South East Asia – here we come! Jakarta saw the start of a very exciting adventure in the archipelago of Indonesia. Now, Bali – is the first place that comes to mind when one thinks about Indonesia, and I must admit that when M and I went to Bali a couple of years ago, we were more than a bit naive not to have visited some of the other incredible islands that make up this archipelago. A little older and wiser, we decided to rectify this boo-boo and do this country justice!
Indonesia is made up entirely of islands, and is one of the countries recognised as having the most islands in the world. The islands of Java, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Bali and Komodo were of interest to us as was Sumatra, but sadly Sumatra is a little more off the beaten track and the difficulty of getting there meant that we had to leave this off our itinerary. But, as you will see – there are plenty of adventures to be had on the islands that we chose to visit!
Jakarta was our entry point in to Indonesia, on the island of Java. (I guess this is where our Kenyan coffee house with the same name got its inspiration from?) Typically a business city, abundant with skyscrapers and that city vibe, we decided to spend a couple of nights here before flying out to Kalimantan. Cities have a charm of their own, whatever part of the world they may be in and I totally love getting dressed up in my heels and red lipstick for a night out on the town.
Skye Bar certainly did not disappoint! Set atop the BCA Tower, it is a pretty cool combination of rooftop bar and fine dining restaurant. It is certainly worth coming here for the panoramic views of the Jakarta skyline, the young and vibrant crowd – and the yummiest wagyu sirloin steak ever. It was pretty windy and crowded on the terrace, but we still managed to get a spot to perch on and enjoy a couple of cocktails to toast to this adventure!
Being a typical city, there isn’t much to do in terms of exploring. Taman Mini Indonesia is rated as one of the top 10 things to do in Jakarta, so, with a whole day to kill we decided to head there and check it out, before indulging in a spot of retail therapy at Indonesian Shopping Town. Taman Mini is described as a “theme park” but I thought it was the equivalent of the Bomas of Kenya back home – a showcase of the different types of houses and tribes found in the Indonesian Archipelago – with a gondola that goes across the park from one end to another, giving you a bird’s eye view. There wasn’t much information within the park, so after we had literally baked in the tiny gondola, we drove around the park in the comfort of our air conditioned car and stopped off for some picture taking at the houses that caught our interest.
Now, I thought that Nairobi had awful traffic jams – only to be stuck in terrible traffic in Jakarta leaving Taman Mini and heading back into the main city! Being on holiday meant I could maximise on traffic time to catch up with some note taking for this blog, but if you ever find yourself in Jakarta for business – yes, the traffic really is as bad as they say it is! The only other sights that we found worth stopping off at were the Istiqlal Mosque, and the beautiful Church right opposite.
Uninspired by the rest of the “top 10 things to do”, we decided to check out some more rooftop bars in the afternoon to while away some time. None of the ones we popped in to had the vibe and view that Skye Bar had so – yes, we ended up right back at Skye Bar, got a premium lounger by the incredible pool overlooking the skyline, ordered a bottle of wine aptly named “The Dreamer” (I wish I had taken the label off the bottle now!) and watched the sun go down, before heading to Lara Djongrang, for some authentic Indonesian fare, before bidding adieu to Jakarta!
Stay tuned for some more adventures coming up – I promise they are way more exciting than Jakarta was!