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Jakarta, Indonesia “The Big Durian” (Sudirman)

(2020/2023, 3 WEEKS)

Favorite Restaurant: Gyu-Kaku

Overall: Not a tourism city. I didn't see many non-Indonesian's during my stay. Indoor living at it's peak. AQI 150+. Choose to live in or near one of the larger malls, that way everything you need is there (gym, pool, shopping, grocery, nightlife).

Update: On my second trip, I decided it was not what I thought initially. For a big city, it's above average within the Golden Triangle, which is a very large portion of the much larger city. Designed high-rise buildings, manicured landscaping, clean streets, walkable, no beggars, modern shopping malls, very good cafe scene, no trash. But, somehow, the city is unspectacular. The air quality, both indoors and outdoors is horrendous, and the dating scene is quite poor. I did learn there are beaches, and a quite nice ambiance, in North Jakarta on the (polluted) river.

  • Car Free Day on Sunday on the Thamrin/Sudirman Streets until 12pm
  • Starbucks is cashless and strawless. Many locations are cashless. Except AirAsia to fly in/out, they are cash only.
    • Actually, many stories are cashless.
  • Hard as hell to break a 100K bill, not even larger stores want to do it. Try to find an ATM which dispenses 50K bills
  • No talking on the metro (maybe a covid rule?)
  • Very low English level
  • Did you know there's a beach in Jakarta? It's called Ancol.
  • Largest metropolitan area in the world at 35m inhabitants (more-or-less tied with Tokyo)
  • Capitol city with the most active population on Twitter
  • Barely saw a person taller than me (5'11)
  • Women have their own carts on the metro during rush hours
  • Returns are not accepted at grocery stores, not even if it's an unopened packaged item (is this normal? I was so confused I couldn't return salt.)
  • No one walks. You spend time in your apartment, malls, bars/clubs, and the gym, always indoors

map of jakarta travel notes
Map of Jakarta from jakarta100bars.com

Known For: Barack Obama, Jamu, Kopi Luwak coffee
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CITY IMPRESSIONS

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I choose the items below as they’re generally available everywhere. Thus, easy for comparison. The prices reflect the cheapest option given my standard. In any estination you can find slightly cheaper prices if you wanted to sacrifice convenience (ie going to local market or out-of-town grocery store).
ITEM
  • Airbnb Nightly Rate
  • Coworking Day Pass
  • 1-Hour Massage
  • 1-Month Gym
  • Beard Trim
  • 16.9oz Water
  • 2KG Wash+Fold
  • Americano (small)
  • Expresso
  • Salmon
  • Tenderloin
  • Chicken Breast
  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado (not Haas)
  • Banana
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Red Wine
INDONESIAN RUPIAH (IDR)
  • 535,075
  • 70,000
  • 2,500
  • 15,000/KG
  • 20,000 – 41,000
  • 19,000 – 34,000
  • 239,000 – 390,000/KG
  • -/KG
  • 58,000/KG
  • -/KG
  • -/KG
  • 54,800/KG
  • 22,000 – 24,800/KG
  • 45,800 – 60,000/KG
  • 23,000/KG
  • 35,800 – 60,000/KG
  • 98,500/KG
  • 12,000ea
  • 10,500 – 12,800/KG
US DOLLARS ($)
  • 33
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 4.32
  • 0.15
  • 0.42/LB
  • 1.23 – 2.53
  • 1.17 – 2.10
  • 6.70 – 11/LB
  • 0/LB
  • 1.62/LB
  • 0.00/LB
  • 0.00/LB
  • 1.54/LB
  • 0.62 – 0.70/LB
  • 1.28 – 1.68/LB
  • 0.64/LB
  • 1.00 – 1.68/LB
  • 2.76/LB
  • 0.74ea
  • 0.29 – 0.36/LB
  • 0
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