Jakarta – Truly Asia

Another city in the category wrongly dismissed by many a traveller. Noisy, dirty and on the face of it simply unattractive. Jakarta does not have all that much to offer in terms of activities or attractions but has everything to offer in terms of an Asian experience. There are little street stalls selling peculiar, yet often delicious snacks, small shacks where whole families reside, people watching TV, chatting, dancing and laughing in the streets.

When leaving the Jakarta most people will experience, a shopping filled stay where one travels from air conditioned hotel to the car, car to shop, shop to the car, car to restaurant and restaurant

to the hotel you will experience something completely different. Even though this is lovely ever once in a while (and yes, I am guilty of this too) you really do miss the heart of the city, its people.

When venturing into Jakarta’s slums, you will get a glimpse of people’s lives. There are people cooking over open fire, cleaning out their huts, socialising with the neighbours and playing with their children. Fascinated by the strange, tall, almost see-through people, small heads appear out from behind their parents’ legs and curiously build the confidence to scream HELLO, in their ever best English. This ignites a spark of daredevil-ness and more and more little kids gather around. Before you know It you are swarmed by children and their excitement is unleashed, wanting you to take their picture, play with them and never leave.

Whenever you have the chance, eat in one of the many, many food stalls selling great food. There is Gado Gado, Rendang. Nasi, sweets like Lapis and Pandan cake and a vast amount of amazing Indonesian dishes you have never even heard of but look and smell enticing. Don’t worry about getting sick, this is where the locals eat and as they can’t afford to lose the communities business, the turnaround is quick and the food is usually fresh. Not to mention incredibly delicious.

The streets here are a take of a truly Asian scene and, therefore, I can’t help but love every moment. Walk around and wander the city, step away from the touristy paths and discover what the ‘real’ city has to offer, I am sure you will find yourself growing fonder of a place you never even thought twice about spending any time in.

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