March 15, 2017

Jakarta Public Transport & Sightseeing

I did not do any study on the public transportation in Jakarta. I did not know if there's any bus station or train station nearby our hotel prior the trip. I only searched online on the first night in our hotel room, and read some customer reviews in to get more information on the public transportation available in neighbourhood. I used Google map, got to know there's a train station not too far from hotel. It is still within walking distance, Stasiun Sudirman. The next morning I asked the hotel staff for the direction and asked him how far is the station. He said it's less than 10 minutes walk. Actually it's really not that far but I must say... the pedestrian way in Jakarta is poorly done, and many occupied by either hawkers or ojek (motorbike taxi).

Our activities on the second day, sightseeing. The top tourist attractions in Jakarta are quite centralized. Itinerary of the day: Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Catheral, National Museum, National Monument.

Jakarta commuter route map which I obtained online from here.

Reached Sudirman station, we planned to head to National Monument as our first stop. I asked for tickets to Gambir station. The guy replied "no Gambir station". I puzzled because obviously I saw there's Gambir station in the route map. I asked which station is nearer to Istiqlal Mosque, he told me Juanda station. But we have to make a transit at Manggarai station. Later I found out that Gambir station is closed. Those stations with red dot mark are actually not in service.

This is the commuter card provided. I can't remember how much is the deposit, Rp5,000?

The interior of the first train we embarked. Anyone notices the ceiling fans?

The Manggarai station is quite confusing. I had no idea which platform for Jakarta Kota, we sat in a train with a few guys inside too. It remained stagnant for long time until we felt something is not right. I asked a local but he did not bother to guide. So we left the platform and entered another one which had more crowds. Found the LED screen showing Jakarta Kota. 

We walked from Juanda Station to Istiqlal Mosque. Forgot how to get there, it was a long walk under the rain. We didn't enter Istiqlal Mosque, not sure if non-muslims are allowed to enter.

Jakarta Cathedral is located right opposite Istiqlal Mosque. Looking at the building, I was so impressed. Feel like I am situated in Europe, not Jakarta. But crossing road in Jakarta is a major problem. No pedestrian signal, no zebra crossing, no sky bridge. Hmm.. We walked further down and tried to look for way to cross the road but gave up. Didn't manage to visit the church. I hope their government can make these places more tourists friendly.

On the way to Istiqlal Mosque, I found there are a number of double-decker buses on the road side. We detoured back to the bus stop and found the city tour is completely FREE

There are 3 routes of city tour bus:
BW 1 the green line is the History of Jakarta route. Operating from Monday to Saturday 9am - 5pm; Sunday 12pm - 8pm.
BW 2 the blue line is the Art & Culinary route. Operating on Sunday only 5pm - 11pm.
BW 3 the red line is Jakarta Modern route. Operating from Monday to Saturday 9am - 5pm; Sunday 12pm - 8pm.

The double-decker bus is new but if the passenger in front of you has bad odor, it will be quite torturing.

On the bus. There will be a person comes to distribute ticket. No worries, it's 100% free of charge. I am not sure if you are not allowed to stay in the bus more than 1 full circular ride but you are allowed to repeatedly hop on and off.

We got off the bus at National Museum. The entrance fee to National Museum is Rp 10,000. This is the old museum, closed for renovation. We went to the new wing instead. The museum features the history of Java man, early years of Indonesia and their culture.

A guy demonstrates the making of Batik.

The group is playing music with traditional music instruments.

After museum, we stopped at National Monument. The entrance to National Monument is located outside the building, you will pass through a tunnel to the building. There's a tent with police officers guarded, that's the entrance and you'll have to open your bag for inspection.

The entrance fee, splitted to two groups: Goblet or Top. For adults, entrance fee to goblet only is Rp 5,000 while top is Rp 10,000, both Rp 15,000. I wanted to visit the top, unfortunately the guy informed that we might have to wait more than 1 hour because of the long queue. Ended up we settled with the goblet floor only.

On the goblet floor, it's all about the history of Indonesia and the revolution war to independence. Outside the goblet, you can take a seat any place you like and enjoy the scenery. This is the long queue for lift to the top.

After National Monument, we tried to look for the direction to bus station. It was a long walk, we kept walking in the circle of the same area. Then we decided to stop by this market, fill stomach first.

Saw this interesting one. Ordered one to try it out. I just googled and got to know it's called "Kerak Telor Betawi".

Kerak Telor Betawi, a Indonesian traditional spicy omelette dish. Made from glutinous rice cooked with egg, and served with fried shredded coconut, fried shallots and dried shrimp. It was not bad actually.

I ordered a coconut for my mum, and pointed the cup with fruits, I have no idea what's the name of the drinks.

This is the drinks with assorted fruits. Tastes good!

Ok, we have done with sightseeing for the day. Figuring how to get back to Grand Indonesia. Walked to the bus station, and asked the staff which stop at Grand Indonesia. She told me I can use the city tour bus and stop at Plaza Indonesia. Oh, how convenient it is! National Monument is also called Monas. Refer to the above city tour route map, take BW 3 to Plaza Indonesia.

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