Tuesday 31 October 2017

TANZANIA: Arusha Hotel Taken Over By Marriot International Hotels

Marriot International has acquired Arusha Hotel, the oldest tourist establishment in northern Tanzania.

The hotel chain said the 106-room Arusha Hotel will be operated under the Four Points name by Sheraton management.

A growing middle class and demand for travel and high quality lodging has given us a significant opportunity to enhance our footprint and play our part in supporting emerging markets across the continent, Marriot International Hotels president Alex Kyriakidis said.

The acquisition is part of Marriot’s goal to own 200 hotels comprising more than 37,000 rooms by 2022. The group seeks to generate a $8.5 billion capital investment and create 50,000 direct and indirect jobs through this development process, Mr Kyriakidis’s statement added.

Marriot’s expansion is a boost to the Tanzania government’s drive to attract more investors and other service providers.

Tanzania reportedly attracts 1.2 million tourists every year. About 80 per cent of them, nearly 900,000 end up in the Northern Circuit, the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Already, the government is drafting a new tourism policy targeting the development of new tourist attractions, hotels and other investments in the sector.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism has held several meetings with tourist stakeholders from the Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, seeking to draft a new policy to replace the Tourism Policy of 1999.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Aloyce Nzuki, said the new policy will consider diverse attractions and services including conference tourism, historical and cultural heritage sites, eco-tourism and beach.

The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators chairman Wilbard Chambullo said that the policy would bring together private sector players to work with the government in developing tourism.

A tourism and hotel consultant in Arusha, Leopold Kabendera, said global marketers and hotel chains patronise Tanzania, mostly from the US, South Africa and Europe.

We are looking for a better policy that would create public and private partnerships in tourism. This would attract more investors to inject capital through hotels and other business services,” he said.

Marriott International a global Hotel chain has announced that it will open a hotel in Zanzibar to tap into the isle’s tourism business.

The planned $330 million hotel will be part of the Amber Resort complex, and the largest accommodation facility occupying 1,750 hectares of Indian Ocean coastline in the northeast of the island.

It is expected to be operational in four years.

Marriot Middle East and Africa president Alex Kyriakidis said the hotel design will combine modern architecture and a touch of Zanzibar culture to bring a unique feeling of Tanzanian hospitality.

This development will be a catalyst for premium tourism to Zanzibar and Tanzania in general, and will also feature East Africa’s first signature golf course, he said.

The Zanzibar Amber Resort, a mixed-use project, will offer a retail souk, a tropical aqua park, a marina, an equestrian centre and international polo club, Mr Kyriakidis added.

Anantara Hotels and Resorts, another leading hotel chain, has also announced the development of Anantara Zanzibar Resort, expected to open in three years, featuring 100 guestrooms.

Minor Hotels chain CEO Dillip Rajakarier said the new accommodation and tourist service facility will be their first property in the region.

The development of Anantara Zanzibar Resort marks a key strategic move that provides synergy and diversifies Minor Hotels’ well-established presence in East Africa, complementing the Elewana collection of luxury safari camps, lodges and beach resorts in Tanzania and Kenya, Mr Rajakarier said.

Verde Hotels from South Africa is a new entrant in Zanzibar, developing and managing the Mtoni Marine Hotel.

The company has entered into a joint venture with Bakhresa Group, a local Tanzanian company.

The Cape Town-based hotel group will run the 142 room facility.

Bakhresa Group chairman Said Bakhresa said they will run Mtoni Hotel under the name Hotel Verde Zanzibar.

Verde Hotels director Samantha Annandale said they chose Zanzibar for its strong position in regional tourism.

Meanwhile, reluctance by local hotel developers to work with international brands has left the Africa with a huge deficit of branded hotel rooms, limiting the continents ability to tap into the global hospitality trade.

Experts say that indigenous developers often find the additional cost of bringing their properties to the standards demanded by international chains a major barrier.

The growth of local markets that are not keen on international brands is another incentive to stay local, they add.

According to results of research unveiled by the W Hospitality Group at the African Hotel Investment Forum in Kigali this past week, despite having some of the highest investment rates on the continent, East and West Africa are the regions most affected by a deficit in branded hotel rooms.

The research shows that nine countries in Africa do not have a single branded hotel, eight have only one, while almost half the continent (25 countries) have two or fewer brands present.

Only ten countries have 10 or more brands present, while just 28 countries (53 per cent) have branded hotels located outside the national capital or in the main commercial city.

Experts have attributed this status quo to the fact that local hotel developers have been slow at working with international hotel brands hence settling for their local hotel brands which are largely operating without branded rooms.

A large number of local property developers in many African countries are reluctant to work with international brands, hence operating hotels with unbranded hotel rooms.

It’s easier to get these brands if the hotel is an international brand said Karl de Lacy, the International Development Director for Best Western hotels and resorts.

Cost has been a big factor, the additional investments required to upgrade a property to fit a global brand has also been an issue with local developers, he said.

When asked to explain form an industry perspective how branded hotel rooms can be low at the time the continent is registering a commendable value in hotel investments, he said the biggest opportunity in Africa is now in mid-scale hotels because of the mass market the segment has.

Experts have observed that in Africa local developers don’t care much about branded rooms provided they have local customers coming to the hotels, that many of these clients are also not keen to look room brands

The biggest opportunity is in mid-scale, the international brands cater for a certain level of customers, but the more local hotel owners understand the opportunities they have if they work with international brands the better, said De Lacy.

On investments he said the growth in property has been commendable but many have not transitioned into operating as international brands which explains why many operate with un-branded hotel rooms.

We want hoteliers to be successful, a happy hotelier is one that is engaged with a brand, he noted.

Hotel industry analysts have said that this shortfall in supply shows that there are still huge opportunities to develop hotels in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa currently has 301 hotel projects in the pipeline, accounting for 57,011 rooms, or 11.0percent of the continents existing room supply.

Demand has been growing in many markets and that with careful planning, and good advice there can be an opportunity to generate substantial returns on investment in the hotel industry.

The majority of upcoming new supply this year are in sub-Saharan Africa, with 59 per cent of rooms in the development pipeline, North Africa is the largest single region with 41 per cent followed by West Africa 33 per cent and East Africa 11 per cent.

Nigeria has up to 6,100 branded bedrooms across 41 hotels, with 21 brands and 14 hotel companies represented in 9 cities and 61 more hotel projects and more branded bedrooms 10,313 in the pipeline, however a country with a population of almost 192 million, a lot needs to be done.

Despite having a number of big properties, Uganda has less than five hotels managed by international brands.

Disagreement between developers and international brands has seen two international brands – Carlson Rezidor and the Hilton, eschew the management of Uganda’s grandest property, the 296 room Pearl of Africa than opened doors this month under the One & Only brand.

Simba Corporation, a family-owned Kenyan firm with interests in automotive and hospitality sectors, has expanded its hotel portfolio after signing an agreement to buy a 35 per cent stake in Hemingways Holdings Ltd.

Simba Corp said Monday the deal, whose value remains undisclosed, would enable it strengthen its position in the hotel industry, while Hemingways said the proceeds of the share sale would be used to finance its growth and expansion programmes.

The auto dealer, Simba, made its first foray into hospitality sector in 2010 aiming to provide luxury hotels for travellers. It currently owns Acacia Premier hotel in Kisumu and holds significant stakes in Olare Mara Kempinski (Masai Mara) and Villa Rosa Kempinski (Nairobi).

Through our partnership with Hemingways we intend to continue to build on this strategy. This investment is therefore aligned to Simba’s goal of creating a substantial hospitality business platform with the intention to expand national and within the region said Adil Popat, Simba Corp’s chief executive.

The acquisition comes barely a month after Mr Popat announced a freeze of plans to set up a chain of mid-priced hotels across Kenya, citing a glut in the market.

It also comes at a time when a wave of mergers and acquisitions are sweeping across the Kenyan investment landscape.

Last week, regional oil marketer Hass Petroleum sold a 40 per cent stake to Gulf’s Oman Trading International in search for capital to strengthen its operations.

The Kenyan-based Hass is facing stiff competition in its oil business, controlling a paltry 1.9 per cent the market share in the fuel sales.

Global oil marketer Shell is also gearing up to sell its 20 per cent stake in Vivo Energy for $250 million to Vitol subject to regulatory approvals.

After the transaction, Vitol would control a 60 per cent majority stake in Vivo, while private equity fund Helios Investment Partners retains 40 per cent.

Vitol and Helios jointly operate 1,600 stations across 16 African countries through Vivo Energy.

Tourism Observer

Saturday 28 October 2017

DOMINICAN REP: Santo Domingo, Drivers Will Charge Double Fare If You Are Overweight, Immigration Officials Dishonest Do Not Return Change

Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and the oldest European city in the Americas. The old city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Santo Domingo is the capital city of the Dominican Republic, and it prides itself in being the first European city in the New World.

Founded by Christopher Columbus's brother Bartolome Colombus in 1496, it is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas and was the first seat of the Spanish colonial empire in the New World.

For this reason, the city of Santo Domingo has a really rich historic and cultural heritage that makes any visit extremely worthwhile. Nowadays, it remains one of the most populous cities in the Central America-Caribbean area, and the main economic and commercial center of this region.

Santo Domingo is the cultural, financial, political, commercial and industrial center of the Dominican Republic, with the country's most important industries being located within the city. Santo Domingo also serves as the chief seaport of the country.

The city's harbor at the mouth of the Ozama River accommodates the largest vessels, and the port handles both heavy passenger and freight traffic. Temperatures are high year round, with a cool breeze around winter time.

The Ozama river flows 148 kilometres (92 miles) before emptying into the Caribbean Sea. Santo Domingo's position on its banks was of great importance to the city's economic development and the growth of trade during colonial times.

The Ozama River is where the country's busiest port is located.

Many of Santo Domingo's most notable landmarks are located within the Zona Colonial district of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

The Colonial Zone, bordered by the Rio Ozama, also has an impressive collection of early 16th century buildings, including palatial houses and majestic churches that reflect the architectural style of the late Middle Ages.

The city's most important historical buildings include the

- Catedral Santa Maria La Menor, called La Catedral Primada de America, America's First Cathedral, which states its distinction

- Alcazar de Colon, America's first castle, once the residence of Viceroy of the Indies Don Diego Colon, a son of Christopher Columbus

- Monasterio de San Francisco, the ruins of the first monastery in the Americas

- Museo de las Casas Reales, in a monumental complex that includes the former Palace of the Governors and the building of the former Royal Audiencia of Santo Domingo

- Fortaleza Ozama, the oldest fortress in the Americas

- Panteon Nacional, a former Jesuit edifice now hosting the remains of various renowned Dominicans

- Dominican Convent, the first convent in the Americas.

On the north end of Calle Las Damas, the restored and expanded Plaza de Espana is bordered by Las Atarazanas the former naval yard, now a museum and a number of small shops and restaurants.

This area was the first European commercial center in the Americas, and is still a hub of activity today. The Alcazar de Colon, having once been the colonial palace of the Columbus family—beginning with his son Diego,is now a museum displaying period furniture and decorations.

The building was originally built in 1510, and restored to its current appearance in 1952.

A 700 million US dollar investment was made in the Port of the Ozama river adjacent to the Ciudad Colonial aiming to turn Santo Domingo into a port of call for luxury cruise ships and including a privately owned marina. The project is being completed by Sans Souci Ports S.A.

The city proper of Santo Domingo is subdivided into incorporated areas or neighbourhoods called sectores which could be considered as small urban towns. All sectores are serviced directly by the municipal mayor's office.

Sector regions of Santo Domingo:

- Ciudad (city) – applies to the original older parts of town, many of which date back to the colonial times.

- Ensanche – usually, but not always, applied to the more modern parts of the city.

- Villa – the urban outskirts of both the old city of Santo Domingo and the current smaller National District, originally they were separate villages, hence their names.

The demographics of Santo Domingo are similar to other metropolitan areas of the country, except that the population of immigrants mainly Haitians, is larger in the city because of the relative ease of finding work and the economic dynamism compared to other provinces.

Santo Domingo, like most of the country, is made up of native-born Dominican mulattos, though there are large numbers of Afro-Dominicans and Euro-Dominicans, as well as a large immigrant community. In fact, over 20% of the city's population is immigrants, mainly Haitians.

However, there are also recent immigrants from Europe, Asia, as well as other Latin American nations present in the city. The city of Santo Domingo has a significant community of Asians mainly Chinese, Arabs mostly Lebanese, and Europeans mostly Spanish and Italian people are also present in the city.

There are also significant numbers of Venezuelans and Puerto Ricans, in the city, as well as US born Dominicans returning to their parents' home country. The northeast quadrant of the city is the poorest while the southwest is wealthier.

Santo Domingo is also considered one of the epicenters of the growing Dominican middle-class. The city is one of the most economically developed cities in Latin America. Santo Domingo's population in 2010 was 3.8 million in the metropolitan area.

The city is divided into two parts by the Ozama River. The western side is very developed economically, while the eastern part, known as Santo Domingo Este, has historically lagged behind.

The most important tourist destination of the city is the Zona Colonial or Colonial Zone, on the western bank of the river and facing the Caribbean Sea.

To the west of the Zona Colonial lies Gazcue, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, filled with old Victorian houses and tree-lined streets.

The city's waterfront George Washington Avenue, knows as El Malecon, borders the Caribbean Sea and attracts many tourists because of its hotels, casinos, palm-lined boulevards and monuments.

Surrounding the Gazcue area you will find the Palacio Nacional or seat of the Dominican government, the National Theater, the Museums in the Plaza de la Cultura, and the Palace of Fine Arts.

In the central part of western Santo Domingo lies the economic and commercial heart of the city, in an area known as the Poligono Central and delimited by the 27 de Febrero, John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill and Maximo Gomez avenues.

This high-income area remains rather unexplored by tourists, despite offering most of the best dining and shopping available in the city. Many of the city's most affluent neighborhoods surround the city's two main parks, the Parque Mirador Sur in the South and the Jardin Botanico in the North.

In the less developed Oriental Santo Domingo you will find other major monuments and tourist spots, such as Columbus's Lighthouse, where the explorer's remains are buried, the open caves of the Parque Nacional Los Tres Ojos, and the National Aquarium.

This all makes of Santo Domingo a cosmopolitan, vibrant and bustling city with very distinct neighborhoods and ambiances, all worth a visit, and providing the most diverse cultural experiences.

Santo Domingo enjoys a tropical climate. Temperature averages from 73.4°F (23°C) in the morning to 89.1°F (31.7°C) by the afternoon. Generally, January and February are the coldest months, and August is the hottest month of the year.

The island is prone to hurricanes especially during June 1 to November 30, but fortunately they receive many warnings beforehand to prepare their people and tourist of any harm. Santo Domingo is a great city to visit during any season, because the city's ideal tropical weather runs all year long

Santo Domingo is the headquarter of economic activity in Dominican Republic. The city catches the attention of many international firms. Many of these firms have their headquarters in the city due to its great location and prosperous economy.

It is where most of the country's wealth is concentrated and the seat of the national legislature, judicial, and executive government. Many national and international firms have their headquarters or regional offices in Santo Domingo.

The city attracts many international firms and franchises such as Ikea, Goldcorp and Barrick due to its location and economic stability.

The infrastructure is suitable for most business operations. A key element that has helped the city grow and compete globally is the telecommunications infrastructure.

Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic as whole enjoy a modern and extensive telecommunications system liberalized in the late 1990s which has benefited from extensive foreign investment. This has attracted numerous call centers in recent years.

Santo Domingo not only has an excellent telecommunications infrastructure but also a sizeable bilingual population that speaks English.

The city's economic growth can be witnessed in the extensive vertical growth experienced across many of its neighborhood. The construction boom is reflected in the many high density residential towers, shopping malls, elevated highways, the metro expansion and overall increase in commercial activity.

Santo Domingo has a thriving middle class contrasting with the significant pockets of poverty that remain as challenges for the future.

Marginalized slum conditions exist mostly in the northeast quadrant of the city with smaller pockets extending across the city.

Areas of extensive development include the Poligono Central, which is bordered by the Avenida John F. Kennedy northward 27 February Avenue south, Avenida Winston Churchill to the west and Avenida Maximo Gomez to the east, and is characterized by its mixed development and its very active nightlife.

Santo Domingo has areas of high development, among them Serralles, Naco, Arroyo Hondo, Piantini, Urb Fernandez, Ens. Julieta, Paraiso, Los Prados, Bella Vista, Sarasota and other sectors, where most of the middle class can be found.

Bella Vista and La Esperilla are currently the fastest growing sectors with large mega -projects. Gazcue belongs to the more traditional southeastern area of the city and is known for its buildings dating from the 1930s to the 1960s.

The performing arts are very important in Santo Domingo. The city has its own symphonic orchestra, chamber orchestra, opera company, ballet company, folkloric company, and national theater, including a number of smaller groups.

The Plaza of culture is the center of activity, but there are concerts, ballet, folklore, and other performances throughout the city. Casa de Teatro is the gathering place of avant garde artists, actors, and musicians.

It stages art and literature exhibitions and offers painting, drama, and dancing courses and monthly contests for poetry, short stories, and other forms of literature.

Santo Domingo is the location of numerous museums, many of which are located in the Zona Colonial district.

In the Zona Colonial is the Museum of Alcazar, in Diego Colon's restored palace,the Museum of the Casas Reales, with artefacts of the colonial period and a collection of ancient weapons donated by Trujillo, the Naval Museum of the Atarazanas, in the former naval yards, Museo de la Catedral, Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana, documenting the struggle for freedom during the regimes of Trujillo and Balaguer, Museo Duarte, dedicated to the hero of Dominican independence, and the World of Ambar Museum.

Plaza de la Cultura also houses the city's most important cultural venues:

- Teatro Nacional or National Theater and various museums

- Palacio Nacional, which houses the Presidency of the Dominican Republic

- Palacio de Bellas Artes or Palace of Fine Arts, a neoclassical building that is the permanent home of the country's National Symphony Orchestra.

- Boulevard 27 de Febrero, a pedestrian promenade located on the busy Avenida 27 de Febrero, which displays works of art from prominent Dominican artists and sculptors.

- Centro Olímpico Juan Pablo Duarte, a sports complex in the center of Santo Domingo. This complex was used during the 2003 Pan American Games.

In the Plaza de la Cultura are the Museum of the Dominican Man, with artifacts from the pre-Columbian Taíno civilization, the National Museum of History and Geography, the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art.

Other museums include the Museo Bellapart, a prominent private collection of 19th- and 20th-Century Dominican painting and sculpture and the Museo Prehispanico, a major private collection of pre-Columbian Taino art.

The city has various parks, many of which are relatively large. Santo Domingo (D.N) is surrounded by the Santo Domingo Greenbelt. Mirador Norte Park lies in the north of the city, close to Villa Mella and Mirador Sur Park is located in the southwest section of the city.

Mirador del Este is located on the East bank of the Ozama river and it is the seat of the Columbus Lighthouse. Independencia Park and Colon Park are located in Zona Colonial.

Parks include:

- Parque Enriquillo

- Parque Independencia

- Parque Metropolitano Las Praderas

- El Malecón

- Jardin Botanico Nacional

- Parque Zoologico Nacional

- Barrio Chino de Santo Domingo

- Parque Nunez de Cáceres

Power outages have been one of the downfalls of placing a major headquarter in the city, but the infrastructure is a great advantage to many of these international firms.

Since Santo Domingo has privatize and integrated with the US telecommunication system, they have been fortunate to have the benefit of a contemporary telecommunication system.

Incomes in Santo Domingo can vary from extremely rich to extremely poor. Many of the prominent families live in neighborhoods surrounding Avenida John F. Kennedy to the north, Avenida 27 de Febrero to the south, Avenida Winston Churchill to the west and Avenida Maximo Gomez to the east.

Some other areas that are always expanding and developing are Naco, Arroyo Hondo, Piantini, Paraíso, Bella Vista, Sarasota. Most of the city's less fortunate live outside the center of Santo Domingo, which can be seen by various slums that emphasizes the huge issue poverty is for the city.

Avenida Winston Churchill and 27 de Febrero Avenue are two of the commercial centers of the city. Many malls and shops are located in these two avenues such as, Acropolis Center, Scotiabank, Citibank, Banco BHD, Banco del Progreso, Banreservas, Plaza Central and Plaza Naco.

However, some of the most popular malls are Acropolis Center, Bella Vista Mall, Blue Mall, the upcoming Novo-Centro, Agora Mall and Galería 360 because it contains more contemporary shops and is popular within the high income families.

Santo Domingo was formerly called Ciudad Trujillo during the era of the dictatorship of Trujillo

The national government of the Dominican Republic is located in Santo Domingo. The National Palace is the workplace of the current President of Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, and the National Congress.

The National Police or Policia Nacional and the Tourist Police or Policia Turistica are in charge of implementing city safety. The national police station is located in Av. Leopoldo Navarro #402, you can also contact 809-682-2151 for the cenral line, but in case of an emergency dial 911.

Be warned that their reliability is questionable and are not always responsive even to dire emergencies. There are also many destacamentos or police outposts scattered throughout the city.

Santo Domingo is served by two airports. Aeropuerto Internacional La Isabela a newly constructed airport located in the northern section of the city, within kilometres of the city center. It serves mostly domestic and charter flights.

The major international airport that serves the city is Santo Domingo Las Americas, which serves North and South America and also Europe.

Las Americas International Airport is found in Greater Santo Domingo and is located approximately 15 minutes from the greater metropolitan area and around 30 minutes from the city`s center. The airport offers several transportation options, including all major American car rental firms.

