Friday, December 17, 2010

Travelogue: Jakarta Day 3

Day 3: Bandung – Jakarta

6 Dec 2010

Today it was back to Pak Dodi serving as our guide. Transportation with guide from Bandung-Jakarta today cost us another IDR 700K (RM61/person) just like the first day. We headed straight to Jakarta to beat the traffic jam after work hours. We had to choose between Jakarta city or Puncak/Bogor as we couldn't fit in both on the same day. Because some of the members wanted to go to Tanah Abang, we decided to forego Puncak and Taman Safari/Taman Bunga and head to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII).

We reached TMII quite early at 11am WIB. It is located at the Pondok Gede, Pasar Rebo Sub-district. It was the brainchild of Ibu Tien Soeharto. It was first conceived in 1968. The park would consist of traditional houses complemented with cultural-art performances and presentations of the wealth of flora and fauna and other cultural elements of each region existing in Indonesia. It was officially opened by President Soeharto in 1975. More here

Because the area is vast, we decided to drive around in the van and pick a few regions to take photos. The sight of the huge Komodo shaped building caught my eye and I asked Mas if she would like to take a look there first as she loves reptiles (especially crocodiles). Yes I have wierd friends, but I still love them ;-) The Komodo is a large lizard found in Komodo, Flores, Rinca and Gili Motang islands in Indonesia.

We were in luck that day as we met up with a very helpful zookeeper- Akang (means elder brother in East Java/Sundanese) Redang (it was easy to remember his name – his namesake is a famous island!) He brought us to the Komodo captivity. We met up with Bima – an 18 year old tamed Komodo dragon. Bima relented to us touching him and posing for pictures with him. His skin is soft – unlike a crocodile's, but with scales. Wait, I have actually never touched a crocodile, I only assume its skin is hard

Akang Redang

It also has a long, yellow, deeply forked tongue which it uses to detect, taste, and smell. Its scales, some of which are reinforced with bone, have sensory plaques connected to nerves that facilitate its sense of touch. An adult Komodo dragon usually weighs around 70 kg. The largest verified wild specimen was 3.13 m (10.3 ft) long and weighed 166 kg, including undigested food. Read more here.

Bima, an 18-year old Komodo or Ora in local language

Next we went to the Bali house because Mas was crazy about going to Bali. Posing at a replica of a Balinese temple was close enough, for the moment ;-) We also dropped by at the neighbouring Rumah Adat Sumenep of East Java. Madura island is part of this region.

Wayang kulit scheduled at 7.30pm, but we had to forego it

Bali garden

Rumah Sumenep

It was then already 1.30pm so we had to move to Tanah Abang already. Tanah Abang market is located in the Kelurahan Kebon Kacang. It turned out that we would still be stuck in traffic. We arrived at Tanah Abang at around 3pm. We had only 2 hours to shop at the 14 storey building. It is the biggest textile market in SEA.

Macet Jakarta

Tanah Abang: 14 storey building

We didn't shop much here as it was too big and too confusing to manouvre through. As usual I was already feeling hungry (we hadn't had lunch yet), so we headed to the Food Court at Block B. But it was close to 5pm so the food stalls were also closing. We went for solat instead, and by the time we were done, most of the shops were already closed. We had to go back to Block A as our van was parked there. Since the connection bridge was also already closed, we had to cross the chaotic road, with people and vehicles full to the brim. It was challenging too, to find our way back to the lift at Block A. Thankfully a Satpam (security person) guided us through.

Shops already closed!

From Tanah Abang we headed to Plaza Indonesia as Mas wanted to buy some t-shirts from Hard Rock Cafe. After that we had dinner at Kafe Betawi. Nice cafe, reasonable price. I tried the Mie Tek Tek (it's the sound of the sudip banging the frying pan while cooking it). A little bit more window shopping to compare prices of original items back in Malaysia, then we headed to our hotel – Smart Hotel nearby.

Mie Tek Tek

Kafe Betawi @ Plaza Indonesia

No more episodes of changing hotels as we were satisfied with this one. Although the room is quite small, it was comfy, clean and looked modern. The girls were staying 3 at a room (there's no option for triple sharing at this hotel), so we just cramped up for the night. It was only one night after all. I asked reception for any massage spas nearby, but they were not sure of any. They suggested a massause could come to our room for a foot massage at IDR200K. I declined and went for sleep therapy instead

Jakarta @ night

Our Smart room ;-)



Blogger Kissman said...

thanks for writing, interesting read up ... we plan to go there 30/8 ni

3:46 PM  

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