You’ve arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia with a plane, so what’s next?
Catch one of these vehicles that you may not find back home and ride like a boss!
Becak is a rickshaw operated by a man pedaling on the back like a bicycle. You may find this ride at the outskirts of Jakarta in Ciputat, Tangerang area since they are already banned in the city area. Pay the guy Rp 10,000 (USD 1) and he will bring you on a ride around for about 10 – 15 minutes. When the weather’s good, ask him to open the roof cover and enjoy the breezing wind within his pedaling motion. Becak fits for two and it’s usually hired by those going to nearby distances for groceries, friend’s house or maybe even a cute romantic date 🙂
Bajaj is available in limited areas around South Jakarta, West Jakarta, Central Jakarta, etc. They are originally imported from India and has evolved from diesel to gas powered. Although gas (BBG) are less common they are the ones in blue, less noisy and are more environmentally friendly. Bajaj actually fits for two person in the back of the driver, but when time or budget is tight sometimes it could fit 3, 4 or even 5 thins and slender. Pay attention on how they start the vehicle, they way its navigated, and how they put signals to turn left and right as I find these interesting.
Find them stationed usually under the trees in the road corners or catch one passing by. Rp 15,000 can bring you from Blok M Terminal to Senayan area, Rp 20,000 to Kemang area for a chill lunch. Prepare an ear plug for sensitive ones and speak loudly in this shaky ride, consider yourself warned.
Find them in Central and North Jakarta area such as Benhill, Tanjung Priok and Kramat Jati. They are usually blue in color has three wheels, driver in the front and about 4 – 6 seater at the back, a size larger than Bajaj with similar looks. The last time I took Bemo was when I was in elementary school and never did I try again ever since, so I’m not so sure how much they cost. However it is an interesting ride for those who wants to stroll around Central Jakarta (Kota Area) and see the nostalgic area of Jakarta.
4. Delman or Andong
A horse ride with carriage for 4 – 6 people, might fits more for kids. They are found in Monas (National Monument) in Central Jakarta. Ride them around the area for a contradicting experience with the loads of motoric vehicles like cars, motor cycles and buses around. Kids usually love this ride, and it often comes with a friendly jockey with many stories to tell. Please don’t be shocked by the size of the horse since it’s probably a different type than the ones you have seen back home, we’re Asians even our horses are genetically inherited 🙂
Ojek is a motorcyle taxi, the driver will take you anywhere you wish for as it is allowed in every part of the country, unlike the previously mentioned ones. Rates can be cheaper than taxis and it would help much during traffic hours but don’t forget to bring a mask as the polluted air might be bothersome. Although they usually have extra helmets as it is required by the law, but I’d suggest you have your own helmet for hygienic reasons 🙂
8. Angkot (Angkutan Kota a.k.a City Transportation)
Loved riding angkot once I reached back to Jakarta. It’s a little tight but surprisingly enough for more than 10 people! the seats are made vertically so passengers faces each other behind the driver. They may drive like crazy though and they cause a lot of traffic problems as it stops where ever they feel. Do ask them where they are going before riding it, and tell them where you want to go.
So, you’ve tried all the traditional ones? well there are also regular transportations in Jakarta that you may catch around. Let’s continue the bucket list:
There are plenty of taxis around Jakarta, and it’s one of the most preferred transportation for those with enough budget and seek comfort. The fare will start at Rp 5,000 – Rp 6,000 (USD .50 – .60 cents) for Tarif Bawah and Tarif Atas. However there are also premium taxis like Silver Bird and Tiara if you want to ride in Mercedes or Alphard which cost 2 – 3x more.
Some numbers of taxis in Jakarta are illegal and bootleg. They’re not recommended for safety reasons since there has been cases of robberies if you are not careful. So, please be safe and choose legitimate taxis such as Blue Bird, Pusaka, Express, Gamya, Putra, Taxiku, Trans Cab (with TV), Cipaganti, Primajasa.
Remember to jot down the taxi number and the driver’s name just in case. But don’t worry, taxi drivers are usually heaps of help and an interesting conversation buddy with some broken English.
Busway has got to be one of my favorites inner city links! It saves us from the traffic jam because it has their own dedicated lane. The best part is, they are reasonably priced at Rp 3,500 (USD .35 cents) a ride and it is air conditioned.
They have their own routes that you can download at www.rutebusway.com and comes frequently as the fleet number increases from time to time. We might not have any subways, MRTs, trams or monorail just yet *finger crossed it will soon enough * but the busway serves as a good alternative for now. Ride them to Kota Tua area to experience the Old Batavia.
11. Metro Mini, Kopaja and the other city buses
Honestly I don’t recommend these busses unless you want to really experience living like the locals. The ride might not be so safe as there are many smart pickpockets but this it the true side of Jakarta without the glitz and glamour. See how people are trying to make a living from being a “pengamen” or street singer, selling foods and goods or even beg. See the faces of the people in the ride and feel their emotions and how they feel about their life in the metropolitan. The ones with Air Conditions however are safer and less crowded.
My tips: prepare for changes (coins, the RP 1,000, Rp 2,000 and Rp 5,000 notes with Rp 10,000 at the most) do not give out big cash nor be flashy. It will just bring more attention especially if you’re a foreigner. But not to worry, some stares are just made because they’re probably amazed with the differences that they rarely seen. Also dressing conservatively will help very much, do smile, hold strongly to your belongings and walk modestly.
How to stop the bus? just say “Depan Kiri Pak” – Stop at the left side sir
Several phrases that may help:
1. Terima kasih – thank you
2. “Saya mau ke… (name of place)” – I want to go to (name of place)
3. Berapa – how much?
4. Pak – Sir
5. Bu – Maam
6. Permisi – Excuse me
7. Kiri – left
8. Kanan – right
9. Terus – straight
10. Menuju – heading to
11. Saya – me
12. Kamu – you
13. Kemana – Where to go
14. Dimana – Where at
15. Pelan Pelan – Slowly
16. Berhenti – Stop
17. Disini – Here
18. Hati Hati – Becareful
19. Belok – Turn
20. Putar – Turn around
No need to bow, no need to put a hand palm or salute, just simply smile with a nod and say thank you.
Much love from Indonesia & Salam Odyssey