Direct flights from: Atlanta, Boston, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Philadelphia, Panama City, San Jose Costa Rica, San Juan Puerto Rico, Havana, Port-au-Prince, Caracas, Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, Munich and Duesseldorf and surrounding Caribbean islands.

Airfare to Santo Domingo may vary widely depending on season and demand. A round trip ticket from Boston or New York ranges anywhere from US$300 to US$700, with fares from Miami or San Juan only slightly lower.

Airfare from most cities in Latin America cost between US$400 and US$1,000 and require layovers in Panama City, Panama (Copa Air) or San Jose, Costa Rica (Taca). Upon arrival, a Tourist Card must be purchased ,it is 10 dollars, US money only and is available at a booth in Immigration.

Please bring Exact change. Immigration officials have been known to not make change for a $20 bill or larger and will often pretend to not have the ability to make change, even though they have clearly accepted the $10 bills of many other tourists in front of you.

Other airports in the country:

- La Isabela International Airport in Greater Santo Domingo. (IATA: JBQ)

- Punta Cana International Airport in Punta Cana / Higuey City. (IATA: PUJ)

- La Romana International Airport in La Romana City. (IATA: LRM)

- Cibao International Airport in Santiago de los Caballeros City. (IATA: STI)

- Gregorio Luperon International Airport in Puerto Plata City. (IATA: POP)

- El Catey International Airport in Sanchez City. (IATA: AZS)

- Maria Montez International Airport in Barahona City. (IATA: BRX)

There is ferry service to and from Mayaguez as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico. It costs around US $200 roundtrip and the overnight journey last 12 hours. For an additional fee, you can bring your car along for the ride.

The former company, Ferries del Caribe is now out of business and the new provider is called America Cruise Ferries.

Sansouci is a good terminal that holds up to 3800 passengers+luggage. From there you can get a taxi or a tour, and there is also an ATM, gift shops, a call center, and internet service.

The Port of Santo Domingo is located on the Ozama River. Its location at the center of the Caribbean is well suited for flexible itinerary planning and has excellent support, road and airport infrastructure within the Santo Domingo region, which facilitate access and transfers.

The port is suitable for both turnaround and transit calls.

The port's renovation is part of a major redevelopment project, aimed at integrating the port area and the Zona Colonial and foster a cruise, yacht, and high-end tourism destination.

Supported by legislation approved in 2005, the project, developed by the Sans Souci Group, also includes the development of a new sports marina and a 122-acre (0.49 km2) mixed-leisure real estate development adjacent to the port.

Santo Domingo was, until recently, a huge city of nearly 4 million people that was split into 5 independent municipalities: Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo Este, Santo Domingo Oeste, Santo Domingo Norte and Boca Chica.

Almost all tourist attractions and shopping, dining and entertainment venues are located relatively close to each other in the Distrito Nacional, making it easy for you to get around and see the sights.

Santo Domingo is not entirely a tourist-friendly city. It`s often hard to move around if you don't know the city, as many streets lack proper signage and addresses are often reliant on the neighborhood's name more than an actual street address.

However, don't be afraid of asking the locals for orientation, as Dominicans are well known for their helpful nature and usually helpful to tourists.

It's a good idea to get a street map,there are many city maps online but it's also possible to buy one at any gift shop or book store for no more than US$5 dollars.

Walking along major thoroughfares in Santo Domingo can prove quite challenging. First, drivers aren't very respectful of pedestrians, so you have to take extra care when trying to cross a street. Second, some sidewalks can be damaged or under construction , forcing you onto the street.

The Malecon and Colonial Zone are the most walkable parts of the city. They offer multiple pedestrian attractions and are relatively safe areas for tourists to explore. Although it is always wise to use common sense as everywhere.

While exploring the Colonial Zone try hiring a properly-licensed tour guide. These talented yet underpaid, multi-lingual individuals will keep you entertained for hours with unprecedented historical insight and humor.

You can usually find them at the Plaza Colon in front of the Cathedral. Most are worth every penny. On the other hand, some of them are known to take their customers to businesses that throw them a kickback, so it's up to you to decide whether you really like to act upon their advice on businesses or not.

From the airport You can book your airport transfers in advance. Dominican Airport Transfers one of business leaders, you can actually get an instant quote and book online on their automated site but the office is located in the city.

A company that specializes in working with non-Spanish speaking visitors is Santo Domingo Taxi. They can provide you a quote and drive you to any location in the country.

Unlike most major metropolitan areas, there are very few roaming taxis in Santo Domingo. Even if you see one, it is best not to take a chance, it can be dangerous. In most cases you have to call a dispatcher to have a taxi sent to your location.

This isn't a problem and most businesses will gladly call a cab for you. Relatively expensive, usually US$ 4-15 per average trip and possibly more if you use one of the friendly cabs waiting in front of your nice hotel lobby.

Again, depending on circumstances, you may find that hiring a cab driver for the day is a good bargain.

Alternatively, go up to the second floor at the Arrivals at the very end, where a minivan will accommodate up to 8 passengers for a ride 70 pesos or ~ 2 USD, 1/2 hour to the Zona Colonial only.

For further distances to the center i.e. to the Caribe Tours Terminal, you will need to negotiate just like you would have with the usual un-metered taxis.

To return, the cheapest option is to go to the corner of Av. Sabena Larga with Av. Las Americas it is walkable in 15 minutes from Zona Colonial, where this same van may be there, or if not take the bus going to Boca Chica for 40 pesos, about 1 hour ; ask the driver to stop before the express route to the Airport, from where you can walk about 20 minutes, some 2 km.

I would not recommend this return during night time, nor do I know if lack of Spanish will hinder this option,hardly anyone speaks English in the bus, around the terminals etc.

However getting to the city center seems more viable, that van was recommended at the Tourist Desk in the airport, and some sort of authority with a badge was entertaining the driver while waiting for the car to be filled.

At least Taxis are convenient but expensive.

Never get into stray cabs at night or cabs that aren't sent by a dispatcher, they are not the safest. Another note, some cabs will put several passengers in at once, each paying a separate fare.

All major US car rental firms are available at the airport, along with several local vendors offering everything from subcompacts to late model Hummers, Range Rovers and Land Cruisers.

When renting from local vendors be sure to read the fine print regarding insurance coverage, you might think you're getting a great deal on a car, only to get into an accident and find out that your insurance coverage does not apply or that your deductible is as high as US$5,000.

Before you go for a car rental be aware Gasoline costs around US$ 5 per gallon and people drive fast and furious, breaking every imaginable rule.

It might be safer and cheaper to develop a friendship with a cab driver who will gladly become your personal driver, tour guide and concierge for a day rate equal to a fraction of what it would cost you to rent, insure and gas up a rental.

Traffic at rush hour can be very heavy, especially in the city center and as stated by others, aggressive driving is the norm. There are many one-way roads that are not marked and signage is very poor all-around.

The police are looking for handouts and so they will attempt to pull over any gringo in sight. It is not recommended to drive yourself as the drivers are super aggressive, road rules are ignored more often than not and no matter the circumstance an accident will always be the fault of a non-local.

For some unknown reason bus service in Santo Domingo is not very user-friendly and geared more towards locals getting to and from work. It is often impossible to know which bus goes where unless you ask the driver, as neither buses nor routes are clearly marked.

Not Inexpensive about US $ 0.5 and 1.00 per ride, yet complicated. Avoid unless you are accompanied by a local. These are called guaguas by locals.

These collective taxis or carros publicos as they are called by Dominicans, stick to a predetermined route,usually up and down a major avenue, picking up and dropping off passengers along the way - often cramming up to five passengers into a twenty year old Toyota Corolla.

Very inexpensive,US$ 0.50 per trip, yet very uncomfortable. By the way, if you are overweight don't be surprised if the driver charges you for two seats instead of one.

They fit 7 people total, the driver, two in front passenger seat, and four in the back seat.

Santo Domingo has just recently gotten its own Metro, with just one line operating on a North-South axis under the Maximo Gomez avenue, going from Villa Mella to the Centro de los Heroes and the Malecon, passing by the National Theater and the Santo Domingo Autonomous University (UASD).

It costs just 20 pesos per ride less than US$ 0.6. A second line is currently in construction and there's around five more lines in plans of construction for the upcoming future.

Despite boasting a rich cultural, architectural and artistic heritage, Santo Domingo has not been exploited for all its tourist potential. You're pretty much on your own to discover this fascinating city. Make the most of your time there.

Colonial Zone. Santo Domingo was the first major european settlement in the New World. Christopher Columbus walked these streets! Check out the many examples of 15th and 16th century architecture in the Colonial Zone. Don't miss the Ozama Fort, the Alcazar de Colon and the Cathedral, all built in Columbus' lifetime.

You can also check beautiful churches and convents, such as the Iglesia Regina Angelorum and the Convento de los Dominicos. Don't miss the Panteon Nacional, where the national heroes are buried, located in the Calle Las Damas, the New World's first (European) street.

Walk up the Calle del Conde, a very old pedestrian shop-lined street that used to be the commercial heart of the city.

This street leads to the Puerta de la Independencia, where the Dominican Republic proclaimed its independence from Haiti, and the Parque Independencia, where the country's founding fathers' remains are kept.

On Sunday evenings, check out the Ruinas de San Francisco for live bands playing Merengue, Bachata, Salsa and Son, in a wonderful weekly show where both locals and tourists dance, drink and enjoy themselves. This would be an unforgettable experience.

Also check out La Atarazana street after dark for a variety of romantic outdoor cafes with a spectacular view of the Alcazar and bay area. One such brasserie, Pat E Palo, has operated uninterrupted since 1505.

Check out the house where Ponce DeLeon lived before he embarked upon his quest for the fountain of youth and ended up discovering Florida.

Malecon at George Washington Avenue. This waterfront boulevard is home to several huge hotel/casino complexes and dozens of small restaurants, clubs and cafes. Go there to people watch, take a romantic carriage ride or just have a few beers.

Site of many festivals and concerts throughout the year. Parallel to the Malecon you will find Avenida Independencia, a tree lined street full of shops, bed and breakfasts and affordable restaurants with a nice mix of locals and tourists.

For a unique dining experience check out Adrian Tropical, a traditional Dominican restaurant literally built on the water, or San Gil, a more formal eatery occupying the ruins of a colonial fort.

Malecon Center, located on the far end of the Malecon, is a new and still under occupied high-end shopping center/hotel/condo complex with a Botero sculpture out front that reportedly cost US$1 million.

Plaza de la Cultura, (Walk all the way down the Malecon to Avenida Maximo Gomez and take a left. Walk past the McDonald's and Pizza Hut. This amazing complex is home to the National Theater and five museums, ranging from the dilapidated and mundane, to the crisp, modern Museum of Modern Art.

The largest in the Caribbean and home to exhibits by artists from Jamaica, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and of course, the Dominican Republic. If you want a nice beautiful garden to read or talk this is a good place.

Eco-tourism. Find your way to the Parque Mirador Sur, an impressive park overlooking the coast. It gets closed for cars on weekdays between 5 and 8 am and pm, as well as on Sundays, enabling it to get filled with families playing with their children and exercising.

Bike rentals are at your disposal. Also, you can visit the Jardin Botanico, a vast, beautiful and lush park situated near one of Santo Domingo's most exclusive neighborhoods. There you can experience different ecosystems from a rain-forest to a Japanese garden

Eastern Santo Domingo. Referred to as Santo Domingo Oriental, this separate municipality is not very tourist-friendly. Fortunately, most of its attractions are very close to the Colonial Zone and easy to get to.

Check out Los Tres Ojos, or Three Eyes, a series of open-roof caverns and underground lakes for the whole family to explore with a local this part of Santo Domingo is the most poverty stricken and can be dangerous.

Head over to the Faro a Colon, a huge lighthouse and monument to Christopher Columbus which not only houses his remains but doubles as a museum.

Check out the Santo Domingo Aquarium, a small but impressive showcase of the local aquatic life. If you're looking for some shopping, you can go to the Megacentro, Santo Domingo's largest shopping mall. It is massive.

Upscale Santo Domingo. If you want to see the cosmopolitan, upscale side of Santo Domingo, head to the Piantini and Naco neighborhoods.

Gustavo Mejía Ricart and major avenues like Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill are lined with high end boutiques, shopping plazas, expensive cafes and restaurants offering a huge variety of international cuisines and just about anything money can buy, from cigar shops to Ferrari and Bentley dealerships.

The JW Marriott Hotel has recently opened in this area, which is very likely to bring much more tourism into what is the actual downtown of Santo Domingo.

Don't miss Blue Mall, an ultra-modern shopping center/office building where you will find everything from Hard Rock Cafe's to Sophias Bar and Grill along with the most expensive shops in the city from Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, Cartier, Tous & L'Occitane to more casuals like Zara and Adidas.

Just opened is Novocentro which opened in a glass tower which was originally going to be a bank, but turned into a 2 story shopping center featuring a Fine Arts Cinema and some high end restaurants and gelaterias.

Further away you can find Bella Vista Mall and Sambil, two other big shopping malls in Santo Domingo. If you're looking for more open-air plazas lined with smaller boutiques, you should check out Plaza Andalucia.

For bowling, you can go to the Plaza Bolera, which has recently gotten a face-lift.

If you're in this area in the early afternoon, you should check out trendy cafes such as La Cuchara de Madera, where you can enjoy delicious deserts such as their dulce de leche - Piramides, and SUD & La posta for dining and definitely to high-end nightclubs and bars like 504 or Mamma.

In the Colonial Zone:

Alcazar de Colon - Visit this stunning villa, built in 1510 and retaining period furnishings and other items owned by Governor Diego Colón, first-born son of Christopher Columbus.

Naval Museum of the Atarazanas Across the plaza from the Alcazar de Colon on Calle Atarazana, the oldest street in the Western Hemisphere.

Museum of the Casas Reales Another great museum featuring collections depicting life in 16th century Santo Domingo. Located on Calle Las Damas, walking distance from the Alcazar de Colon and the Naval Museum.

World of Ambar Museum An impressive collection of amber stones.

Museum of Duarte A collection of artifacts and writings regarding the Dominican Republic's founding father, Juan Pablo Duarte. Located on Calle Isabel La Catolica, a few blocks west of the above museums.

Museo del Ron Dominicano Interesting museum presenting the history and evolution of rum production in the Dominican Republic. In the after hours it turns into a bar.

In Plaza de la Cultura:

- Museum of Natural History

- Museum of Dominican Man

- Museum of Modern Art

- National Museum of History and Geography

There are many parks around the city of Santo Domingo. One of the most popular parks are called Los Miradores, which are located on various sections of the city. These parks are very cozy for a picnic, to bike ride, a quick jog, or a long walk to enjoy nature and relax with friends.

They’re a quite huge and can be a bit unsafe if wandered during the night, because it lacks street lights. Although Santo Domingo is surrounded by beautiful parks it does lack recreational facilities accessible to the public.

- Mirador Norte Park, lies in the north of the city, close to Villa Mella

- Enriquillo Park

- Mirador Sur Park, located in the southwest section of the city

- Independencia Park, located in Zona Colonial

- Colon Park, located in Zona Colonial

- Las Praderas Metropolitan Park

- The Malecon, cityfront coastal park

- Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso National Botanical Garden

- Dominican Republic National Zoo

- Parque Nunez de Caceres

Santo Domingo is an excellent place to study Spanish off the beaten track and get immersed in the language. One recommended Spanish school that specializes in one on one lessons at discount rates is the RoofTop Spanish School.

Two of the top festivities of the year occur in Santo Domingo. The annual Merengue Festival in the summer and Carnival in the spring. Each of these is held on the city's main seaside main road, El Malecon, but tend to spill over into hotel ballrooms, beaches, patios and even parking lots.

This is a great way to emerge oneself into the Dominican culture, as well as meet new interesting people from the city. The Merengue Festival takes place between July 26 to 31. The festival is a celebration of Dominican Republic’s main dance, merengue.

They invite the top merengue bands to perform free concerts to the crowd. The festival begins with a parade, but later becomes a concert. There are art exhibitions, food fairs, and games that occur at the same time.

The main activity that is done during the festival is dancing merengue, so be prepared to be spun uncontrollable when you decide to dance with a local.

The other amazing festival is The Carnival, which takes place during the entire month of February, but reaches its peak on February 27, the Dominican Independence Day.

The Carnival also takes place in El Malecon, where masks, which symbolizes spiritual spirits;elaborate costumes,and intriguing dances parade down the streets while entertaining and sometimes scaring the crowd.

Gruen Projects -- Art Gallery, Bella Vista by appointment. Gruen Projects exhibits and promotes the work of Dominican Artists, such as Hector Ledesma, Miguel Pineda, Leonardo Sanz, Joaquin Rosario, and Joel Gonell.

The Colonial Zone offers plenty of shopping opportunities, especially if you are looking for Ambar and Larimar, the traditional stones of the DR. Don't forget to haggle, as all the shop owners adjust their prices for this purpose.

You will also find a ton of Haitian art for sale everywhere at great prices. If that's your thing, great, just remember its not Dominican. The main boulevard in the Colonial Zone is El Conde, a pedestrian boulevard lined with all kinds of shops and eateries mostly aimed at the locales.

If you are feeling adventurous, have a cab take you to the Mercado Modelo nearby. This indoor labyrinth of shops can be overwhelming for a new tourist but, don't worry, it is safe.

Then again, you might feel safer asking the cab driver to escort you through the maze of shops and kiosks offering every imaginable kind of souvenir, jewelry, stone, artwork, etc.

If you want to experience American-style shopping there are plenty of options but here are the four most popular: Agora Mall, Blue Mall, Galerias 360 and Sambil, for those of you willing to venture into Santo Domingo Oriental, MegaCentro.

No haggling at the malls. While MegaCentro is farther away than the others, it is the second largest mall in the Caribbean after Plaza Las Americas in Puerto Rico and is a destination in and of itself. This place is large.

Please remember when shopping at the malls, this is an island where practically everything being sold is imported and, worse yet, taxed at 18% (ITBIS or Value Added Tax). Don't expect to find too many bargains to brag about back home.

Santo Domingo offers a variety of cuisines from around the world from Chinese, Italian and Mediterranean to Brazillian. You can also find the main fast food franchises like McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, among others.

Be aware that mid-grade and high-end restaurants can be quite costly in comparison with local salaries, a dinner with an entree, main course, drink and dessert can range from US $20-$85 per person. Be careful and ask around as price doesn't always equal quality, especially in tourist areas.

Unless the contrary is specified menu prices don’t include the 10% service charge and 18% sales tax, so real prices are 28% higher than indicated in the menu.

If you want to spend less than US $8 on a decent meal and drink:

Visit a comedor or cafeteria.

Comedores offer a Plato del Dia or predetermined meal of the day,usually rice, beans, salad and meat or chicken, and a soda for just US$3 – 8.

Cafeterias and Comedores can be found everywhere around the city but specially around business areas and universities, this is where locals eat so is a great way of getting in touch with the culture.

Mimosa, located on Padre Billini street in the Colonial Zone, offers a great variety of tasty local food during lunch hours.

Another great option is Cafeteria El Parque which is in front of Eugenio Maria de Hostos Park attached to the Clinica Abreu one of the country's best and most prestigious clinic,close to the Colonial Zone and the Malecon, great place for breakfast, lunch and an early dinner.

Vegetarian - Kalenda corner of Calle 19 de Marzo and calle Arzobispo Portes.
Wonderful food. Afternoon veg meal comes with a free tea infusion like jasmin or green tea. Or just order a green juice to keep you going for the day for four dollars "

Best sandwiches, juice and shakes in the Caribbean - Barra Payán, located on 30 de marzo street only five minutes from the Colonial Zone, is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. A sandwich cafeteria, the place has been a traditional eatery for more than a half century. Buy a sandwich and a delicious squeezed-to-order fruit juice or milkshake for less than US$ 5.

Chinese and Pica Pollo - At some point in history Dominicans became quite fond of fried chicken and chinese food, combining both cuisines into fast food establishments known as pica pollos.

These are usually take-out joints run by first or second generation chinese immigrants, serving up heaping portions of fried rice, plantain slices and tasty and greasy fried chicken, along with the usual variety of Chinese comfort food.

Very inexpensive. Visit Santo Domingo's China Town, near the Mercado Modelo and not far from the Colonial Zone (Duarte Avenue), a very busy zone where working class people do a lot of their shopping.

If you feel adventurous enough to enter this usually chaotic but very picturesque part of the town it would an experience to remember. Keep in mind, pick-pockets love the crowded streets, watch your belongings closely.

A Mcdonalds combo costs around US$ 5, Taco Bell, Wendys and Pizza Hut around US$ 6. There are also several very good local franchises like Pizzarelli where you can have pasta, pizza or a salad for no more than US$ 10, and others like Pollos Victorina.

Also, don't miss some good Dominican empanadas at De Nosotros Empanadas. You can walk into a McDonalds in Santo Domingo and order a value meal with a Presidente beer instead of a Coke.

Adrian Tropical A unique, quality and affordable dining experience. There are three restaurants in the city, the coolest one is literally built on the water in the Malecon. Best known for its Mofongo dish. This plate is made out of mashed plantains.

El Conuco Very touristy and rather affordable restaurant in Gazcue, where you can enjoy live traditional Dominican dances.
Lincoln Road On the Abraham Lincoln avenue, this restaurant has recently been remodeled.

Yokomo The Dominican Sushi franchise. Enjoy the most unique and inventive Dominican-fushion sushi, such as sushi with sweet plantains.

Falafel In the colonial zone, a good and affordable Near Eastern restaurant specializing in, as the name suggests it, falafel.

Atras and Cinnamon in Plaza Orleans, two contiguous open-air restaurants. In this plaza you can order from any restaurant while sitting in the courtyard.

