Go to the outskirts, enter the...
Go to the outskirts, enter the kampungs, and meet the happy smiling people. Picture the scene: elfin children flying kites, goats and chickens outside red-roofed cottages, bougainvillea and frangipani... a paradise indeed. I miss the supremely friendly and beautiful people.
The suburbs near the old harbour and on the street from the airport to the centre give different impressions and show where probably most of 9 milion of people live.These houses are built close to a river, a river that easily spread its water around during the rain season.
Before you leave on a trip (no matter how long you'll be away), list the complete contents in your luggage (that's everything... including make-up, books and medications). Carry a photo of your suitcase as well as a description of it (i.e. make, type, etc.). Should your bag be lost or stolen, you'll have everything you need with you in order to expedite a
Secondly, my rule of thumb is to take enough clothes for one week OR for the length of the trip PLUS two days, whichever is shorter.
If you are traveling on business, you can probably pack along two suits and rotate between them. Try to take different colors of shirts/blouses; mixing and matching might fool people into thinking you brought more clothes than you did. That's the whole idea, isn't it? ;-D
If you are going on an extended trip, pick one color and stick with it... like say black. If you are part of the Generation X (ahem!).... REJOICE! Why? Because black travels very well. You can get ketchup stains all over your black jeans or coffee stained on your black t-shirt and nobody will ever notice! Just make sure they don't stand too close to you to catch a whiff of the...er... Well, I'm sure you know what I mean!
:-)) These are the absolute necessities. So DON'T ever forget to pack them along! Toothpaste. Toothbrush.
Contact lens equipment and spare glasses. You might also wish to consider bringing along disposable contact lenses especially if you are going to be at a place with poor water supplies. Makeup (I never leave home without it!). Razor. Hair care products (brushes, comb, blow dryer, hair gel, hair spray. Get the picture?). I bring along TWO types of cameras with me and load them with TWO different types of films i.e. ASA200 film (for day) and the high speed Kodak 800 film for museums or places that do not allow flash photography.
So, the cameras that I'd bring are: the Olympus mju Zoom (with wide-angle lens) which comes in a cool silver metallic color (I usually use this camera for day photography). And the Pentax 150 Zoom which I use for places that DOES NOT allow flash photography.
These days, I also bring along the ultra-small Canon IXUS Zoom camera - smaller than the size of my palm (and it also comes in a cool metallic silver shade). You can even hang this camera around your neck and it'd still look cool on you. This camera requires a special type of film (APS) to be used. If you are going to do lots of walking and sightseeing, do remember to put the following items into your tote bag or backpack: Maps and perhaps a Bahasa Indonesia phrase book. Your all-important Guidebook. Water bottle. Sunglasses.... etc.
DON'T forget to bring along your much-treasured ATM card to withdraw cash. Yes, no need to rush to the
money-changers to change all your money into Indonesian Rupiahs before your trip.
And DON'T use your Visa or Mastercard to withdraw cash. This is considered a CASH ADVANCE and you'd be slapped with a HEFTY fee whereas if you were to use YOUR own ATM card, you will NOT be charged for any fees.
In fact, you WILL benefit and enjoy from the low interbank exchange rates. Trust me (I used to work for an American bank).
Just ensure that you adhere to the following steps:
- Flip to the back of your local ATM card, do you see the logos 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The
Exchange' etc. on it?
- If the answer is 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
- Why? Because you can withdraw cash from any ATM machines in Indonesia, no matter how obscure the town you're at is.
- If you use this method, you'd also save alot from the interbank exchange rates. Money changers will charge you much, much more compared to a bank.
I've been using this method countless of times before and so far, no ATM machines in this world have failed me.... yet. Yes, even in the remotest village of Africa!
Photo Below: That's me looking a little jet-lagged (from Singapore to Jakarta?) and resting inside my hotel room at the Grand Hyatt Jakarta. I think I must have rushed to the airport straight from my office... hence, no time to refresh myself.
'The more the gypsy leaves your soul, the more the money stays in your pocket. Flexibility and Independence cost money.' - Gail Rubin Bereny (American Writer); b.1942
Be an early bird-use the early morning in Jakarta
If at holiday in Jakarta usually, it is much time at the day-
but it is recommended to wake up early so to use the fresh wind of the morning,
make some seeings before the sun gives the heat of the day.
Here in photo a view to east, from a hoteltower in central Jakarta (the time at camera is yet not correct WIT -Time).
See at photo the mostly flat traditional buildings of the typical Jakarta neaby the city areas.
Shopping in Plaza Senayan
The plaza houses the anchor tenant - Sogo and Metro. If you are looking for slightly cheaper goods then Plaza Indonesia, this may be the plaza. Bargains can be obtained from the Polo shops, Sogo and other smaller hops.
The food outlets gives a variety for your taste buds. Metro offers various ideas for shopping.
Word of caution - At closing time, there are a shortage of cabs at Plaza Senayan.
In 2005 the tip was, leave before closing time (approx 1 hour before) as you will have an impossible time getting a cab at 10pm at night.
In 2007, there are many Silver Bird and Blue Birds, but best still to leave early. Polo.
Overview of Jakarta