I was super excited to visit Jakarta for work. It is a majority Muslim country but it has a bit of Christianity, Buddhism and some Hinduism. It was a English and Dutch colony. It has many numerous islands. The currency exchange rate is very favorable to the USD. Around 40,000 Indonesian is 2.83 USD. The nightlife (see Colosseum) is exciting and the country is pretty awesome, so there’s a lot to do.
The flight was a little excruciating being 19hrs and that I had back to back toddlers behind me kicking my seat. I managed to get a little bit of sleep and I arrived in Jakarta at around 930pm and got to my hotel and checked in at 1130pm. Being too tired I decided to crash.
I stayed at the Shangri-La hotel, more info about it later at the bottom of the page but it was a pretty sweet hotel. Here's my morning view:
I found these drinks to be a great hangover/wake me up drink. I felt refreshed each morning, I might look into trying to find/make this for home.
As I was walking around, a couple guys came up to me on their bike asking if I wanted a ride, I declined most of them. But there was this one guy who came up and offered me a tour. I sized him up and he seemed pretty harmless. He said that he actually had tours advertised on Lonelyplanet and I said sure. He actually showed me the heart of Jakarta and the villages inside..
Later he took me out to the harbor
It was pretty surreal and reminded me of parts of Vietnam. Indonesia is home to a huge population, mostly Muslim but it has Buddism and Christianity as well. We visited some Buddhist temples and mosques
After that I went down to South Jakarta to check out a street wear store, they actually had some clothes that were made by Indonesian designers.
Right next to this store was one of the best and healthy food spots ever. Mangia was a small smoothie shop but it has a bustling kitchen. It had the best Tom Yum soup I ever had.
The Shirataki noodles were a great touch to the Tom Yum soup. Just writing about it makes me crave it. You can definitely taste all the spices and flavor here. For a drink I went with the "Fresh Me Up" with Dragonfruit and Leche. I would highly recommend checking this place out
The next day I ventured out to see more sightseeing. Google Trips suggested to check out Taman Ismail Marzuki. I was hungry and stopped by to get some Javanese food nearby
The menu was in Indonesian but I used google translate to kind of help figure out what I wanted. As you can see I ordered a chocolate milk with avocado (which was great) desert instead of a drink.
I was eating and this little guy came up
I cut a piece of chicken and fed it to him (on a seperate fork)
I actually felt pretty full so I just cut up the rest of the chicken and gave it to this fella
I guess in the day there was not much going on but the buildings looked pretty cool. I peaked inside there there was some small conference happening
Nearby was the National Monument, so I decided to go check that out
Again, it was an 'off day' and close to 4pm which is when the National Museum closes. It was a pain to get to the National Monument and when a tour guide asked if he can show me around (since it was his off day) I decided that it would probably be for the best. So I said sure.
I thought this statue was pretty cool. "The Arjuna Wijaya Statue is another monument in Freedom Square, located in the southwest corner of the plaza. It represents the archer, one of the Five Pandava brothers, a legendary figure in Indonesia. He is depicted with a bow and an arrow riding a galloping horse. Some believe this statue symbolizes an open door to the spiritual world."
We visited the National Museum briefly, they had some pretty neat sculptures outside
We were able to take a quick glimpse inside the Museum where I was able to see the main exhibit, an ancient drum set
These drum sets were massive and would need to be played by 4 people in the middle. I believe this was given from China
Later we checked out the Ancol Art Market or Pasar Seni. This was a pretty cool spot where local artist would showcase their art.
This is a pretty crazy tradition in Indonesia this is where they literally hang on to the tails of the bull and race them. Check it out Here
Later we checked out another harbor nearby
There was a famous seafood resturaunt nearby where you can select the seafood from the tank to have as your meal. This was Bandar Djakarta
We got here a bit before it got packed
It was 2 fishes (I bought one for my tourguide), barbequed fried for spicy. It was delicious. I definitely need to thank the tour guide, without him I wouldn't have found out some of these places and probably would have gotten lost on my own. His name is Rezky Anggara, and is reachable by email@example.com. He aspires to some day be a politician. If you are in Jakarta and would seek a tour guide, I recommend reaching out to him.
Later at night, I met up with a friend and hung out, afterwards, we were quite hungry and he showed me Garuda. This place is open 24hours but it is not english friendly, luckily my friend knows the way of the land and language.
Nasi Pedang is pretty much steamed rice with various Indonesian dishes.
This was voted as the best food in the world.. again. I tend to believe it. This is slow cooked beef with plenty of spices. Source
THe next day I headed out to Grand Indonesia mall. Now Jakarta has plenty of malls but this one was the biggest and luxurious-est one. I did not care too much about shopping, I just thought this was a good place to get some food (and I was right), plus it was close by my hotel
I stumbled upon Kokoro Mazesoba. Amazing Japanese soba here in Indonesia.
Here's the first page of the menu that goes into detail what this amazing spot is.
Later back at the hotel, I went to Nishimura. I went before when I first arrived but I was so hungry I didn't take pictures ha
The last day, my friend showed me THE BEST PORK NOODLE SPOT in Jakarta. Bankmi Cong Sim
This was such a fantastic meal to wrap up a whole night of going out and my last meal in Jakarta. I learned that the recipe and resturaunt has been passed down to three generations. Highly suggest visiting here if you are in Jakarta.
I stayed at the Shangri-la hotel in Jakarta. This was one of the best hotels I've stayed at, excellent staff, accomodating, the rooms were not so expensive either. It was $168 for the executive room; though it was supposedly off season. There's not many hotels with that much garden and a huge swimming pool in Jakarta. The location is pretty good too as it is in the middle of Jakarta.
Overall Jakarta was fun, I wish I had the energy/time to check out Colosseum but alas I was too exhausted from work to really enjoy those. But Jakarta is a city where you definitely need to know someone to be at the best spots.