Buen Provecho Middle range restaurant serving different types of food, a good place to get the Dominican Flag of meat with rice and beans.

Red Grill A very trendy grill with several locations in the city. One is located in Plaza Orleans, another one has its own bar on top.

Chef Pepper Also very trendy, and it just opened a new branch in Bella Vista. If you're craving a hamburger or a steak and cheese sandwich, this is a good place to go.

L'Osteria A mid-range but very high quality Italian restaurant, facing the national theater.

Sapore d'Italia Another mid-range, very good Italian restaurant.

La Lasagna And yet another good Italian restaurant, very good and pretty affordable.

American and international midrange franchises:

- TGI Fridays in Acropolis Mall

- Tony Roma's in the Sarasota Avenue

- Outback Steak House in Acropolis Mall

- Aviation Sports Bar in Plaza Central Mall

- Hard Rock Cafe in the 4th Floor Blue Mall, Churchill Street.

The following are very expensive but friendly:

El Vesuvio The oldest and finest Italian restaurant on the island, bar none, located on the Malecon

La Briciola Fancy Italian restaurant in a Colonial Garden.

Meson de la Cava An expensive average restaurant whose chief gimmick is being located within a natural cave underground.

If you want to explore how the wealthier classes dine in Santo Domingo, these are the places to go:

- Pat'e Palo Colonial Spanish/Mediterranean brasserie style restaurant, situated by the Plaza de Espana overlooking the Alcazar de Colon frequented by locals

- Pepperoni Grille Upscale, modern Italian.

- Sofia's Mediterranean cuisine.

- Any of the restaurants around Gustavo Mejia Ricart Avenue

- David Crockett The most expensive steak house.

- Meson de Bari One of the classiest restaurants for Dominican cuisine

- Porter House Grill Steakhouse

- Marocha Very popular cafe/restaurant, especially because of its Churros

- Lupe Right next to Marocha, Mexican Restaurant

- La Marrana Very trendy Spanish restaurant

- Cane, Jaleo and Tangerine Three contiguous Dominican fusion bar/restaurants

- Aka Possibly the most popular Japanese restaurant

- Fellini's Fancy Italian

- Don Pepe Fancy Spanish restaurant, very pricey

- Mitre Chic restaurant and wine bar

- Tabu Bambu Asian Fusion

- Scherezade Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant, with a lunch buffet on Sundays.

- Michelangelo Restaurant, (Winston Churchill and Roberto Pastoriza, Plaza Las Americas). The average price is about six to fourteen dollars a plate, a international menu that includes, imported seafood, imported pasta and cheese, imported steaks and some of the most popular Dominican cuisine.

The decoration is artistic, with Michaelangelo finest works on the walls but at the same time very modern and chic all in white, with a outdoor terrace to enjoy frozen cocktails and wine overlooking one of the most popular avenue in the city.

The restaurant products are mostly imported and they only cook with bottle water, making it one of the most safe place to eat.

- Sixteen Cuts Restaurant & Marine Lounge. This is by far the best kept secret in Santo Domingo. Offers one of the most exclusive views of the Colonial Zone. Has an excellent international menu, being its main courses the Black Angus and US Certified Cuts, divided in 16 Tapas & Entrees, 16 Greatest & Newest Cuts,16 Ultimates Sides.

All this complemented with a delicious offer of Seafood Meals, Fresh Salads and More Great Cuisine, all harmonized with their Wine Selection. Avenida Miguel Barcelo #1, Marina Bartolome Colon.

Santo Domingo has an amazing variety of night life options. Unfortunately, most bars and clubs must close at midnight from Sunday to Thursday and at 2AM on Friday and Saturday. This is a regulation imposed since 2006 intended to curtail the escalating crime in the city.

Therefore, it is not uncommon for people to start partying at 8PM on the weekends. Happily, the regulation is suspended on holidays and the last two weeks of December for Christmas partying. Usually the clubs located inside major hotels are exempt from this rule, although they aren't usually much fun.

As of November 2007, there are a couple of bars that are open until 3AM on weekends since August 2007.

The Malecon is home to several options as well, depending on what's in style at the time.

Check out Jet Set on Monday nights for live Merengue and Bachata shows from the most popular top bands.

Head over to the upscale side of Santo Domingo (Naco, Piantini) if that is your scene. There are a ton of options there, including perennial favorites such as Trio Caffe, Praia and Montecristo.

Be aware that those kind of places can have a rather strict admission policy, you usually have to look white enough and rich enough to be admitted.

This discrimination does not go unnoticed, the Embassy of United States directed all resident official U.S. Embassy employees to refrain from patronizing Loft one of the most popular and exclusive nightclubs in the city, responding to the actions of Loft management in selectively denying entry to African-Americans embassy on July 22 2007.

In this upscale area of Santo Domingo, consider:

- Cue Dance club and lounge

- Cinema Cafe Within Plaza de la Cultura, adjacent to Museo del Hombre Dominicano. Nice ambient, presents local rock bands on the weekends. In case of concert there is a $15-20 cover.

- Dock Very trendy Bar at the Acropolis Center. Open air, electronic music.

- El Barcito Very nice ambiance, mostly rock music. The owner is always present and very friendly.

- 504 Fancy Italian restaurant, becomes bar later at night

- Mamma A nice Club with House music, where some well known DJ's are invited. Near Santo Domingo Hotel.
Level 2 On the second flour of the Holiday Inn Hotel. Also check out the rooftop bar and pool.

- Maruja New, trendy open air bar, close to La Marrana and Margo

- Mix Right next to the Mix Restaurant, another popular bar.

- Zambra The fanciest club, currently moved to the Holiday Inn Hotel.

- Rua Open air bar in front of Aka

- Shots Mostly rock music, very young crowd. Ave. Roberto Pastoriza.

If you are more into the bohemian scene check out the Colonial Zone for great bars and cafes, as well as a vibrant gay nightlife scene.

- Bio. Modern eclectic music from regueaton to latin rock, very young public. Famous for serving drinks from buckets. Calle Sanchez and Padre Billini

- Mojiganga Currently the trendiest place in the Colonial Zone

- Cacibajagua. Great rock music, nice decor, adult crowd. Sanchez #201.

- Casa de Teatro Enjoy live jazz and rock concerts, pretty bohemian.

- Doubles Good Latin dance music.

-El Beduino New Hookah Bar on a rooftop in the Colonial Zone.

- El Sarten Latin Dance music

- Encuentro Artesanal. The decor is definitely the best in the Colonial Zone highly selected electronic music, frequented by artists and publicists.

- Misifu New bar in the Atarazana street. Very trendy at the moment.

- Museo del Ron The daytime museum turns into a very cosy bar, offering a wide range of Caribbean rums to taste, as well as some of the best rum based coctails in the city. Nice lounge music, beautiful patio.

- O' Brien's Supposedly an Irish Pub, and although there's nothing of a pub about it, it is a very trendy place.

- Ocho Puertas Rock, alternative and electronica with live music also, very beautiful place. Jose Reyes #107

- Parada 77. Latin rock, spanish songwriters some merengue and salsa , people in their mid thirties and forties.

- S Bar. Mostly rock music can enjoy some falafels too, you would love the owner Isaac. Calle Sanchez and Padre Billini

- Segafredo. A franchise, loungue music, italian food and good coffee.

Don't leave Santo Domingo without visiting La Guacara Taina, the only nightclub in the world inside a huge natural cave. Descend several hundred feet into a fantasy world of lights and sound.

You have to see this place to believe it. Located under the Mirador Sur park mentioned above. It can be empty if you go early or on weekdays. Only opens for events now.

Hotel Villa Colonial, Calle Sanchez 157, Zona Colonial. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 13:00. Hotel Villa Colonial is in the heart of Santo Domingo's historic center, and has an outdoor pool, tropical gardens and a charming patio.

The air-conditioned rooms include cable TV. Each functional room at the Hotel Villa Colonial features a fan, a safe and a mini-fridge. The private bathrooms have a hairdryer and free toiletries.

The hotel features a free Wi-Fi zone and a 24-hour front desk. Airport transportation can be arranged for an extra fee. The Malecon seafront promenade and El Conde market are just a 2-minute walk from Hotel Villa Colonial. Boca Chica Beach and Las Americas International Airport are a 25-minute drive away.

Apartments for rent in Santo Domingo. A wide selection of furnished apartments with excellent facilities and located in the best areas of Santo Domingo. Either vacation rentals or long term rentals apartments.

You can rent our apartments for days or weeks, this is an excellent alternative to the hotel because you can enjoy more space, more freedom and more privacy without sacrificing comfort.

Courtyard by Marriot Santo Domingo Hotel, Avenida Maximo Gomez. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 1PM. Near the business district, conveniently located to the US Embassy and the US Consulate, ideal for business travellers. Comfortable rooms equipped with free wireless internet.

Hilton Santo Domingo, George Washington Avenue, #500.

Acuarium. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. With sprawling tropical gardens, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and massage center, Acuarium is a relaxing haven in which to base oneself in order to explore the oldest city in the New World! The onsite restaurant and pizzeria offer delicious Italian and Dominican cuisine. US$ 60.

Hotel Atarazana, Calle Vicente Celestino Duarte #19 Zona Colonial. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. Family-run boutique hotel. All rooms are equipped with color cable TV, en-suite, air conditioning or ceiling fan and wi-fi. All rooms have balconies.

Breakfast is served in the hotel’s patio, surrounded by lush plants and a jacuzzi. English, Spanish, German, French and Italian spoken by staff. US$ 80-100.

Hotel Beaterio, Calle Duarte nº8 Ciudad Colonial. Excellent accommodations in a former nunnery! Wrought iron beds, old world charm, and central to the colonial district. From $75 up.

Hotel Delta, Sarasota #53 in Bella Vista area. Excellent for the business traveler. It located in the center of the city making it very accessible. Hotel offers a business center and wifi connection.

Restaurant with 24 hour room service. There is a very nice pool/bar on the rooftop which offers a 360 degree view of the city.

Pension Ginette El Conde 505 near Puerta del Conde. 400 DOP for 2 people.

Quality Hotel Real Aeropuerto Santo Domingo, KM 22 Autopista Las Americas next to Las Americas Free Zone. Quality Hotel Real Aeropuerto Santo Domingo offers guests pool, parks in every area, restaurant and bar.

Rooms have access to high speed internet, cable TV, laundry service, among other services. Prices range between $80 - $140.

Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino. Centrally located near El Conde shopping district, historic colonial buildings, and restaurants. Also across the street from the malecon which is long sidewalk and sitting area in front of ocean.

The RoofTop Hostel, Calle Francisco Peynado No. 56, Edificio Calu, A great hangout spot for backpackers with dorm beds starting at $6 USD per night.

Be aware that although Santo Domingo is on the ocean, there are no beaches in the National District/Malecon area.The beach resorts are in Boca Chica, east of the airport and about a 20-25 minute drive from the city center.

WHO suggests to use intensely Mosquito repeller due to diseases which may be transmitted by insects. In the begin of 2016 there were 10 official cases of zika virus in Santo Domingo.

Poverty, though not as bad as next door Haiti, is still rampant and it is best you take precautions.

Do not flash obvious wealth in poorer or middle class sections of the city,lots of jewelry, expensive camera, big watches, etc. Keep your bag away from the street when walking as it can be snatched by kids on mopeds and keep a firm grip on it.

Keep your passport at your accommodation and in a safe because some maids have been known to steal.

If you are Caucasian no matter how you are dressed, expect to have a lot of insincerely friendly people on the streets follow you and strike up conversation with you. They are only talking to you in order to get money from you.

They inevitably steer the conversation towards money and are looking for handouts or, worse, protection money to protect you from the more undesirable elements of society.

Walk confidently and know where you're going before you get there.

Don't dress like a tourist,for example, very few Dominicans wear short pants in public. Be yourself but if yourself is flashing Gucci and Prada where ever you go, maybe you need to dress down a bit.

If you are unfortunate enough to need rabies shots, the place to go is the Centro Antirrabico Nacional on Avenue Duarte.

Tourism Observer

CHINA: China Southern Orders $5.65 billion 777-300(ER), 737 MAX From Boeing

Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines has finalized a deal to purchase eight Boeing 777-300(ER)s and 30 737 MAX 8, worth $5.65 billion.

This deal joins an already-existing order of 12 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $3.2 billion, which was formalized 12 months ago.

Boeing plans to begin delivering these Dreamliners between 2018 and 2020.

The Chinese carrier also signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 20 A350-900s earlier in April, valued at $6 billion.

The airline operates one of the largest Airbus fleets in the world with more than 300 Airbus aircraft in service, comprising the A320 Family, the A330 Family, and five A380s.

Considered Asia’s largest airline by size, China Southern boasts a massive fleet of 546 aircraft.

Currently, the airline operates 10 Boeing 777-300(ER) and 180 737-700/800. The new 777s and 737 MAX 8s are expected join the fleet between 2019 and 2020.

China Southern made the announcement at the Hong Kong stock exchange filing, where the airline’s strategy to grow its two-hub operation was disclosed.

These planes will boost the firm’s competitiveness in the market, said the airline at the event.

China Southern currently operates two major hubs at Guangzhou and Beijing-Capital.

However, once the new Beijing Airport opens in October 2019, the airline plans to relocate to what should become the world’s largest airport.

Even though the new Beijing Airport will initially operate with a capacity of 45 million passengers per year, it is being constructed to sustain a capacity of up to 100 million passengers per year.

Located about 42 miles from Beijing’s city center, the new airport will be better connected through high-speed rail and a dedicated motorway.

Both China Southern and its competitor, China Eastern, will relocate to this new airport.

It is expected that these two airlines will provide 80% of the airport’s total traffic for the first five years.

China Southern Airlines has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 20 A350-900s.

The airline operates one of the largest Airbus fleets in the world with more than 300 Airbus aircraft in service, comprising the A320 Family, the A330 Family, and five A380s.

Airbus has recorded a total of 841 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers, and the carrier, as the latest customer for the aircraft has the ideal choice for international long haul routes.

The introduction of the A350 XWB will help to strengthen our position as one of the world’s leading international carriers, Tan Wangeng, President of China Southern Airlines, said.

The aircraft features an aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, and new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines.

These technologies lead the carrier into an operational efficiency, with a 25 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions and lower maintenance costs.

Also, the interior design and the mood lighting in the cabin contributes to comfort and well-being.

We are proud to welcome China Southern Airlines as the latest airline to select the A350 XWB, said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

The unrivaled operational performance, fuel efficiency and cabin comfort of the A350 XWB will give China Southern Airlines a competitive edge on its international network.

China Southern Airlines has finalized yesterday a $3.2 billion order with Boeing to acquire a dozen of 787-9 Dreamliners, in the latest sign of booming air travel demand in China.

The Guangzhou-based carrier said on Wednesday that the new jetliners, to be delivered between 2018 and 2020 will strengthen its expanding long-haul fleet.

The 787 Dreamliners have helped us to achieve initial success in implementing our internationalization strategy in the past few years and enabled us to make our operation and services more appealing to passengers, said Tan Wangeng, CEO, China Southern Airlines.

The additional new 787-9s will further increase our capacity and services for our long-haul routes.”

China is the world’s fastest-growing aviation market, having expanded rapidly as a rising middle class with a strong purchasing power has boosted demand for domestic flights as well as international travel.

China Southern Airlines, China’s launch customer of the 787, currently operates 10 787-8s.

The airplanes have enabled the Guangzhou-based carrier to launch six new non-stop global routes, connecting Guangzhou to London and Rome in Europe, Vancouver in North America, as well as Perth, Auckland and Christchurch in the Oceania area.

China’s largest airline by fleet size, China Southern Airlines currently operates 700 aircraft, including Boeing 787, 777, 747, 757 and 737s.

By 2020, the airline expects to have a fleet of 1,000 aircraft with passenger traffic surpassing 160 million annually.

Tourism Observer

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines Orders For 39 Aircraft From Boeing,

Singapore Airlines and Boeing have announced a deal for 20 Boeing 777-9Xs and 19 787-10 aircraft.

The announcement took place at a ceremony at the White House.

The order is valued at about U.S. $13.8 billion.

Boeing says it will sustain thousands of U.S. suppliers and more than 70,000 direct and indirect U.S. jobs during the delivery period of this contract.

Singapore has additional purchasing rights for 12 additional aircraft, with Boeing being six of each type.

Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines CEO said that Singapore Airlines has been a Boeing customer for many decades and we are pleased to have finalized this major order for widebody aircraft, which will enable us to continue operating a modern and fuel-efficient fleet.

The airline’s executive, who was at the ceremony alongside President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, also said that these new aircraft will also provide the Singapore Airlines Group with new growth opportunities, allowing us to expand our network and offer even more travel options for our customers.

Boeing’s CEO of Commercial Airplanes Kevin McAllister also commented that Boeing and Singapore Airlines have been strong partners since the airline’s first operations 70 years ago and we are thrilled to finalize their purchase of 20 777Xs and 19 additional 787-10 Dreamliners.

Singapore Airlines’ order is a testament to the market-leading capabilities of Boeing’s widebody airplanes, and we look forward to delivering the very first 787-10 to them next year,” he noted.

This is another significant commitment to the Boeing 777 family, especially from Singapore, who already have over 50 Boeing 777 aircraft.

With a prior order for 30 787-10 aircraft, they will now have 49 on order as well as being the launch customer for the aircraft type which is due to take place between Q118 and Q218.

Singapore’s subsidiaries SilkAir, Scoot, and SIA Cargo also operate the 737MAX8, 737-800, 787-8/9 and 747-400F aircraft as a whole collective, which highlights the significance of the relationship between the SIA Group and Boeing.

The 777-9X will be a great move for Singapore Airlines as they could start to implement more of a low-cost model as the aircraft can carry 400-425 passengers with a range of 7,600 nautical miles which means they could become more of an affordable long-haul carrier.

Meanwhile,SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) will debut its new A380 superjumbos on the Singapore-Sydney route on Dec 18, replete with updated cabin designs across four cabin classes.

The carrier announced the new cabins - across Suites, Business, Premium Economy and Economy - will be unveiled over Nov 2-4 at an event in Singapore, and will be fitted on the five new A380s the airline has on firm order with Airbus.

The first flight to Sydney, SQ221, will depart at 8.40pm and arrive at 7.40am the next morning, with more destinations to be announced in the coming months.

SIA's superjumbos fly to airports including Beijing, London, Melbourne, Mumbai, Paris and Zurich.

It said that the designs were four years in the making following extensive customer feedback.

Tourism Observer

Friday 27 October 2017

INDONESIA: Jakarta,Alcohol Drinking Not Prohibited,Knife-point Robberies,Chaotic No Traffic Rules, Locals Are Hospitable.

Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, located on the northwest of the island of Java. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre and the most populous city not only in Indonesia but in Southeast Asia as a whole.

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, formerly Batavia during Dutch East Indies. Located on the northwest coast of the world's most populous island of Java, Jakarta is the center of economics, culture and politics of Indonesia, with a population of 10,075,310 as of 2014.

Greater Jakarta metropolitan area, which is known as Jabodetabek a name formed by combining the initial syllables of Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi, is the second largest urban agglomeration in the world, with a population of 30,214,303 inhabitants as of 2010 census.

Jakarta's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over the Indonesian archipelago, making it a melting pot of many communities and cultures.

Jakarta is officially a province with special capital region status, yet is commonly referred to as a city. The Jakarta provincial government administers five administrative cities and one administrative regency.

Although the city is known for its heavy traffic and high level of pollution it is filled with an exciting nightlife and vibrant shopping areas. The city is also the centre and melting pot of Indonesian culture which might be the thing for you to enjoy Jakarta.

One excellent surprise you'll find in Jakarta is that once you past the taxi drivers who offer their services at the airport and really meet the locals, you will find that the people are among the most friendly, hospitable, and helpful people you'll find on earth.

If you keep away from the mini-bus drivers who are notorious for being the harshest on earth. However, understand that Jakarta being a melting pot, you are guaranteed to meet people of all sorts.

DKI Jakarta covers an area of 661.5 square kilometers, which is ranked 33rd among the provinces of Indonesia. Greater Jakarta metropolitan area has an area of 6,392 square kilometers, which extends into two of the bordering provinces of West Java and Banten.

The Greater Jakarta area includes 3 bordering regencies - Bekasi Regency, Tangerang Regency and Bogor Regency and five adjacent cities namely Bogor, Depok, Bekasi, Tangerang and South Tangerang.

Jakarta is situated on the northwest coast of Java, at the mouth of the Ciliwung River on Jakarta Bay, which is an inlet of the Java Sea. The northern part of Jakarta is plain land, some areas of which are below sea level and subject to frequent flooding.

The southern parts of the city are hilly. It is one of only two Asian capital cities located in the southern hemisphere,the other is Dili, capital of Timor Leste.

The area of the Jakarta Special District is 662 km2 (256 sq mi) of land area and 6,977 km2 (2,694 sq mi) of sea area. The Thousand Islands, which are administratively a part of Jakarta, are located in Jakarta Bay, north of the city.

Jakarta lies in a low and flat Alluvial plain, ranging from −2 to 50 metres (−7 to 164 ft) with an average elevation of 8 metres (26 ft) above sea level with historically extensive swampy areas. 40% of Jakarta, particularly the northern areas, is below sea level, while the southern parts are comparatively hilly.

Thirteen rivers flow through Jakarta: Ciliwung River, Kalibaru, Pasanggrahan, Cipinang, Angke River, Maja,Mookervart, Krukut, Buaran, West Tarum, Cakung, Petukangan, Sunter River and Grogol River.

