Jakarta is probably one of the very congested city in world. According to WordAtlas, Jakarta is listed at number 2 out of hundreds of most populous city in the world after Tokyo, and then followed by Seoul and Shanghai. Of course this is measured by the comparison between the width of the land and its population. This is very right. But despite of that Jakarta is a beautiful and unique city
for you to visit. Many foreigners I’ve met loving it in here. Whether it’s to be lived or just for several days vacation.
If you’re planning to go to Jakarta for any kind of reasons in the near future, let me tell you what to prepare when you’re in here.
- Be prepared for the worst traffic jam ever. Jakarta’s traffic can be really mean when it comes to the busy hour. Usually in the morning around 6am to 9am and in the evening between 5pm to 8 pm. So, if you’re planning to go around Jakarta, avoid those hours. But still it doesn’t guarantee you would not face any traffic in between the period mentioned. Because there are still a lot of reasons that can triggered the traffic in Jakarta. Another thing to note also do spare your time in advance, sometimes traffic can be super crazy and you don’t want to ruin your schedule right?
- Watch out for the motorbike abstract movement. Still about traffic related, in Jakarta you will find many motor bikers on the road that will make you explode in anger. Breaking the traffic lights, turning suddenly without the light signs, slip into the very narrow space between cars and the sidewalk (sometimes they even got themselves up in the sidewalk, sigh). Be really careful of them, whether you’re planning to go by car, public transportation or whenever you walk in the street. Just to be clear, I’m talking about a person in certain capacity here (which is a lot of them), so I’m not saying that every motor bikers in Jakarta has the same habit.
- Brace yourself for the sting heat. Jakarta is indeed super hot, all the time. Prepare yourself with most comfortable clothes and shoes. Jakartan usually love the t-shirts and jeans to be paired with. Also bring along Tumblr with cold drinks if necessary, you’ll get thirsty a lot in here.
- The vehicle’s engine pollution. Since there are too many vehicles in Jakarta, private cars, taxis, buses, trucks, motorbikes, train and everything in results giving the very bad pollution to the beautiful city. So I suggest you to bring and wear the face mask whenever you encounter the road. Because they are evil to the your face and lung.
- In rainy season, all day long rains could be your reason to just stay at home. Rain in Jakarta for certain times can be highly consistent. We’re talking from night to night non stop raining. They just won’t stop, very persistent. So, if you’re planning to visit Jakarta around rainy season, which usually comes around October-March, don’t forget to prepare umbrella or rain coat, and plus a rubber shoes or comfy sandal if you must. Because sometimes the water puddle it creates is inevitable. I believe you don’t want to ruin your holiday by the rain and of course your Nike shoes.
- Flood. Beware of this one. Flood is very unpredictable in Jakarta, and can happen anywhere even in the very elite part of the town. When flood happens. Transportation will be partially down and not accessible. How can we? The road is filled with them, even sometimes in the very bad flood, small ship is needed for the people’s rescue. So my suggestion, avoid coming to Jakarta in the very rainy season. Check the weather online.
- Street musician and beggar. Both of this type can sometimes be really compulsive. Street musician will most likely be found in the public transportation (except busway and train) and in the traffic lights. They will approach you to sing a song, and if you don’t want to be bothered, just wave No and smile to them until they walk away. And for the beggars, like any other beggars, they have a lot of begging method to attract your empathy. For example young moms bringing sleeping baby around (most of the babies are being drugged to sleep), disabled young man with no legs (Police found that this is a total lie, they’d fold up their legs inside so it gives cut off legs looks), or a steady healthy middle aged man asking around for money (they could’ve done another better job though). What can I suggest here is to not give them any money. Because it will just make their amount growing bigger. If you feel like to give something, give food instead, but not money.
- Criminal gangs at nights. Most of these kind of gangs will operate at nights when neighborhood has started to get quiet from the crowds. When there are not a lot of driver on the road anymore. They will approach you aggressively and make you stop, thus they can rob you. Avoid to counter back them (unless you are a master in Kungfu) because you will never know what weapon they possess that can hurt you. Well, I’m not trying to freak you out, though this has happened just quiet several times. But I think precaution will be good for yourself. So, be really careful if you have to travel at night, avoid riding motorbike. I suggest you to take taxi instead.
Those are 8 suggestions that I can think of for a foreigner to prepare the worst scenario when visiting Jakarta. I didn’t intend to scare the hell out of you, my intention was purely to prepare yourself so that you can enjoy the delight of Jakarta more pleasurably! Come and do experience yourself.