1. Start with the Maritime Museum
I would say to start your journey in Jakarta with the Bahari Museum (the Maritime Museum) to get a real glimpse on the historical influence of the Dutch and Japanese over this part of Indonesia.
The museum was built in the old dutch warehouses that used to store spices such as nutmeg and pepper, as well as coffee and tea, before being sent to Europe and Asia.
It is closed on Mondays and national holidays and the price is around 5000 Rp (Indonesian rupiah) for an adult / 2000 Rp for a child.
2. Don’t miss out the dolphins
There are few places where you can actually interact with the dolphins in Jakarta but I highly recommend the Ocean Dream Samudra because of all the extra fun activities happening there.
It’s very cheap to swim with the dolphins in Jakarta ~ we paid around 50$/ per person and we had plenty of time (more than 90 minutes) to enjoy the company of this beautiful, smart mammals. Plus it’s an unconventional place where they don’t use dolphins for shows or other forms of abuse.
3. The traffic
The traffic can be absolute hell.
Everytime I go to Jakarta I am being told by the hotel concierge that I should not go out because there is strike or national holiday, therefore there is traffic jam.
I recommend for you to take only the accredited taxi drivers from the Blue Bird company (to avoid taxi scams) or the famous bajaj ( tuk tuk in Thailand) very early morning so you can skip the peak hours (between 7 am – 12 pm) .
4. Best safari ever: TAMAN SAFARI
This is by far the best safari i’ve ever done.
The animals are free to move and come to meet the visitors and you can actually feed them carrots, bananas or greens – from your car.
I had a lot of fun and interaction with them, the only minus i see it’s the long distance to get there (approx 3 to 4 hours drive from central Jakarta).
5. See where your tuna comes from (visit the Fish Market)
The Fish Market (Pasar Ikan) it’s not the type of place that I would recommend just to anyone, and that is just because of the hard smells and poor hygienic conditions. For me it was interesting i would say, i saw it more as a place sparkling of life and colour and somehow different than one would expect. The locals are very friendly and children tend to follow you everywhere you go. ☺
6. The Mangrove Forest
The park name is Angke Kapuk Nature Reserve and is situated in North Jakarta, near the airport area.
If you want to get away from the busy city to a cool place, away from the heat, you should definitely visit this mangrove plantation.
You’ll take a boat trip around this nature reserve, admiring the fauna and flora of the place. Do not get scared of the crocodile looking creature that is just the Komodo Dragon (“The King of Lizard” – a lizard that can reach up to 3 meters !).
Please do bring a mosquito repellent with you.
7. Check your room hotel for snakes or reptiles
Ok, maybe I should have started with this one.
Being a flight attendant you get to hear many stories, some not even close to the truth, some maybe with a little truth side.
The stories we heard about Jakarta were all about crew finding snakes or strange reptiles in their rooms: under the bed, in the closets or in the bathtubs, use your imagination. Nevertheless, all that I ever found in mine were mosquitos and perhaps a lost spider.
8. Locals will chase you to click a picture together
If usually is the other way around, in Jakarta I got the surprise of people asking me to click a picture with them. Of course I was very amused by all the attention i was given, even if it didn’t last for long.😃
9. Travel safe
Always carry your passport or at least a copy of it because police often stops cars at checkpoints. You could also take a picture of your passport in case something happens to it.
When you are crossing the street check well, raise your hand for the drivers to understand you’ll need time to do it and proceed.
10. Don’t drink tap water
Try to not even brush your teeth with regular tap water because some might into your system by mistake.
Unfortunately the city has reached a high level of pollution over the last couple of years and this is affecting everyone.