These rivers flow from the Puncak highlands to the south of the city, then across the city northwards towards the Java Sea. The Ciliwung River divides the city into the western and eastern districts.

All these rivers, combined with the wet season rains and insufficient drainage due to clogging, make Jakarta prone to flooding. Moreover, Jakarta is sinking about 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 inches) each year, even up to 20 centimetres (7.9 inches) in the northern coastal areas.

To help cope with the threat from the sea, the Netherlands will give $4 million for a feasibility study to build a dike around Jakarta Bay. The ring dike will be equipped with a pumping system and retention areas to defend against seawater.

Additionally, the dike will function as a toll road. The project will be built by 2025. In January 2014, Central Government agreed to build 2 dams in Ciawi, Bogor and a 1.2-kilometre (0.75-mile) tunnel from Ciliwung River to Cisadane River to ease Jakarta floods.

Nowadays, an 1.2-kilometre (0.75-mile), with capacity 60 cubic metres (2,100 cubic feet) per second, underground water tunnel between Ciliwung River and the East Flood Canal is being worked on to ease the Ciliwung River overflows.

In June 2011, Jakarta had only 10.5% green open spaces (Ruang Terbuka Hijau) and this has grown to 13.94% public green open spaces. Public parks are included in public green open spaces. By 2030, the administration also hope there is 16% private green open spaces.

Merdeka Square (Medan Merdeka) is an almost 1 km2 field housing the symbol of Jakarta, Monas or Monumen Nasional (National Monument). The square was created by Dutch Governor-General Herman Willem Daendels and was originally named Koningsplein (King's Square).

On 10 January 1993, President Suharto started the beautification of the square. Several features including a deer park and 33 trees that represent the 33 provinces of Indonesia were added.

Lapangan Banteng (Buffalo Field) is located in Central Jakarta near Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Jakarta Cathedral, and Jakarta Central Post Office. It is about 4.5 hectares. Initially it was called Waterlooplein and functioned as the ceremonial square during the Netherlands East Indies colonial period.

A number of colonial monuments and memorials erected on the square during the colonial period were demolished during the Sukarno era. The most notable monument in the square is the Monumen Pembebasan Irian Barat or Monument of the Liberation of West Irian.

During the 1970s and 1980s the park was used as a bus terminal. In 1993 the park was turned into a public space again. It has become a recreation place for people and is occasionally also used as an exhibition place or for other events.Jakarta Flona or Flora dan Fauna, a flower and decoration plants and pet exhibition, is held in this park around August annually.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Miniature Park of Indonesia), in East Jakarta, has 10 mini parks.

Suropati Park is located in Menteng, Central Jakarta. The park is surrounded by several Dutch colonial buildings. Taman Suropati was known as Burgemeester Bisschopplein during the Dutch colonial time. The park is circular shaped with a surface area of 16,322 square metres or 175,690 square feet.

There are several modern statues in the park made by artists of ASEAN countries, which contributes to the nickname of the park Taman persahabatan seniman ASEAN Park of the ASEAN artists friendship.

Menteng Park and the Situ Lembang pond - Menteng Park was built on the site of the former Persija football stadium.

Kalijodo Park is the newest park in the city at Penjaringan subdistrict, with 3.4 hectares (8.4 acres) of land area besides the Krendang River which formally opened on 22 February 2017.

The park is open 24 hours as a green open space (RTH) and child-friendly integrated public space (RPTRA) and has international-standard skateboard facilities. It is expected that the park can function as an iconic tourist location.

Muara Angke Wildlife Sanctuary and Angke Kapuk Nature Tourism Park at Penjaringan in North Jakarta.

Ragunan Zoo is located in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta. It is the third oldest zoo in the world and is the second largest zoo in the world with the most diverse animal and plant populations.

Setu Babakan is a 32 hectare lake surrounded by Betawi cultural village, located at Jagakarsa, South Jakarta.

Ancol Dreamland is the largest integrated tourism area in South East Asia at present. It is located along the bay, at Ancol in North Jakarta.
Taman Waduk Pluit/Pluit Lake park at Pluit, North Jakarta,

Honda Park at Tebet, South Jakarta

Taman Langsat and Taman Ayodya in South Jakarta

The museums in Jakarta cluster around the Central Jakarta Merdeka Square area, Jakarta Old Town, and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.

The Jakarta Old Town contains museums that are former institutional buildings of Colonial Batavia. Among these museums are:

- Jakarta History Museum (former City Hall of Batavia)

-Wayang Museum Puppet Museum former Church of Batavia

- Fine Art and Ceramic Museum (former Court House of Justice of Batavia)

- Maritime Museum former Sunda Kelapa warehouse

- Bank Indonesia Museum (former Javasche Bank).

- Bank Mandiri Museum (former Nederlandsche Handels Maatschappij).

Several museums clustered in central Jakarta around the Merdeka Square are:

- National Museum of Indonesia which also known as Gedung Gajah - the Elephant Building

- Monumen Nasional (National Monument)

- Istiqlal Islamic Museum in Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, and Jakarta Cathedral Museum on the second floor of Jakarta Cathedral.

- Taman Prasasti Museum former cemetery of Batavia

- Textile Museum in Tanah Abang area.

The recreational area of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in East Jakarta contains fourteen museums, such as Indonesia Museum, Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum, Asmat Museum, Bayt al-Qur'an Islamic Museum, Pusaka (heirloom) Museum, and other science-based museum such as Research & Technology Information Centre, Komodo Indonesian Fauna Museum, Insect Museum, Petrol and Gas Museum, plus the Transportation Museum.

Other museums are Satria Mandala Military Museum, Museum Sumpah Pemuda, and Lubang Buaya or Crocodile Well.

Indonesia is the largest economy of ASEAN and Jakarta is the economic nerve center of Indonesian archipelago. The city generated about one-sixth of Indonesian GDP in 2008.Nominal GDP of DKI Jakarta was US$483.8 billion in 2016, which is about 17.5% of the nominal GDP of Indonesia.

Jakarta ranked 67th in Global Financial Centres Index 21 published by Z/Yen.The city ranks higher at 62 in Global Financial Centres Index 22, published in September, 2017. Jakarta ranked at 41 in Global Power City Index by The Mori Memorial Foundation in 2017.

Jakarta's economy depends highly on service sectors, banking, trading, financial, and manufacturing.

Most of industries in Jakarta include electronics, automotive, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences manufacturing. Head office of Bank Indonesia and Indonesia Stock Exchange located in the city.

Most of the SOE like Pertamina, PLN, PGN, Angkasa Pura, BULOG, Telkomsel, Waskita operate from their head offices in the city. Also major Indonesian conglomerates maintains head office in Jakarta.

Important conglomerates which have corporate office in the city are, Salim Group, Sinar Mas Group, Astra International, Lippo Group, Bakrie Group, Ciputra Group, Agung Podomoro Group, Unilever Indonesia, Djarum, Gudang Garam, Kompas Gramedia, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, MedcoEnergi, MNC, Trans Corp and many more.

The economic growth of Jakarta in 2007 was 6.44% up from 5.95% the previous year, with the growth in the transportation and communication (15.25%), construction (7.81%) and trade, hotel and restaurant sectors (6.88%).

In 2007, GRDP (Gross Regional Domestic Product) was Rp. 566 trillion about $US 56 billion. The largest contributions to GRDP were by finance, ownership and business services (29%); trade, hotel and restaurant sector (20%), and manufacturing industry sector (16%).

In 2007, the increase in per capita GRDP of DKI Jakarta inhabitants was 11.6% compared to the previous year. Both GRDP by at current market price and GRDP by at 2000 constant price in 2007 for the Municipality of Central Jakarta, which was Rp 146 million and Rp 81 million, was higher than other municipalities in Jakarta.

2014 by end of year Jakarta had a GRDP (Gross Regional Domestic Product) was Rp. 1,761.407 trillion about USD 148.53 billion with economic growth above 6% per year since 2009. In 2014, per capita GRDP of DKI Jakarta inhabitants was Rp 174.87 million or USD 14,727.

In 2015, GDP per capita in the city was estimated Rp 194.87 million or US$14,570.

The Wealth Report 2015 by Knight Frank reported that there were 24 individuals in Indonesia in 2014 with wealth at least one billion US Dollar and 18 of them live in the capital Jakarta.

The cost of living in the city continues to rise. Both land price and rents has become expensive. Mercer’s 2017 Cost of Living Survey ranked Jakarta as 88th costliest city in the world for expatriate employees living.

Industrial development and the construction of new housing are usually undertaken on the outskirts, while commerce and banking remain concentrated in the city center.Jakarta has a bustling luxury property market.

The investment in the property sector, including offices, commercial buildings, new town development, and high rise apartments and hotels grew substantially.

Knight Frank, a global real estate consultancy based in London, reported in 2014 that Jakarta offered the highest return on high-end property investment in the world in 2013, citing supply shortage and a sharply depreciated currency as reasons.

Jakarta has numerous shopping malls and markets. With a total of 550 hectares, Jakarta has the world's largest shopping mall floor area within a single city.

The annual Jakarta Great Sale is held every year in June and July to celebrate Jakarta's anniversary, with about 73 participating shopping centres in 2012.

Malls such as Plaza Indonesia, Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, Plaza Senayan, Senayan City and Pacific Place provide luxury brands, while Mall Taman Anggrek, Pondok Indah Mall, Mal Kelapa Gading, Central Park Jakarta, Bay Walk Mall and Ciputra World Jakarta have high-street brands such as Topshop, Uniqlo and Zara.

Department stores in Senayan City, Supermall Karawaci and Lippo Mall Kemang Village use the Debenhams brand under licence, while the Japanese Sogo department store has about seven stores in various shopping malls in the city.

Seibu flagship store is located in Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, and French luxury department store, Galeries Lafayette opened its doors for the first time in South East Asia in Pacific Place.

Internationally known luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Chanel, Gucci, Christian Louboutin, Balenciaga, and Giorgio Armani can be found in Jakarta's luxury shopping malls. The Satrio-Casablanca corridor, 3.5-kilometre street is a new shopping belt in Jakarta.

Many multistorey shopping centres are located here, such as Kuningan City, Mal Ambassador, Kota Kasablanka, and Lotte Shopping Avenue.

Traditional markets include Blok M, Tanah Abang, Senen, Pasar Baru, Glodok, Mangga Dua, Cempaka Mas, and Jatinegara. In Jakarta there are also markets that sell specific collectable items, such as antique goods in Surabaya Street and gemstones in Rawabening Market.

Unlike other neighboring Southeast Asian cities Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, Jakarta is not a top international tourist destination. Most of the visitors attracted to Jakarta are domestic tourists from all over Indonesia.

Jakarta ranked as the fifth fastest growing destination among 132 cities according to MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index published in September, 2017. Those who were visiting, 59.1% for business, while the other 40.9% were visiting for leisure.

As the gateway of Indonesia, Jakarta often serves as the stop-over for foreign visitors on their way to Indonesian popular tourist destinations such as Bali, Lombok and Yogyakarta.

Jakarta is trying to attract more international tourist by MICE tourism, by arranging increasing numbers of conventions.Slowly but steadily and gradually tourism contributes a growing amount of income to the city.

In 2012, the tourism sector contributed 2.6 trillion rupiah (US$268.5 million) to the city's total direct income of 17.83 trillion rupiah (US$1.45 billion), 17.9% increase from the previous year 2011.

Tourism stakeholders are expecting greater marketing of the Jakarta as a tourism destination.On an average monthly about 200,000 foreign tourist visit Jakarta. 210,595 foreign tourists visited the city during the month of May, 2017.

The popular heritage tourism attractions are in Kota and around Merdeka square. Kota is the centre of old Jakarta, with its Maritime Museum, Kota Intan drawbridge, Gereja Sion, Wayang Museum, Stadhuis Batavia, Fine Art and Ceramic Museum, Toko Merah, Bank Indonesia Museum, Bank Mandiri Museum, Jakarta Kota Station, and Glodok (Jakarta Chinatown).

In the old ports of Sunda Kelapa, the tall masted pinisi ship still sails. The Jakarta Cathedral with neo-gothic architecture in Central Jakarta also attracted architecture enthusiast.

Other than monuments, landmarks, and museums around Merdeka square and Jakarta Old Town, tourist attractions of the city include Thousand Islands, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Setu Babakan, Ragunan Zoo, Sunda Kelapa old port and the Ancol Dreamland complex on Jakarta Bay.

This inncluding Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy World) theme park, Sea World, Atlantis Water Adventure, and Gelanggang Samudra. Thousand Islands, which is north to the coast of the city and in Java Sea is also a popular tourist destination.

Most of the renowned international hotel chains have presence in the city. Jalan Jaksa and surrounding area is popular among backpackers for cheaper accommodation, travel agencies, second-hand bookstores, money changers, laundries, pubs, etc.,while Kemang is a favorite suburb for expats living.

Jakarta is a pluralistic and religiously diverse city. As of 2000, 35.16% of the city's population are Javanese, 27.65% Betawi, 15.27% Sundanese, 5.53% Chinese, 3.61% Batak, 3.18% Minangkabau and 1.62% Malays.

The Betawi or Orang Betawi, or people of Batavia are the descendants of the people living in and around Batavia, and are recognized as an ethnic group from around the 18th–19th century.

The Betawi people are mostly descended from various Southeast-Asian ethnic groups brought or attracted to Batavia to meet labour needs, and include people from different parts of Indonesia.

Betawi people are a creole ethnic group that came from various parts of Indonesia and intermarried with Chinese, Arabs, and Europeans. Nowadays, most Betawi live in the fringe areas of Jakarta and there are hardly any Betawi-dominated areas in central Jakarta.

There has been a significant Chinese community in Jakarta for many centuries. Jakarta is home to the largest population of Chinese on Java island. The Chinese in Jakarta traditionally reside around old urban areas, such as Pinangsia, Pluit and Glodok or Jakarta Chinatown areas.

They also can be found in the old chinatowns of Senen and Jatinegara. Officially, they make up 5.53% of the Jakarta population, although this number may be under-reported.

The Sumatran people of the city are very diverse. According to 2010 Census, there were roughly 346,000 Batak, 305,000 Minangkabau and 155,000 Malays. The Batak and Minangkabau are spread throughout the city.

The Batak ethnic group has increased in ranking, from eighth in 1930 to fifth in 2000. Toba Batak is the largest sub-ethnic Batak group in Jakarta.Beside the Chinese, Minangkabau people also as merchants, peddlers, and artisans, in addition to working in white collar professions as doctors, teachers, and journalists.

Bahasa Indonesia is the official as well as the spoken language of Jakarta. English is used widely as second language, while a number of elderly people can speak Dutch.

Each of the ethnic groups use their mother language at home, such as Betawi language, Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese, Batak, Minangkabau, and Chinese. Betawi language is distinct from those of the Sundanese or Javanese, forming itself as a language island in the surrounding area.

The language is mostly based on the East Malay dialect and enriched by loan words from Dutch, Portuguese, Sundanese, Javanese, Minangkabau, Chinese, and Arabic. Nowadays, the Jakarta dialect or Bahasa Jakarta, used as a street language by people in Jakarta, is loosely based on the Betawi language.

As of the 2010 census the population of Jakarta was 85.36% Muslim, 7.53% Protestant, 3.30% Buddhist, 3.15% Roman Catholic, 0.21% Hindu, and 0.06% Confucianist. The majority of Jakartans are Sunni Muslims.

Most pesantrens in Jakarta are affiliated with the traditionalist Nahdlatul Ulama organisations. The modernist organisations mostly catered to a socioeconomic class of educated urban elites and merchant traders.

They gave priority to education, social welfare programs and religious propagation activities. Many Islamic organisations have headquarters in Jakarta, such as Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesian Ulema Council, Muhammadiyah, Jaringan Islam Liberal, and Front Pembela Islam.

Roman Catholics have a Metropolitan see there, for the Archdiocese of Jakarta, whose province including two suffragans Western Java.

As the economic and political capital of Indonesia with so many different languages and ethnic groups, it is difficult to describe or define a common culture for Jakarta, as the city attracts many native immigrants, from the vast and diverse Indonesian archipelago, who also bring their various languages, dialects, foods and customs.

This diversity of origins and languages leads to differences in regard to religion, traditions and linguistics. However ethnic Betawi are considered as the indigenous people of Jakarta.

The Betawi culture is distinct from those of the Sundanese or Javanese, forming itself as a language island in the surrounding area. Betawi arts have a low profile in Jakarta, and most Betawi have moved to the suburbs of Jakarta, displaced by new migrants.

It is easier to find Java or Minang-based wedding ceremonies rather than Betawi weddings in Jakarta.

It is easier to find Javanese Gamelan instead of Tanjidor a mixture between Betawi and Portuguese music, Marawis - a mixture between Betawi and Yemeni music or Gambang Kromong - a mixture between Betawi and Chinese music.

The Chinese also influenced Betawi culture, such as the popularity of Chinese cakes and sweets, firecrackers, to Betawi wedding attire that demonstrates Chinese and Arab influences.

However, some festivals such as the Jalan Jaksa Festival or Kemang Festival include efforts to preserve Betawi arts by inviting artists to give performances.

Jakarta has several performing art centres, such as the classical concert hall Aula Simfonia Jakarta in Kemayoran, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) art centre in Cikini, Gedung Kesenian Jakarta near Pasar Baru, Balai Sarbini in the Plaza Semanggi area, Bentara Budaya Jakarta in Palmerah area, Pasar Seni (Art Market) in Ancol, and traditional Indonesian art performances at the pavilions of some provinces in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.

Traditional music is often found at high-class hotels, including Wayang and Gamelan performances. Javanese Wayang Orang performances can be found at Wayang Orang Bharata theatre near Senen bus terminal.

As the country's largest city and capital, Jakarta has lured much national and regional talent who hope to find a greater audience and more opportunities for success.

Jakarta hosts several prestigious art and culture festivals, and exhibitions, such as:

- Annual Jakarta International Film Festival (JiFFest)

- Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival

- Jakarta Fashion Week

- Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival (JFFF)

- Jakarta Fair, Indonesia Creative Products and Jakarta Arts and Crafts exhibition.

- Flona Jakarta is a flora-and-fauna exhibition, held annually in August at Lapangan Banteng Park, featuring flowers, plant nurseries, and pets.

- Jakarta Fair is held annually from mid-June to mid-July to celebrate the anniversary of the city and is largely centred around a trade fair. However, this month-long fair also features entertainment, including arts and music performances by local musicians.

- Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival (JJF) is one of the largest jazz festivals in the world and arguably the biggest in the Southern hemisphere. The annual jazz festival is held every early March and was designed to be one of the largest jazz festivals globally.

Several foreign art and culture centres are also established in Jakarta, and mainly serve to promote culture and language through learning centers, libraries, and art galleries.

Among these foreign art and cultural centers are China Confucius Institute, Netherlands Erasmus Huis, UK British Council, France Alliance Française, Germany Goethe-Institut, Japan Foundation, and India Jawaharlal Nehru Indian Cultural Center.

As the capital, all varieties of Indonesian cuisine have a presence in Jakarta. The local cuisine of Jakarta is the Betawi cuisine, which reflects various foreign culinary traditions that have influenced the inhabitants of Jakarta for centuries.

Betawi cuisine is heavily influenced by Malay-Chinese Peranakan cuisine, Sundanese and Javanese cuisine, which is also influenced by Indian, Arabic and European cuisines.

One of the most popular local dishes of Betwai cuisine is Soto Betawi which is prepared from chunks of beef and offal in rich and spicy cow's milk or coconut milk broth.

Other popular Betawi dishes include soto kaki, nasi uduk, kerak telor (spicy omelette), nasi ulam, asinan, ketoprak, rujak and gado-gado Betawi a salad in peanut sauce.

Jakarta has a vast range of food available at hundreds of eating venues and food courts located all over the city, from modest street-side warung foodstalls and kaki lima or five legs travelling vendors to high-end fine dining restaurants.

Since Jakarta is regarded as the melting-pot and a miniature version of Indonesia, many traditional foods from far-flung regions in Indonesia can be found in Jakarta. For example, traditional Padang restaurants and low-budget Warteg (Warung Tegal) foodstalls are ubiquitous in the capital.

Other popular street foods include nasi goreng or fried rice, sate or skewered meats, pecel lele or fried catfish, bakso or meatballs, bakpau or Chinese bun and siomay or fish dumplings.

Jalan Sabang,Jalan Sidoarjo, Jalan Kendal at Menteng, Blok S, Blok M,Jalan Tebet are all popular destinations for street-food lovers. Chinese street-food is plentifully available at Jalan Pangren, Manga Besar and Petak Sembilan in the old Jakarta area.

While Menteng, Kemang, Jalan Senopati, Kuningan, Senayan and Pantai Indah Kapuk, Kelapa Gading areas have trendy restaurants, cafe and bars.

Next to a myriad of Indonesian food and regional specialties from all over Indonesia, foreign food is also represented: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, American, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, and modern fusion food can all be found in Jakarta.

Jakarta is administratively divided into the following named districts.

These district except central Jakarta are very dense in terms of area:

Central Jakarta or Jakarta Pusat - The Heart of Jakarta's Administrative, Government and financial, an aptly named district and the site of Jakarta's symbol, the 132 metre Monas (Monumen Nasional) which is located in world's largest city square "Lapangan Merdeka".

Surrounding the area lies the presidential palace, government building, Istiqal Mosque which is the largest Mosque in Southeast Asia, Jakarta's gothic cathedral and also the National Museum of Indonesia.

There are also various museums within this part of the city such as National Gallery of Indonesia or Jakarta Planetarium. The area is also home to Jakarta's major landmark Bundaran HI or the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, which is where Jakarta's topmost exclusive malls are located.

