The Jakarta Post
Jakarta has been busy gearing up for the 2018 Asian Games, which will run from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.
The city residents are gradually becoming familiar with the new odd-even traffic policy that will be enforced during the event. Meanwhile, visitors to the capital now can see Asian Games 2018 banners and posters in every corner of the city.
In Jakarta, the competitions will take place in eight locations, namely Gelora Bung Karno Stadium and JIExpo Kemayoran in Central Jakarta, Ancol Ecopark in North Jakarta, Pondok Indah Golf Course in South Jakarta, Jakarta International Equestrian Park in Pulomas, Jakarta International Velodrome in Rawamangun, GOR Popki Stadium Cibubur and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) in East Jakarta.
Although some of the venues are located in the same administrative areas, the distance between other venues is quite far. The Jakarta Post has prepared a guide for those planning to visit the capital during Asia’s largest sporting event.
Both domestic and foreign tourists are recommended to book accommodation located near to event venues.
Those wanting to see artistic gymnastic, weightlifting and bridge competitions at JIExpo Kemayoran can check for rooms with Grand Mercure Jakarta Kemayoran and Holiday Inn Jakarta Kemayoran.
Those two hotels are also convenient for those wanting to attend competitions at the Jakarta International Equestrian Park in Pulomas and the Jakarta International Velodrome in Rawamangun.
Meanwhile, those planning to see jet ski and sailing competitions in Ancol can try the Mercure Convention Center hotel located inside Ancol.
As for those going to the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium and the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) in Senayan, Central Jakarta, you are in luck, as there are many hotels in the area. Those seeking five-star accommodation can make a reservation at the Fairmont Jakarta or Mulia Hotel Jakarta. For others, Sultan Hotel Jakarta, Harris Suites Fx Sudirman and Century Park Hotel are also within walking distance from the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium and Jakarta Convention Center.
Pondok Indah Golf Course, the venue for the golf competition, is quite far from the city center. Therefore, visitors can check for vacencies at hotels in the area, such as The Bellevue Suite or Swiss-Belhotel Pondok Indah.
Supporters of pencak silat and kabaddi can opt for the Santika Taman Mini Indonesia Indah Hotel in the cultural park complex.
As for those interested in the handball competition at the GOR Popki Stadium in Cibubur, we recommend checking out Hotel Ciputra Cibubur.
When it comes to food, you can find almost anything under the sun in Jakarta.
Those staying in the Kemayoran area can try Chung Hua and Medan Baru. Both of those restaurants are only around a 15-minute drive from the athletes village in Kemayoran.
The former is a legendary Chinese restaurant that once served state guests from China. The latter serves Sumatran dishes, such as gulai kepala ikan (fish head curry), rendang (beef stewed in coconut milk), burung punai goreng (fried pigeon) as well as the Acehnese staple es timun (frozen cucumber) drink.
In Ancol, visitors can find a plethora of restaurants. Seafood lovers can visit, for example Bandar Djakarta or Jimbaran Restaurant.
Those planning to stay in the Senayan area might want to give the 1945 at Fairmont Hotel Jakarta a try. The fine dining restaurant specializes in Indonesian food, allowing you to sample local delicacies.
Spicy food lovers can try the Beautika restaurant on Jalan Hang Lekir. Offering Manadonese food, this eatery is known for its fiery hot dishes.
Alternatively, visitors can also visit Jl. Pakubuwono to try Sate Khas Senayan or Penang Bistro. Sate Khas Senayan specializes in Javanese and Balinese cuisine. Meanwhile, Penang Bistro serves contemporary Malaysian dishes.
A plethora of restaurants and food stalls can be found near the Pondok Indah Golf Course, the GOR Popki Stadium Cibubur and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. However, foodies in Cibubur and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah may want to drive a bit further to Cimanggis and sample ikan bakar bambu (grilled fish in bamboo stick) at the Ikan Bakar Karimata restaurant.
Read also: Jakpost guide to Ancol
Nearby tourist attractions
When it comes to tourist attractions, visitors can find a variety of entertainment in Jakarta, including historical places, museums an amusement park and more.
Kota Tua is among the popular tourist destinations. Located in West Jakarta, the complex’s main attraction is Fatahillah square, an open space surrounded by colonial buildings. There, visitors can do some museum-hopping by visiting the Jakarta History Museum (Museum Sejarah Jakarta), the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics (Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik) and the Puppet Museum (Museum Wayang).
Contemporary art lovers can go to either the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Museum Macan) in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta, or the Art:1 museum in Kemayoran. The former hosts the Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition until Sept. 9. Meanwhile, Art:1 frequently exhibits works by emerging artists.
