If alone in Jakarta I recommend to take a taxi! Special in evening time is a taxi better as all sorts of bus. If you longer in the country maybe it will be other, maybe special the Transjakarta busses are a good way.
But as short time traveller is a taxi the best way.
But be careful. It is not new (even the Infos in thejakartapost and so much vt-informations) - but try to use a trustable Taxi company and driver. It is said "Silverbird" or "Goldenbird" a quite shure (see in before the internetside of the companys for instance). Avoid any "no name" transportation.
For instance coming at friday evening from Soekarno Hatta Airport and all Taxis are out, you should better wait.
Even be careful if you go to taxi company desk. It can be in the rushour, that they will give you a good driver and car.... but look if there is real a taxi! If not realizing at start time, and if you on the tollway, the driver will inform you- "Mister, we must next stop and take a "jokey"".....(cause in the inner city is the "three in one"-rule) In this kind or other trouble with taxi: Be calm. Everytime be polite to the taxi driver, be every time in talk with him.
So if able before drive: Inform you friend via handphone about the taxi company, the number, the name of driver, the direction and so on.(look for the dates at front inside the taxi).
Before driving be shure that you have enought "pulsa" in HP!!!Or better use your home HP if your card allows the use of usual HP net- so you han hold the contact by phone steady to your Jakarta friend without view to "pulsa"!
Anyway, maybe this is a little much told about the "yes" and "no",
but from my experience-
- if you must move alone in Jakarta, is the best way to take a taxi!
It is with great saddness that I have to suggest that you check with your government before booking a trip to Indonesia. There have been some political problems and since the terrorist attacks in the USA, on 11 September 2001, many riots have taken place in Indonesia as well as hotels bombed.
I can't imagine that this situation will last long, but it is better to chech current information before making plans..
Photo: Truck full of soldiers in the Botonical Gardens.
Beware of the alcohol in indonesia! It is extremely DANGEROUS! They mix or let the alcohol be diluted with methanol! Several people have died the last years in methanol poisoning! DO NOT buy ANY COCKTAILS and DO NOT buy ANY alcohol in store. The most deaths have been in bali, Lombok and gili Island, especially in gili trawangan. BEWARE!
Wherever that you travel in Indonesia beware of pickpockets and thieves in general..Tourists appear to be fair game here and Bali would be top of the list. I was extremely careful while travelling through Bali. But that is normal in ALL of South East Asia. Travelling solo ALWAYS leaves you vulnerable a some point as there are times when you MUST leave your bag!!
Having said that..... there were many places that I felt comfortable I guess its like anywhere common sense is the order of the day..I became extremely careful after being robbed of my wallet cards and money which really left me in a difficult position for awhile. As I always carry a spare "stash" I was'nt destitute but the issue of a new card was a time consuming problem.
Always carry your shoulder bag around your neck and not just over your shoulder..
Don't have a pack behind you as it can be accessed without your knowledge..
Don't put your bag down without some form of personal restraint. It will be gone in a minute!!
Be aware of your surrounding situation!!
Take care in crowded areas like bus stations, railway stations, market places..etc..
Try not to carry all your money in one place ...have a seperate "stash" on your body.
I carry a stash of travellers cheques in my bag...most people say they are "dinosaur" BUT if you lose them you can get the money back !!UNLIKE cash etc. They don't have a time limit either I have some that I have had for years and ALWAYS carry a few hundred Dollars in TC's.
Always carry a back up credit/ debit card.
Bali is certainly a very popular destination for lots of visitors especially Australians on Holidays. They flock to the Island of Bali in Indonesia to enjoy its great markets ,where everyone buys clothes, handbags, leather belts, and every conceivable item that are found in markets. The economy is inexpensive and travellers make the best of the cheap prices.
Another big attraction is of course the Beaches and the surf. Many visitors also come for the good diving and snorkelling on the reefs. When at any of the many beaches to be found here make sure that you are using a strong sunscreen as the sun is fierce and the unsuspecting can get sunburnt very quickly. The most victims of bad sunburn are "snorkellers" as they don,t realise while in the water how badly they are being burnt. Cover all exposed skin with a strong sunscreen of at least 30+. and don't forget to re-apply after you come out of the surf.
When travelling anywhere in South East Asia I always carry a small day b/pack with the following neccessities..include:
FOR THE HEAT: I carry a large bottle of water, a hat, a pair of sunglasses.
I am never without a good reliable Mosquito and Insect Repellant as dengue fever and malaria are prevelant in most places here. MAKE SURE THAT YOU USE IT DAILY..
FOR THE WEATHER: A small poncho that covers me and my b/pack as tropical rainstorms can be something else.