One small road in the area called Jalan Jaksa or Jaksa road, a backpacker street, houses numbers of budget hotels and restaurants for travelers.

- West Jakarta or Jakarta Barat - Home to Jakarta's only surviving old town area Jakarta Kota Tua, a small area consisting of Dutch colonial buildings, its streets are throng with hawker food, crafted good vendors, artist as well as Jakartans youth hanging around.

This area is home to the Fatahillah Museum or Jakarta History Museum, and numbers of few other museums cafes converted from old Batavia's offices, banks, warehouses, and shops. It is also home to Jakarta's Chinatown called Glodok area.

Glodok is more of the electronic promenade of Jakarta, however, is rich in street hawker food and Chinese cuisine restaurant as well as old Chinese temples complexes.

There are a lot of shopping going on in this area as well, as it is home to Indonesia's largest shopping mall, Mall Taman Anggrek or Orchid Garden Mall.

- South Jakarta or Jakarta Selatan - Jakarta's middle-upper class and elite's residential area and is also part of Jakarta's business centre. Find upscale shopping centres and malls, restaurants, hotels, bustling nightlife and entertainment centre and affluent residential areas.

One of the famous areas in the south is Kemang, a street filled with lanes of restaurant, pubs, nightclubs, and boutique shops which are popular among the Jakartans and expats alike.

The Senopati area is also a burgeoning food street with some of the city's hippest and best restaurants and lounges, quickly displacing Kemang as the place to go and be due to Kemang's unbearable weekend traffic and new flashier options.

These are where the elite local's go to eat and drink. The SCBD, Central business district also has some great options for lunch and the best clubs and lounges in the city. South Jakarta is home to Gelanggang Bung Karno stadium in Senayan sports complex area, Indonesia's largest stadium.

- East Jakarta or Jakarta Timur - Industrial Quarter of the city, Location of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah where you can see parts of Indonesia's multiethnic community rounded up as 1 and the most populous city within Jakarta, also crafted good at Utan Kayu art community, Cibubur camping ground, and Jakarta's 2nd airport, Halim Perdanakusuma airport.

- North Jakarta or Jakarta Utara - Jakarta's main harbor area famed for its seafood and is the gateway to Thousand Island province of Jakarta.

The Place is home to the area filled with excitement and bustling entertainment The Ancol Bayfront City Asia's largest integrated tourism area consisting of the fascinating Dufan theme park, Sea World, art markets, eco parks, shopping mall and beachside entertainment.

The beautiful Thousand Islands is located just across the sea of Jakarta, it can be crossed by jetty service and is a place where people could escape the city's heavy combustion and pollution and enjoy the beautiful beach with marine parks and world-class resorts.

- Thousand Islands or Kepulauan Seribu - Off-shore the mainland, lie hundreds of small islands, some of which are inhabited, but many are not and some are part of Marine National Park.

Excellent diving spots will be difficult to find as the more popular ones are perhaps have been destroyed by tourism. To reach the islands, simply go to Muara Karang Port where scheduled passenger boats leave every 7 am in the morning.

Satellite cities: The Jabodetabek mega-city of 30 million includes Jakarta and the following satellite cities:

Bogor - Located about 40km South of Jakarta, Bogor has a beautiful palace with deer inhabiting its garden, one of the biggest world-class botanical garden, and golf course.

Tangerang - Located in the west of Jakarta, Tangerang is the area consisting of Soekarno Hatta airport, golf course, residential area, industrial parks.

Bekasi - Residential area, Industrial parks.

Depok - Located in south of Jakarta, home to the University of Indonesia.

Expats call Jakarta Big Durian, and like its fruit namesake, it's a shock at first sight and smell: a sweltering, steaming, heaving mass of some 28 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl.

The so-called megapolitan is a charm for Indonesians, both as a business and a government center, as it is the most developed city in Indonesia.

But all of this comes at a cost: the city has been struggling very hard to keep up with the urban growth. Major roads are packed up during rush hours, while the public transportation system has been unable to alleviate that much traffic.

Housing the population has been a problem too and adding to that, the numerous people's mentality are yet to make the city a great place to live in, as dreamed of.

All that said, while initially a bit overwhelming, if you can withstand the pollution and can afford to indulge in its charms, you can discover what is also one of Asia's most exciting, most lively global cities.

There is plenty to do in Jakarta, from green parks & historical centers, to cosmopolitan shopping, diverse gourmet choices, and one of the hippest nightlife in Southeast Asia.

The port of Sunda Kelapa dates to the 12th century, when it served the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran near present-day Bogor. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese, who were given the permission by the Hindu Kingdom of Pakuan Pajajaran to erect a godown in 1522.

Control was still firmly in local hands, and in 1527 the city was conquered by Prince Fatahillah, a Muslim prince from Cirebon, who changed the name to Jayakarta.

By the end of the 16th century, however, the Dutch had pretty much taken over the port city, and the razing of a competing English fort in 1619 secured their hold on the island of Java.

The Dutch razed the old Jayakarta port during their conquest and rebuilt the town with dutch style of town planning, fort and canals. Under the name Batavia, the new Dutch town became the capital of the Dutch East Indies and was known as the Queen of the East.

During these times the town flourishes as the center of the Dutch East Indies Trading Company and grow radpidly, and during this time as well that Chinese and Eurasian population grew within the city.

In order to keep order and control the Dutch banned the native Javanese to live within the walled part of the city while encouraging Chinese immigrant to flock the commercial walled city with its canal.

It is also known that after the Dutch conquest of Malacca, Significant number of Portuguese decent people from Malacca were taken as captive to Batavia and they live in area called Kampung Tugu.

The old Batavia which were planned in Dutch planning and canal were not doing so well, in fact the canal itself became breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The city centre became unhealthy and filthy and the city were nicknamed The Cemetry of the Europeans, this is also the reason why the city grew more in land.

In 1740, Chinese settlers rebelled against the Dutch. The rebellion was put down harshly with the massacre of thousands of Chinese settlers. The remaining Chinese settlers were exiled to Sri Lanka.

In 1795, the Netherlands were invaded and occupied by France, and on March 17, 1798, the Batavian Republic, a satellite state of France, took over both VOC debts and assets.

But on August 26, 1811, a British expedition led by Lord Minto defeated the French/Dutch troops in Jakarta, leading to a brief liberation and subsequent administration of Indonesia by the British (led by Sir Stamford Raffles of Singapore fame) in 1811-1816.

In 1815, after the Congress of Vienna, Indonesia was officially handed over from the British to the Dutch government.

In the early 1800s most canals were filled in, the town was shifted 4 km inland and the Pearl of the Orient flourished once again.

In the 18th century, more than 60% of Batavia's population consisted of slaves working for the VOC. The slaves were mostly engaged to undertake housework, while working and living conditions were generally reasonable.

Laws were enacted that protected slaves against overly-cruel actions from their masters; for example, Christian slaves were given freedom after the death of their masters, while some slaves were allowed to own a store and made money to buy their freedom.

Sometimes, slaves fled and established gangs that would roam throughout the area. From the beginning of the VOC establishment in Batavia, until the colony became a fully-fledged town, the population of Batavia grew tremendously.

At the beginning, Batavia consisted of approximately 50,000 inhabitants and, by the second half of the 19th century, Batavia consisted of 800,000 inhabitants. By the end of the VOC rule of Batavia, the population of Batavia had reached one million.

The name Jakarta was adopted as a short form of Jayakarta when the city was taken over by the Japanese in 1942. After the second world war, the Indonesian declared their independence at Koningsplein which is today's Merdeka Square.

The Indonesian war of independence followed after the second World War, with the capital briefly shifted to Yogyakarta after the Dutch attacked. The war lasted until 1949, when the Dutch accepted Indonesian independence and handed back the town, which became Indonesia's capital again.

Since independence Jakarta's population has skyrocketed, thanks to migrants coming to the city in search of illusive wealth.

The entire Jabotabek -Jakarta-Bogor-Tangerang-Bekasi-Depok metropolitan region now officially Jabodetabekjur last census count was 28 million people, a figure projected to have hit 30 million already.

The official name of the city is Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Raya (DKI Jakarta), meaning Special Capital City Region.

Jakarta has a tropical monsoon climate and the average rainfall measures 1.816mm (71.4 inches).

The city experiences very small seasonal variations, since the average 24-hour temperature ranges from 26.1°C (79°F) in January to 27.2°C (80.6°C) in May, while heat and humidity persist year round.

Temperatures have never fallen below 18°C (65°F) or risen above 36°C (97°F). The majority of precipitation falls from November to April.

Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK) is the main airport serving the Greater Jakarta area. The airport is named after the first President of Indonesia, Soekarno, and the first vice-president, Mohammad Hatta. The airport is often called Cengkareng airport or Soetta by Indonesians.

The airport's IATA code, CGK, originates from the name of the Cengkareng locality, Tangerang, Banten, although the location of this airport is located outside of the city, it is used as a gate out by the Jakartans and citizen of the surrounding areas, therefore at the main gate of the airport, there is an inscription Jakarta Airports.

Soekarno–Hatta International Airport is the 18th busiest airport in the world, serving 54,053,905 passengers, according to Airports Council International.Today the airport is running over capacity.

After T3 Soekarno-Hatta Airport expansion was complete in May 2016, the total capacity of three terminals become 43 million passengers a year. T1 and T2 also will be revitalized, so all the three terminals finally will accommodate 67 million passengers a year.

Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (HLP) serves domestic flight of low cost airline, private and VIP/presidential flights.

Other airports in the Jakarta metropolitan area include Pondok Cabe Airport and an airfield on Pulau Panjang, part of the Thousand Island archipelago or Kepulauan Seribu.

Departure taxes at Soekarno-Hatta Airport departure taxes or Passenger Service Charge are included in the cost of the air ticket. There is no need for further cash payment at the airline counters.

Soekarno Hatta International Airport, at Tangerang, Banten. All international and most domestic flights land here 20 km (12 mi) to the northwest of the city. The counterintuitive airport code comes from Cengkareng, a district near the airport.

If you don't have non-stop options between your origin city and Jakarta, try connecting via Singapore or Kuala Lumpur as there are more than a dozen flights a day between these cities and Jakarta.

The Soekarno Hatta airport has three terminals, with lettered sub-terminals indicating separate, but interconnected, halls within the same building:

- Terminal 1 (A-B-C). Used by the domestic airlines: Airfast, Aviastar, Batik Air, Citilink, KAL Star Aviation, Lion Air, and Trigana Air Service.

- Terminal 2 (D-E-F). Terminal D and E serving international destination : AirAsia, Air China, Asiana Airlines, Batik Air, Business Air, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific Airways, Emirates, EVA Air, Indonesia AirAsia, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Korean Air, Lion Air.

Malindo Air, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Sri Lankan Airways, Thai Airways, Thai Lion Air, Tiger Air, Turkish Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines. Terminal F serving domestic destination by Indonesia AirAsia, NAM Air and Sriwijaya Air

- Terminal 3 Sometimes referred to as "T3 Ultimate" now used by most of Star Alliance members for international flights: Garuda Indonesia (Domestic and International), All Nippon Airways (ANA), Air France, China Airlines, China Southern, Etihad Airways, KLM, Malaysia Airlines, Korean Air, Oman Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.

Other international carriers will be moved to the T3U by the end of the 2017 or early 2018.

The airport is undergoing full-scale renovations for lifting the burden of the terminals and increasing passengers capacity.

Terminal 3, now fully-operational since August 2017 with the completion of east wing of the building to be ready in November 2017, has plenty of public spaces, a small park, high roofs, directly adjacent parking and hosts a large variety of shops.

Terminal 1, in contrast, is far more utilitarian and only has a few restaurants scattered outside the check-in area.

Terminal 2 is considerably closer to T3; visitors have very limited access to it, but is reasonably modern and has a variety of shops inside.

Comfortable lounges for visitors are plentiful in both T2 and T3 - you may be qualified for a free stay based on your flight or bank membership, or you can pay for Rp 100,000-250,000 depending on the lounges as well.

Public seating for other visitors is available in both T2 and T3, with some more past the traveller-only security point.

To travel between terminals, there are free but less-than-reliable shuttle buses; travelers in a hurry may opt to take a Taxi for about Rp 50,000 instead,ensure it's a metered ride.

Buses stop at designated points in the arrival hall and have no external storage compartments, which can get cumbersome during peak times. Garuda Indonesia has a dedicated transfer service between Terminals 3 and 2 with ample signage in between.

The Airport plans to have its own skytrain ready by the end of the 2017 providing transports between terminals and is now underwent several test-drives before made ready to the public.

Visas on arrival (VoA) are available at the airport, see the main Indonesia article for the details of the rules; they may be paid in cash or credit card.

ATMs are available either in or past luggage collection in all 3 terminals, and as Indonesian taxis don't all support credit card, it's advisable to have some Rupiah on hand for your journey onwards.

These ATMs may have low withdrawing limits; ask your driver to drop by another ATM on your way into town if necessary. Taxis are available at designated queues outside the arrival halls.

For overnight transits, there are a few hotels near the airport:

Sheraton Bandara Hotel, Bandara Soekarno-Hatta,3 km from airport. 5-star hotel with 205 Deluxe rooms and 15 Suite rooms. Rooms have Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds and 32" LCD TVs. Complimentary shuttle airport pick-up and drop off and a private lounge at the airport.

Check the special offers to find special packages such as day use, special rewards and offer on related deals. From US$100.

The older Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, to the southeast of the city, is used by the military, VIP flights, charter flights, sea planes, helicopter leasing companies and private jets and several domestic flights.

Since January 10, 2014, several domestic flights served by Batik Air and Citilink started operating at this airport to ease the crowding in Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

Susi Air,provides services to local destinations across West Java from Halim Airport.

Alfa Air, provides a seaplane charter service with their Cessna Caravan seaplane, based at Halim Airport.

To get to the city, the easiest option is to contact your hotel to pick you up in the airport, as many hotels in Jakarta provide free airport transfers.

Uber, GoJek, and Grab are online ride-hailing services which will ensure you a fair price while requiring minimal communication with the driver. Getting a taxi is a little more complicated.

Using your mobile phone and the respective free apps from Google Play or the iOS App Store, you can use the free airport WiFi to call a driver from Uber, GoJek, or Grab. Remember the type of vehicle and license plate, and walk past the first set of lanes for taxis.

You will find a second road for passenger pickup, where you can wave down the driver to pick you up.

Using one of these online services will generally provide the cheapest fare and save you the hassle of negotiating, since the price is automatically calculated and displayed in the app when you request the car.

Fares can be paid in cash if your credit card has not already been set up in the app.

If you book from the counters right outside Customs, you'll get a nice car, jump to the head of the queue and pay around Rp 175,000 for a trip to the Golden Triangle. These counters can also sell you SIM cards and refills (pulsa)

If you head past the counters, you'll get to the ordinary taxi ranks and encounter many taxi touts and baggage carriers, these individuals would likely scam visitors and should be ignored and will probably need waving off,just wave your hand and shake your head.

There are several reliable taxi operators such as Silver Bird, Blue Bird, and Express taxi having their own taxi rank spot in the terminal, the customers must queue in line to be served as numbers of taxis came along in several minutes to about 15 minutes intervals but depends on availability and traffic.

Silver Bird is a premium taxi company and it is very reliable operator with good drivers and plush Mercedes cabs, but pricier than the rest at around Rp 120,000 to the Golden Triangle (City Center).

Blue Bird Taxi and Express Taxi are two most reliable taxi service in Jakarta. It has smaller but still nice air-conditioned Toyota Vios/Limo cars, and would cost you around Rp 90,000 to Central Jakarta/Golden Triangle. Other operators will charge you in the vicinity of Rp 70,000-90,000.

Pondok Indah, south Jakarta would cost Rp 130,000 to Rp 180,000 in a Bluebird taxi, depending on traffic, plus Rp 25,000 toll charges. Tolls will have to be paid in addition and the driver will ask for money at the first booth.

Take some Rp 5,000 or Rp 10,000 notes for tolls. Otherwise, you will not see any change from that Rp 50,000 or Rp 100,000 note you give the driver for tolls. Conversely, round up the fare on the meter to the nearest Rp 1,000 or Rp 5,000 and pay the exact amount.

Otherwise, the driver will retain the balance saying balance is tip.

All taxis use meters (argo), yet some touted taxi may insist on not using meters and charging inflated fix price (borongan), visitors should avoid this scam. Passengers are responsible for paying roadway tolls, prices are posted at the toll booths and a receipt is given.

The airport has a docket system for payment of an airport surcharge in addition to the normal taxi metered charge. It is detailed on the docket and is determined by destination distance.

You are asked for your destination when arriving at the taxi rank and the docket is issued accordingly when you are assigned a taxi. If you do not make it clear that you require a taxi you may not be assigned one. Usually, taxi staff are uniformed.

If someone offers you a taxi and they are not wearing the same uniform as the taxi company drivers then you are well advised to ignore them. Some of the uniformed taxi brokers are involved in a scam of telling foreign tourists about a high minimum payment for short trips.

They receive a kickback from the drivers for setting tourists up to overpay.

An economical alternative is the frequent DAMRI shuttle buses. 15 min to 60 min between buses, depending on route and time which connect to numerous Jakarta destinations; Gambir the most appropriate for those going to Jalan Jaksa and Central Jakarta area, Rawamangun, Blok M, Tanjung Priok, Kampung Rambutan (for Depok), Pasar Minggu, Lebak Bulus and Kemayoran (Rp 40,000) as well as directly to the neighboring cities of Bekasi (Rp 45,000), Serang (Rp 60,000), Bogor (Rp 55,000) and Cikarang (Rp 50,000).

The bus service from the airport operates until midnight, despite what taxi touts may say to you. It is reliable, comfortable and air-conditioned. You can get the tickets in the many counters after the airport exit.

If arriving by an international flight at Terminal 2, head further to the left after going out of the building until you see DAMRI ticket booths and bus stops. In terminal 3, the bus stop is in front of it just behind taxi ranks.

DAMRI service to the airport shuts down much earlier - for example, the bus from Gambir operates from 3.30am to 7.30pm. From Terminal 1 (domestic), just cross the taxi stop, the bus stop is on the other side of the road,signs read Shelter Bus.

Damri buses operate from 3 a.m. (Western Indonesia Standard Time) to 9:30 p.m. from the city, and to midnight from the airport. Buses stop to pick up passengers at departure areas in all terminals. All buses use the Prof. Dr. Sedyatmo Toll Road.

Travel time to and from the centre of Jakarta e.g. Gambir Railway Station takes around 70-90 minutes sometimes longer, depending on traffic. Buses to the airport leave from the various terminals in central Jakarta (Gambir) and surrounding areas,this may vary depending on traffic.

Xtrans, Provides reliable airport shuttle service from Soekarno Hatta airport to major hotels in Sudirman and Thamrin Street in Jakarta and Bumi Xtrans in Cihampelas Street in Bandung. Cost: US$3.30/adult and US$2.20/child. Schedule: once every hour from 5AM-10PM. Xtrans booth are available at Terminal IA, IB, IC and IIE.

Jakarta Airport Transfer, Jl Jembatan Tiga Raya 5AH, Jakarta Utara. Door to door transportion to Jakarta city and neighbouring cities. Whole day car hire is available in Jakarta and Bandung with driver if required.

Airport transfers provide options of stopovers at Puncak, Bogor, Cirebon with a choice of economy (7 seater) or jumbo vehicle (15 seater).

Online reservation and instant confirmation. A daily Bandung Express is a more private though more expensive option for travellers to Bandung with pricing from Rp 300,000/passenger.

Information about train tickets from PT Kereta Api (Persero) is available on the Web. Be aware that most foreign cards will not be accepted on either website and you may have to purchase the tickets in-person.

In Jakarta, you can buy your tickets in the major stations up to 90 days in advance or you can log in on its website to get code booking and pay either in the stations or many Indomaret and Alfamart stores with no additional fee.

In some but not all inner-city Indomarets and Alfamarts you can purchase the ticket directly from the stores without booking online.

If purchasing a ticket directly at the train station, there will be two sets of windows. The lower numbers are for purchasing same-day tickets.

If purchasing a ticket for a following day, you will need to find a machine that dispenses queue tickets. Press the green button and grab the ticket.

Then fill out a ticket request form provided at the nearby counter, and wait for your number to be called - announcements are in Indonesian, but you can look at the screen of the machine for the current ticket. Be aware that during the afternoon, wait times can take two hours or more.

In the stations beware of ticket touts. They will offer their wares even to people waiting in the queues in front of the ticket sales points. You should expect to pay 50-100% more if you do so, and you could find that your coach hasn't any empty seats anyway.

The safest and nicer way is online booking and then go to the stores.

Most travel agents will also be happy to sell you train tickets to any destination. Simply order the tickets, pay preferably in cash and later in the day they will be delivered to your hotel.

Jakarta has several train stations.

Stasiun Gambir - The current main station for long distance passengers in Jakarta is the Gambir station, located in Central Jakarta, just east of the Monas.

Eksekutif (Executive Class) and some bisnis (Business Class) trains arrive at this station. Be aware that the metro train passes by but does not stop at Gambir - you can get off at an adjacent station Gondangdia or Juanda and take one of the waiting moto-taxis or ojeks to Gambir for 5,000-10,000 IDR.

Most trains from big cities in Java like Cilacap, Malang, Semarang, Solo, Surabaya and Yogyakarta arrive in late afternoon or evening.

From Bandung: trains are frequent, with one arriving almost every 2 hr. Duration: 3-3.5 hr, in bisnis or eksekutif (Rp 60,000). Economy class trains are slower. Very nice landscapes of rice and agricultural fields.

