May 28, 2013

Trip to Jakarta!

My previous attempt to record down what I did for my Guangzhou trip did not go too well so I am trying again for this Jakarta trip.

Prior to the trip, I tried to do research on what I could do in Mangga Dua, North of Jakarta. It was not easy because most of the blogs that did mention what to do there were in either Bahasa, Melayu or written by Malaysians. It seems like Indonesia is a popular destination for Malaysians! It was not very easy to gather information about the area. So I thought I would add my opinions and experience into information database. Haha. This is my first time there, so I do not have all the information about the area, just my experience.

I went to Jakarta for 4 days and 3 nights. Three nights in Hotel Le Grandeur in Mangga Dua costed us about 2 million and 70 thousand Rupiah. (S$1 = Rp7,500) I think if you are going there for a shopping trip to ITC and Pasar Pagi, this is the hotel to go for. I cannot say much for the efficiency (almost non-existent) but the rooms were clean and the breakfast was not bad.

View from the hotel. The closest mini mart is just opposite, with a Chinese restaurant next to it. 
The malay restaurant in the next building had no customers at all. So I did not want to go in. Haha. 

View from the other side. 

The view of the beds in the room

During my stay there I managed to see displays of fireworks for three times! The duration was quite short and not as extravagant as compared to Singapore, but due to the low height of the buildings here, they were visible from quite a distance away. It was a pleasant surprise!

The moment you come out from the airport, look out for the Bluebird taxi queue. Forget about taking those touting for customers, they are so dubious. They offered to take us to our hotel for 250,000 Rupiah. We waited for the Bluebird taxi instead (~one hour waiting time) and paid 107,600 in total including surcharge and toll fees. Even though the taxi driver had red eyes and funky hair, he was clearly a very very good driver and it was interesting to see him drive. Seriously, tailgating another car with about 15 inches of space in between at 80 km/h is no easy feat! I was worried. My brother said he was a heroin addict, he had scars on his arms. Scary.

When we reached the hotel and requested for the connecting room next to the one my father is in, the hotel staff informed us they needed time to get the room ready (signs of inefficiency #1). So we left our luggage at the lobby in the care of the luggage people and begin our adventure into the maze of shopping centres around the area.

When I did my research, it was stated that the opening times were from 1000 to 1700. It was really accurate. By the time we went in, it was already about 1430. After a semi-meal at A&W, we walked around ITC and then time was up. We did not really managed to much but we caught a glimpse of what awaits us the next day.

Look at the number of storeys in Pasar Pagi! 
This is the area in Pasar Pagi that sold handicraft findings. 
The shops mostly sold beads, blings, trims and etc etc. But I only got a pack of 12 French Barrettes for 10,000 Rupiah. Not everything was cheap, but there are things you cannot find in Singapore. Like the French Barrettes which I got, they are the thin kinds not the regular ones.

I have to say that I am not a fan of Pasar Pagi. The shops are all scattered about and it is really like digging for treasure. Unless you have the time, do not waste your time walking around Pasar Pagi.

Now, ITC, it is a really nice place to shop! All of us found things to buy here. There are plenty of local food too! ITC consists of 2 buildings. It is wayy too easy to get lost here. I got lost on the first day. -__- I hate to admit it, but even my sense of direction could not find us back to the hotel. Hai!

Fishcake thingie which comes in a potato, with white cabbage, original, bitter gourd etc etc. 
 This dish comes with peanut sauce. I forgot the cost, but this was on the top floor of ITC. I found it edible, but not anything to exclaim about. This area gets a little crowded in the afternoon!

This place has good Soto Ayam for 18,000.

It is different from those in Singapore as it is served with cabbage, chicken, potato, tomato and glass noodles inside! A wedge of egg too. I like this, but my father said it is not the best. :/

Several sites on the internet said this shop that sells Tom Yum is good. I think it is not as good as those I cook. Hahahahaha. Okay. Not as good as those in Nakkhon or Golden mile or Bangkok. The soup is not sour enough! A lot of seafood in a bowl for 33,000 though. I do not really recommend it.

The soup is not the best, but I enjoy drinking Teh Botol every meal. At only 5,000 per bottle, it is a good choice! It is sweetened Jasmine tea, I think.

There are quite a few carts selling corn. They serve it with butter/planta, cheese and chili. I am okay with the cheese, but ain't no one gonna put chilli in my corn! Hahahaha. I do not really like it. The corn is not sweet enough and the cheese is not of good quality. 8,000 is not worth it!

We went to Emporium for dinner the second night and to their Carrefour thereafter. Look at the rainbow cakes selling at 16,000! That is like S$2 a slice. Haha. I do not like my food so colourful. 

Central park
We went to Central Park the next day. It is like the regular Singapore shopping mall. I felt so at home here. Hahahaha.

Ordered Bihun Goreng, Gado-Gado and Tempe with the Nasi-lemak like rice.

My mom kept harping on how small the chicken was. I was saying their chicken were athletic, unlike those in Singapore, fat asses they are. I love how they serve keropok with EVERYTHING!

The restaurant. 
The price range was about 20,000-35,000 per dish.

We went to the shopping centre next door thereafter. It is called Taman Aggrek. It is a rather old shopping centre with a Ngee Ann city feel. Basically the same shops as the Central Park with more local brands and less international brands. We went to the local departmental store. Although their style is vastly different from mine, my mother managed to get a few chiffon pieces. The quality is really good, but it is not suitable for school, so no will do.

 On the last day, my dad could join us! So we brought him around ITC, and he wanted to try the Chendol (7,000). Bad choice, I tell ya. I do not like it! It was awfully sweet and it had a burned smell. The Chendol from ABC food centre is wayyyy better.

Wanted my dad to try Gado-Gado, their version, so I went to find one!

Something something(range of meat on one plate) and Gado-Gado. Not bad! But the keropok on the Gado-Gado was not as nice as the one from Cafe Ketawi. 49,000 in all.

 This is the stall. Shaky picture. Lousy camera.

Tried this for 3,500. Funky. Wafer with floury sugar. It is like the dragon beard candy, but eekiler. YUCK.

I have been wanting to try this because it is their local delicacy. It is like fishcake with an egg in it. Eaten with black sauce.

It is really chewy! But I like the crunchy layer on the surface. The glass noodles and cucumber was okay with the sauce. The sauce is sweet though. The fish cake was so chewy, it kind of tastes like rice cakes!

My father saw this and wanted to eat it. He said it was good. Oh man. IT WAS GOOD.

Tempe, fish, and ayam! The chilli builds up in your mouth. Sedap! I loved the fish. It was so crunchy, you can eat some bones. Haha. Calcium!

We took a risk and sat on a Taxiku (yellow) taxi. The driver was a lady. Boy, was she fierce. It was by meter though. So okay. I never read anything about Taxiku before, but we paid 120,000 for the trip to the airport. Okay la.

Okay. Let's end with my mini map. Need this for the future. Haha. It is not 100% accurate or drawn to scale. But it was useful for me. I stared at google maps for 1/2 hour before doing this so 100/100 for effort okay!

Simplified map of the place. You do not need to even set foot outside the mall! Hahaha. There is a door in the hotel linking to the place that links to everywhere else. I did not have time to explore Harco Mars or Mal Mangga Dua. They sold electronic stuff. Ain't nobody got time for that! >.<

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