Jakarta – Indonesia

Recently visited Jakarta again and having stayed at both JW Marriott (JWM) and Ritz Carlton (RC) which are opposite each other, had good experiences in both hotels.

I was given club benefits in both hotels, and the food at both lounges were good. Comparing both, I’d still prefer the food and services Ritz Carlton offered which is why it is a tier higher than JWM. I was also offered a much larger room in RC and the hotel manager showed great hospitality.

Let’s take a look at the differences…

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Life in Jakarta is pretty much surrounded by traffic jams, any day, anytime of the day. However, good food also coexist… Which is a consolation. Other than traffic jams and taxi drivers who do not speak English, there is not much issues getting around.

The major taxi operator Blue Bird has affiliates such as Silver Bird and Golden Bird. The differences are below (all prices as of dec 2013):
Blue Bird: most basic of all is the metered taxi with a flag fall starting with 7000 rupiah. This is the most economical of the fleet. However, if a blue bird is booked, there is a minimum charge of 40000 rupiah even if it is a very short distance costing 17000 rupiah.

Silver Bird: also metered taxis, mostly Mercedes Benz E class starts the flag fall at about 14000 rupiah, double to triple the cost of blue bird. No minimum charges when booked, all tripes run by the meter.

Golden Bird: has different range of vehicles from Toyota avanza to vans, to Mercedes. These are booked in advance I.e. if you need a taxi from Airport to hotel or a fixed destination, you’d pay a fixed price at the airport counter which includes all toll charges. I’d use this when I arrive at the airport.

Having tried all types of the mentioned taxis, they are all safe but drivers do not understand English. It is best to have the concierge convey the destination or have a local address on hand.

Food wise, aww Indonesian food is great! Love the spiciness and flavors. Below are some I’ve tried…

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