TOILETRIES: A packet of wetwipes, a small packet of tissues,(in case the roll is empty),lip balm,sunburn cream, and a moisturiser
ELECTRICS: A charger for my digital cameras batteries,also an international powerpoint converter.and a spare camera card..
I ALWAYS Carry a self charging torch as most streets are not lit and many Temples are dark..
Common sense Acommon Travel rules as to where ever you go.
#1. Don't go where you shouldn't go.
#2. Follow the rule of law in the country that you reside.
#3. Adhere to the rule of law from your home country.
#4. Respect and "pre-" read up on the culture(s).
#5. Gain some familiarity with the country's national language prior to your trip.
#6. Practice the local language with the locals.
#7. If concerned with lodging then don't do what isn't familiar to you.
#8. Eat what has been cooked.
#9. Drink bottled water that has a seal. Open it yourself.
#10. Know your coordinates (esp. North & South). Memorize the major cross-roads prior to taking your trip.
#11. Have a copy or two of your Passport in a safe place (either on you personally or in an emergency place).
#12. Go electronic (with back up paperwork) when you can.
#13. Be reluctant to share your full plans with strangers.
#14. Be flexible.
#15. How you handle "it" determines whether it'll be a good event or day or not. Understand that something weird, funny, or bad might occur.
#16. Watch your travel companions as they might just as well cause trouble by accident / unknowingly or on purpose.
#17. International travel is not a time for pranks. (Stay away from pranksters that want to travel with you)
#18. Just try to remember that "nothing" is for "free". (This goes for women too! Crazy partying guys should know this.)
#19. Silently meditate as to rehearse (or re-play) plans.
#20. Always be prepared for a back-up exit plan (... where ever you are (and check for exits)).
#21. Travel with flex travel time on the front end but esp. back end of your visit. This'll reduce your frustrations if there happen to be delays.
#22. Pack light while being wise.
#23. Be nimble. (physically)
#24. If you have good judgment with befriending people (anywhere) then be social with out giving away too much information.
#25. Know your money. Where it is. How much is on you. Denominations in order. Minimize coins if possible (don't need to be heard walking around jiggling).
#26. When driving a rental car ... pay the extra for full coverage. (Take it from a guy that has had 2 separate flat tires and locked up engine all in the same trip. Can you guess where?)
#27. Walk like you know where you are going even when you get lost. The best way to not get lost again is to remember where you were when you were lost.
#28. You are not a "stick" in the mud if you choose to stay away from the "loud" crowd.
#29. Avoid traveling during the host country's elections.
#30. Be aware of political and labor union protest. Don't accidently get caught up.
#31. Never walk away from your open beverages and/or food. Once you've stepped away then pass on further consumption as to be cautious.
#32. Ladies and guys, know that you will meet lots of wonderful people plus some not so. Don't be fooled by "beauty" or a "handsome" face. Danger lurks. If you have a bad judgment of character domestically then it is not going to get any better outside of the country.
#33. If you're not considered "HOT" back home then don't be fooled when you are abroad. Money matters. It isn't really your looks.
#34. The money train gets you access but it can also generate trouble.
#35. Make certain Taxis / Limos drivers happen to be locked into the price and directions prior to departure.
#36. Know the weather conditions prior and during your trip.
#37. Read the local newspapers / journals prior to arrival. (seek to understand cultural, social, economic, etc topics of the day)
Since 2004, the government has changed their entrance requirements. If you hold a western passport-it's likely you will have to pay for a visa. Some nationalities will still have to get a visa through the embassy. For a 3 day visa the cost is $10 USD. For 30 days it is $30 USD. You don't want to overstay your visa, otherwise you will be taken to a dark room and have to pay a very large fee. We witnessed this to a British traveler in Jakarta, when some customs officer thought we overstayed our 3 day visa. Which we hadn't.
The below link, has information on what nationalities qualify for visa on arrival and costs.
I was wondering why I had never heard any bad thing about exchanging money in Bali before I came here.
Let's me tell you what happened.
We tried 3 times at 3 agents on the long crowded street. How magic it is!
- The first time: We gave a balinese man a 100$. He asked if we had smaller money. We checked and then gave him about 90$ ( 50$, 20$ and some smaller ones). A balinese checked our money then he said he couldn't change and gave money back - But only 80$ back. And he said It was all. Anyway, we must behave hard to get our money back from his back pocket.
- The second time: We found another agent with a good rate and decided to exchange here/ Now 100$ again - We can have about 900000 rupiahs back. A balinese counted rupiahs and gave us with all 20000 rupiahs. so now it's like we must count 45 papers. Normally, I don't check or in fact I never check in detail. I got the first good impression for the indonesian at the airport. Why do I need to check?
