Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 30 May 2012 • Itinerary
Jakarta has always been left out of the cities you would visit in Indonesia. We can’t blame you if you choose to do the same. It might appeal appalling to many but the city actually offers a different side of the usual touristy venues that’s been offered to you. If you’re done with the Old City (Kota Tua), museums, the National Monument, and you’re looking for something out of the ‘predictable’ box, we have a few suggestions for you. This entry is about an alternative experience of what the city has to offer, most of these are in the South Jakarta area. Lasers, motorcycles, spices, and bare chest men are some things that we have lined up. Maybe you’ll find the heart to visit this crazy city and conquer it.
Laser game and glow in the dark mini golf is an activity that you can do in the middle of Jakarta. You can bond with friends and family, ironically, through war. Jakarta jam is a topic known well throughout its inhabitants and the international world. Why not see what people are talking about? And see how you can conquer it. Muhaha! Bajaj is one of the ancient vehicles we have in Jakarta. Care to take a ride? Jakarta art is one thing that our first president would work for. Throughout the city, you will find monuments rich in art that decorate the city. IMAX 3D theatre is the latest hype. Catch that summer movie you might miss once you go back to your country.
Bebek Dower providing duck on the menu. Grab a duck that will make your lips similar to its icon at their venue at Jl. Margasatwa Barat 57, Cilandak, Jakarta Selatan, Phone: +62 21 7890978 King Cobra Restaurant is ready for your remedial needs and your slithering appetite including some other goodies like lizards, bats, and many more at Jl. Tendean No. 23, Jakarta
Medium bus or metromini is the crazy way to go. If you like rollercoasters and wish they didn’t have safety belts on them, this is the ride and entertainment for you! Fare IDR 2,000 / pax. TransJakarta is our most convenient bus to travel around the city. It has a route that you can follow, but no certain schedule that you chase after. Fare IDR 3,500 / pax.
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Remember that time when lasers bombarded our TV screens? There were Star Wars, MacGyver, Daft Punk, and Duran Duran. No? Oh wait, that could probably be just me 😀 And mind you, those days were Awe to the Some, AWESOME! \m/
Anyways, in those time of super technology *cough*, we also had this trend of playing laser games, which I could never afford back in the days. One day, I realized, it had disappeared in time.
BUT IT’S BACK! I can’t really remember how we found the Laser Game Indonesia venue but we did. I had to get me some now. Since I’ve never played a game with lasers before (heck, I’ve never used a laser pointer for a presentation!), I didn’t know what to expect. I had butterflies in my stomach. We had a great group of adventurous chicks lined up (Ipink, Uliel, Dyna) and one random dude, Aji,who we forced by gun point to even up our numbers. Kidding about the random, he was really Uliel’s friend. Wasn’t kidding about the gun point though.
In the blue room, where I think was supposed to make us feel psychologically sterilized under ultraviolet ray or something, we buckled up our vest and laser gun. Felt like Lara Croft but the shorter less athletic wanna be version of her 😛 We divided the gang into 2 groups, my group and Vira’s, each with 3 members. Each team then entered the battlefield through different doors.
The aim: shoot sensors on enemy’s vest and gun. The winner: the one with the most points! The game: shoot to kill!!!!
We spent a good 15 minutes in the hall and boy was it enough to break a sweat! What can we say in a dark room with glow in the dark paint and ultraviolet lights? Nothing! But… KAPOOWW! BRAK! AAAKKKKK! BEEP! BEEP! HAHAHAHAHA… “You did not?!” “How could you?!”More AAAAKKKKKK!!!BEEP! BEEP! “You are hit!”
What happened in the dark room stays in the dark room! Except for the fact that Aji had to drag his broken flip flops out of the room. He broke them out of excitement I guess 😀 He had to bare foot out of the venue. Sowwy 😀 And I WON with the most points, woohoo!
We also did a little blogging about it back when we just did the trip.
The mini golf was a challenging game that tested our patience and our willing to cheat. Not only was the golf course defying gravity, there were glow-in-the-dark tigers on the walls staring at us! What a challenge! There were even holes where we had to have 10 goes at it. Golf is a sport of patience.
Vira came out as the winner in flying colors! She was concentrated and we couldn’t really bother her once she was aiming for the hole.
That’s 1 for Indohoy and 0 for everybody else! Muhaha!
All we can say is that it’s so much fun! It’s totally an alternative to those that would love to do an outing or bonding experience between friends, family and office mates. Enough with the Karaoke and get physical! (You can do that in Korea) Add to that, it’s located in the middle of Kemang area, which is convenient for after war chats and cooling down since there are so many places to eat and hang out.
