Maybe it is not new but avoid the raintime in West Java area around December until April.
The reason is the potential danger of "Banjir " in Jakarta, the rain flood in some parts of lower Jakarta or near the greater rivers, connectet with usual traffic chaos. The reason is cause the great area around Jakarta is like a big bawl, so at strong tropical rain times all comes together. It is said , stronger now by the deforestation in the mountain area roundup- The town government of Jakarta makes now different steps to solve the problem, but it will take much time and much money..
But in the August, like the photo shows, the area here and special the flood channels seems quite harmless.
In the "banjir" time with hight tides even this street can be under water, and the yellow sticks show (when the water becomes highter than 20 cm and more) where the real flood channel is..
Special difficult are the torrential rains- with so 115 mm rain per hour like last dez 2012 - the usual average is so 5 till 15 mm per hour.
So if in the news is said from flood remember this picture.
The other picture shows a the same flood channel frome a other place.
So if in Jakarta make your sightseeing plan vs. weatherforcast -
for instance follow the links and news in the "Jakartapost" internet!
When travelling to Indonesia rather bring Cash and Credit Cards with you but Do Not Bring Travellers Cheques with You as it`s not widely accepted in Indonesia. You`ll have a really hard time trying to change them as most of the banks and money changers Do Not Accept them. The Banks will all tell you try there Head Office in Sudirman. I eventually found a travel agent that changed it and they gave me a very low rate and because I had no other alternative then to get a taxi and look for Bank Danamon Head Office in Sudirman so I just took the rate they gave me as I was tired of trying to find a place that changes American Express Travellers Cheques. So save yourself the hassle and just bring cash with you.
Below are several types of taxi scams in Jakarta:
(i) fake argo-meter, sometimes the taxi driver modifies the meters and passenger has to pay more than its ordinary price.
To avoid the above matters, try to find taxi in the reliable hotel.
Another solution is booked the taxi by phone from reliable taxi operator.
Do be extra careful when your car stops at various intersections in Jakarta. Jakarta's intersections are filled with sellers (selling everything from cigarettes to toys) and buskers. While many of these are good, honest people earning their living, some buskers/sellers are disguised criminals. These buskers/sellers will scratch your car, take/break your rearview mirrors, or do worse things if you don't give them money. Make sure you keep your mobile phones, money, spare change, etc out of view of these buskers/sellers as these petty criminals not only strike branded, expensive cars but also regular cars where they see valuable stuff lying around inside.
The Jakarta city government keeps a list of dangerous intersections to avoid that is available on the Internet @ www.dki.go.id.
In Jakarta is like all in Indonesia - car driving on the left side.
For one from Europe is difficult- in special, it can cause difficulties for a newcomer.
So try to use the overpasses or overways at traffic lights.
But this is same- the overpasses of Jakarta not all without danger, -
be carful in climbing - very steep usually.
and be careful (as ever in big citys of the world) with much people around.
I have read many of the posts on Jakarta, About how dangerous it is and how everyone seemed to have a bad experience, of one sort or another. Absoluetly rubbish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes it is a third world country, despite some shiny new buildings, yes there is corruption, and yes there are fairly decently skilled pickpockets........................guess what? Most countries other than your own (Subjective) have 1 or 2 of those points. I am Canadian and I live in Barcelona Spain, where I worried more about pickpockets and other thieves, than I did in Jakarta,...where I lived for almost a year.
The people are mostly of a decent sort, but because the average wage is about 200 dollars USD / month, there will be that potential for theft. Yet in almost a year there, the only problem I had was getting taken on the scenic route by a few taxis.
Therefore I give these tips, which are proven, and work!
1. Take either the orange Transcabs, green ones or Silverbird taxis. You can try the bluebird one, but they almost always take you the longer route or pretend not to know where you want to go. Silverbird is the upscale Mercedes taxis of the Bluebird Grp., and sometimes end up being cheaper; because they take you the quickest and shortest route. Yet even at the same route, the price is cheap and the car better for taller passengers.
