A Jakarta Summary
Jakarta is a land that is not always consistent, in fact sometimes you really have to dig to find what you are looking for, but it is this very essence that makes your travel to Jakarta all the more rewarding. What you have to realize is the fact that the way to get the most out of Jakarta is to simply happen upon it, instead of trying to make it happen. Beyond the madness that is Jakarta, is when you absorb the real essence of the city. Jakarta is well known for its nightlife and this nightlife springs out in the most unexpected of places, and the cheery and friendly locals can always direct you to the most happening of places. Jakarta is also known for being a land of constant rags-to-riches stories, and for this very reason, the locals happily create the diverse melting pot of culture that is Jakarta. The city is populated by the Bataks from Sumatra, the Ambonese from Maluku, the Balinese, the Madurese and the Timorese, and that is how Jakarta maintains its reputation as an amazing microcosm of the Indonesia’s spirit.
The nightlife is definitely not the only thing that is hot about Jakarta. No matter when you choose to travel to the city, the temperature will range from a cool 75 to a boiling 90 degree Fahrenheit. The rains of Jakarta choose the months of January and February to bring down the temperatures, while the driest days fall in July and August. July and August are actually the months of scorching afternoons and blistering heat waves and are best avoided for a trip.
Best Time to Visit
The sunny seasons of spring and autumn are definitely the best times to visit to Jakarta, since the heat takes a simmering mild level break, and the wet months are out of reach.
Most people are well aware of the fact that the smartest time to visit Jakarta is either in spring or fall, as the heat is either cooling down or has not yet reached the scorching temperatures. The afternoons during these times are pleasant and the rainfall is not prevalent.
Winter in Jakarta is a dodgy scene. As soon as the heat gives up, the rains set in. While January and February are the cooler months of the year, these months are also the months of downpour. However, if the rain doesn’t bother you by much, you can manage to save quite a bit during this season with cheaper flights and budget accommodations.
Getting Around the City
With plenty of public transport available, Jakarta is not hard to navigate. There are four bus terminals (Kaliders, Kampung Rambutan, Pulo Gadung, and Lebak Bulus) that run bus lines that trek throughout most of the city’s center. If you are planning to get farther away from the city, however, trains might be your best bet. From the Gambir train station, near Merdeka Square, you can catch trains to Bogor, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo, Semarang and Surabaya. Jakarta has a few express trains, but it is a good idea to book in advance and show up early to ensure that you get a seat. If buses and trains are not really your thing, then there are also plenty of affordable and reliable car rental options to make your travel to Jakarta a little bit easier.
As it is with almost every city, you also have the option to hail a taxi from the street, or wait in line at a stand. Tipping is always expected, and change is rarely given, so be sure to pay with small bills whenever possible.
As you know, knowledge is power, and the power to make Jakarta ‘happen’ for you lies in your own hands.