I recently had the opportunity to travel to Jakarta, Indonesia. And what better way to tell a story than with pictures? Here goes…
Check out that view!
This was my first visit to Indonesia, and I was travelling with some travel bloggers from India. This was a trip with Tourism of Indonesia, Malindo Air and Travel.Earth.
Indonesia is one of the top travel destinations and in the bucket list for most of the people who love to travel.
It was a 3 day trip with a set itinerary, and I was waiting to see what all this busy city has to offer. Can you see the excitement?
While we were on our way to the hotel from the airport, we were impressed with how the traffic was managed well even if there were so many cars and motorbikes on the roads.
The city is well connected with public transport. There are bus services of various kinds such as the Kopajabuses and the more sophisticated Trans Jakarta bus rapid transit system in Jakarta which is the longest bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the world.
I noticed that most of the locals and tourists use the available public transport services or motorbike and taxi services from private operators like Grab that can be hired on a simple click of a location-based smartphone app.
A trip to a Secret Paradise
Jakarta is the only capital city in the world which has more than 1000 islands within its capital boundary.
We were visiting one of the privately owned islands – Pulau Macan (Tiger Island) which is an eco-friendly island resort.
We boarded a luxury yacht from Ancol Marina and started heading towards the island. There was an AC cabin on the yacht, but I spent most of the time on the deck soaking in the views of the clear blue water, a beer in my hand and the wind hitting my face.
It took us around 2 hours to reach the island, and the journey was beautiful.
Check out this drone shot of Jakarta’s Thousand Islands!
Once we reached the island, we all couldn’t believe our eyes as it was a destination from the dreams. If you don’t believe me check out this drone shot of Pulau Macan Island.
Then there’s me just chilling on a yacht, coz why not?
Pulau Macan is eco-resort on the island which can host around 40 guests per day and has open-air huts facing the crystal clear sea with lots of marine life, seaweed and beautiful corals.
I have never stayed in a resort where there are no doors, and all you have is a room open to the sea which is an experience in itself.
One can enjoy the serene sunset and explore the surrounding coral reefs and marine wildlife as they have all the equipment like stand-up paddles, fins, snorkels, etc
Lunch is served with love
There is a buffet system for all the meals served on this island as it helps in minimizing the wastage.
The food is cooked with love by some of the lovely Indonesian ladies who stay on the island for months and prepare food for the guests.
This was the best meal I had on this trip.
A real example of responsible tourism
The resort puts all the efforts to keep everything close to nature by using furniture and décor from the locally available driftwood. Just check out these cabins.
The manager showed us around and shared some exciting information about this place.
There is a system in place to have minimal impact of the resort on the island.
Water and organic waste are recycled and used in a very efficient way.
Solar panels are used to produce electricity which is only available at night at request.
One important thing to note is that there is no air conditioning and only table fans on request. But the air-conditioning by the mother nature is always on 🙂
Our own private Island
We took a short boat ride to the Tiger Island which is visible from the Pulau Macan island The Tiger island is a small desert island which has a beautiful sandy beach.
I was just dying to fly my drone at this place, I lost a signal for a couple of minutes while the drone was in the air because of the magnetic interference from the mobile towers nearby.
There is an excellent mobile signal on this island.
I don’t know if that’s a good thing as I would like to switch off my phone if was stating here.
The pictures I got from my drone were worth remembering this experience for life.
It was just a day trip on this island, and all I wanted to do was to stay for a couple of days on this island and just have a cocktail by my side.
I may come back one day with my wife as I want to see if I would be able to sleep in that room with no doors.
#WonderfulIndonesia – A day with Culture, History & People
Next morning, we reached the National Museum of Indonesia
The museum is one of the finest museums in South East Asia and has quite an extensive collection of anthropological artefacts, ceramics, and treasures from Indonesia’s history.
I am not a big fan of Museums but, our guide Dennis Rider turned out to be a great storyteller, and he got my interest in his stories.
There were stories about kings and their lives.
Also, some interesting stories about how the gods and teachings from Hinduism & Buddhism were accepted by the people of this Muslim dominated country got my attention.
Dennis came to Indonesia from the United States 20 years back and is in love with the history and the simplicity of the people Indonesia.
Inside the Museum
Stone Sculpture Collection (Hindu-Buddhist Art of Ancient Indonesia)
There are statues of Hindu Deities from Banon Temple in the 9th century which are well preserved.
Treasure Rooms (Archaeology and Ethnography Collection)
The Second floor of the museum feature treasures, gold, and precious artefact and arranged in two rooms; archaeological treasure and ethnology treasure.
The gold ornaments are mostly originated from ancient Java.
Taking a picture is prohibited in the treasure rooms.
This room has a beautiful display of the objects that were part of the Indonesian daily life arranged according to geographic locations of islands and regions of Indonesia.
Some of the interesting artefacts and fossils from the stone age. Skeleton of Homo erectus & homo sapiens at the display.
Kota Tua, Old Town, Jakarta
The next destination was the original downtown area of Jakarta city known as Old Batavia.
It contains Dutch style structures from the 17th Century. This was used as headquarters for the Dutch East India company and was a strategic location for spice trade.
This is a famous picnic spot for the tourists and locals.
One can visit the beautiful history museum have lunch at the famous Batavia restaurant and have a fun time the day with the street musicians and artists.
You can cycle in Kota Tua. The neon pink & blue bicycles can be hired for 30 minutes at a very nominal cost.
I rented the pink bicycle for a ride and for a perfect picture for my Instagram.
Pictures with lovely people of Indonesia
People in Indonesia are warm and welcoming towards the tourists. I had a lot of fun getting pictures clicked with school kids and some locals. People in Indonesia are a big fan of Bollywood movies.
Met these lovely ladies who wanted to take a picture the moment they got to know that I was from India.
Look who I found here – Ghatotkacha from Mahabharatha!
Jakarta History Museum
Lunch at Café Batavia
Food & Nightlife in Jakarta
Jakarta has a lot to offer for all the food lovers like me.
From local street food, roadside cafés with live music to fancy and speciality restaurants.
This city has everything for everyone.
We even had an extensive Indian food menu at Manhattan Hotel Jakarta where we were staying.
I was excited for me to see an Indonesian chef cooking Indian (Dosa & Aloo Puri) at the live stations every day at breakfast.
Monkeying around outside Ancol Jimbaran Resto
Dinner at Social House
On this short trip, we could see and experience different colours of the city.
From the lovely welcoming people, the beautiful islands, excellent food, history, and well managed traffic and infrastructure.
All of this makes Indonesia heaven for every traveller.
I am surely coming for more.
Read more stories of the 3-day Jakarta experience here.