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If life were a game of passing the same old scenery day after day, we’d all be winning. You need a change, and a run-of-the-mill holiday is not going to cut it. For the thrill of brand new views and vibes, get yourself to Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, with lastminute.com.au now. Don’t worry—we’ll set you up with hotels in Indonesia before you go, so at least you’ll have a place to drop your bags before the adventure begins.
Jakarta holidays are loaded with sensations of every flavour. Nicknamed the Big Durian (after a local fruit and à la the Big Apple), it’s a dense, buzzing city that will introduce unique sights, sounds and smells around every corner. Food stalls full of fresh produce, spices and the signature Betawi cuisine; textiles in every colour; art; ornaments and trinkets will form a kaleidoscope as you explore Jakarta’s many outdoor markets.
Not done singlehandedly boosting the retail economy? Blow your dough at Mangga Dua complex for clothing and accessories, Pasar Santa for hipster wares, or the oldest market, Pasa Baru, for street food. Better bring your bargaining skillz—you can usually start negotiations at half the asking price. Five-star accommodation in Jakarta surround high-end shopping centres like Plaza Senayan Arcadia, where luxury is the watchword if you’ve got serious money to burn.
The medley of senses continues at Merdeka Square, which houses Monas, the sky-high national monument; a boisterous musical fountain; and a serene, shady deer park. Swirls of colour await at the Kite Museum with its hand-painted displays, Dutch colonial Old Town jets you back in time, and Istiqlal Mosque and Jakarta Cathedral inspire awe and reverence.
Nightlife can get wild here, and is often described as some of the best in Asia. Blok M is your go-to for venues with a Western slant. Jalan Jaksa is a more casual area with cheaper food and even cheaper beer. Dance your heart out at one of the many stylish clubs that can be found in Jakarta hotels, where pampered hospitality is their specialty.
Soekarno Hatta International Airport (CGK) is 20 km outside the city, and public transportation is not the most reliable. Don’t sweat it though, many hotels in Jakarta provide airport transportation free of charge. If you didn’t plan ahead, zoom from the airport to your Jakarta accommodation by taxi. Find one at the counters outside customs, or opt for a shuttle bus and chat up fellow passengers on your way into town.
To begin your journey within the city, take advantage of the commuter train and busway, which are mostly reliable options for the public transportation-savvy. Jakarta traffic is often concentrated, and travellers should learn to embrace chaos. Zip around town on a bajaj (three-wheeled, blue-painted scooter with passenger cabin), or white-knuckle it on an ojek (fast-moving motorcycle taxi—not for the faint of heart). On Sundays, lace up your walking shoes and participate in Car Free Day. From 6 a.m. until noon, the main road is closed to motorised vehicles for a little shot of serenity.
Just the ticket for breaking up monotony, travel kick-starts your senses. Begin the journey with flights to Jakarta from lastminute.com.au, and let Indonesia replenish your zest for life.