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gobbledonk

That's Jakarta Off My List ...

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I still consider Jakarta a worthy destination for someone wanting to experience a different city and culture to the usual suspects, but as a longterm destination, it has some serious drawbacks:

 

- I consider the traffic to be even worse than BKK. I know thats a big call, but in my experience its even worse

 

- the obvious solution is to base oneself in Central Jakarta. Until you get an idea of the scale of the city, its difficult to understand just how big an area 'Central Jakarta' really is - there seems to be an 'uptown' and a 'downtown'. Both are dominated by high-rent apartment towers aimed at expats on healthy packages. How high ? Anywhere from 2K USD a month to 6K and up - in one case, the '6K' figure was actually Euros ...

 

- there are cheaper alternatives, and one is Depok to the south of the Central Jakarta madness. Home to several Indonesian universities and seemingly filled with cheap apartments, it seems like the answer to our prayers, right up until you consider your transport options. Read about the train network in Indonesia - they run late (and sometimes not at all) and overcrowding is so bad that the desperate are forced onto the roof and, in some cases, into a bodybag.

 

So, there you are - on a motorbike in a foreign country with a delightful blend of Beemers and trucks which seem to have had their last oil change sometime in the early 80s. Oh, and about a million or so kamikaze bike riders who have apparently surrendered themselves to God's mercy before setting out on this hazy-yet-sweltering trip to the promised land.

 

For a younger, braver soul, none of the above would be a deterrent, but for an old fart it most definitely is. Other parts of Indonesia, particularly Bogor and Bandung, are much nicer but dont have the range of distractions that the capital can offer. Just my two cents worth, and I'm always happy to hear from someone who is enjoying life in Jakarta in 2012.

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i don't really know what you were trying to do in jkt, but if failing to secure a monthly apartment in central jkt on par with central bkk then I think it's just you :)

rental accommodation market may be not as foreign friendly as in LOS, but price wise probably even wider ranging indeed as it's a much bigger city & country as you mentioned...

 

transportation wise yes still no metro or skytrain, but the 'tram/omnibus' actually working quite well cross town!

 

i wouldnt recommend driving on a moto there much as I wouldnt in bkk - your own car is the bets bet surely as jkt is even more pedestrian unfriendly ;)

 

anyway 1 soul less in the city gives bit more breathing space for the rest :)

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