Sunday activity idea: Car Free Day

car free day in jakarta

Jakarta is the busiest city in Indonesia. Motorbikes, cars, buses, they hit the road every single day. What if…all the cars, motorbikes, pollution suddenly disappear? In CAR FREE DAY, those dreams are possible. 

Every Sunday morning, from 6 to 11 AM, the police officers will close the main street of Jakarta for everyone who wants to exercise or just hang around to refresh their mind. It is from Bundaran Senayan (near Gelora Bung Karno football stadion) to MH Thamrin Street (could up to Monas Park). It approximately has 6,5 kilometer for each way, and the police will close two ways street in Car Free Day. Total 13 kilometer just for people!

Most Jakartans will gather around Bundaran Hotel Indonesia (in front of Grand Indonesia Mall) since there is a lot of booths and music live show will setting up on Thamrin Street until Bendungan Hilir Street. These area could provide parking service for Jakartans who come to enjoy Car Free Day. We as a local, do not have exercise habit. Yes, we should admit that fact. However we still come for exploring, hanging out with friends/family, or gathering with our local community.

Then, what you could do in Jakarta’s Car Free Day as a tourist?

Car Free Day Idea #1: Sit on the street and post it on instagram

This might sounds silly. But in fact, you can not sit on the busy street of Jakarta everyday. It is not small street or ‘regular back alley’ that looks like similiar anywhere in Asian countries. On Car Free Day, you could sleep, sit, whatever you want in main street of Jakarta. MAIN STREETS, near business district with all those sky scrappers as your background. 

sunday activity car free day

Car Free Day Idea #2: Try street foods

The crowded street and food sellers. It is trying to answer old question,”Chicken or Egg, which one comes first?” Hahaha. Whatever the answer might be, try street foods on Car Free Day is never be wrong idea. Another tricky question, which street food that I should buy? How do I know that one is tastier than the other one? Nah, you never know. Also, everyone has their own preferable flavor. Just try to find clean stalls then buy it. My mom always told me to look on street seller feet before buy anything on the street. If they can not keep their feet clean, how could they manage to have our food safe? Logic. 

Car Free Day Idea #3: Strolling around by foot

Just go with the flow. Join local activity on Car Free Day. Talk to Jakartans. Eat ice cream. Sit somewhere then pay attention for anything happens in front of your eyes. Slowing down, walking, and enjoying the vibe. If you like photography, you definitely would love Car Free Day. It is a good chance to understand more about melting pot city like Jakarta. Hear stories, capture moments when every body feel relax. 

Car Free Day Idea #4: Rent bike

Of course, we don’t recommend you to bike in normal day but in Car Free Day? Definitely a YES. It is safer. You could go far with wheels. However, there is no rent bike place on the street (read: Car Free Day). You need to go rent bike shop by your own before you hit the road. Based on our experience, you need to book it couple day before Sunday morning. No go show. Small effort like email or phone call will worth a try. 

So, are you ready to get up early on Sunday? See you there, on Car Free Day!

Do you want to experience Car Free Day with us? Walking or biking? Just drop your email here


5 ‘Things You Will Found When Locals Celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day

It is August and it is a special month for Indonesians. Why? Because August 17th is the independence day for Indonesia! People use to hang a national flag in front of their houses in this day. Suddenly, there are a lot of flag sellers in the street or offering flags or a pole to hang the flag.

Independence day, usually students in national school and public officer are required to attend a flag raising ceremony in the morning in schools or offices courtyard. And after the ceremony ends, they are free to go home to enjoy the national holiday.

Usually there are a lot of celebrations in independence day. There will be a lot of competition and fun games to participate. This series of competition is called “Agustus-an”. Usually it is held around the neigborhood or we call it “RT”. There will be a lot of competitions and you can get some gifts when you become a winner.

So, what kind of competitions you can join in? Here are a few of them:

1. Sack Race or “Balap Karung”

Balap karung is one of the most popular competition in Indonesia’s independence day, it is where you race with another person by running as fast as you can and become the first one who reach the finish line.

2. Climbing Slippery Pole or “Panjat Pinang”

Source : The Jakarta Post

Source : The Jakarta Post

There will be a pole with a lot of prizes in top of a pole, or in Indonesia we use a “pinang” tree, hence called “panjat pinang”. It is a competition where you compete with others to reach the top of the pole to get the prize that you want. The rule of the game is the fastest to reach the item, get to bring the item home.

3. Nightgown Soccer or “Sepakbola Daster”

This a sport that men likes and men will participate in this sport. But what makes it different from a usual soccer is that men who participate must dress in a nightgown. If you are a man and want to join, maybe you could borrow your wife’s nightgown or from your neighbor first.

4. Tug of War or “Tarik Tambang”

I think this competition is not new for many countries. It is where you compete in a team and pull each other with one thick rope until one of the team fall to the ground first. You need a lot of strength and if getting dirty in the mud is not a problem for you, then this game is for  you.

