So how is Jakarta?

  • Although people in SE Asia are very friendly and warm we haven’t seen so much kindness and smiles in other places as here in Jakarta. Honestly your face muscles are exhausted at the end of the day of all the smiling :).
  • Hand trolleys are extremely popular in here. They are being used to carry anything from a huge pile of flip-flops to washing machines. Some of them seem to weigh a ton although usually there’s only one person pushing them.
  • The city is truly endless. From no point in the city where we’ve been we haven’t been able to sense anything similar to the end (except seaside). It just goes on and on…
  • There are hundreds and hundreds of cats roaming the streets although we’ve seen only a few dogs during our stay.
  • I haven’t seen this kind of contrast anywhere else in the world. At one point there’s  beautiful buildings and hotels while right behind the corner you can find water canals filled with stinky water and garbage.
  • Motorcycle taxis are found absolutely everywhere. I don’t really understand how there are enough clients for them but it seems that somehow they manage. And when you’re riding a scooter then you’re allowed to go both ways even if it’s a one-way street :).
  • There are also armies of tuk-tuk’s here. They are rather similar as in Thailand but with a more closed cabin and very funny small wheels :).
  • You can even find some beaches in this huge city. Although the water quality can’t be very good we saw several people swimming.
  • Jakarta is really car-centered city. Although there are several public transport methods I’ve read that they are always really crowded and we haven’t used them. Walking on sidewalks can sometimes also be a hustle since it’s very popular to put up a small tent right in the middle of the pathway to sell food or some other goods. So you have no other option to go pass them using the street meant for cars. Uber on the other hand is extremely cheap and highly recommended. Just don’t use it during the morning and evening rush hours.
  • Trolleys selling different fruits or pandan cakes are found on each corner
  • There are no huge entrances to shopping malls like back in Estonia or even Kuala Lumpur. There are only a few places you can get in and you always have to go through a security check. I even saw security guards checking the backseats and trunks of the cars going to the parking lots.
  • Fastfood places are very popular here. You can find McDonald’s, KFC, A&W, Pizza Hut, Burger King etc. everywhere. We have visited the nearby Domino’s pizza for several times but honestly they have the second best pizza I’ve ever had! (The best one is a small place called Steffani back home). So unfortunate that we don’t have one in Estonia.
  • Even though in most cases people don’t have much in here they seem to be very happy :). Children are playing on the streets with old toys, people are just sitting at the street side laughing and chatting, an old man passing by wishes you a good day with a huge smile and so on :). Although it’s not a touristy city and a lot of locals may see foreigners maybe even for the first time you’ll definitely feel welcome in here :)!

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