With over 10 million people, Jakarta is the capital and biggest city of Indonesia. I have read nothing but bad reviews on Jakarta. My experience with the city is not going to be the most memorable of all.
Since I allocated a few days to explore Jakarta, I was really enthusiastic at discovering the city. This was until I asked locals about areas they like or places of interest in Jakarta. I have had both funky and depressing answers. Based on the number of selfies I was asked on my way and how people interacted with me, there are probably not many tourists giving a chance to Jakarta. It felt exploring an off the beaten track location in … a capital city of over 10 million people.
All I can say is that Jakarta is the least pedestrian-friendly city I have ever visited in my life. The city is designed for motorized transportation which makes wandering a ‘not so much enjoyable experience’.
Travel-wise, I honestly did not find any interest for Jakarta. Knowing that Jakarta is about 6 times the size of Paris, I have only seen a fraction of it. It maybe has a lot more to offer than what I have read or experienced.
Jakarta is also the last city I visit in Indonesia before flying over the Philippines.
Indonesia is an incredible country featuring an endless number of amazingly breathtaking landscapes and an incredible cultural heritage. It would literally takes ages to travel Indonesia. The county has the size of a whole continent. Let’s talk numbers! Indonesia has over 300 ethnic groups and over 700 languages & dialects. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world. It is also the 4th most populated country in the world. Out of over 17000 islands, Indonesians live on more than 11000 of them! I have indeed only seen a fraction of what Indonesia has to offer.
All of that being said, I will probably never ever go again to Indonesia!
It was by far the worst country I have ever travel to when it comes to the mentality of locals. Tourism account for a huge part of Indonesia GDP in most places I have visited. I cannot find a word strong enough to describe how bad the mentality of people is. You are nothing else but a cash cow. Do not get me wrong, I have met a few wonderful Indonesians but the overall impression is just extremely bad. Locals do not hesitate to get your nerves on, to be aggressive if you do not sign up for their tourist services and most believe that money grows on trees in Europe. The management of the tourism industry is totally unhealthy. There is literally no travel vibe so to speak.
Let’s talk about double pricing. First thing first, I absolutely do not mind paying a small fee difference versus locals as our standards of living and buying power are not comparable. It is a common practice across Southeast Asian countries. However, Indonesia usually use double pricing based on a 1/20 to 1/30 ratio for entrance fees. If you look at the price of a local meal, transfer it and scale it to a local meal in France, foreigners would pay over 300€ to 400€ to see the Palace of Versailles or the Eiffel Tower. With such a ratio difference, it is nothing else than a rip-off to me. On Bali, Gili and Lombok there is no local transportation. Everything is designed to rip you off with expensive shuttle buses and taxi fares similar or even more expensive than Europe!
Since the feeling of adventure and discovery is much more important than the beauty of landscapes, I will probably never ever go again to Indonesia. This is based on my experience traveling Indonesia for a month and it only engage myself. Take it or leave it.