Saturday, 4 September 2010

Jakarta - better than everyone tells you

Our arrival in Jakarta at the evening of 25.August was not the best. The first hotel we chose (Hotel Peninsula) was full of cockroaches, mosquitoes and no phone signal on the room.
During the evening we found a good place to change to the next day (Hotel 88), new hotel with nice clean rooms and even cheaper than the first one.
So we just took some street food and started in a Karaoke club, which was absolutely overpriced. So we changed to one of Jakarta's main clubs, which turned out to be a brothel after all. Disappointed we went home and hoped for the next day.
The next day (26.08.) we started a sightseeing tour through Jakarta. We started at a Chinese Buddhist temple and continued through a little market street to the old town. Already the old town impressed us, as we were told Jakarta is supposed to be the ugliest capital in Southeastasia. But beauty was to be found if you kept your eyes open - and so we did :D
We continued along the river - which was no water, but pure shit... but obviously still good enough to catch some fish... probably for tourists :P After seeing the Watch Tower at the harbour gate, we saw some small market place and simply entered. When reaching a dead end, we decided to take one of the small paths to see where it takes us to - perfect choice that was. Super friendly people and cute kids welcoming us and asking for pictures. Simply one of the moments that warms your heart :D
After the gorgeous moments we visited the Freedom Monument which had some ok park edged by a cathedral and a huge mosque. We finished the day with a walk to the Monas, the countries landmark, enjoying the sunset over the skyline. The gorgeous sunset was topped by a huge thundercloud that emerged over the skyline and presented plenty lightnings, resulting in a stunning show by nature :)
A perfect day in Jakarta with great weather was about to end. After some good dinner at one of the tasty street food Warungs at Jalan Sabang we were heading back to our hotel, hoping for some nightlife to wait for us. But obviously we did choose the wrong time to visit Southeastasia's "party capital", as during Ramadan most of the clubs are closed or empty... and on this Thursday some special day made EVERYTHING closed, grrr.
busy streets :)
museum in Kota (old town)
another museum in Kota, nice square
stunning water quality :P
exploring the backstreets near the harbour
cute and friendly kids on the way :D
well, simply everyone was super friendly :)
and more^^
cathedral next to freedom monument
Monas, Indonesias landmark
enjoying the park around Monas
waiting for the sunset
gorgeous sky :D
into the night^^

On friday we started to go shopping as I wanted to get a new camera and belt and Benni thought about some souvenirs. So we started with a "cheap" mall suggested by lonely planet. The electronic mall turned out to be not cheap at all and only have Indonesian warranty for 1 year - pretty amazing to me as European :P
Right opposite a cheap fashion mall which turned out to be not appropriate for western people, as all the ways were way too small. We felt anything but comfortable with this tiny maze of mall. So we decided to visit the upmarket malls, which turned out to be a 90min taksi ride during rush hour^^ As typical European tourists with t-shirt, shorts and sandals we were anything but overdressed :P Too many people starred at our sandals with shocked faces... quite a difference to the first malls :D Afterwards we did meet Amelia who took us to a fine Warung to enjoy Sate and fried rice with liver :) We were about to try the next nightclub, Malioborough, which turned out to be a strip club. We were quite embarrassed to get her to such a club, as she didn't know the club before. Luckily she seemed pretty cool about it :P Due to Ramadan she had to be home by 11 and so we enjoyed the show a bit alone before we moved on to the Red Square club, which was a small club with good music but no dance-floor filled with tourists and ladies full of drugs.
The next morning, without sleep I went to Singapore for a visa-run. Benni wanted to check a museum but when I was back after 10h he turned out to have slept all the time^^ After a good dinner at Jalan Sabang we did meet Stephan (Pulau Pagang). Really happy and surprised we shared some nice stories and simply enjoyed to have met again :) Next on our list was the big X2 club, as considering to internet it was supposed to be open. But guess what, Ramadan strikes again^^ We then spent 3 hours looking for an open club or at least a bar with music together with Amelia. But the super strict muslims (dont want to say extremists) blocked the road and made their own party on the street... quite ridiculous :/
Sunday (29.08.) morning we moved on to Cibodas / Cipanas.

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