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D.I.Y travel: Jakarta, Indonesia

Is it time to break your piggy bank? Are you thinking about traveling to South East Asia? If you ever plan to stop here in Jakarta, here is some guidance to avoid the dark side of the force:

Are you a vegetarian? A vegan? Fear not! we have dishes that are friendly to vegetarians and vegans. Fried tofu with rice, gado-gado (Indonesian salad), tempe (soy beans), sayur (vegetable soup), and ketoprak (Indonesian salad with rice) are easy to be found anywhere in the city. For non-vegetarians, Jakarta has a lot to offer. From traditional cuisine, Italian, Japanese, to evil chain food like you know what (McDick, Murder King, etc). Do try our traditional foods: Soto (soup), Nasi goreng (Indonesian style fried rice), or rendang (beef). Ah yes, the price, this is the best part. Food in general is quite affordable over here, normal range is $1 – $3 (American Dollar). For cheaper prices, you can eat in “Warteg”.

We have “ciu” and “anggur merah intisari” (local wines). For local beers we have Anker, Bintang and Bali Hai. I do not recommend you to drink Bali Hai, unless you are that kind of people who drinks Budweiser.

If your band are having shows here, most likely you will be offered a place to stay by people who arrange your show; otherwise, there are lots of options. Jalan Jaksa (Jaksa street, Sarinah area, central jakarta) has lots of affordable hostels for backpackers and most of them have websites. Price range are from $10 – $100 per nights. You can also find home-stay via online. If you insist on staying at the Hotel, try Amaris, they offer $30-$50 per night.

For those who’ve never been to a third world country, be prepared, traffics are everywhere and it’s really bad. also, air pollution and hot-humid weather is something that you need to keep in mind. Aside from that, it’s not that difficult to get around the city. We have inner city transit bus called Transjakarta, minibus, bus, bajaj (a three wheel vehicle), ojek (motorcycle taxi), and taxi. When you arrived at the airport, go find the security guard or airport staff to find the taxi places; otherwise you will get ripped off with by illegal taxi driver (there are tons of them waiting in front of the airport)

What to do
-local gigs, from hardcore to traditional music we have it all. Usual venues for hardcore & punk gigs: “Rossi Music” in Fatmawati South Jakarta, “Kafe 79” Kemang area South Jakarta, “Lumbung Padi” Kemang area South Jakarta. Metal gigs: mostly on Sunday evening at “Bulungan” Blok M South Jakarta. Alternative/post-rock/others: Jaya Pub central Jakarta, Rolling Stone Cafe South Jakarta, Marley’s bar South Jakarta. Go check out this band when you can: Antiseptic, Straight Answer, Ghaust, Duct-tape Surgery, and Grave Dancer
– drinking places: Try Melly’s in Sarinah Central Jakarta, or Najong at pondok pinang South Jakarta. Those two have an affordable below normal rates for beer: $1 – $3. If you are looking for normal prices, try Dehoi in Pondok Indah or Tokove in Kemang.
– record stores: Movement records, Taman puring (second floor), Aksara, and Anti-music are located in South Jakarta.

What not to do
– talking to strangers at the airport. Most likely they are illegal taxi drivers trying to get you inside their car.
– Wear a jacket during daytime. Unless you’re riding motorcycle or feeling like having a weird sauna in public.
– watch TV. Shit is boring, confusing, and stupid.
– bring too much amount of cash in your wallet/pocket. Just in case you’re having bad luck.

That’s it fellas! now go pack your stuff.

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