For more information on how you can play and book your session you can contact the Indo Laser Game team at www.lasergameindonesia.com. Get you game face on!
We’ve developed a new hobby of watching movies in theatres whenever we’re abroad, just to see what the differences or even similarities. Some have softer seats, better seat arrangement, some have better screen, some are the same, and it’s funny to see subtitles in letters we can’t even read.
There are of course regular movie theatres in Jakarta, the leading one being the “21” or “XXI” cinemas, and there’s also the Blitzmegaplex. Only a month ago the IMAX 3D theatre opened, making a hype amongst movie goers. We’ve actually had an IMAX theatre at the TMII since God knows when. Sadly, its popularity has faded since the 90s cos practically they didn’t add new (popular) movies to the library.
The IMAX 3D theatre is located in the Gandaria City shopping mall, on Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda No. 57, Arteri Pondok Indah, Kebayoran Lama.
If traveling teaches you to empathize what people are experiencing on the other side of the planet, then here’s something you might wanna add on your list. Jakarta traffic jam has been a world wide trending topic on twitter a few times (since twittizens are mostly Jakartans, perhaps) and we think it won’t stop any time soon. Sure, you don’t need to experience something bad to know it’s bad, but how would you know how bad it is if you don’t try it?
Now we’re not really recommending you this, but we wanna share this situation with you. If you think that being stuck in a taxi/car that seems more like a museum display that doesn’t move than it is a transportation device is bad, then you ain’t experienced nothing yet compared to those stuck for hours in a jam cramped up in the non AC bus! How hard is it living in Jakarta? For some, extremely hard and numbing. But if you’re an ‘advanced’ traveler (if there’s such a thing) who wants to experience new things, take off-the-beaten path, and see thousands of facial characters that might inspire you to your next best selling article, then you might want to drench in sweat amongst strangers with different BO and amongst people that do it every working day for about 3 hours a day. If that doesn’t inspire you, it will at least make you feel empathic to the working class of Jakarta.
If you can’t bear that, then try to take an ojeg ride from one part of the city to another within rush hour. It’s amazing how ojegs go through unmapped alleys, climb on to sidewalks, ride against the traffic flow, or just merely squeezing between 2 fancy sedans that you can see your reflection perfectly. There’s so many things to see when on a motorcycle. Sometimes I wish I could take a picture of it all and sell to National Geography!
This mini vehicle is very endemic to the big J. Bajaj (read: Bah-jay) was imported from India and has roam the streets for sometime. Their movement skills range between an ojeg and a mini sedan. They can slip through some street cracks but not all. But the most important thing about is … THEY’RE LOUD! We stress the need of earplugs and the understanding of sign language if you plan to make any conversation when riding the Bajaj.
But then why should you ride the damn thing? It’s less dangerous than an ojeg, you can sit nicely in the small compartment, they help if you have a lot of baggage, still pretty breezy, and hey, you can tell your grandkids about these crazy buggies. Appreciate it for the experience, that one time in Jakarta this was a very popular transportation media. Who knows, one day they’ll only be a historical artifact?
As we have tried to offer you guys something different about a destination, here’s something that we found out to be interesting. We did an article for Venture Magazine in the past, and from it we learned a thing or two.
Jakarta is filled with monuments all over the place. We focused on 5 of them since they were bare chest men. Can you argue why? Those 5 monuments were: Dirgantara monument, ArjunaWiwaha Monument, Indonesia Youth Monument, West Papua Independence Monument, and Hero Monument. Personally, my favorite is the ArjunaWiwaha Monument located just outside of the National Monument. Its details and spooky design is my idea of beauty.
With each baring its own history and philosophy, which we will not elaborate here, we realized that our first president was a man of art and beauty. He surely loved symbols and applied his art taste around town. It’s a scavenger hunt to see all of his monuments and it was somewhat fun to learn something about them. But of course, the best part of it was the fact that our chosen 5 were barechested. Yeah!
If you think duck, you probably think Chinese dishes, but Indonesia has its own range of plucky dishes too. ‘Bebek Dower’ literally means a duck with big lips or swollen. Why is it swollen? There could only be 3 possibilities: it’s bitten by a wasp, it was in fight club, or it ate something ridiculously spicy. Since this is an item of eat, you can probably guess that it is spicy, and of course we can’t talk about fight club.