From Surabaya: the very good Argo Bromo Anggrek travels twice a day. Duration: 10 hr 30 min, Rp 265,000 during the week in eksekutif. Prices rise during the weekend and on public holidays. Be aware that the AC is extremely cold, so bring some warm clothes.

Moreover, the television is usually very loud during the whole trip. It is possible to order meals: Rp 18,000 for a nasi goreng, Rp 3,000 for a hot tea.

From Semarang: The Semarang-Jakarta route is served by the comfortable Argo Muria, which departs from Tawang Station in Semarang, as well as Argo Bromo Anggrek, Argo Sindoro, and Sembrani which transit in Semarang. Rp 170.000-Rp 210.000 or more during peak season.

An airport bus service connects Soekarno-Hatta International Airport with Gambir station.

Stasiun Pasar Senen - Economy trains use the Pasar Senen station located two blocks east of Gambir. Beware that the location is rife with crime, although the station itself has been spruced up recently.

Anyway, these ekonomi trains take slightly longer than bisnis or eksekutif trains due to making more stops, however all trains are now equipped with air conditioning and electrical outlets, and you can save money on these tickets at the expense of a slightly more vertical backrest.

Stasiun Jatinegara - Most trains arriving in Jakarta also stop at Jatinegara station in the eastern part of the city, giving better access to the eastern and southern parts of the city.

Stasiun Kota - Jakarta Kota station is located in the old part of the city, and serves as the departure point for commuter trains and some trains to Merak. It is an interesting Art Deco style building that is currently being restored.

When buying tickets for buses out of Jakarta, you're better off to buy them at each bus company's booth. Do not buy from anywhere outside the booth as the prices are more expensive and the bus they will take you to is questionable.

Jakarta has many bus terminals, but not all of them have inter-city services. Look for the sign AKAP Antar Kota Antar Provinsi or Inter-city and Inter-Province.

Fortunately these terminals are easy to reach. City bus services, as well as airport shuttles, start and ends at bus terminals & busway services stop by there too. Note that even though the listing says the destination the terminal mainly serves, some services may be available to other parts of Java.

Kampung Rambutan Bus Terminal Jalan Lingkar Luar Selatan, East Jakarta (use busway line 9). The busiest terminal for intercity buses.

Kampung Rambutan serves multiple bus services daily to and from mainly destinations across Banten, especially the Merak port, and the central & southern part of Java island, such as Cianjur, Bandung, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Cilacap, Purwokerto, Yogyakarta, Solo, and Malang, although bus to major cities across the north may be existent.

City & intercity buses depart from two different areas:

Pulo Gadung Bus Terminal Jalan Bekasi Raya, East Jakarta (use busway lines 2 & 4) The 2nd busiest terminal, Pulo Gadung serves multiple bus services daily to and from mainly destinations across the northern coast of Java, such as Cirebon, Tegal, Pekalongan, Semarang, and Surabaya, though some bus companies also drives you to Bandung.

Some bus even offers routes to Bali and Lombok.

If you are arriving from Sumatra, you will most likely arrive from these 2 terminals:

Rawamangun Bus Terminal Jalan Perserikatan No. 1 (Jalan Paus), East Jakarta.Use busway Line 2, but does not stop right at the terminal. The nearest stop is at Pemuda Ramawangun or Velodrome.

This terminal has multiple bus services that serves major cities across Sumatra.

Kali Deres Bus Terminal Jalan Daan Mogot KM 16, West Jakarta (Use busway Line 5). Its location at west Jakarta makes it an optimum stop for buses from Sumatra, although not as many as Rawamangun.

Recently, the expansion of minibus has taken over the short distance intercity giant bus services. Most minibus companies such as Cipaganti , CitiTrans & XTrans will take you to Jakarta from Bandung or even to the Soekarno Hatta airport! Up to 8 people can fit inside a van.

Fares from Bandung are typically up to Rp 100,000 if you choose to get off at the downtown area. Up to Rp 125,000 if you get off at the Soekarno Hatta airport. Note that the buses will most often not drop you at hotels, but at their pools instead.

The national ferry company, PELNI, and other sealines, operate passenger services to destinations across the archipelago from Tanjung Priok port in the North of the city. Some smaller speedboats, particularly to the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu), depart from Ancol also on Jakarta's north shore.

Traveling by car, unless on weekends, is usually not a good idea. Congestions can extend well past rush hours and a hesitation at any ring road tollway in Jakarta can have a domino effect on other tolls.

There are three tollways that ends at Jakarta: Jakarta-Merak cuts through Tangerang and leads to the western edge of Java, the Merak port for connections to Sumatra Island.

Jagorawi tollway goes south to Bogor and Puncak holiday resorts, and Jakarta-Cikampek traverses east, passing through Bekasi to Cikampek. Since 10 June 2015, a new tol named Cikapali that connects Cikampek to Palimanan near Cirebon has been operational.

So, you can now go from Jakarta to Cirebon straightaway entirely on tollways. There is also a cut-off tollway continuation,Cipularang or officially called Purbaleunyi that can be used for travel to Bandung.

There are roads that are parallel to the tollway and ends close to both tollway ends too, should you wish not to pay.

Getting around Jakarta is more often than not, problematic.

The city layout is darwinistic and bewildering with horrendous traffic jams or macet "MAH-chet" slowing the city to a crawl during rush hours,several hours in the morning and in the evening, and the current public transportation is still not adequate enough to alleviate the congestion.

The gradually expanding Transjakarta Busway or Bus Rapid Transit system helps to make things easier, but this is not enough for the biggest city in the world without rail rapid transit system. If you have a lot of time, 12 corridors of TransJakarta is useful for orientation.

The first line of Jakarta MRT is currently scheduled to open in 2018.

Various areas of the city have different levels of chaos. The better organized traffics are mainly at the business districts (MH Thamrin, Jendral Sudirman, and H.R. Rasuna Said.)

If you can afford it, it is highly recommended to hire a private car, else use a taxi everywhere. For the less risk-averse, a moto-taxi (ojek) will speed between cars to get you to your destination in about half the time and for less than half the price of a taxi.

Using your smartphone, you can now easily hail a moto-taxi or car with pre-calculated prices - cheaper than standard taxis. Uber provides UberMoto, UberPool, UberX, and Uber Black, and UberXL services in Jakarta.

Two other local alternatives, GoJek and Grab, are very popular and provide you with both motorbike and car drivers,if taking a motorbike, the driver will provide a helmet.

You may find it worth the small investment in a SIM card with data so that you can use these apps to get around the city without having to locate a taxi and explain your destination to the driver.

Fares can be automatically paid if you have set up your credit card in the app, otherwise you can use cash to pay for these services.

Be aware that many of the streets in Jakarta are divided by a median, and many others are one-way, so do your best to set your pickup location on an undivided, two-way street, and by an easily recognizable landmark or storefront.

Otherwise, you may find a driver that appears to be close by will need to navigate around several blocks in heavy Jakarta traffic to pick you up.

If you're in a hurry, on a tight budget, or just want to experience the thrill of zooming between the horns of Jakarta's traffic, the motorbike option can get you to your destination much faster than a car.

Commuter trains in Jakarta connect the city centre with outlying regions, namely Tangerang, Bekasi, Depok, Bojonggede, Bogor and Serpong.

It is usually worth to try if you wish to traverse to other points in Jakarta swiftly, especially from the west to the east vice versa or north to south vice versa, as the train is often on schedule, except in the event of a mishap, congestion, or equipment problem.

Riding the train is generally safe and comfortable but of course, cramped during rush hours. A dedicated area for females can be found on the front and rear ends of the train.

Commuter services operate from 4AM first train departing Bogor to Jakarta to almost midnight - last train leaving Jakarta for Bogor. Trains often run late, though.

With subsidies from government, since July 1, 2013 the commuter train ticket is cheaper than before with only Rp 2,000 for first 5 stations and only Rp 500 for additional 3 stations. E-ticket is implemented within closed system.

There are two types of E-tickets:

Single trip Tiket Harian Berjaminan, lit. Daily Ticket with Guarantee, must be purchased at ticket counter by mentioning the destination. The fare will be calculated and added with Rp. 5,000 refundable deposit. This deposit money can be refunded after the trip or used for next trip.

The deposit is to force passengers return the smart-card ticket, as there were so many passengers fond to keep the ticket as "collectibles" in the previous system.

Multi trip, refillable and directly usable to enter the electronic gate at the station. The train company issues a special Multi trip card that can be purchased at ticket counter for Rp. 50,000 (contains Rp. 30,000).

Some prepaid cards from selected banks are also usable now, e-money/e-toll from Bank Mandiri, Flazz from BCA, tap-cash from BNI, and BRIZZI from BRI). These cards are sold in the banks or some selected mini markets such as Alfamart and Indomaret.

Tapping of the E-tickets are required only on the origin station (tap-in) and destination station (tap-out). Transits are free as long as you are remain in the station paid area. Mistakes in the tapping will be fined with longest route fare (Rp. 7,000) and missing your ticket will be fined Rp. 50,000.

It is best not to carry valuables on the train, but if you do, keep then secure, and preferably in front of you. Wallets kept in the hip pocket are vulnerable.

The destination of the train is not always clearly marked. Make sure you know the number of the platform and listen the announcement, which is always only in Indonesian before the train arrival.

You can ask the station guards by clearly mentioning your final destination. Some of the guards know basic conversational English.

All trains do not stop at Gambir and Pasar Senen station, the main stations in Jakarta, so this might be a problem for those arriving from other regions and wanting to continue to other stations.

The choice is to take a taxi or bus to Juanda or Gondangdia station, located a few hundred meters of Gambir, close enough if you wish to walk.

If coming from Jalan Jaksa area, another option is just to walk to Gondangdia next one south of Gambir station, it's just 5-10 minutes walk to the left from the southern end of Jaksa.

The Transjakarta Busway in Indonesian known as busway or TJ is modern, air-conditioned and generally comfortable, although sometimes service can be spotty,they have a knack of going to the depot for service and refueling at the same time during the rush hours.

Do note that the bus service is quite unreliable resulting in waiting time for a bus up to 1 hour especially during rush hours. There are twelve lines operational as of mid-February 2013.

Buses run 24 hours for several routes and the rest is from 5AM-11PM daily. Tickets cost a flat Rp 2,000 (5AM-7AM), and Rp 3,500 after. You are required to purchase a 40,000 IDR electronic card from the kiosk, which will be used to deduct the price of the ticket.

The balance is non-refundable. Another swipe is required to exit the bus stations but most locals will be happy to scan you through as the rule is not strictly enforced.

Unlike Jakarta's other buses, busway buses shuttle on fully dedicated lanes and passengers must use dedicated stations with automatic doors, usually found in the middle of large thorough fares connected to both sides by overhead bridges.

The system is remarkably user-friendly by Jakartan standards, with station announcements and an LED display inside the purpose-built vehicles. Grab onto a handle as soon as you enter the bus as they move away from the stop suddenly and quickly.

Park and Ride facilities are in Ragunan, South Jakarta, Kampung Rambutan, East Jakarta and Kalideres, West Jakarta and in late 2010 the city administration was holding a tender for the construction of Park and Ride facilities in Pulo Gebang, East Jakarta.

Transfers between lines are free be careful not to exit the system until your journey is completed. The hub at Harmoni station is the busiest interchange. The buses can get very crowded, especially during rush hours at 7AM and 4PM, when office workers are on the move.

If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, a Transjakarta Application map is also available to download. As of May 2009, the application is free. For blackberry users a Transjakarta Guide for Blackberry software download is available.

Jakarta is one of the many cities in the world whose government provides tour buses. Dubbed the City Tour Jakarta, the buses are double decker and you can ride them for free. The bus follows a loop road, traversing through some of Jakarta's places of interest:

Hotel Indonesia Roundabout- MH Thamrin - Medan Merdeka Barat - Museum Nasional - Majapahit - Harmoni - Komplek Sekretariat Negara - ANZ Bank (Pecenongan)- Pasar Baru - Jakarta Art Theater (Gedung Kesenian Jakarta) - Lapangan Banteng - Masjid Istiqlal - Juanda - Veteran II - Medan Merdeka Utara - Istana Negara (Medan Merdeka Barat) - Indosat - Medan Merdeka Selatan - City Hall - MH Thamrin - Sarinah - Hotel Indonesia Roundabout.

The buses will stop only at designated shelters. Buses run from 09.00 to 19.00 every hour, depending on traffic.

A multitude of bus companies operate at the streets of Jakarta. However buses do not run on schedule. Most maps bought not from Indonesia do not show bus routes, so Google Maps would be the best method to figure out what bus you should take.

Most bus stops also posted what route number and destinations stop there. If you want to get somewhere quickly and are not prepared to get lost, avoid the buses,remember that taxis are cheaper than most local buses in the West. However, they make for a good adventure if you're not in a rush and don't mind being the centre of attention.

City bus companies :


- Daya Sentosa Utama

- Koantasbima

- Kopaja

- Kopami

- Kowanbisata

- Mayasari Bakti

- Metromini


Bus fares are generally less than Rp 10,000 with a flat rate system, Non AC Kopaja, Kopami and Metromini are flat rate Rp. 4,000. You must pay to the kondektur or to the driver.

Cheaper yet are mikrolet or mini-buses and angkot or small vans that ply the smaller streets and whose fares vary from Rp 3,000 to 6,000 depending on the distance, but good luck figuring out the routes. You pay the fare directly to the driver after getting off.

You may need to spare one or two Rp 500 coins before boarding the bus, since there is on-board entertainment and other distractions. On a typical day, you may find street musicians singing unplugged versions of Indonesian and Western pop songs asking for donations.

At the end of the performance, and street vendors, one after another, trying to sell almost everything, from ballpoint pens and candies to boxed donuts and health goods.

If you do happen to be travelling in a bus, refrain from sitting or standing at the back area of the bus as this is where muggers find their prey. Always keep an eye on your belongings and be alert at all times as pickpocketing occurs.

Note that buses do not run according to any schedule or timetable. Sometimes a bus may take a while to come, in other circumstances it is possible that two of the same bus routes may come together and these drivers will definitely drive aggressively to get more passengers.

They do not stop at any particular bus stop and can stop just about anywhere they like. If you want to get off, simply say "kiri" to the left to the kondektur or just knock on the ceiling of the bus for three times,be sure that the driver hears your thumping, and the bus driver will find a place to drop you.

An additional tip to alight from these buses is to use your left foot first to maintain balance and try to get down as quickly as possible as they do not fully stop the bus.

Also note that seats in these buses are built for Indonesians who are typically shorter and more slender and agile than people with a larger build such as Caucasians and Africans. Non-Indonesians might find the seats in these buses to be confining and uncomfortable.

Terminals in Jakarta:

- Blok M (South Jakarta)

- Grogol (West Jakarta)

- Kalideres (West Jakarta), intercity bus terminal heading to the Western Jakarta and to Sumatra Island

- Kampung Melayu (East Jakarta)

- Kampung Rambutan (East Jakarta), intercity bus terminal to cities in West Java Province and several cities in Central Java Province

- Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta)

- Manggarai (South Jakarta)

- Pasar Minggu (South Jakarta)

- Pinang Ranti (East Jakarta)

- Pulo Gadung (East Jakarta)

- Pulo Gebang (East Jakarta), intercity bus terminal to Cities in Central Java, East Java, Bali and West Nusa Tenggara Province

- Ragunan (South Jakarta)

- Rawa Buaya (West Jakarta)

- Rawamangun (East Jakarta)

- Senen (Central Jakarta)

- Tanjung Priok (North Jakarta)

Rental cars are available, but unless you are familiar with local driving practices or lack thereof, take reputable taxis. If you're from a foreign country, it is not recommended to rent a car and drive on your own.

The chaotic and no-rules traffic will certainly give you a headache. Renting a car with a driver is a much better idea.

The price of fuel in Indonesia is relatively low due to the application of subsidies by the central government. Pertamina outlets supply gasoline (bensin) (petrol) at Rp 6.550/litre, diesel fuel (solar) is at Rp 5,150/litre, and Pertalite (Hybrid of Bensin/Premium and Pertamax) at Rp 7.500.

Non-subsidised prices for products such as Pertamax (RON 92 Pertamax high-octane gasoline are higher at around Rp 9,500/litre, RON 95 Pertamax Plus around Rp 10,350 and Pertamina-Dex (diesel fuel) is around Rp 10,100. Prices at outlets operated by Shell, Mobil and Petronas are similar.

Toll roads circle the city and are faster when the traffic is good, but are very often jammed themselves. The drainage systems of major roads are poorly maintained and during the rainy season from December to March major roads may be flooded, leading to even worst traffic congestion than normal.

Finding parking places in residential areas can be difficult due to the narrow roads. Paid parking is easy to find in shopping malls, offices and the price is Rp 4,000 to 5,000/hr. Street parking often requires to payment of Rp 3,000 to Rp 5,000 to a parking attendant, depending on the district as well.

If you decide to drive by yourself or having a driver in Jakarta, please remember that there is an odd-even traffic control system implemented in some of the main roads in the morning from 7.00-10AM and in the afternoon from 4.00-7 PM from Monday to Friday, except Weekend or Public Holidays.

Under the system, only vehicles with odd license plate numbers are permitted to travel on odd-numbered dates and even-numbered license plates on even-numbered dates. The fine for violations is Rp500,000, but taxis and public transportation are exempted.

There are intentions from the local government to change this system to an Electronic Road Pricing system sometime in the future.

Blue Bird's reputation has been soiled by a number of imitators, so just because it's blue doesn't mean it's safe. Check the following before you get in:

- The door and roof logo is either the Blue Bird or the Pusaka/Lintas "flying egg"

- The windshield says "Blue Bird Group"

- The driver is in uniform

- The headrests have Blue Bird logos

The growing reputation of Express taxis has also led to a number of imitation companies popping up in recent years, take the same precautions as you would for spotting a fake Blue Bird

Most visitors opt to travel by taxi, which is cheap and occasionally even fast. There are a multitude of taxi companies of varying degrees of dependability.

Taxis are widely available and usually easily hailed off the street in a matter of seconds however demand often exceeds supply during periods of heavy rain and weekday peak hours,generally about 4:30-8:00PM.

If you absolutely need to be somewhere during rush hour i.e. the airport it is a good idea to make alternative transportation arrangements.

The Blue Bird group, (24 hr) is known for their reliability, has an efficient telephone order service and always uses their meter. Fares are Rp 6,500 flagfall including the first kilometer and Rp 400 for every subsequent 100 meters or minute stuck in traffic.

They also have a very good mobile app that's convenient to use that allows you to GPS locate where you are or enter your address.

The Blue Bird group also runs the brand of Blue Bird and Pusaka taxis, They normally use late model Toyota Vios, Honda "Mobilio", Nissan "Almera" and Nissan "Serena" (only special for disabled person).

The Silver Bird executive taxi charges a premium for a larger car, normally a Mercedes Benz C & E Class or a Toyota Vellfire.

Alternatively the Express group is fast overtaking Blue Bird's reputation as best taxi firm in Jakarta. Unlike Blue Bird, Express requires a minimum of three years' experience at another Jakarta taxi firm from its drivers.

As a result, Express drivers generally know their way around the city better than the often newly arrived Blue Bird drivers. Metered fares are at Rp 7,500 flagfall including the first kilometer and Rp 250 for every subsequent 100 meters or minute stuck in traffic.

Some other large, generally reliable companies include Taxiku, Gamya, Dian Taksi, Putra and TransCab. You can generally determine a good cabbie by asking argo or meter? - if they say no or tidak, get another taxi.

Taxis parked near train/bus stations, tourist attractions, and hotels often refuse to use the meter and quote silly prices,especially to foreigners - in this case, it's a good idea to walk away a bit, then hail a passing Blue Bird or Express taxi.

Many taxis are mechanically unsound and have drivers of highly questionable skill. They also often engage in determined efforts to overcharge, including via rigged meters.

There have been occasional but recent cases of people being robbed at knife-point after taking non-reputable taxis, so it's best to stick to the firms above. Be particularly vigilant late at night, when you will spot a number of taxis from firms you have never heard of or seen before roaming around.

Rates for taxis depend on the company, though the rate of Rp 7,500 flagfall including the first kilometer and Rp 400 for every subsequent 100 meters or one minute stuck in traffic has been widely adopted.

Minimum charges apply to taxis ordered by phone, this should be posted on the inside of the taxi and generally varies from Rp 20,000 to Rp 40,000.

There is now a minimum applied to taxis flagged off the side of the road in the case of Blue Bird or Express, and while other taxi companies may not have a minimum, they may be upset if you give them less than Rp 15,000.

Carry plenty of small denomination notes to pay fares as there is no guarantee that drivers will have any change in Indonesian kembali. On the meter, fares are rounded up to the nearest Rp 1,000 as a matter of course and tips are generally expected from foreigners, though by no means mandatory.

When paying, it is usual to round up to the nearest Rp 5,000. On a longer trip, if the service has been good, allow 10% for the tip and again, round up to the nearest Rp 5,000.

Keep the doors locked and the windows closed when traveling in a taxi, as luxury items or a bag can be an attractive target when stuck in a traffic jam or traffic light.

Avoid using the smaller taxi companies especially if you are alone, and try to know the general route, the driver might well take you a roundabout route to avoid traffic, but you will know the general direction.

Stating your direction clearly and confidently will usually pre-empt any temptation to take you on the long route. It is also not uncommon for taxi drivers to be recent arrivals in Jakarta,they often don't know their way around and may be relying on you to direct them.

Another solution for getting around in Jakarta is to rent a car. However for most visitors it is best to use a local driver rather than self drive.

