Note from Jakarta

I’m in BSD City, a relatively newly constructed city on the outskirts of Jakarta in Zuky’s room, my CouchSurfing host. It was hard to find good accommodation at a fair price here, so I decided to give CouchSurfing another chance (I didn’t quite like my first CouchSurfing experience in Hong Kong).

I was glad I did because Zuky was a great host. She’s very conscientious, always making sure that I’m alright. She even let me have her room while she sleeps in her flatmate’s room. She would text me every so often to check that I’m not lost, and she would quickly reply to my questions about how to go from one place to another.

Another great thing about staying with her is that I get to take public transportation, which I really wouldn’t have done if I was on my own. Since I arrived, I’ve ridden the X-trans, the angkot, the bus, the taxi, the ojek, the busway and even the train! Zuky really made this trip back to Jakarta memorable.

Jakarta, on the other hand, seemed the same, yet I know it’s very different now. Of course, I’m seeing it now from a different perspective; when I first visited Jakarta, I was only 14 and it was my first trip outside the Philippines. It’s also different when you’re traveling on your own, without an expat sister who drops you off at the hotel lobby to take a tour of the city and outlying towns, or without a car and driver at your disposal. Ah, I miss those times.

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My reason for going back here (Jogja was actually already halfway to Bali) was to see the city again. Now that I’ve seen it… well, I’ve seen it. It wasn’t the city that made me enjoyed my stay here, it was the people I’ve me. Zuky made me feel so welcome, her house really seemed like my home. There was Aldy, the puppeteer at the Wayang Museum, who gave me a better appreciation of the wayang kulit and wayang golek. Then there were the strangers in the bus and trains who helped me find my stop, even if they speak limited English. I’m leaving Jakarta with fond memories of its people.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 10 Comments
  1. The Wayang museum puppeteers are so much fun! I love their passion for their craft. I didn’t make it in time for the show but they were kind enough to give me a private viewing which I thoroughly enjoyed. Naparami tuloy ng bili ko hahaha!

    I was really impressed by the richness of Indonesian culture. I didn’t realize that a lot of the Asian things I liked were actually Indonesian in origin. Next time, I’ll really try to visit Jogjakarta and Bali… looking forward to your next posts!

  2. wow! you used Couchsurfing in Jakarta like Gaye! tamad ko kase magbukas ng account dun eh. hihi hmmm…makabukas na nga in preparation for my upcoming trip! I’m excited to see the pix and read more of you stories! take care there Nina! 🙂

  3. Lalong nagiging sosyal na ang mga napupuntahan mo ngayon ha.

  4. Marco says:

    yepee going to Jakarta this October

  5. liez says:

    hi nina, Iwould like to ask for your recommendation, for a trip in Indonesia. How many days? Which spots we shouldn’t miss? activities to do? Budget to prepare? thanks! your suggestion is very much appreciated.

  6. eloratour says:

    Hi Nina,
    I’m from Lampung, Indonesia …
    If you like beach, surfing, snorkel, mountain, eat, Lampung is a good option. 😀

    • Nina says:

      Is that near Jakarta?

      • eloratour says:

        Yes, closer than Yogya (from jakarta0, by plane about 50 minutes). Lampung is southest Province in Sumatera.

        Lampung is large Province, from Bandar Lampung (capital town) to surfing spot (West Lampung) about 270 km (6 hours by car). My sister have cottage there, in front of beach.

        Dolphin siland named Teluk Kiluan, 70 km, but need 3-4 hour (because road acess is bad.

        At Bandar Lampung Traveler can go to the beach buterfly garden, waterfall (about 30 minutes to an hour by car),and enjoy the food.

      • Nina says:

        Thanks for the info!

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