But luckily, my bf checked it again. The first time we checked it was 45 papers. A balinese made it tidy and handed to us. We were going to leave.
When we were going out the door. My bf checked it again. It was only 35 papers.
He did it so fast. None of us could realise that.
- The third time: We began feeling tired of exchanging money. We tried to search for a reliable agent. But by how? It was the still the same but we couldn't be cheated anymore.
Finally, we came into a small bank with a pretty lower rate. There was a computer on the desk and a woman. We can't believe in good rates. They are never true in Bali.
TIP: Please don't believe in good rate which is higher than normal. In my opinion, the best way to exchange money in Bali is at the bank except you want to find out some street magicians ^^
There are very good Pickpckets when you are entering or leaving a Pelni boat, bit its usual safe while on the journey. Wait until the main rush getting on or off the boat is over (if you don`t have a reservation, it`s in any way easyer to find a place when the boat is allready moving).
The monkeys at Uluwatu Temple are very dangerous. In fact, they are trained to steal valuable things such as eyeglasses, camera pouch, earing, etc... (they won't steal your hat or sarong or scarf, because they're cheap) from tourist when they are busy taking picture. After you lost your thing, in my case, eyeglasses, suddenly the old man behind said "chuu!!!" and throw a bag of food to the monkey. The monkey drop my eyeglasses and grab the food. The old man climb the wall to pick the eyeglasses for me but not found, and pretending to look around the cliff, sound like they were thrown away down to the cliff. In fact, the monkey just drop my eyeglasses right near to the wall. (All these were for making you very worried and incresing price for the picking!) Finally he found it and bring it back to me in badly state. That damn creature bite my eyeglasses and scratch the lens. I was very angry and even outraged when he beg for money. DO NOT HAND THEM ANY PENNY! They are trained the monkeys to do this dirty tricks and when they found their victim, they signal the monkey to do the job. This was confirmed by local peoples and my friend who experienced the same.
If you get into the temple and saw old man, old women or any suspicious guys, stay away from them! They are family and work together. And be very careful at the monkeys, try not to go on the left side (when enter the temple), there are a lot of them on that side and for sure the dirty guy always sits there!
With a huge area and many ethnics around the country, there are mixed perceptions of Indonesia people on the dress codes. The dress code will not be a problem for the touristic spots (Bali, Jakarta, Jogyakarta, etc) or in the big cities. Nevertheless, try to be modest when you do not have any ideas about the local opinion at your destination. Skirts or shorts at the knee length will be acceptable generally. Be aware for the women dress codes in the moslem law areas like ACEH and BANTEN. See my other danger and warning tip : Moslem Law/Syariaat Areas. For visiting sacred places, like temples or the mosques, you have to cover your legs and shoulders. Wear the light cotton clothes because the weather could be humid and hot.
JUST WATCH WHEN TRYING TO CROSS THE STREET AND YOU ARE NOT AT THE CROSS WALK. ...ACTUALLY EVEN THERE !!!! IT CAN BE DANGEROUS .. .MOTORBIKES AND OTHER TRAFFIC ARE CONSTANTLY COMING AT YOU !!!! TAKE CARE AND RUN A LOT!!!!!
There is no strict rule or registration for the automobile engine capability or the terrible amount of gas fumes produced by any automobiles in Indonesia. As long as the automobile can still run on the street, it is considered as a good automobile. Besides that, the premium gasoline will not be the most popular on the buyer list. No wonder you will still see the old year series cars with unbelievable noise and unbearable gas fumes. Anywhere in the country, gas fumes could be intolerable for you when you are trapped in the traffic. If you are going for the city road trip with the motorcycle where you can expect more traffic on the roads, be prepared with the nose-mouth cover. Furthermore, the gas fumes could irritate your eyes too. Some people may be feeling dizzy for the gas fumes, perhaps it will be ok for the other travelers.
Indonesia is a democratic country with the most populous Moslem country in the world. Nevertheless, you have to know that in Indonesia there are few places that are ruled by the moslem law (Syariat). For meantime, the areas are NAGGROE ACEH DARUSSALAM AND BANTEN provinces. Some part of Banten will be liberated (Jakarta International airport and nearby), but its remote areas, the moslem law is strictly applied. Many restrictions will be there within Moslem law and there will be a special court and police (WH=Waliatul Hisbah=Syariat Police), separated from Indonesia general constitutions. You have to be careful with the dress codes (especially for ladies), wear the loose ones and covering your hands and legs. Unrelated unmarried man and woman should not be together in a room and the curfew time may be there. Be alert and respect the Moslem praying times (five times a day). Kissing in public or adultery will give you lashes in public. Alcohol, pork, vulgar nightlife, and prostitutions are strictly prohibited in these areas too.
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