Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 13 July 2015 • Uncategorized
Jakarta can be a challenging city to get around. The capital city of Indonesia is not only famous with its traffic jam and smog, it is also huge and has an unclear public transportation system. Gosh, don’t I make Jakarta sound so awful? Well, it did take a while for me to get used to this Big Durian, and still learning to love it. In the process, it’s interesting to find some tricks to get around and enjoy Jakarta. Wanna know what they are? Here are some apps for traveling Jakarta and the features that can make your life easier.
Services: transportation for 1 person per motorbike, delivering packages, buying food and goods for delivery.
So far available in: Jakarta, Bandung, Bali.
Best for: rush hour! Motorbikes in Jakarta are both hated and loved by everyone. Car drivers often swear on their maneuvers in traffic jam that might just leave scratches on the cars. On the other hand, that is also why motorbikes are loved by many, because they can move swiftly and get you places on time, or at least faster than by car.
Ups: unlike regular ojeks (with no brand), Gojek applies pre-calculated price for your ride. You don’t need to haggle. It also uses gps map to pinpoint your pick-up location and destination. Payment by cash or deposited credit.
Downs: sometimes it’s hard to get the map accurately pointed at your destined locations, which I think is a technology fail. Nowadays, perhaps because more people are using the service, it’s harder to get a gojek in rush hour. I personally count on them less and less lately.
Be warned: the rise of Gojek creates envy to many regular ojek drivers because more people are switching service to Gojek. Some regular ojek informal pools clearly ban Gojek’s existence by putting up a “No Gojek” sign. What I would do: make sure I order to be picked up somewhere there’s no regular ojek pool to avoid conflict (that could lead to physical abuse in a few cases).
Download Go-Jek app here. Bonus: use my referral code 124424 or Mumun’s 528541038 to get you IDR 50,000 voucher, which will get us the same amount of voucher after your first use.
Services: your usual taxi.
Where: Medan, Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya, Bali, soon Makassar.
Ups: it’s credited as the best and safest service taxi in Jakarta, though some little complaints spring up here and there – but there is no such perfect taxi brand in my experience. Bluebird drivers are not allowed to turn down a passenger (for reasons like the distance is too close or traffic jam) unless they are going back to the pool because they’d get fined for coming back late. Plus, the cars are mostly maintained in good condition.
Downs: it’s a favorite taxi brand, sometimes you’d have to get in a long queue to get on one. They also have a high turning of drivers leading to more clueless drivers than yourself, but it’s a case-by-case thing.
Be warned: knock-offs in similar blue or light blue color with white crown. Make sure you read “Blue Bird Group” on the front window.
Services: It started as an app for ordering taxi, then they branched out to ojeks/bikes, also a premium car service.
Where: Jakarta and many other cities throughout South East Asia.
Ups: They organize numerous taxi brands aside to Blue Bird so there’s a high chance you might get one fast. They also cater to ‘tarif bawah’ or lower cost taxis, which is significant in cost if you’re traveling far.
Downs: Some of the taxi brands are a bit sketchy. You can opt to choose a specific brand but people usually miss this. We like Express, Taksiku, and Gamya.
Services: hire a car and the driver online to get you places. On Ramadhan month in Jakarta they also have a food delivery service.
Where: Jakarta, Bali, and lots of other places in the world.
Ups: compared to the regular taxi fare in Jakarta, Uber’s fare is cheaper. I also like how they have ‘estimated price’ and ETA features.
Downs: you can only pay via credit card. It can be practical but also less control in spending. If you’re booking an Uber in fringe areas of Jakarta, your chance of getting one is slim.
Social media: Twitter @Uber_JKT
Download Uber app here. Key in my referral code 3f909 to get your first ride for free and I will automatically get free rides as well.
Services: it’s a road map that shows you which way to take to a place, also which ways are jammed with traffic and how bad the traffic is. It requires people’s contribution to report about traffic, accidents, even gas prices.
Where: on Earth.
Ups: in a city where traffic jam can be a real disaster, you would need a report on it. Remember, dark red means very bad.
Downs: maps aren’t designed conventionally, so navigating can sometimes be a challenge. Traffic jams are quite accurate but less accurate on small streets.
Services: using people’s fondness to share and show where and what they are doing, Foursquare shows you people’s brief reviews on places (restaurants, stores, anything) as well as the address.
Where: on Earth.
Ups: you can see more options of places to visit even though there is no Information Desk around.
Downs: you don’t really know the background of the reviewers and the reviews can be really subjective, so it’s a hit and miss.
Social media: Twitter @foursquare
Services: it provides reviews and practical information about restaurants, cafes, coffeeshops and other kinds of culinary places.
Where: Jakarta, Bali and more to come, and more cities abroad.
Ups: my favorite feature on Zomato is the price list, so I know how much to prepare for a meal or even to avoid the place at all.
Downs: they’re relatively new in Indonesia, you can’t rely on the reviews other than in Jakarta and a few towns in Bali just yet.
Services: options of accommodation, mainly in the homes of local people.
Where: Jakarta and many cities of Indonesia, well, actually in the whole wide world.
Ups: it’s highly possible to get cheaper rate for awesome facilities compared to hotels, and you get to gain local insights from you host. That is, if you’re looking for experiences outside of the usual list of things to do.
Downs: you can get turned down by the host just because they don’t like your profile or the way you communicate via messages.
Bookings can be done through Airbnb website or download Airbnb mobile app and sign up here using my referral link, so you can get US$25 credit to travel for a minimum booking of US$75 excluding fees. And if you’re looking for a brief stay in Jakarta, you might want to check out my Airbnb listing here.
That’s our list of apps for traveling Jakarta. If you have more suggestions, we’d love to hear them.