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Adapted Car Hired: There is a wheelchair accessible booking taxi for user friendly of both disabled and elderly with or without wheelchair for an easy ingress and egress as well as tranfer from wheelchair to car seat or from car seat to wheelchair, to and from anywhere inside the city of Jakarta including but not limited to and from airport, hotel, sightseeing, etc.

From the one and only Adapted Car Hired a provider of mobility solution for both disabled and elderly in partneship with several well known leader of mobility solution.

There are several accessible booking taxi, including wheelchair lift and passenger side entry lift up seat as well as passanger swivel seat, while upon pre request, there are also specific adapted car hired with hand control and or left foot accelerator for disabled driver.

A Jakarta Bajaj : One of the most popular, affordable and environment friendly mode of public transport is the Blue Colored 3 Wheel Vehicle locally called as Bajaj Help Save Environment when in Jakarta, Drive.

The Jakartan equivalent to Thailand's tuk-tuk is the bajaj , blue colored scooters souped up in India into tricycles that carry passengers in a small cabin at the back.

They're a popular way to get around town since they can weave through Jakarta's interminable traffic jams much like motorbikes can.The old version 2 cycles of Bajaj is gradually being changed by CNG version which eco-friendly, quieter and more convenient ones.

There are no set prices, but a short hop of a few city blocks shouldn't cost much more than Rp 4,000. Be sure to agree to a price before you set off. Locals who regularly use the bajaj know what a typical fare should be and are happy to tell you.

Ojek - If you're poking around narrow back streets, or just in such a hurry that you're willing to lose a limb or more to get there, then Jakarta's motorcycle taxis ojek might be the ticket for you.

Jakarta's ojek services consist of guys with bikes lounging around street corners, who usually shuttle short distances down alleys and roads but will also do longer trips for a price.

Ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Grab, and GoJek have made streetside ojeks harder to find, but they still often wait and offer their services near transit stations. Agree on the fare before you set off. And insist on a helmet, and wear it properly.

No need to make it more insanely dangerous than it already is. The ojek drivers will insist you're safe with them and that they'll drive carefully, but this has little to do with reality.

What locals normally pay to them is Rp 5,000 for a short ride and Rp 7,000 to 10,000 for a longer,roughly more than kilometer or 15 minutes walk one.

Foreigners are likely to be asked for more, but generally ojek drivers will accept the proper fare if you insist on it, unless they see you really need to use their service, such as if you're in a hurry but there's a huge traffic jam so using a taxi or bus will be too slow.

Ojek with argometer is called Taxijek has launched in Jakarta and is provided with company's driver identity card, a helmet for passengers, disposable shower caps to wear underneath and an extra raincoat.

The fee is cheaper than the non-argometer ojeks make drivers of non-argometer ojeks jealous, moreover the Taxijek can enter the gate of elite housing complexes to pick up passengers due to Taxijek have special driver identity cards.

The first flag start at Rp 4,000 ($0.44) and Rp 1,000 ($0.11) for another each kilometer.

As a rule, walking around the centre of Jakarta is neither fun nor practical, especially for the disabled traveler you may find the city a true challange due to poor maintenace of pavement and missing sidewalk.

With the exception of a few posher areas, sidewalks are crowded with pushcart vendors, drivers disregard pedestrians and crossing streets can be dangerous.

On many busy streets there are no pedestrian crossings, so it's best to latch onto a local and follow them as they weave their way through the endless flow of cars, you may found yourself waiting for hours if you decided to wait for one of them to stop for you on pedestrian crossing.

If you use pedestrian bridges, watch out for wonky steps and holes, and also look out for motorcycles and bicycles that often use the bridge illegally.

Despite this horrible habits of the inhabitants, the downtown area itself does have adequate sidewalks, you may find yourself faster taking the path on foot than travelling by vehicles, there are few recommended guide for you to explore the city:

Kota Tua - pedestrian friendly square, you can walk in these area and explore the sight of dutch colonial charm that were once centre of the colonial seat.

Pasar Baroe - a pedestrian friendly zone market, that exist since the colonial era

Sudirman-Thamrin corridor - the downtown itself have nicely done paved pedestrian footpath for eager explorer all the way through rasuna said, there's available wifi too.

Monas and Kebon Sirih area - the city square is pedestrian friendly zone, and the surrounding area have several attraction such as president palace to old colonial churches

Car Free Day - the city centre enclosed itself from motor vehicle, every Sunday from 6.00 a.m. to about 11.00 a.m. This is the moment you can find yourself walking on the road of the city from Sudirman, Thamrin to Monas area, the busway service would still be running in the enclosed zone for travellers to reach their destination.

Remarkable Places To Visit:

Monas or National Monument. Located at Lapangan Merdeka (Freedom Square), Jakarta's best known landmark, the 137 metre monument is located in the centre of Merdeka or freedom square. From the observation deck, you can view the city. At the basement there are dioramas that portray the dramatic story of Indonesia history. Entrance ticket Rp 2,500, ticket to the top of Monas, Rp 7,500.

Presidential Palace, north of the National Monument. Official residence and office of the Indonesian president is open to the public on weekends for free, preferably make reservation first and use formal clothes, no sandals.

Gelangang Bung Karno Stadium, Senayan Sport complex in South Jakarta. A large stadium surrounded by a large park, the area is a good way to enjoy a fresh air away from the congestion and as well to see a large stadium provided you are interested in it.

Bundaran HI, Hotel Indonesia Traffic Circle. A large fountain with a statue, located in Central Jakarta and is in front of the city's grand major malls.

Ancol Dream Park (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol). Ancol Dream Park is located right on the coast. The Park itself is well worth the visit, however, don't hold high expectations for the beach or for the quality of the sea water. Both the beach and the sea water are polluted and best avoided.

The Park consists a theme park, Dunia Fantasi or Fantasy world with ticket fee Rp 195,000 per person in week days and Rp 275,000 per person on week end-Sunday-and-Holiday, Atlantis Water Adventure (Waterboom) ticket fee Rp 100,000 per person.

Seaworld for the largest aquarium in South East Asia, Gelanggang Samudra (Ocean Park) animals show ticket Rp 90,000 per person, Fantastic Multimedia (Laser) Show ticket fee Rp 50,000 per person, resorts, hotel, beach, marina, and great restaurants.

It's one of the biggest such parks in Asia. Entrance ticket fee to the complex Rp 25,000 per person excluding parking fee.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Beautiful Indonesia in little park. See the whole Indonesian culture from here. It offers an exciting tour of 30 provinces of Indonesia with samplings of the country's more than 250 cultures.

Highlight features are the Museum Indonesia and the Keong Emas IMAX theater. Entrance ticket fee to the complex Rp 10,000 per person and individual attractions must also be paid for - prices range from 5,000-40,000 depending on the attraction.

Jungleland Sentul City, located in Bogor regency however far from the city center lies Indonesia's largest and newest theme park. There are much more variety of rides in the theme park compared to Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy world), complete with a science park and a dinosaur land, a great place for both kids or adults who like to get their adrenaline boiled.

Museums - majority of the museums in Indonesia do not have English translation, but major museum does.

Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, (Jakarta Arts Theater). Neo-renaissance structure, previously meticulously restored, and now one of the proud landmarks among the Jakarta buildings which have been conserved. Some of the city best performance by both local and visiting artists are often held here.

Museum Nasional, Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat no.12, BRT Monumen Nasional, Monas, Transjakarta Busway stop Gambir, Line I. Tu-Fri 8:30AM-4PM, Sat-Sun 8AM-5PM and closed on Mon and public holidays. Houses a vast collection of prehistoric, ethnographic and archaeological artifacts, including one of the world's largest collections of Southeast Asian ceramics and Hindu Javanese art. The museum was opened in 1868.

National Gallery of Indonesia. The National Gallery of Indonesia has existed as a cultural institution in the field of visual arts.

Today the museum kept 1770 artworks by Indonesian and foreign artists, among the most notable are Indonesian artists Raden Saleh, Affandi, Basuki Abdullah, and also some foreign artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Hans Hartung, Victor Vasarely, Sonia Delaunay, Pierre Soulages, and Zao Wou Ki.

Museum Art Mon Decor. A new museum located in Jakarta, it houses various numbers of modern artwork by various Indonesian artist from all over the region.

Textile Museum. Houses a large collections of textiles related to the religious and social practices of the major islands of the archipelago, including batik, ikat and kain ulos.

Gedung Proklamasi, (Proclamation Building). The historical site of Indonesian independence, where on August 17th, 1945 Soekarno-Hatta (Indonesian first President and vice-President) declared the nation's independence.

Lubang Buaya. Marks the site where an alleged failed coup d' etat by Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI), the Indonesian Communist Party, met its end, alongside the bodies of several high-ranking generals who are believed to have been tortured to death.

Museum Taman Prasasti
. A museum that is located in what formerly is a wealthy Dutch graveyard, the museum is surrounded with tombs and monuments with European designs and arts.

Museum Polri. Indonesia's police force Museum, located in the southern part of the city.

Satria Mandala Museum. A war museum located in Southern Jakarta, displaying sets of weapons, tanks, and war planes.

Museum Adam Malik,Small museum dedicated to Mr Adam Malik, a renowned figure who represented Indonesia in the United Nations, among many of his other feats including as an Indonesian foreign minister.

Museum Bank Mandiri, (in the Old Town or Kota Tua area opposite the Northern Terminus of Corridor 1 of the Busway and Kota Station). See the history of banking in the Dutch colonial era. Sections include the history of how the Dutch segregated the services offered to bankers by race, the history of the creation of Bank Mandiri and it's memorabilia , Colonial Era Bank Governors and Rupiah bank notes through time.

Museum Bank Indonesia a museum located next to Bank Mandiri, it is one of the most modern museum in Indonesia, with a history of trades and currency in Indonesia during the colonial times.

Museum Wayang, (Puppet Museum). Dedicated to puppetry and is located at Kota Tua, one of Indonesia's most famous traditional art forms. On display are the wayang kulit shadow puppets, three-dimensional wooden puppets and special dance masks. Wayang performances are presented on Sunday at 10AM.

National Archieve Museum. Formerly the Dutch archive building now is a museum, it is also located in the Kota Tua area.

Museum of fine ceramic and art. Formerly the court of justice in Dutch colonial era, now houses potteries and artworks of Indonesia.
Historical Heritages

Kota Tua, (Old town Batavia). Is the old town of Jakarta, situated at north of Jakarta nearby the Glodok China Town. The area collides modern Jakarta with its old Dutch colonial charm. It includes a square of the old city, complete with sets of Musseum and cafes and is filled with street vendor selling goods and food at reasonable range of price.

The place is home to many historical museum, which are Museum Fatahillah the old Dutch Town hall building that are now historical museum, Museum Wayang, Museum Mandiri, Museum Maritime (old warehouses) and Bank Indonesia Museum. This area is popular among local populace as a family recreational destination, as well artist and photographer's playground.

Jembatan Kota Intan, (Kota Intan drawbridge). The bridge was developed coincide with the development of Batavia by Jan Pieterzoon Coen in 1628, and the only one of the rests of many suspension bridge ever decorating Batavia city.

Sunda Kelapa Port/Old Harbour. The old port area of Sunda Kelapa remains today as a bustling hub for inter islands trade. Graceful Bugis phinisi schooners, the world's last wind-powered sailing fleet used for trade, still berthed at the quay as they have for century.

Fish Market and Museum Bahari, Maritime Museum,at the mouth of the Ciliwung river. This market area bustles with activities related to the sea. The Museum Bahari situated at the harbour, is housed in restored Dutch warehouses dating back to the first trading post of the Dutch East Indies.

Pasar Baru. Although the name means New Market, it doesn't mean the place is new at all. Dating back to the Dutch colonial era, it has been one of the main hub for commodities trading. And nowadays, it has been nothing short of a mixture of stores packed up in a very limited space. You can bet to find unbranded items of medium to high quality and fairly low price here.

Paleis Van Daendels. Formerly a palace for a notorious Dutch East Indies Governor General, Herman Willem Daendels, now is the financial department building. You are not allowed to go inside, however this building is a must for colonial architecture fans and is just a little further from the Monas area.

Istiqlal Mosque, The biggest mosque in Southeast Asia with a capacity of 120,000, located near the Monas Square. It was designed by Frederich Silaban, a Christian architect. Foreign visitors of all religions are welcome; remove your shoes before entering and stop by the desk for a free tour with an English-speaking guide.

Cut Mutiah Mosque
, A mosque that is named after an Indonesian national heroine Cut Nyak Meutia who took part in the struggle against Dutch colonialism in Aceh, formerly a Dutch property for an architecture firm.

Jakarta Cathedral, A Dutch colonial Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral, and the seat of the Bishop of Jakarta. There is a museum attached to the Cathedral on the top floor.

Immanuel Church, A Dutch colonial Protestant church located near the Monas Square, designed in classic architecture
Gereja Ayam, Or in English means Chicken Church, a beautiful Dutch colonial church located near Pasar Baru in Central Jakarta.

Sion Church, The oldest church in Jakarta, located near the Kota Tua area.

Vihara Dharma Sakti, An old Buddhist temple located inside the Glodok Chinatown.

Pekan Raya Jakarta. Or in English language "Jakarta Fair", an annually held event in Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran. It features exhibitions, trade promotions, shopping, music performances, various shows, amusement rides and a food festival. The fair is meant to celebrate the anniversary of Jakarta.

The Jakarta Fair sees exhibitors from across the country display a whole range of goods and products ranging from specialty food items to traditional handmade arts and crafts. In addition to the many exhibitors, there is also live entertainment including music, dance and cultural performances.

Jalan Surabaya, (Surabaya Street). Lively open-air antique market on the fringes of the Menteng residential neighborhood. A good place to bargain for exotic treaures.

Taman Ismail Mazurki. A park complex with a theater building and Jakarta's planetarium.

Ragunan Zoo, (in South Jakarta near Pasar Minggu). A 185-hectare city zoo contains a comprehensive collection of some 3,600 species of wildlife from throughout Indonesia.

Look for the rare Komodo dragon. Pusat Primata Schmutzer consists of gorillas and other primates. Entrance ticket fee is only Rp 4000 ($0.5) due to subsidies from Jakarta administration. Perhaps a better alternative to Ragunan, however, is Taman Safari near Bogor

Bird Market, Jl. Barito in South Jakarta and Jl. Pramuka in Central Jakarta. Various colourful tropical birds and other animals are on sale.Bird Island, in the Thousand Islands

Jakarta Hidden Tours. Ronny and Anneke will lead you around some local slums where you will have a chance to meet local people and witness how they live. The proceeds of your tour will go to the local people and Ronny's Interkultur foundation.

Jalan Jaksa, is a short street situated just to the south of Monas, in the Sarina area. It is popular with ex-pat backpackers and the party crowd. Accommodation in Jalan Jaksa ranging from Rp100,000 to 250,000 per night. There is also a string of cafes, inexpensive restaurants with cheap beer and a variety of entertainment. You'll either love it or hate it.

Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands), (north of Jakarta in the Java Sea). The Kepulauan Seribu are easily accessible by speed boat from Ancol marina for a price, or simply go to Muara Karang Fishing Port where scheduled passenger boats (ojek kapal) leave every 7am in the morning.

This spray of some 300 hundred sandy, picturesque islets offers invigorating respitee for those wishing to escape from the bustling city.

Movie theaters are a more affordable escape at around Rp 25,000-35,000 for a plush seat (Rp 35,000-50,000 on weekend, up to Rp 70,000 if you watching in 3D, and around Rp 100,000 - Rp 150,000 for Premier Class) in any of the capital's shopping malls.

Beware of the heavy hand of the Indonesian censor though. The price of popcorn and drinks are exorbitant. CGV Blitz (former: Blitz Megaplex) cinemas will typically show movies in any foreign language other than English.

And the lesser ones also exhibit Indonesian B-Movies with erotic themes still heavily censored. The largest chains of cinemas in Indonesia are the 21 Cineplex (branded as XXI in premium shopping malls) and CGV Blitz. IMAX theaters, as of now, are only available at Gandaria City's XXI, Mal Kelapa Gading's XXI, and Keong Mas in TMII. Although the latter doesn't always show commercial movies.

Typically unbeknownst to the world, Jakarta boasts some of the world's largest music events and the many youth fans have attracted artists all around the world to regularly stop by Jakarta as part of their world tour, from rock concerts to Korean pop.

The largest event is the annual Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival that takes place each March for 3 days, filled with over 40 international and local artists performing jazz, R&B, and reggae songs.

The Hammersonic in April is a metal music event, while Java Rockin' Land entices you to a June night of rock & roll, and the Djakarta Warehouse Project in December will make you dance and be entertained by world famous DJs.

Fitness centre: Large hotels provide free fitness centres for guests. Some hotels have sauna, spa, tennis court and jogging track. They are also available in shopping malls.

Golf: Golf is the number one pastime of the upper classes and, as so many other things here, relatively cheap by Western standards. Green fees can go as low as Rp 60,000 on weekdays, although the better courses are twice that, and weekend rates are considerably steeper at Rp 300,000 and up.

Bowling: Most alleys are found in shopping malls. The fee for a game is US$2–3. Guest can rent bowling shoes etc. The length of the lanes are 32 ft.

Football: Jakarta has plenty choices of Futsal fields in many areas. Futsal is a version of football but has fewer players and more lax rules of play.

Dirt and grass makeshift fields are abundant in residential areas, and can be crowded with players, onlookers and vendors, especially on weekend afternoons. In these casual games, anyone can simply ask to jump in or relax.

Drifting: There's a drifting circuit on top of Mal Artha Gading (MAG)

Badminton As one of the powerhouses in badminton, Jakarta has a multitude of badminton courts, ranging from the national venues at the Senayan Complex to the suburban halls which cater to both futsal and badminton.

Most of them have wood-panel flooring, and are maintained in reasonably good condition. Lighting is strictly functional and is below par in comparison with standard badminton halls.

The best way to find a playing venue (and players) is to post a request on badminton central, the global badminton forum. It has a lot of members from Indonesia who would be happy to provide directions to a local hall. People play almost every evening - so, walk in, strike up a conversation with the group's captain, and expect to blend in their group for the session.

If the captain refuses payment (usually less than Rp 20,000), it is polite to buy the players a round of soft-drinks,teh-botol is a good choice). Be warned that it is common for Indonesians to eat, smoke, drink and nap by the side of the court. So, watch your footing!

Karaoke: One of the main entertainment program in Asia. With the most popular chains spread throughout Jakarta, such as Inul Vista (Sarinah, Plaza Semanggi, Kelapa Gading, etc.), Happy Puppy (La Piazza, etc.), and NAV (Kelapa Gading, etc.). Expect to pay as low as Rp 60,000/hr+tax for a 6 person room.

Casual work in Jakarta is difficult to come by and Indonesian bureaucracy does not readily facilitate foreigners undertaking employment in Indonesia.

As in the rest of Asia, teaching English is the best option, although salaries are poor (US$700-3000/month is typical, although accommodation may be provided) and the government only allows citizens of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA to work as teachers.

Formal work visas, residency permits and registration with several government offices is necessary. Formal approval from the Department of Manpower and and the provision of documentation and guarantees from an employing sponsor is required to engage in any form of employment in Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia.

Business visas are available for the purposes of conducting business related activities in Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia, this class of visa has strict conditions and requires a local business to sponsor the applicant. A business visa does not permit the holder to undertake any form of employment.

If you're stopping in Jakarta, consider buying an extra suitcase, because there are lots of good shopping to be done. You can buy good used suitcases at Jalan Surabaya (see below) and you can see or but other good used things such as old gramophone plates or other 'antiques'.

Looking for an aluminum hubcap, a large clay pot, some reupholstered car seats or perhaps a full-length mirror with elaborate ironwork? Not to worry, in Jakarta there's an alley out there just for you, with specialist vendors laying out their goods on streetside racks to entice people driving by. And given Jakarta's traffic jams, there's often plenty of time to browse too.

Shopping Malls: Despite the crushing poverty exhibited in many parts of the city, Jakarta has a large number of giant, glittering malls it is recorded that the entire city itself has 174 shopping malls, which just might give the city the title city with most malls in the world, which can be hard to believe since Jakarta is not a well-known shopping destination.

Note that, for imported goods, prices in many of the more expensive stores can be much higher than what would be charged in the same shops in other countries. Jakarta has malls that vary from the upmarket malls to cheap malls.

Global luxurious brands like Chanel, Gucci, Dolce and Gabanna can easily be found in the upscale malls such as Plaza Indonesia, Grand Indonesia or Plaza Senayan. Pacific place mall in Jakarta houses Asia's only Gallerie Lafayette department store.

It is not hard for one to find international brands in the city as it exists nearly in all of its major shopping malls. There are also less attractive malls in Jakarta that sells various local cheap brands, electronic products, and mobile phone services, usually attached with a supermarket.

As general the city lacks a vibrant shopping street, the city plans Jalan Dr. Professor Satrio or simply Dr. Satrio Road that are said to be planned as Jakarta's Orchard road, in the Mega Kuningan area that houses many towering famous hotels such as the raffles.

However, nothing drastic has been done with the exception of a new large mall opening up in the area and also new fly-over (or freeway) above Dr. Satrio Road called Flyover Kampung Melayu-Tanah Abang, though it houses several shopping centers as well.

Markets: In addition to malls, there are also numerous extremely large shopping centres, quite a few of which can be found in the Mangga Dua (Two Mangoes) complex, a massive indoor markets with hundreds upon hundreds of shops selling everything at wholesale prices,including fake branded items, bags, purses, shoes electronic products and pirated movies/DVDs.

With a bargaining skill, all can be bought at a very low price, as a general rule, you should start the bargain with half from the initial offered price.

