Today, we’re embarking on an adventure to a destination that many people have advised against visiting: Jakarta, Indonesia. This bustling city of nearly 10 million people is often associated with heavy traffic, pollution, and chaos. However, we believe that every destination harbors hidden gems waiting to be discovered, which is why we’ve decided to explore Jakarta ourselves. From the surprisingly clean and efficient airport to unique food experiences and bargaining for antiques at Jalan Surabaya, we’ll be sharing our travel experiences in this vibrant city. But our adventure doesn’t stop there. We’ll also be venturing to Pari Island, a serene paradise near Jakarta, where we can relax on the beach and learn about the city’s sinking issue. So, pack your bags and join us on this captivating journey to Jakarta and beyond.

Jakarta: A Surprising Getaway

Initial apprehensions

When you first heard about Jakarta, you were filled with apprehension. People warned you about the traffic, pollution, and chaos that awaited you in this bustling city. Despite the negative reviews, you decided to go ahead and see what Jakarta had to offer.

Buzzing city with traffic and pollution

True to its reputation, Jakarta was a buzzing city filled with traffic and pollution. The streets were crowded with cars, motorcycles, and buses, all vying for space on the roads. The air was heavy with smog, and the noise of honking horns filled the air. It was a chaotic scene, unlike anything you had ever experienced before.

Clean and efficient airport

However, your initial impressions of Jakarta began to change the moment you stepped foot inside the airport. Contrary to your expectations, the airport was clean, well-maintained, and efficient. The immigration process was swift, and you were pleasantly surprised by the level of organization and professionalism displayed by the airport staff.

Enjoying the view from Juno Hotel

After arriving at your hotel, Juno Hotel, you were greeted with stunning views of the city. The bustling streets below seemed to be a world away as you relaxed in the comfort of your room. The view from the hotel was truly breathtaking, allowing you to take in the sprawling cityscape of Jakarta.

Indulging in Unique Experiences

Exploring local culinary delights

One of the best parts of visiting a new city is experiencing the local cuisine, and Jakarta did not disappoint. You tried a variety of unique and delicious dishes, immersing yourself in the flavors and aromas of the local food scene. From street food stalls to upscale restaurants, you had the opportunity to taste the rich and diverse flavors of Jakarta.

Shopping for antiques at Jalan Surabaya

A visit to Jalan Surabaya, the antique street, was a treat for your inner shopaholic. Block after block, you discovered a treasure trove of items, perfect for decorating your home. The antique shops offered a wide range of unique and beautiful pieces, from vintage watches to intricate sculptures. Bargaining with the friendly shopkeepers added to the excitement of the experience.

Discovering hidden gems recommended by locals

To truly experience the essence of Jakarta, you decided to explore some of its hidden gems. With the help of a local friend, you ventured off the beaten path and discovered lesser-known spots that were not typically frequented by tourists. These hidden gems provided a unique glimpse into the local culture, allowing you to connect with Jakarta on a deeper level.

Learning Bahasa Indonesia with Babbel

Although you were a tourist in Jakarta, you wanted to connect with the locals on a more personal level. To achieve this, you decided to learn Bahasa Indonesia, the local language. Using the language app called Babbel, you embarked on a language-learning journey. Whether it was practicing on your way home or during your flight, the app made it convenient to learn at your own pace.

Malls and Movies: Jakarta’s Entertainment Scene

Exploring the vast selection of shopping malls

Jakarta’s entertainment scene was incomplete without a visit to its numerous shopping malls. From high-end luxury brands to local boutiques, the malls offered a wide range of options for every shopper. You explored the many floors and countless shops, indulging in some retail therapy along the way.

Watching movies in a unique way

While exploring the malls, you stumbled upon a unique way of watching movies. Instead of the traditional cinema experience, Jakarta offered a more unconventional option. You found yourself in a cozy cinema where you could curl up on a bed and enjoy the movie in comfort. It was a refreshing and memorable way to experience the latest films.

Escape to Pari Island: A Paradise near Jakarta

Introduction to Pari Island

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Jakarta, you discovered a tranquil paradise just a short boat ride away. Pari Island, one of the Thousand Islands of Jakarta, offered pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. It was the perfect escape from the city’s chaos, allowing you to unwind and rejuvenate.

Reveling in the pristine beaches

As you stepped onto the white sandy beaches of Pari Island, you couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace wash over you. The turquoise waters were inviting, and you wasted no time diving in for a refreshing swim. The beach offered a serene setting, allowing you to take leisurely strolls and soak up the natural beauty.

Engaging in water sports and activities

Pari Island was not just about relaxation; it also offered a range of exciting water sports and activities. From snorkeling to jet skiing, you had the opportunity to explore the vibrant marine life and enjoy thrill-seeking adventures. The island provided a perfect balance between tranquility and adventure.

Uneasy Morning Showers: Jakarta’s Sinking Issue

Experiencing a rainy morning on Pari Island

One morning on Pari Island, you woke up to the sound of raindrops hitting your window. What started as a gentle shower soon turned into a downpour, adding a touch of unpredictability to your trip. While it may have disrupted your plans, it also highlighted the natural beauty and power of the elements.

Learning about Jakarta’s sinking problem

During your time in Jakarta, you learned about the city’s sinking issue. With each passing year, the sea level rises, and Jakarta sinks further into the ground. This alarming combination has led to a sinking city that is below sea level. To combat this problem, the government plans to relocate the capital to a new area. The magnitude of the issue made you reflect on the environmental challenges faced by cities around the world.

A Final Glimpse: Exploring an Exhibit

Visiting an exhibit before departure

Before catching your flight back to Bali, you decided to explore an exhibit in Jakarta. The exhibit showcased the vibrant culture and history of Indonesia. It was a fitting end to your journey in Jakarta, allowing you to immerse yourself in the art, traditions, and stories of the country.

Reflecting on the Jakarta experience

As you reflected on your time in Jakarta, you realized that it had been a surprising getaway. Despite the initial apprehensions and the chaotic nature of the city, Jakarta had opened your eyes to its unique charm and hidden treasures. From the bustling streets to the tranquil islands, Jakarta had offered a diverse range of experiences that exceeded your expectations.


In conclusion, Jakarta proved to be a city with much more to offer than meets the eye. Despite its reputation for traffic, pollution, and chaos, Jakarta provided a wealth of surprises and unique experiences. From exploring the local cuisine to diving into its vibrant entertainment scene, Jakarta allowed you to immerse yourself in its culture and history. The neighboring paradise of Pari Island offered a tranquil escape, while the sinking issue shed light on the environmental challenges faced by the city. As you bid farewell to Jakarta, you left with a newfound appreciation for the city’s charm and a desire to explore more hidden gems around the world.