You will never get bored! Jakarta is full of surprises and half the fun is exploring the unknown.
The key is to always challenge yourself to try different things.
1. JAKARTA IS A FOODIE’S PARADISE
Do you know Indonesia has around 5,350 traditional recipes.
Most of these can be found around Jakarta. Every different region of Indonesia has its own unique style and flavours.
- Bakso (meatball soup) – one of Obama’s favourite dishes from his time here
- Nasi Padang (fish/meat curry) – favourite of Singaporeans but it comes from Sumatra
- Bubur Ayam (chicken porridge) – a favourite after-clubbing and breakfast dish
- Sop Buntut (oxtail soup) – the best Sop Buntut in many peoples opinion is from Hotel Borobudur (Bogor Cafe in Pacific Place)
- And of course we all know – nasi goreng, rendang and satay!
Jakarta not only has wonderful local cuisine but is become home to more and more world class restaurants, like
- Salt Grill (Luke Mangan),
- E&O (Will Meyrick),
- Amuz (Gilles Marx).
- And for a very special culinary experience you can try the best molecular gastronomy restaurants here – Namaaz Dining– where each of the 17 set course creations will both surprise and tantalise you. A new menu is created every 6-8 months so you can keep coming back for a new gastronomic experience.
In fact there are very few international cuisine’s that cannot be found in Jakarta.
Indian, French, Spanish, Moroccan, Italian, German, Chinese, Turkish, Japanese, Thai, Dutch, Lebanese, Mexican, South American, and the list goes on…
There is even one of the few North Korean restaurants outside of North Korea here. It is reputedly run by the North Korean Embassy: Pyongyang Restaurant in Kelapa Gading.
Of course, one famous institution in Jakarta is the much beloved ‘Weekend Brunch’.
A decadent over-indulgence of a wide variety of food and for most, sparkling wine/champagne, martini’s and so on. Competition in the Jakarta brunch market has been heating up recently with some new brunch venues now competing for the brunching market –
Seasonal Tastes at The Westin Hotel, C’s in Grand Hyatt; Raffles Hotel; Fairmont Hotel and Scusa @ the Intercontinental.
2. CHECK OUT JAKARTA’S NIGHTLIFE!
- Whether it is ‘pubbing’ in places like EP, Murphy’s, Molly Malones, Queens Head, FEZ etc.,
- hanging out with ‘the crowd’ in Loewy’s or clubbing in Immigrant, Collosseum or the newly renovated Dragonfly.
- or taking in the rooftop view at Skye, Awan Lounge, Cloud, or BART
And for those wanting a something a bit more low-key, there are now many jazz/blues and speakeasy-style ‘joints’ around town.
- The hidden back section of Prohibition(where you need to enter using the secret entrance),
- Hemingway (enter through the changing room in the tailor shop next door called Kingsman)
- The Papillon kemang rooftop lounge
- Motion Blue Club (Fairmont Hotel)
And of course, you haven’t tried ‘everything’ in Jakarta until you have gone for a night out with friends aboard Jakarta’s only VIP Party Bus: Royale VIP Bus!
- ITCs and Mangga Dua for clothing, electronics, bags (including the cheap ‘replicas’) jewellery, home decor, furniture, everything (ITC Ambassador 4th floor for baby stuff)
- Jalan Surabaya for antique shopping
- Asemka for jewellery market
- Tanah abang for clothing (Cheap winter jackets)
- Pasar Baru for hair products
- Bazaar and festivals (Citos every Tuesday/Wed)
- Bandung day trip for outlet shopping
4. CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
For those interested in cultural activities, there are many museums and cultural sites to visit.
Art exhibitions, theatre, opera, concerts, and so forth. Many expats who are interested in this area join the Indonesian Heritage Society, who arrange regular excursions. Amphitheater at Ciputra Lotte Mall
5. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
In a city like Jakarta where there is no winter, outdoor activities and abundantly available.
- Visit Jakarta city parks
- try water sports like wake boarding (Ancol), dragon boat racing or sailing,
- go hiking, try wall/rock climbing, trekking
- join a fun run, or even stroll with the crowds on a car-free day,
- visit a zoo or waterpark,
- attend outdoor concerts,
- learn golf in Jakarta, play hockey or softball, play ultimate frisbee, try hang-gliding, learn how to scuba dive,
- join the Jakarta petanque club.
There are no excuses for staying indoors in Jakarta!
6. BEAUTY & WELLNESS
- Up market spas at 5 stars hotels ( The Dharmawangsa, Westin, Raffles Hotel, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton)
- Traditional Spas at Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa, Puri Santi or Martha Tilaar
- Great salon for expats (Manik salon, Alfon’s, Nikki Salon, Grace Salon,)
- And home services (massage, meni-pedi, wax, etc)
And of course when you need a break from the concrete and traffic-clogged jungle of Jakarta, there are many weekend escape options, such as –
THOUSAND ISLANDS, MALUKU, BALI, TORAJA, BELITUNG, MEDAN, BORNEO, FLORES, PUNCAK, BANDUNG, BOGOR, TRAVEL BY TRAINS….
Can you guest where the picture below taken?!
- Be transportation tech savvy (UBER, GO-JEK, GRAB BIKE)
- Be food delivery tech savvy (GO-FOOD, FOODPANDA, MAKANLUAR.COM)
- Join communities – InterNations, social networkings, AWA
- Smile and enjoy Indonesian’s smiling back at