7 Living Tips In Jakarta

By The Jakarta Team

Living in Jakarta is confusing, and it's getting at me: Here are 7 random tips for those of you living or travelling to Jakarta. I'm sure at least one of them will improve your life here.. at least I hope... Don't hesitate to add your own!

1) The best tip ever for avoiding the traffic in Jakarta:

Ok, I’m a little exaggerating here since you cannot avoid traffic in Jakarta. But trust me; you can save precious time by following this advice:

- ALWAYS position yourself on the good side of the street when you want a taxi. I mean that if you want to go to a building that is on the right side of the road, you should always take the taxi on the right side of the road. In other, normal cities it may not be that important, but in Jakarta it is essential because of what we call the "putar balik" (Turn back). Cars can rarely just turn on the right to go to a building. They have to go far, far away, and come back to go on the other side of the road. This is the putar balik and it explains why you have to position yourself correctly when taking a taxi. I have a small example here (with a small putar balik, but just imagine it is a few kilometres long, and that the traffic is horrible).

I guess you can easily see how you could save a lot of time on this drawing. Of course you have to use your legs a little but you can't have everything...

2) Money tip: High End malls are more expensive in Jakarta than in the US or Europe.
Many people completely lost the sense of reality being in Jakarta, and they go shopping in luxury malls like Senayan City or Grand Indonesia, just before flying back to their home countries. The common sense is that the stuff there is cheaper. Wrong: A Lacoste polo, a Levi's jeans, a Diesel T-Shirt, all this is more expensive. Save your money and go to middle class malls like Mangga Dua Square or Casablanca is you want to find a bargain... Another money tip: Don't buy cigarettes in the airport, you will find them twice as cheap right outside the gates..

3) Family means it's suitable for everyone: Family Karaoke, Family massage, etc... If the word family is not mentioned next to those words, you have a 95% chance to be offered sexual services...

4) Never bribe a policeman when you did not do anything wrong... The guy will try to scare you and make you wait maximum 10 minutes, but that's it... If you start paying him something, he will be under the impression that Bules are easy targets so do us a favour too...

5) If you don't have kids, don't go living in Kemang (except if your work there)! Don't be silly... Traffic is horrible nowadays in Kemang, and you should try to do anything you can to avoid it. Apart from following my tip number 1), you should always choose the location of your house or apartment according to your workplace ONLY. You have amazing houses in Menteng, twice as big as any house you could get in Europe for the same price; you don't need to go so far south to find a quiet, relaxing place to live. If you are not into houses, the best apartments in Jakarta are on Jalan Sudirman. If all your friends are in Kemang, don't worry, you will find new, saner people here in the centre.

6) For your weekends, save yourself some money and visit Indonesia. Come on: Have you seen how big this country is? Indonesia has 17,500++ islands, hundreds of ethnic groups, of languages, and travelling from tip to tip is like going from Madrid to Moscow. You have everything other countries in Asia have in here, no need to go anywhere else... You will save yourself the Rp 1M exit tax, plus the plane ticket.

7) If you like to party, try partying in Kota. People are often scared of venturing up North at night because of the bad reputation surrounding it, but I can tell you that this is where the heart of Jakarta nightlife beats. Kota has more clubs, with more variety, and greater music than in the south. The crowd is eclectic, young and loves to party. It’s not just about hanging with socialites and executives.

Stéphanie is French and she has been living in Jakarta for 18 months. It is her first article for Jakarta 100bars. Contribute to this blog too by sending your reviews or photos about living in Jakarta or about the nightlife in Jakarta. Many thanks!

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6 comments to '' 7 Living Tips In Jakarta "

  1. Tips #8: For a perfect sunday in Jakarta: Have a brunch in a 5-star hotel followed by an afternoon at the spa... Best way to end the week-end!

  2. Tip #9: If you arrive in Jakarta for the first time and you are a single male: DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH A BARGIRL!! It will make your life terrible and I know what I'm talking about. Pi. Tr.

  3. TIP 10 always ask for discount dont be shy do it with a smile

  4. U should try living in kemang is a nice area where the birds still singing in the morning but within lots of good retaurants and various shops.

  5. What is the difference between Kemang and Menteng? Some areas of Menteng are way more quiet that Kemang and cleaner...

  6. Tip 11 : u should try to shop in ITCs.. its way cheaper than the malls, but make sure u bargain things half the price the original prices before u buy things..