2. Stick to mainly, but not exclusively, the medium to upper-scale malls for shopping as they have pretty decent security, and are more likely to be fair. If you want to venture to lessor known, or backpackers' touristy areas, then do not wear any fancy or expensive jewelry or clothes, as that is a sure fire way to attract thieves in any country.
That being said, the Ambassador Mall is a great place for some serious bargain hunting, as is Plaza Serinya. Looking for a Batik for yourself or as a gift, check out Plaza Serinya 4th floor (Metro), simply amazing.
3. Don't drink the tap water anywhere.............PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some of the fancier hotels have filters on the taps, I don't care. Don't drink the tap water, or you will sit on the toilet, literally for days.
4. Always do money exchange at a moneychanger, never a bank. A good one is in the center of town on Jl. Wahid Hasym 90 called InterAsia.
5. All, or almost all indoor pubs and clubs are filled with whores........be very careful, ............unless you are a German sex tourist. Always use a condom. Women there, do not care what you look like, they just want a (supposed) wealthy Boolai (Foreigner) to take care of them..............and eventually, their whole family of dozens of people!?
6. The safer places to be are Menteng, (if you act smart and do not flash any wealth around)
Kunnigan, same as above.
Kemeng, if you must flash your wealth around.
Mega Kunnigan is a wealthy place, you be the judge. Check out Lowry's in the Oakwood Tower
7. Bribes are common, they honestly do not make more than 2 - $300 USD / month. So if you have to, you have to. Usually about 50000 to 100000 Rupiahs does the trick. It is simply they way thing are done there. I had only to do it once, felt bad about it for a few minutes, then forgot about it. It is 3rd world, what do you expect?
8. You want to try interesting restaurants, try these:
Bandar Jakarta in Ancol (pronounced Anchal) Best, and unbelievably cheap seafood rest.
Tokio Joe's in the Nikko Hotel on Sudirman.............best sushi in town.
Afterhours Pool Hall Great tables, great staff, cheap drinks and it has two locations. One at Plaza Serinya and the other in kemeng.
TopGun in Blok M full of whores unfortunately, but good food, cheap drinks and great music.
Jaya pub on the corner of Jl. Wahid Hasyim and Jl. Thamrin. A few whores, but absolutely fantastic music and ambience.
Social House in the Harvey Nichols shop on Jl. Sudirman just before the Plaza Indonesia round-a-bout.
Immigrant Bar at the back of Plaza Indonesia.
Stadium, which is a rave. great music, but swarming with narcs.
Bats in the Shangr-la hotel. Good food, average priced drinks and great music, and, of course, whores... mostly in the back.
And my favourite....................Potatoeheads in the Pacific Place Malls. Cool music, great food, cheap and a really interesting layout.
And finally, stay away from Kota, Drugs, or you will regret it. Drugs there are a big no-no. No matter how big the bribe, they will put you away for a very long time. That is the one thing they, even the corrupt cops, will not look the other way for.
I hope this is helpful.
Many travelers make the mistake of booking an air ticket through a travel agent. All Indonesian airlines have on-line booking systems, and an on call booking service. There websites are in English, and if you want to book a flight through a call service- someone can always book the flight in English for you.
Bear in mind, that booking online can be cheaper then using some Travel agents- especially agents in Tourist centered areas, who add on their commission to the on-line price.
I had a bad experience with one agent on Jl.Jaksa, which opens 24 hours. Not only did they book the wrong flight, but refused to refund my ticket. Adding insult to injury, after already receiving 20% commission on the ticket. I was informed they had added an additional 25% on the price.
However with the assistance of Sriwijaya Air at the airport, had my ticket changed, without any extra cost, and an apology over the behavior of this agent. I really do not like naming the agent, but it is next to a Cafe, opposite "Memories Cafe."
I have added some airline addresses below, where you can book online, and use an eticket.
It is advisable to reconsider need to travel Indonesia. Especially Jakarta. My greatest mistake I ever did in my life was to have met an Indonesian Muslim girlfriend.
