Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jakarta - One quick stop


Destination: Jakarta, Indonesia
Number of Days there: 1
One thing unexpected: No hawkers...but we did have a tour guide attach himself to us
Favorite Restaurant: We only had 1 meal in Jakarta but the nasi lemak at Sate Khas Senayan was delicious!
Times we took the: Bus: 0 Train/Subway: 1 Taxi/Car: 1; Motorcycle: 0
Estimated KM walked: 4-5 KM
Where we stayed: Bloem Steen Homestay - RM 70,000 (about $7/night)

We took an executive class train for the 10 hour journey from Yogya to Jakarta (executive means that it has padded seats, AC & snacks) for 200,000 Rupiah (about $20 US each). Our trip was uneventful and almost pleasant, we read books, the newspaper & even watched a movie! We transferred to our hostel, Bleom Steen Homestay, and settled in for the night. Knowing that our time in Jakarta would be quite short we opted to see only one sight, the National Monument. Dubbed "Soekarno's final erection" it was eerily reminiscent of the Washington Monument. It towers over Merdeka Square at 132 meters and is composed entirely of Italian marble. After the obligatory photos of the monument we took the elevator to the top for smog filled views over Jakarta including great views of the largest mosque in SE Asia! Having overstayed our time we rushed back to the hostel and grabbed our bags for the trip to the airport. We checked into our flight and went through customs only to be stopped...we overstayed our visa by 1 day. DOH! When we booked our ticket out of the country we "thought" we had been extremely careful about our visa dates. Thankfully they were more than willing to take a cash payment (finally a use for those Singapore dollars burning a hole in our pocket) as opposed to sending us back to our embassy to take care of it. With lighter wallets (that extra day cost us the same as our original 30 day visa), we headed off to Sabah to hike Mt. Kinabalu, take safari on the Sungai Kinabatangan & to dive Sipadan!

To see more photos of Jakarta please click here!

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