delicious. Indonesia is also famous for their avacado drink called 'Alpukat'. It's avacado mixed with chocolate and a must try.

The Famous Alpukat or Avacado Juice with Choc
Simple tips while in Jakarta :
  1. Always be mindful of your money. Stack them in different pockets, purses etc.
  2. Be careful when riding public transports (there is where I probably got picked pocket).
  3. If you do have extra budget just take a taxi. But if you are on a tight budget, public transports are really cheap. It cost only 80 cents back then. But be prepared for the crowd, smell and pick pockets again.
  4. Do not donate to the beggars. Yes you feel sympathy for them but once you start giving them money, there will probably be a few more waiting and it will never end. In no time at all, you will run out of money.
  5. If you lose your money or passport do head to the Embassy and report about it. Lucky for me my passport was not stolen together with my cash.
  6. Always put your national ID in a different wallet or purse. I did that so I was grateful I still had my Malaysian identity card.
  7. Always, always bargain for the items that you buy at the shopping centres like Mangga Dua and Tanah Abang. These shop owners are so used to bargaining that it will be weird if you do not bargain. You could save a few Ringgits if you bargain.
  8. Try to learn a few Indonesian dialects or words. Being a Malaysian it is fairly easy to communicate since we speak in an almost similar language, but if you are from a European country you may want to learn a few simple phrases to get you by.
  9. Try Indonesian food like their 'Nasi Ambeng' or 'Nasi Ayam Penyet' or 'Gado-Gado' a kind of salad with peanut sauce. Be mindful of their level of spiciness. If you are not that tolerant to spicy food avoid their chillies based paste or the like.
  10. Nasi Ambeng
    Nasi Ayam Penyet
    10. Have extra space for shopping in your luggage as Jakarta, besides being a bustling city is a great place to shop and shop.
  11. Original music cds are half the price compared to the ones sold in Malaysia. So if you do listen to CDs do check out the prices in Jakarta.
Well that's all for now. If anyone has any further tips to share, do leave it at the comment sections.

All comments are most welcomed!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Header Background Designed by Freepik