What visitors writes on their back home from Indonesia .Is the truth. It's hell on earth. In Indonesia you can never trust no body. Indonesia in the year 2009. The mentality of every Indonesian is primitive still living in the jungle. The mentality of every Indonesian is only centered on how they find an artful way to bribe.
Indonesia is classified as top most corrupt country in the world and a country is made of people anything wrong with the country. Its' the peoples'.
Having considered this issue and just the same you decide to try your luck and put yourself in manifest jeopardy. You must exercise extreme caution. If you are single handed or in just a pair. Be advised that in Indonesia thieves go in organized groups. Indonesia Authorities warned that organized thieves may kidnap foreigners. One particular spot is Tebet Timur Dalam 12820. This is a sanctuary and a hide out for professional thieves.
Keep the doors locked and the windows closed when driving or traveling in a taxi, as your bag and watch make attractive targets when stuck in a traffic jam or traffic light. Criminal groups in Jakarta often attack passengers who use their cellular phone during traffic jam or near traffic light.
If you always keep a notebook with you, please DO write the taxi number and name, with the driver's name and ID number, so in case you left something in the taxi you can claim it to the taxi company.
Think twice about using the smaller taxi companies if you are alone, and try to know the vague route - the driver might well take you a roundabout route to avoid traffic, but you will know the general direction. Stating your direction clearly and confidently will usually pre-empt any temptation to take you on the long route. It is also not uncommon for taxi drivers to be recent arrivals in Jakarta - they often don't know their way around and may be relying on you to direct them - establish that they know the way before you get in! Make sure they don't take you the wrong way around the toll!
I would suggest only taking a Blue Bird taxi when you are in Jakarta. Some people suggest Express taxis but I had a terrible experience with them. I once tried to take an Express taxi and the driver refused to use the meter and tried to charge me an exorbitant fare. When I told him I was going to complain to his company, he attacked me. Enough said - avoid Express taxis.
Leave for the airport early rather than sorry. Check the weather. If it has rained downpour, chances of the flood on the road to airport are likely. I had passed through the flooded highway which looked like a river. I was hoping so badly that my taxi wouldn't choke in the middle of water. Check with the airline to see if your flight is as scheduled or just cancelled, especially domestic flights are not sticking to the scheduled time more than 50% of the time. At one time, my flight was re-timed 8 hours later. ouch!! I arrived 2 hours early and I ended up 10 hours to spare.
Sometimes there are police road blocks. I was stopped (riding Taxi) at a police checkpoint. I only had my New York State driver license with me at that time. It costed me 100,000 rp bribe in order to proceed quickly. Several days later I was stopped again on the same main road but at different section. This time I had my passport with me. Even then the police officer taunted me that the visa has expired and pointed me the date of entry as expiration date. I protested it was entry date. He shouted to intimidate me. I calmly asked for his superior. He let me go. So, bring your ID (passport for non-Indo nationals) with you.
Being nice is good but you just cannot be too nice in Jakarta or else you will end up with hundreds of kids following you for small change. Pity there so much hungry faces around us. There are everywhere and even at traffic light knocking on the window for small money. On the good part, when you are travelling by bus, there are singers - solo or in group locally called " pengamen " playing their music and of course hoping for donation. Some of them do have good voice.
Please keep all of the drug stuff away from your pocket because you might endup in jail.
Its better off if you leave your passport and all valuable stuff at your hotel safety box just as a precaution. Anything can be happened and its too late to feel sorry for that.
Go by meter. Probably always cheaper than a fixed price. If you haven`t been there before it will be wery hard for you to judge if the fixed price is a fair one.
You can order Bluebird taxi from a counter on yhe right side just after imigration on Soekarno Hatta airport. They offer various standard of car transport from limo to Bluebird by meter.
There is also a counter beside the taxi counter where you can book hotel.
Example. We paid 210 000 for a kind of cheap Limo ( New and nice Camry with ac) fixed price from airport to hotel. When we left the Bluebird charged us 60-70000 by meter for the same distance (a nice Toyota also)