Tuesday 30 October 2012

Three Days in Jakarta and Bandung Indonesia

That trip that we’ve waited for so long was busted. Our original destination was to Phuket Thailand, but due to the poor quality service Travelsmoove had provided, we were left with no choice but to accept the last option that they gave. Welcome to Jakarta, Indonesia

Our Phuket trip was all set. Itinerary has been prepared: places to go and things to see. Everything changed obviously. Since everything was finalised 2 days before our travel date, we didn’t get the chance to arrange itinerary for Jakarta. We didn't have any ideas on mind about where to go and what to do. Big thanks to Luke by the way, your blog was a great help!

It was Friday morning when we arrived in Jakarta. Thirty minutes travel time from airport to our hotel was more than enough for us to expect what must have been waiting for us there.  The place was far different from what I’ve expected. Having been to places like Batam, Bintan and Bali, I thought Jakarta was just the same. Apparently not since Jakarta is well-equipped with modern establishment - tall buildings and huge shopping centers you may see around the city. Armed with sunblock, camera, eyeglasses and the print out from Luke’s blog, we started wandering around the city like lost puppies. we took a cab going to Kota Tua and then an endless walk to Old Batavia to Kota Station. Their long street was filled with street food, bicycles you can rent if you’re lazy to walk around, souvenirs and people, or should I say entertainers who sing and play musical instruments in exchange of some donations, which I assume is what they do for a living. Whenever I see these people I feel fortunate, and all my problems seemed very insignificant.

We decided to go to Bandung the following day. We’ve read good reviews about Tangkuban Perahu - an inactive volcano located around 30km from north city of Bandung.  It took about almost four hours before we get to the crater, and it was raining when we get there. We ate local noodles together with a small group of tourists in a mini and the only “carinderia” located near the crater while waiting for the rain to stop. When it stopped, it then became foggy and that made the views more spectacular. We walked through the Kawah Ratu or the Queen Crater and took as much photos as we could. There were still lots of places to visit, but due to limited time, we decided to go back to the city to make it on time for our schedule going back to Jakarta.

We spent the third day bludging. We made fun of every encounter that we had. Indonesians we bumped into were warm and friendly. Most of them even thought we’re locals too, same as what I’ve experienced when I was in Cambodia. People tend to speak to us in their language and despite their struggle since they barely speak English, you can always see a smile that never fades from their faces. We left Jakarta still dismayed with Travelsmoove. And despite those unacceptable glitches, that was still a great lesson learned though. 

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