Another market in town Pusat Grosir Tanah Abang or Thamrin City which popular among Malaysian tourists are large textile markets selling various clothing and Islamic wears, all offering wholesale prices.

Another one is Pasar Baru (New Market) which had existed since the colonial era, various clothing, accessories, and bags are sold here. If you are seeking traditional markets, there are plenty of them scattered throughout the city.

Supermarkets: There are a large number of modern supermarkets in Jakarta and it is not hard for one to notice the nearest supermarket from their hotel, as most of the shopping centers usually have a supermarket inside. Some of the most known supermarket in town include Giant, Hero, Hypermart, Carrefour/Transmart, Lotte, KemChicks, Superindo etc.

Convenience stores: If you want to avoid the oversized malls and you're looking for smaller yet modern places to shop for daily needs then Indomaret or Alfamart stores are located virtually everywhere throughout Jakarta, including some of the housing complexes.

These two Indonesian convenience store chains are complemented by international convenience stores. Circle-K is omnipresent, and since 2009, 7-Eleven has extended its franchise to Jakarta, with more than 150 stores. Unfortunately, 7-Eleven has been closed since the beginning of July 2017 due to lack of funds for operational costs.

Antique shop: If you are looking for some antique product such as local handicrafts, Indonesian traditional batik, wayang golek (Javanese puppets), you can go to Jalan Surabaya in Central Jakarta where you can find many antique shops along this street. Pasaraya Grande shopping mall at Blok M, South Jakarta has one dedicated floor for all Indonesian antiques and handcrafted goods.

Pasar Seni at Ancol is the centre of paintings and sculpture, you can ask the painters to make you as the model for your paintings. Sharinah Department Store one of the oldest in town, a place where you can buy traditional Batik and clothing, Craft goods, antiques as well as luxurious crafted precious gems under one roof.

Duty Free Shops: Duty-Free shops are available at Soekarno Hatta airport and a small number of shops in the city. The Lotte Duty-Free at Ciputra mall is one of the largest available within the city, bring your passport to the shops.

Jakarta Gem Center (JGC) Rawa Bening, Jl Bekasi Barat (just in front of Jatinegara station). JGC is the biggest central of gems and precious stones in Indonesia, even Asia.

It is located in Jl.Bekasi Barat, just right in front of Jatinegara train station, making it very strategic and convenient as the tourist spot. There are more than 1,330 stalls selling various kinds of gemstones, crystals, rings, stones, fossils, even to antiques and mystical items.

After undergoing total renovation in 2010, JGC has developed rapidly and is always crowded with local and international visitors. Each day visitors can reach more than 1,000 people and the peak would be on Saturday - Sunday.

The place is relatively clean and safe, modern, has sufficient parking lot, and made up of 4 floors.

Jakarta has a vast range of food available at hundreds of eating complexes located all over the huge city. In addition to selections from all over the country, you can also find excellent Chinese, Japanese, and many other international foods thanks to the cosmopolitan population.

Longer-term visitors will wish to dig up a copy of "Jakarta Good Food Guide" (JGFG) or "Jakarta Java Kini". The JGFG, as its affectionately known to Jakartans, is now in its 3rd edition, with the latest version published in 2009 and covering over 600 restaurants and casual eateries in the city.

The JGFG has now also been made into an iPod touch & iPhone application, so you can download all 600 reviews and have them in the palm of your hand for whenever you're craving a bite of some good local food.

Nowadays more popular apps for smartphones (such as Zomato, TripAdvisor, Yelp etc.) come in handy and are usually enough for those who seek recommended restaurants/stalls throughout Jakarta.

You can find Jakartan versions of many dishes, often tagged with the label Betawi (Indonesian for "Batavian").

Sop iga sapi, beef spare rib soup that takes a simple Dutch dish and piles on Indonesian spices.

Soto Betawi, coconut milk broth with beef tendons, intestines, tripe.

Kerak telor, omelette from egg cooked with glutinous rice and served with shredded coconut and a dried shrimp topping.

Ketoprak, rice roll, tofu, bean sprout, crackers in peanut sauce.

Bubur Dingin, lit. Cold Porridge with beef sweet soup

Nasi uduk, rice cooked in coconut milk similar to nasi lemak, served with choices of various toppings; such as fried chicken, beef, fried shalots sambal

Nasi ulam, rice cooked in coconut milk served with fried minced beef, sweet fried tempe, many other toppings, cucumber, and sambal (chilli sauce).

Your stomach may need an adjustment period to the local food due to many spices locals used in their cooking. Standard price on this guide: The price for one main course, white rice ("nasi putih") and one soft drink, including 21% tax and service charge.

Street Food, Jakarta is famous for its street delicacies. Every Region of Jakarta has its own unique offering of street foods. Some areas for great /exceptional and unique street food are Kelapa Gading (Seafood), Muara Karang/Pluit (Seafood), "Nasi Uduk" (Kebon Kacang, Central Jakarta) and Tennis Sized Meatballs (Blok S, South Jakarta).

Beware though, as these foods may take a toll on your stomach. It is advised to be acclimatised to the Indonesian environment for a week before eating street food and then to do so with some caution.

Prices are around Rp 10,000 to Rp 25,000. For street hawker food, there are a lot of food courts and hawkers scattered throughout the city that offers them, for a greater concentration of them there are Glodok(China Town), Monas Square and Kota Tua (old town).

The food courts of Jakarta's shopping malls are a great way of sampling Indonesian and other food in more hygienic and air-conditioned comfort.

Plaza Semanggi (level 3A and 10-Plangi Sky DIning), Taman Anggrek's Dapur Anggrek (level 4), all have good selections.

Mal Kelapa Gading's Food Temptation (level 3) claims to be the largest in Indonesia.

Gading Food City, offering a vast selection of mostly Indonesian outdoor eats with live music.

La Piazza is more upscale.

Eat n Eat in the New Kelapa Gading Mall 5, a new food court with a traditional colonial era Indonesian atmosphere and offers a great mix of Indonesian cuisine and others from the Malay Archipelago.

Blok M has three malls, and underground and a variety of other shops. The malls are Pasar Raya, Blok M Square, and Blok M Plaza. All three have good food courts. In addition, there are smaller restaurants and there is even street food in the Blok M area.

Kemang Food Fest, in Kemang, the most popular expatriate neighborhood, offers great food for 24 hr/7 days a week. A number of restaurants (both offering eastern and western food) gather in this outdoor establishment.

Tebet is another great option near the centre of the city. The area offers great food (both indoors and outdoors), including a comic cafe and is surrounded by fashion outlets. If you happen to be near Bundaran H.I., Grand Indonesia's

Food Louver on the level 3 skybridge in the Grand Indonesia foodcourt near Bundaran H.I. offers a great variety of food from around the world, some seats offer a great view of the Jakarta Skyline.

Most budget restaurants have delivery service or you can call Pesan Delivery service. You can order take away foods from most budget restaurants. Some traditional Indonesian cuisine may be too hot and spicy for many foreign tourists.

At some restaurants you can ask for food without chili: "Tidak pakai cabe" or "Tidak Pedas". Standard price is Rp 15,000-50,000.

Mid to Upper-scale restaurants are plentiful and prices range from Rp 30,000 and upwards for entrees.

- Pondok Indah Mall 2's Restaurant Row

- Mal Kelapa Gading's Gourmet Row

- Senayan City's Basement Floor

- Grand Indonesia's Food Louver

- Cilandak Town Square.

The best gourmet splurges in Jakarta are the opulent buffet spreads in the 5 star hotels such as the Marriott, Hotel Mulia, Ritz-Carlton and Shangri-La, which offer amazing value by international standards. Standard price: Rp 150,000-300,000 per person

Jakarta may be the capital of the world's largest country with Islamic population, but it has underground life of its own and alcohol drinking is not prohibited. If you're the clubbing type, its nightlife is arguably among the best in Asia.

From the upscale Blowfish, X2 or Potato Head Garage to the seediest discos like Stadium, Jakarta caters to all kinds of clubbers, but bring a friend if you decide to brave the seedier joints though they tend to have the best DJs.

Fans of live music, on the other hand, are largely out of luck if they go to budget bars, at least unless they're into Indonesian pop.

When out and about, note that Jakarta has a fairly high number of prostitutes, known in local parlance as ayam (lit. "chicken"), so much so that much of the female clientele of some respectable bars,operated by five-star hotels, etc is on the take.

A nightlife district popular among expats is Blok M in South Jakarta, or more specifically the single lane of Jl. Palatehan 1 just north of the bus terminal, packed with pubs and bars geared squarely towards single male Western visitors.

While lacking the bikini-clad go-go dancers of Patpong, the meat market atmosphere is much the same with poor country girls turned pro. D's and My Bar are two of the most popular spots, while Sportsman is a more quiet and respectable spot.

Blok M is now easily accessible as the southern terminus of BRT Line 1. For a more off-the-beaten track experience, head a few blocks south to Jl. Melawai 6 (opposite Plaza Blok M), Jakarta's de-facto Little Japan with lots of Japanese restaurants, bars, karaoke joints and ayam girls.

Jalan Jaksa is also popular among expats and backpackers. Jalan Jaksa has the cheapest or equal cheapest beer in Jakarta. Generally a little cheaper in other respects as well, Jalan Jaksa is also a bit more laid back. Papa's Cafe is a popular spot, and the Beatles can be heard most nights at Memories Cafe.

However there is a variety of other entertainment in a friendly, casual athmosphere. Jalan Jaksa also has cheap food and cheap to moderately priced accommodation.

To hang out where Indonesia's young, rich and beautiful do, head to Plaza Indonesia to it's numerous bars and sky-high lounges are. Plaza Senayan's Arcadia annex attempts to duplicate the concept, but with more of an emphasis on fine dining.

The Kemang area in Southern Jakarta is popular with expats and locals alike. It has numerous places to eat, drink and dance as well houses several boutiques and shops. The Senopati and SCBD too are now flocking with Indonesia's young, rich and beautiful go.

The Kota area in northern Jakarta is the oldest part of town with numerous colonial buildings still dominating the area. It is also considered to be the seediest part of town after midnight. Most karaoke bars and 'health' clubs there are in fact brothels who mostly cater to local Jakartans.

Even regular discos such as Stadium and Crown have special areas designated for prostitutes. Other notable establishments in this area are Malioboro and Club 36 which should not be missed. This part of town has a large ethnic Chinese population who also dominate the clubbing scene there.

The bulk of the clubbing scene is spread throughout Jakarta however, most usually found in office buildings or hotels. A help of an experienced local with finding these places is recommended. Do note that nightlife in Jakarta tends to be pricey for local standards.

In general, dress codes are strictly enforced in Jakarta: no shorts, no slippers. Drunken, rowdy behavior is frowned upon. During the month of Ramadan, all nightlife ends at midnight and many operations close for the entire month.

The travel agencies at Jakarta's airport can have surprisingly good rates for mid-range and above hotels. Star ratings are reserved for midrange and better hotels, while budget places have "Melati" rankings from 1-3 (best). Tax and service charge of 21% is usually added to the bill.

Backpacker hostels or losmen can be found in Jalan Jaksa, which is close to Gambir Station (to the east) and Sarinah (to the west) with the Trans-Jakarta busway. Rooms start from Rp 50,000/night.

Clean, air-conditioned rooms with own bathroom start at about Rp 100,000/night. Hotels with standard room rate start at about US$22/night.

Jakarta has more than its fair share of luxury hotels, and after the prolonged post-crash hangover new ones are now going up again. Many remain good value by world prices, but opulent lobbies do not always correspond to the same quality in the room.

The standard room rate on splurge hotels is more than US$100/night. Accor Group hotels (Mercure, Grand Mercure, Ibis, Novotel, Pullman), Intercontinental, Le Meridien, Shangri-La, Kempinski are just to name a few existing foreign chains, as well as local brands such as Mulia and The Sultan Hotel & Residence whose hotels are situated in Senayan, and Santika hotels.

For a stay of a month or more, monthly rental rooms called kost and apartments are a good alternative to budget and mid-range hotels, respectively. Fully-furnished rooms (with TV, A/C, large bed, hot shower, kitchen outside) can be rented for Rp 1.5-4 million/month.

In most cases, rental fee already includes electricity and water usage, often there are additional services included like laundry, Internet access, breakfast, etc.

There are cheaper rooms as well (starting from Rp 500,000-700,000), but those are usually small, without window, and the furniture includes just bed or even nothing.

Also, some cheaper places are exclusively for either men or women,no opposite sex tenants or visitors allowed; many others allow couples to stay together - but only if they're legally married. Check on this before committing to rent.

For apartments one or more rooms + private kitchen + often balcony, prices are from Rp 3-4 million and up. Cheaper rates can be obtained in some places which are oriented to the long-term rental (6 months or 1 year minimum); however, there may be same limitations as for cheaper rooms.

The high-profile terrorist bomb blasts at the JW Marriott in 2003, the Australian Embassy in 2004 and the JW Marriott (again) and the Ritz-Carlton in 2009 mean that security in Jakarta tends to be heavy, with car trunk checks, metal detectors and bag searches at most major buildings.

Statistically, though, you are far more likely to be killed in the traffic. The city is relatively safe for travelers to explore, but it doesn't mean that there are no risks.

Avoid bringing drugs into Indonesia or Jakarta. Eight foreigners were executed in 2015 for drug-related offenses. The tolerance for drug smuggling is very low, and Westerners and Africans are sometimes stereotyped as drug users or dealers by the general populace.

The police have a long-standing reputation for being quite corrupt, so the less you deal with them, the better.

Criminal problems have become more serious in the last 10 years. Pick-pocketing or bag snatching are the most common crimes. Be on your guard in crowded places such as markets, because pickpockets often steal wallets and cell phones.

Take care on your valuables and choose your transportation options carefully, especially at night. Business travelers need to keep a close eye on laptops, which have been known to disappear even from within office buildings.

For all-night party excursions, it may be wise to keep your cab waiting; the extra cost is cheap and it's worth it for the security. Lock your car doors and windows, and show no cell phones or wallets on the dashboard.

Often simply catching the thief in the act will cause him to run away. Because the police are seen as useless or corrupt, Jakartans will usually come to the aid of a victim. Just ask for help or Tolong.

In many neighborhoods, a thief caught by the local residents will be punished traditionally often quite brutally before being taken to police. Most local neighborhoods employ their own security.

However, there are an increasing number of violent crimes, such as mugging. Traffic lights at night can be potentially unsafe, so stay alert. Use of guns remains rare in Jakarta. There may also be school or neighborhood fights that should be avoided.

There are also occasional scams, especially in tourist-filled areas. Some scams include: play-acting as staff or salesperson with an interesting promo package or lottery to get the victim to an ATM and withdraw money from his or her account; pretending to recognize the victim, chatting him or her up, and then offering a laced snack or drink; and pretending to offer a ride to the victim, only to mug him or her during the trip.

Crime tends to increase slightly during and right before Ramadan, due to a variety of factors, including financial demands of providing gifts to family members during Idul Fitri, intolerance arising from increased religious devotion, and irritability from fasting.

In general, just exercise awareness and precaution. Know your destination, avoid walking alone at night especially in slums, avoid flaunting valuables, and be wary of strangers. Keep your passport secured at all times, and try to avoid carrying too much cash at one time.

There are three sources of tap water in Jakarta:

- From drinking-water company

- From deep artesian wells

- From shallow wells.

Water from source 1 and 2, originally are drinkable when it leaves the source, but some pipes maybe ill-maintained. And there is no way for you to know if the source of your water is not from source 3 or not unless if you ask.

Hence, to be on the safe side, always drink bottled water, or boil your water before drinking it. Never drink tap water directly. In Depok and Bogor boiled tap water is considered drinkable, but in most areas of Jakarta, make your tea and coffee from bottled water.

If buying bottled water from a street vendor always check the tamper proof seal is intact.

In the coastal areas of Jakarta, such as North Jakarta, the water quality is even worse and if you have a bak mandi in your bathroom using the water from shallow well, adding one capfull of Detol to the 100 to 200 litres of water may be a good idea.

To the south eg, South Jakarta, Depok and Bogor, the water quality is better - but still don't drink it un-boiled.

During the rainy season (December, January, and February), lower parts of Jakarta (mostly those to the north) are often flooded, turning the lower parts of Jakarta into 'Little Venice' or 'Jakarta's Venice' because of the roads changing into canals that resemble Venice, Italy.

Thanks to the completion of East-Flood-Canal, much of the water is channeled directly to the sea without a chance of passing through the central part of the city.

There is a law against smoking at public places in Jakarta, and the smoker can in theory be fined up to US$5,000.

You may see the signs threatening a fine or denda of Rp 50 million or 6 months jail for smoking, although that law seems not to be enforced due to the extreme level of tolerance of most Jakartans.

You can see that some locals still smoke on the street and even in local buses, as anywhere in Indonesia, but when reminded they usually stop smoking. It's generally prohibited to smoke, however, inside shops, offices, and air-conditioned buildings generally. If in doubt, take the safer side,just do not smoke smoke.

Learn from Jakartans about how to stay comfortable in the heat and humidity of the city, wear only cotton clothing to absorb the extra sweat + humidity of the air. And wear it long so that it function as comfortable SPF-200 sun protection at the same time.

Street workers in Jakarta usually wear wide straw hat or bamboo hats to protect their head and face from the sun, and they always have a super mini towel ready within reach to wipe the sweat.

If you see a public telephone, lift the receiver and check the number in the display near the keypad. If the number is not 000, don't insert coins, because the phone is broken.

They usually are broken, but are very cheap (just $0.01/min) when they do work. Keep in mind that the public telephone can't make calls to cellular phone and long-distance calls and even international calls.

Buy your simcard for your cellphone at the airport. For $2 or less you can get a local SIM and some credit. Top up to up to $10 to get 4G LTE, which is generally good and you can use to navigate around the city.

Telkomsel is the biggest provider and generally has the best reception in Jakarta and throughout Indonesia, "3" from Hutchinson is the cheapest, otherwise Indosat Ooredoo and XL isn't too bad either.

If you have your own laptop you may be able to access networks at many of the capital's malls. Ask at the information desk for access codes. Free hotspots are also available at most McDonald restaurants and StarBucks Cafes.

Several hotels also provide a free wifi hotspot in their lobby. There are also free available Wifi at Thamrin-Sudirman road corridor in the center of the city.

Internet cafes are available in many parts of the city with a price of Rp 4,000-5,000. Many internet cafes or locally known as warnet can be found around universities and residential areas. Most shopping malls provide wi-fi, typically through individual stores or restaurants.

If you are keen on using the internet for long hours, try to get the "happy hour" deals provided by internet cafes near universities or residential areas. They provide 6 hr of surfing on the internet for Rp 12,000, but only available at midnight-6AM.

Emergency you must know:

Ambulance, ☎ 118. Always, it is better to just get a taxi to the hospital, but make sure you have money or a credit card before you do. You may not be attended to until you flash the cash.

Police, ☎ 110. Be prepared to pay the police to do their job. Despite much talk about reformasi, the police are still corrupt. Don't waste your time making a complaint, or requesting assistance, concerning anything less than a serious matter.

However, despite being corrupt, the police are generally polite. Always be polite and respectful in dealing with them.

Search and rescue, ☎ 115.

Indonesian Police Headquarters, ☎ +62 21 7218144.

Jakarta Police Headquarters, ☎ +62 21 5709261.

Good places to visit:

Anyer resort beach 160 km (99 mi) west of Jakarta. Driving time: up to 4 hours.

Krakatoa Krakatoa (Gunung Krakatau) is a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The eruption of Mount Krakatoa in 1883 was one of the most violent volcanic events ever recorded.

Bandung some 140 km (87 mi) southeast of Jakarta, full of colonial buildings, universities and famous for both its food and its fashion markets. Driving time: 2-2.5 hours (through Cipularang toll road). X-Trans shuttle transport depart hourly from several location for Rp 80,000.

Bogor cooler climes and a beautiful botanical garden an hour away. Several great golf courses are located in Bogor. Sentul A1 Race Circuit is located in Citeurerup, Bogor. Express train takes a bit over an hour, economy a little longer.

Waiting and train cancellations are the bigger issue. Driving time: up to 2 hours. On weekends, the trip may take up to 3 hours by road, and the trains can be crowded.

Puncak — cooler climes and beautiful view of tea plantations. Up to 2.5 hours by tollway.

Ujung Kulon National Park — a beautiful national park, southwest of Jakarta. Driving time: up to 5 hours. Application in advance should be endorsed first, because the national park is prioritized for researchers.

Taman Safari Wildlife Recreational Park — Jalan Raya Puncak 601, Cisarua, Bogor. 70 km (44 mi) south of Jakarta.

Drive time 2.5 hours from Jakarta (outside rush hours) and about 20 km (12 mi) past Bogor, close to the Gunung Gede mountain. Drive-through zoo with lions, tigers, hippos, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, as well as plenty of other animals in well-kept large enclosures.

There are also some amusement park attractions for children, a water park, a baby zoo, as well as conventional zoo exhibitions including penguins, snakes, monkeys and apes, kangaroos and Komodo dragons. This is a well maintained zoo, but after the steep price hikes in the last years without corresponding investment in the park itself has made it uncompetitive,money is better spent going to the Singapore zoo.

Admission is Rp 300,000 (foreigners; this is approximately USD 30 / 30 Euro) or Rp 140000 (locals), and Rp 15000 for vehicles.

When visiting with children reserve a full day. For adults 3 hours is enough to see the most interesting animals, but if you want trekking please add 1 to 3 hours anymore depends on the trekking routes. Night Safari is available and you can sleep also in the park lodges.

Tourism Observer