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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Are You Planning a Trip to Jarkata, Indonesia? Here are a few tips from MyTechieGuy

Jakarta, Indonesia
It's Wednesday, 10th May 2017, Time check? 17:45 and am on my UBER ride from Central Jakarta back to my residence hotel in Tangerang. I had gone to central Jakarta for a brief business meeting and i felt i should use this time in the crazy Jakarta commuter traffic jam to post write some stuff down.

I have been here for just over two months and i have three more weeks to my calendar and i must say i enjoyed Jakarta regardless of the language barrier because very few people here can speak English fluently. Am in Indonesia on a business VISA so if you are planning a similar visit or just a tourist, here are some survival tips you can add to your checklist in case you already have been on other sites looking for travel tips. As you will realize travel blogging is not my thing so this post is completely off target from me, consider it a one-off. OK let's get on to it:


1. If you are planning to stay longer than 30 days, i suggest you visit the nearest Indonesian embassy or consular office in your country and apply for the VISA.

2. If your stay is shorter than 30 days, then you can opt for the VOA (VISA on Arrival). Yes, you can get VISA on arrival at the airport immigration but first make sure your country is on the list of countries entitled to VOA for Indonesia, Here is a reference list you can check!

Indonesia also offers VISA-FREE short visit (30 days) for tourists from 45 selected countries, Here is a reference list you can check!

3. "The Yellow Card" - Yes if you are travelling from a country that is considered at risk for yellow fever, you will need the ICVP (International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis) card, so don't ignore this otherwise it can be a huge inconvenience at the airport immigration.

4. Carry some pocket cash, i will say about 200 USD if you ask me. It's ok to have your VISA and MasterCard but those won't help you if you get in a small emergency and for some reason the banking network is down!

Accommodation and Hotels

1. One night in a decent hotel will cost you about 20 USD
2. And if you want to rent a serviced apartment for a month or so, it will cost you about 400 USD per month.

Food and Restaurants

1. Fast foods like McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Wendy's will cost you about 6 USD per meal
2. Decent restaurants for example the ones you will mainly find inside malls will cost you averagely 10 USD for a decent meal.
3. Street food will cost you about 3 USD, but make sure your stomach can contain it :-(
4. Coffee, coke, water, and other soft drinks will cost you less than a dollar.
5. And if you want to buy grocery and cook which is a cheaper option if you ask me for those intending to stay for over a month or two, you will be able to find all the vegetables you want and spices, budget for about 40 USD for grocery that can last you a week.

Transportation and moving around the City
Grab
1. Make sure to install some of these Apps, they will surely make your life easy and you will be able to conveniently move around the city, it's also a way cheaper option compared to the legacy taxi system.
  • UBER App
  • Grab App
  • Go-Jek App
It's easier and quicker to move around on UBER-Motor, Grab bike or Go-Jek if you want to avoid traffic jam. Use the car when you are not in a hurry.
Go-Jek
2. They have a train system, but a friend of mine used it and didn't like the experience. Am told there is a city metro project going on but am not sure when it will be commissioned, may be you could be lucky by the time you visit.
3. Jam is crazy in central Jakarta, in fact i feel lucky to have stayed in Tangerang.

Assistant tools you should have on your smart phone

Translator - Translating english to indonesian if your UBER driver can hardly speak a word in english :-)
XE - Currency converter app, You need this because the exchange rate is not fixed and the US dollar is insanely strong compared to the Indonesian Rupiah so you have to be smart and always negotiate a fair rate when changing your USD at the money changers, because most money changers in Jakarta will try to reap you off!

Prayers and Worship

Indonesia is mixed when it comes to religion, majority are Muslims but all religions and briefs are well represented; Buddhists, Catholics, Anglicans, Protestants and born-agains. You will be able to easy find a place of worship.

Nightlife and unwinding

Tangerang, Nightlife
Tangerang BSD were i stay is not as crazy as central Jakarta but you will be able to find a few decent spots where you can sip your beer, listen to some music, dance a little, meet some people and unwind.

Bintang
1. Most night clubs charge entrance fee of about 9 USD on which they will give you one beer.

2. Foreign beers like Guinness, Heineken is expensive and you will spend about 6 USD per bottle in the club. it's probably cheaper in the stores.

3. Local beer (Bintang ) will cost you about 4 USD inside the club but it's way cheaper in the stores.

Here are a few spots i visited while in Tangerang:
  • The Venesia executive hotel, cafe & lounge
  • Enigma nightclub 
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