Bebek Dower offers a range of duck dishes bathed in various tastes, but of course its main menu are the spicy ones. We tried the Bebek Sambal Dower and the Bebek Bengil. It was so good, especially the Bengil with the Matah chili on top of it. Bumbu Matah is a mix of chilly, shallots, and a few other fresh herbs bathed in lemon juice and hot oil. The zest of the lemon tasted AWESOME with the chili and tender fried duck meat. A match made in heavenhh! It was fresh and spicy on just the right level. Not to mention the duck was well cooked. We loved it!
Since spice tolerance between people are different, I can say that I thought it was just the right amount of spice for me and my plate of rice. As for Vira, she also loved the matah chili, and thought sambel dower was too hot even though it’s also mouthwatering. If you haven’t adopted the Indonesian appetite for chili, Sambel Dower might not be for you..unless you’re in for an adventure!
Bebek Dower also offers a range of Indonesian desserts which we tried a few. We have to say, the Es Cendol/Dawet was really good and we would take seconds if only we were cows and had 4 stomachs.
Each portion of duck only costs about IDR 20,000. And desserts cost less. So a well served meal can cost no more than IDR 50,000 / person. That’s less than US$6 in today’s currency.
Bebek Dower Resto
Jl. Margasatwa Barat 57, Cilandak, Jakarta Selatan
Phone: +62 21 7890978
And yes, they take delivery services in certain areas of Jakarta, so don’t hesitate to call them.
King Cobra Restaurant
I’ve always thought snakes, maggots, spiders and other creepy crawlies were food in other Asian countries like Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and such. But turns out, it’s just right around the corner. If you haven’t tasted it before and you think you might wanna have a go at it in Jakarta, then head down to the King Cobra Restaurant.
This restaurant is mainly for those that seek for remedial and healing through snake blood and meat. Well you probably can guess that from the restaurant name. But aside to those looking for healing, it also serves some snake, lizzards, bat, pythons, all in different styles like fried, soup, barbeque and many more. I went there with a ‘Batak’ friend of mine who can stomach these kinds of food.
Enough with the details, how did it taste? Well this restaurant wasn’t full booked for its cooking. We ordered fried snake and giant lizard (biawak). Both meat were marinated in the same spices, similar to those of Indonesian fried chicken, so the outer part tasted the same. But the meat? WOW! Snake meat had a slimier taste to it. It also had more bones. Snakes have a lot of spine I tell you that. Lizard on the other hand had gamier meat and was a lot similar to chicken. For that we say “Ney to snake and yey to lizzard”.
In the back of the restaurant we saw the gory slaughter room. Some snakes were still alive, but they were kept alive so it would be fresh once consumed. When I was there, there were some regulars coming in for their dose of snake heart and blood. They had been experiencing some skin diseases and heard that snake blood and heart did the trick. I missed them eating those organs but I had no intention of doing the same for the sake of Indohoy. Sorry guys, we aren’t that cruel… today 😀
King Cobra Restaurant and Medication
We’ve recommended some of the most convenient transport media in Jakarta, but its time you got to know the word Kopaja (white with green stripes)and Metro Mini (reddish orange with blue stripes). These are the names of medium buses that roam Jakarta streets like rollercoasters. No, I didn’t state wrong, I really mean ROLLERCOASTERS. They’re probably the fastest moving things besides the ojeg in the streets of Jakarta. And they will cut, honk, and bluff other cars on the streets!
These medium buses are SOMETIMES the way to go. When you’re not traveling during rush hour, you can hop on one of these corroded babies and head to your destination for ONLY IDR 2,000 / pax. Doesn’t matter if you’re traveling from one end to the other end of the route, that’s all you have to pay. And they’re fast! Brilliant, right?
But you have to know where you’re going, which route to take and where to stop. If you’re in it for the experience, then hop on on a side of the road and then take the same bus across the road, and do the same route. You’ll be back at the starting point. Just make sure you didn’t hop onor off at a one-way street. Bazinga!
And how do you stop a roller coaster? 3 ways! You can poke the helper that collected your money – they’re called kernet – when closing in your stop, knock on the door with a coin, or you could knock on the ceiling really hard. It’s such a different language I tell you.
A more convenient bus is the TransJakarta. You might be more familiar towards this bus since it’s more… organized 😀 It has a mapped route that you follow and estimate your stops and transits. Without exiting the system, all you need is love… and a mere IDR 3,500 / pax. Also brilliant, right?
Of course this is the transportation we recommend you to take, but they don’t reach all destinations, they cover mostly the main streets. Better check your destination and decide which stop is the nearest to your destination. And the difference between this bus and your usual scheduled buses is, this system doesn’t have a timetable, so you’re at the mercy of the next bus coming your way. Not everything should be predictable, don’t you think?