I had no plans in going back to Indonesia after our Bali trip last year, since I was more looking forward into visiting other countries that I have not been to yet. So when Maira, a college friend of mine, texted me that there was a seat sale again from Cebu Pacific specifically for the Manila to Jakarta route, I actually considered it. Since Grace, another college friend of ours, is based in Jakarta, and is working there as a partner in an audit firm, we were thinking that maybe we could drop by and give her a visit since we haven’t seen each other for almost ten years already. So we went ahead and booked a flight for an April trip. At that time, I was not able to book the Holy Week trip to Vietnam with my high school friends yet (which actually was scheduled a week before this Jakarta trip!).
I did a little research about Jakarta and most of the feedback I got from the online forums and blogs was that it’s just similar to Makati. That’s just about it. Then Karenjj, an officemate of mine, said she was also able to book a Jakarta trip a few months from our scheduled date. She mentioned about how much she wanted to visit Borobudur (at that time I seriously do not know how to spell this tongue-twister of a place). So I quickly googled Borobudur and when I saw the pics, I knew I had to go there. The thing is, Borobudur is located in another province, about a 2-hour drive from Yogyakarta, which is quite far from Jakarta. So I suggested to my friends that we go visit Borobudur and in order for us to get there, we had to travel via plane from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. So I went online and booked us the domestic tickets from AirAsia, which cost us around P5,000 roundtrip. Fair price, considering that we were that determined to really visit Borobudur.
So after a few months of careful planning, hotel reservations, organizing and scheduling, Maira and I are finally bound to Jakarta. I had to take a domestic flight to Manila since I am based here in Iloilo and had to meet up with Maira there. Grace met us up at the airport and we stayed at her condo in Taman Rasuna, which was quite a drive from the Soekarno-Hatta Airport of Jakarta. We arrived around 2am, did a lot of catching up and woke up early to roam around the city. Grace had to report for work since it was a Thursday, but she was scheduled to join us for Yogyakarta the next day, so Maira and I decided to roam around the city ourselves. Grace advised us to always take the Bluebird Taxi since they’re probably the only ones you can trust, especially if you are a tourist.
Jakarta is just like Manila. It’s a mix of Old Manila where there are street children, a bunch of sidewalk vendors and the scene of Makati, where you can find high-end shops and stores, a bunch of tourists shopping around, etc. It’s been some time since I was able to splurge on shopping so I’m fine with it. We went to a bunch of malls, from the high-end Grand Indonesia and Plaza Senayan, to the Greenhills-type Blok M. We basically spent the entire day malling and shopping since there’s hardly any tourist spots in Jakarta. Grace had to do overtime so we just went back to the condo around 7pm to wait for her. She came home around 12 midnight already, serious overtime there and took a power nap and tried to get as much sleep since we have to wake up in a few hours to prepare ourselves for our 6 AM flight to Yogyakarta.Follow @iamthegarysia