The capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is rarely in the conversation when people are talking about interesting places to visit in the archipelago. In fact, it is often glossed over as people mostly treat it as a pitstop instead of a destination. However, the truth of the matter is that this city is the birthplace of exotic. Most if not all of the entrancing patterns, colours and textures of batik come from Jakarta.
The same goes for the ethereal and eerie sounds of the gamelan music. Additionally, the city also showcases some of the best coffee beans in the world, such that Java was made a synonym for coffee. In a nutshell, Jakarta is a city of ancient Dutch and Portuguese cultural influences thrown in a stew bubbling with flavours of Pacific island, Chinese and Arabic life.
Best time to travel to Jakarta
Basically, Jakarta has two seasons just like a lot of cities in Southeast Asia, the dry and wet seasons. The dry season runs from June to September making it the best time to go sightseeing because temperatures fluctuate little over the course of the year. During this time, the skies are clear, and the city receives 11 to 12 hours of sunlight every day.
The wet seasons run from October through May and while it is not a bad time to visit it may not be the most ideal time to go.
How to get there
Most travellers visiting the Java Island are likely to enter Indonesia through the city’s major airport, the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport which is located about 18 miles west of central Jakarta. From the airport, there are several ways to get to the city. You can use a regular taxi either regular or premium. Regular taxis require you to get a queuing number from a machine while premium taxis have no queue, but the fare may double the amount.
Private transfer is another option you can use either by booking one in advance or if your hotel provides transfers. The other option is by bus which is the cheapest way of getting to the city centre from the airport. However, the bus only runs from 3 AM to 9 PM. Last but not least option via train, which is the best way to get to the city centre.
The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the country’s unit of currency. A plethora of foreign exchange shops within the city can be found inside shopping malls which makes it safe and convenient to change currency. If you would prefer not to bring a lot of foreign currency into Jakarta, you have the option of withdrawing IDR suing an ATM. The exchange rates are comparable, and some say even better. However, let your bank know that you will be using your ATM card abroad to avoid running into any issues.
Where to stay
There are a number of 5-star hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia that you can choose from. Once you have decides on where to stay, make sure that you take advantage of the incredible spa experiences before you start exploring the city. This will help to cleanse your mind, body and soul. A plethora of 5-star hotels in Jakarta offers luxury spa treatments which include delicate facial treatments, a full body scrub, and reflexology as well as a traditional Indonesian massage using aromatic oils and flower petals.
Street food in Jakarta
While the city is home to a number of fine dining restaurants, you might want to try out the street food scene in Jakarta for some of the best Indonesian cuisines. Some of the most popular dishes include Nasi Goreng which is fried rice with vegetables and chicken, or meat skewers served with peanut sauce known as Sate. The street food scene is usually packed with locals and tourists alike and entertainment is provided by different street performers.