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Traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia

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The trip to Jakarta, Indonesia is my first out of the country trip with college friends. It was an impromptu decision to join them. My friends were able to book the flight in one of Cebu Pacific’s seat sales last year. It was only in December when I bought my own tickets after they mentioned their plans. The planning for the trip was made entirely by my friend who runs an Events and PR company in Davao. All I have to do is pack my bags and meet them at the airport.

Jakarta is a four hour trip from Manila. We looked online for the best flights. We left Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Terminal 3) at around 9pm and arrived in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (SHIA) at around 12 midnight. A van which we hired (from the arrival area) took us from the Airport to Central Jakarta where our hotel is located. It was a good 20-minute ride through the express way. Since it was already past midnight, traffic that time was fairly smooth – a rare occurrence since Jakarta (together with Bangkok) tops the list of worst traffic jams in Asia.

We stayed in Studio One which we booked online. The hotel is comparable and pretty similar to the amenities of GoHotels in Mandaluyong City except for the part where they serve breakfast and coffee. The hotel room’s (which accommodates two persons)  rate is IDR 275,000.00 (Php 1,375.00) per night which we shared for two nights. The breakfast was below our expectations but it wasn’t bad either considering the cheap price we have paid.

To avoid the hassles of going around the city, we hired a professional tour guide from Java Sol Tour (www.javasoltour.com).  Jakarta is not as English friendly as its other neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. It was a good thing that Agus, our tour guide, was there to make the translations when we are dealing with the locales. The cost of the package was IDR 385,000.00 per person (Php 1,925.00 per person) which is inclusive of the following:

  • professional English-speaking tour guide
  • driver’s fee
  • vehicle rental
  • admission fees to the attractions
  • toll fees and taxes

The tour guide picked us up from our hotel at around 9am and we headed to our first stop, the Jakarta National Museum (Jakarta Museum Nasional) which was around 10 minutes from our hotel.

The Jakarta National Museum was a perfect destination for us since most of us are not familiar with the country’s history. The museum has several exhibits which gives focus on Indonesia’s history, geography, ethnology and archeology. Some of the archeological artifacts found inside the museum trace back to the time before homo sapiens walked on earth.

A couple hundred of meters away from the museum is Indonesia’s National Monument which was constructed in 1960’s to symbolize the country’s fight for independence.

Indonesia had also experienced European colonization.  Part of what was remained of the Dutch colonization is the Jakarta Old Town which we visited after we left the national monument.

The final attraction for the tour was Taman Mini Indonesia Indah which is translated as “Beautiful Indonesia Mini Park”. It’s a cultural park located in East Jakarta, Indonesia. It took us about an hour from Central Jakarta to get to Taman Mini. The park is a must-see destination for travelers who wish to experience Indonesia in a day. The park itself features a collection of architecture, design, clothing and other cultural aspects from the different provinces of Indonesia. There are also a number of museums inside the park but we weren’t able to visit those due to time constraints.

On our second day, we decided to get the same travel agency who took us on our first day tour so we could save money and avoid the inconveniences of public transport. We also arranged with them, as part of the tour package, to include the transport from the city to the airport. We spent most of our time shopping for souvenirs. In the morning, we went to Mangga Dua, a complex of three or four buildings with shops similar to that of Greenhills Shopping Center. After spending time in Mangga Dua, we headed to Ancol Bay City. Ancol Bay City is a big area in Jakarta with different theme parks. Since we didn’t have much time (and budget), we decided to visit Ancol Seaworld instead. There’s nothing spectacular about the attraction since it’s pretty similar to Manila Ocean Park, or maybe a bit smaller.

So far, my trip to Indonesia is the most cheapest out of the country trip that I had. There’s not much difference in the prices of commodities in both Jakarta and Manila. Indonesia may have more to offer in terms of tourism but Jakarta isn’t just the right place if you’re looking for a great tourist attraction. The offerings of Jakarta is not that much as compared to the other cities and provinces in Indonesia. I’m seriously considering going back to Indonesia to visit Borobudur, Bhali and Java.

Traveler’s Notes

  • Studio One doesn’t provide toiletries (e.g. soap, shampoo, etc.) so it’s better if you pack one with you.
  • Tap water may not be safe for drinking. Bring with you a water bottle which you can freely refill at the hotel’s cafe.
  • Quick conversion rate between Philippine Peso and Indonesian Rupiah is Php 1 = IDR 200
  • Conversion rates of the money changers in the  airport is quite low (Php 1 = 170). It’s better if you withdraw in local from any of the ATMs. Money changers in the city have better conversion rates.


Day 1

  • 9:00 am – Left the Hotel
  • 9:15 am – National Museum
  • 10:00 am – National Monument
  • 10:15 am – Jakarta Old Town
  • 12:00 noon – Lunch
  • 2:30 pm – Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
  • 5:00 pm – Grand Indonesia Mall

Day 2

  • 10:00 am – Checkout and left the Hotel
  • 10:15 am – Mangga Dua
  • 2:30 am – Ancol Marina
  • 4:30 pm – Mall of Indonesia
  • 7:00 pm – Head back to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport


  1. Airport Tax (Manila) – PhP 1,620.00
  2. Hotel (2 nights) – IDR 275,000.00 (per person)
  3. Taxi (Airport to Hotel) – IDR 110,000 (per person)
  4. Day 1 Tour – IDR 385,000 (per person)
  5. Day 1 Meals – IDR 100,000.00
  6. Taman Mini Cable Car Ticket – IDR 20,000
  7. Day 2 Tour – IDR 275,000 (per person)
  8. Day 2 Meals – IDR 45,000
  9. Airport Tax – IDR 150,000

Minimum expenses (excluding souvenirs, unnecessary expenses, etc.) = IDR  1,360,000 or PhP 8,420.00