Indonesia: A Side Trip to Jakarta

Our trip to Indonesia was two weeks before the Philippine Airlines’ first direct flight to Bali, so we had to pass through another country. I chose Jakarta as our entry port going to Bali, Indonesia because there was a 50% off seat sale from Manila to Jakarta via Cebu Pacific Airlines, which travel dates matched my annual vacation leave. When traveling, it’s always logical to consider seat sales and promos to stay on budget and or have extra moolahs for unexpected mishaps. And it must destiny—there were MNL-Jakarta-MNL (via Cebu Pacific) and Jakarta-Bali-Jakarta seat sales (via Air Asia Indonesia) on the exact same time I was searching for airfare promos. I knew I didn’t have to reconsider other options.

 

I arranged a one-day stay in Jakarta before we went to Bali, and while in the Big Durian (Jakarta’s moniker), Six Degrees Backpackers Hostel became our home. Yes, a hostel! It was my first time to stay in a hostel and it wasn’t even close to Vacancy-creepy like.

  

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We were supposed to arrive in Jakarta at 11pm but our flight was further delayed to almost 3 hours. Unfortunately, we arrived at 3 am! Outside the airport, there were cues for taxis. We rode the Blue Bird taxi going to Jalan Cikin

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 Indonesia’s trusted taxi company

 

 

I printed out the directional map and detailed instruction going to Six Degrees, let the taxi driver read it, and he knew right away where we were heading. It was perhaps a 35-minute drive from Soeharto-Hatta Airport to the hostel and cost 150,000 idr.

I’d like to commend Six Degrees for their booking convenience. I simply sent an email to David, the owner,  and informed him of our stay details and which room we were interested in. He responded right away with all the details I needed. He didn’t ask for any reservation fees or down payment. We exchanged confirmation via email two months before our expected date of arrival.

I booked the double ensuite room (double room with an ensuite bathroom) for a two-night stay. The room was basic, but spacious and clean—value for money.

In the morning, David was on duty and he was so approachable and helpful in giving us instructions on how we could go from one place to another. In the common room, he has a large road map of Jakarta posted on the freedom wall and he explained the route using that map. He even gave us a handy road map to help us get through our itinerary.

 

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  The complimentary breakfast (fruits and toast) is served from 6:30 am until 10 am. I love the unlimited   coffee, tea, and or drinking water!

 

 

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                    with David here giving me road instructions

 

 

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     When in Jakarta, do as the Indonesians do. Walk, ride the train, and ride the bus.

 

 

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The train station is a 5-minute walk from the hostel. We took our chances and rode the economy train, which took us by surprise! The economy trains do not have doors and the passengers do not follow certain rules! In Manila, a 50,000 peso fine awaits those who cross the railway. In Jakarta, everyone seems to cross the
railway and hop on the train from the other side! You don’t have to be a keen observer to witness a lot of violations.

 

Our first stop was at the Gereja Katedral, a neo-Gothic architecturally designed Roman Catholic church the heart of Jakarta.

 

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