As for those who stay in Ancol, you can find an amusement park or learn about animals and marine life at Seaworld.
Those looking for antique goods can go to Jl. Surabaya in Menteng, Central Jakarta. Tucked away in the middle of Indonesia's bustling modern capital, the 450-meter road offers a range of unique items, like old china, the traditional kris daggers, wood carvings, vinyl records as well as luggage.
Jakarta is a shopping haven. Those who need some retail therapy may want to visit the malls of Plaza Indonesia or Grand Indonesia in Central Jakarta. Located near the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle (Bundaran HI), the shopping malls offer various international brands, including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Kenzo, Balenciaga, Coach as well as H&M, Uniqlo and Zara.
In the Senayan area, visitors can go to Plaza Senayan or Senayan City. Located near the Gelora Bung Karno, both of those malls are home to high-end international brands, such as Gucci, Tiffany & Co, Celine, Burberry and Fendi.
Near Kemayoran, visitors can visit Mall Kelapa Gading. Tucked inside the Kelapa Gading area, the mall also offers various shops, varying from Adidas, Giordano, Guess to local brands, such as This Is April and Gaudi.
Similar to the above shopping malls, Pondok Indah Mall also offers both local and international brands, including Longchamp, Lacoste, Massimo Dutti, Batik Keris, Alleira and The Goods Dept.
The National Monument (Monas) (http://www.thejakartapost.com/travel/2017/10/01/jakpost-guide-to-monas-area.html) that stands at the center of Merdeka Square is known as the landmark of Jakarta. Built in 1961, the 132-meter tall structure is the symbol of Indonesians’ struggle against the Dutch colonization.
Read also: Jakpost guide to Kota Tua
Hospitals and 24-hour clinics
Each of the Asian Games 2018 venues in Jakarta is located near hospitals.
Those who book a hotel in the Kemayoran or Ancol areas can go to Mitra Kemayoran Hospital.
Meanwhile, visitors to the Senayan area can go to MRCC Siloam Hospitals Semanggi or Mintohardjo Navy Hospital (RSAL).
Although Pondok Indah is the farthest location from the athletes village Kemayoran, the venue is located near the Pondok Indah Hospital (RSPI), which has a 24-hour emergency department.
Near the GOR Popki Stadium Cibubur, visitors can find Rumah Sakit Olahraga Cibubur (Cibubur Sports Hospital) and 24-hour clinics, making it convenient for health emergencies. As for those staying near Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, fret not, as the venue is located near Ridwan Meuraksa Hospital.
Visitors can use public transportation, such as the Transjakarta busses and Commuter Line trains to visit the venues.
For the Transjakarta busway, passengers need to use travel cards, such as e-money, Flazz or Tapcard. These cards can be purchased at Transjakarta bus stops. To top up the card, visitors can go to Indomaret, a local convenience store chain.
For the Commuter Line, a single trip costs Rp 3,000 (less than US 50 cents) for the first 25 kilometers of a journey. Those who do not have a travel card can purchase single tickets at the train station. A Rp 10,000 deposit is required and can only be refunded on the same day.
Alternatively, tourists can also download ride-hailing apps Grab and Go-Jek, which will spare them the hassle of learning the ins and out of public transportation.
Some popular money changers are Dua Sisi, BMP Money Changer and Dolarindo Money Changer.
These money changers can be easily found in shopping malls, such as Plaza Senayan, Plaza Indonesia, Senayan City, Pondok Indah Mall and Mall Kelapa Gading.
24-hour convenience stores
Although there are many 24-hour convenience stores, most of them close at 10 p.m.
However, those who stay at the athletes village Kemayoran can go to a 24-hour Indomaret located on Jl. Kemayoran Gempol.
112 is the integrated emergency services number, which will connect to hospitals, fire stations and police stations.
Mobile phone services
Foreign tourists can purchase SIM cards at shopping malls, some convenience stores or even at roadside stands. The staff at the store are usually happy to help tourists register and purchase internet data plans.
- It is recommended to purchase travel cards, as they can be used for most of the public transportation and toll gates.
- For an easy journey around the city, download ride-hailing apps Go-Jek and Grab.
- Do not drink tap water.
- When Jakartans say food is spicy, they mean it.
- It is suggested to avoid roadside food stalls, as most of them lack in terms of hygiene.
- Use sunblock or bring an umbrella, as the weather is humid and often scorching hot.
- Not everyone can speak English. Foreign tourists may find a translation app or pocket dictionary useful.