We stayed at Pullman Central Park in Jakarta. The hotel was at a pretty good location but traffic around it was horrendous. We were in Jakarta for a day to fly out to Yogyakarta and did not have a chance to do much touring or exploring restaurants. We still learned and picked up a few things about the city in a day which were helpful for remainder of the trip.
TIPS for Jakarta:
1. Jakarta has the worst traffic we have experienced so make sure to prepare your trips back and forth the airport with significant commute time.
2. Use Blue Bird Taxi for transportation. The company also has silver and golden bird with higher fares. Especially while taking the taxi from the airport cab companies will try to sell silver or golden bird.
3. Try to stick to metered taxis, you’d be surprised how much higher prices taxi drivers will quote without a meter. For more info read our post on taxi drivers
4. Avoid getting prepaid calling or data plans for phones at the airport.
5. Go to a Telkomsel booth or store in the mall to get a calling plan. We got set up on a cheap starter plan for 5 dollars with enough data to get us by with social networks, email and search engines.
6. Learn a few words of Indonesian or use google translate on your phone. Except for some hotel employees and telkomsel, we barely came across people who spoke English in Jakarta.
7. FIND AND GO TO POTATO CORNER: Potato corner is actually a chain from Philippines which initially we didn’t know, they have 57 branches in Indonesia. Its well worth the $2 for the most delicious flavored French fries we’ve had (We did seek potato corner out in Philippines as well!)