5. Eating Crackers or “Makan Kerupuk”

It is the perfect game for the one that is hungry. You can have fun while filling your stomach with crackers. You have to eat one full piece cracker that hangs over your head by some kind of rope. The fastest who finish eating will win the game. Even though it is not quite fullfilling, it will be enough to rise your appetite.

Source : kaskus[dot]co[dot]id

Source : kaskus[dot]co[dot]id

There are still a lot of other games or competitions, depends on the location that you lived in Indonesia. I guess there will be traffic jams and roadblocks too because of the games. So, instead of going to malls in national holiday, maybe you would rather join an “Agustus-an” game.

Monas Jakarta (National Monument Jakarta)

National Monument Jakarta or Monas Jakarta, do you now what it is? Have you been there once? If yes, maybe you think you have seen it all, but wait a second. Have you been to it’s park in different times? You will get distinctive experiences. I’ll explain a little bit so you could choose what you want to experience at certain times you prefer to go Monas Jakarta.

1. Visiting Monas Jakarta At Weekdays (Monday to Friday)

Quiet, fresh and clean.

Those are the three words that describe Monas Jakarta at weekdays, especially in the morning. For you who want to exercise, breath fresh air, see green landscape, and clear your mind, come to Monas Jakarta Park in the morning. Certainly you will not have any difficulty to find a quiet place just to daydream, since the area is occupying 88 acres of land.

Monas At Weekdays

Monas Jakarta At Weekdays

2. Monas Jakarta When ‘Car Free Days’ is held

Crowded, happy and adore.

What to adore? If you come to Monas Jakarta Park when there is ‘Car Free Day’ in Sunday, you will see many adorable children running around you.

The atmosphere would be exciting and appear a bit chaotic, the bonus is Monas Jakarta Park would filled by young generation that are dating, searching for a partner initiate their flirting, and enjoy eating chicken porridge while standing. Special for singles, just go to the part of the park near IRTI parking area, there are deers from Bogor where you can pour your love on. *LOL*

Deer At Monas Park

One Of The Deer In Monas Park

3. Monas Jakarta At Night

This is it! There is no right word to describe the atmosphere and crowds at Monas Jakarta at night.

When the night falls, Monas Tower would ‘lit’, colorful lights and white spotlight that shine the gold at the top make this National Monument Jakarta looked fantastic.

Not to mention, usually you will see a lot of street vendors and seller. The Monas Park would be busy like a night market. Starting from clothing vendor, accessories, souvenirs, food, drink, to herbal medicines have opened their stalls in Monas Jakarta Park. Actually street vendors are not allowed to do business inside the Monas Jakarta Park, but really says otherwise. We only could just ‘know’ and ‘enjoy’.

Monas At Night

The View At Monas Before The Night Falls

So, did you find the right time to visit Monas Jakarta (Park) in your city tour jakarta plan? To answer this question, its all has to start with another question, which is, “What is your purpose?”.  Keep the answer in your mind. 🙂



Choose Your Favourite Mall in Jakarta

Have you visited the big mall in Jakarta that I reviewed last time? Well, you haven’t seen all. This time I will tell you more about mall in Jakarta, especially where you can buy stuff with more affordable price and more alternative of food choice. Here are some favourite mall in Jakarta.

1. The Plaza Semanggi, Experience Dining In The Sky.

The Plaza Semanggi is located in central part of Jakarta, specifically at Jalan Sudirman, some kind of business areas with many office buildings around it. Like other mall in Jakarta, this mall also offer a lot of choice from fashion, food, electronic products, furniture and etc. But what special is you can experience how it feel to dine in the top of the building where you can see a bird eye view of Sudirman area. There are restaurants in sky dining area, and to get there you need to ride a specific elevator that leads there.

There are also ‘Balai Sarbini’ here, a concert hall that often use an Indonesian Idol’s stage that broadcasted in one of the private TV Station in Jakarta. You can reach this mall by ‘metromini’ 640 or Transjakarta Bus.

The Plaza Semanggi opening hour : 10.00 am – 10.00 pm.

Sky Dining in The Plaza Semanggi

Sky Dining in The Plaza Semanggi. Source : The Jakarta Post

2. Thamrin City Shopping Mall, Batik At An Affordable Price.

Thamrin City Shopping Mall also located in Central Jakarta. What is different about this mall is known as ‘sentra batik’ means batik trade centre in Jakarta. You can buy batik products for affordable price in Thamrin City. In addition, you can buy another products like clothes, accessories or anything at cheaper price in a large amount because most of the seller offering a wholesale products. You also can haggle the price, but for insurance, you need to bring a native who understand the language and the culture better to accompany you if you are indeed shopping for business.

Thamrin City opening hour : 9.00 am – 9.00 pm.

Thamrin City Mall. Source : Tempo

Thamrin City Mall. Source : Tempo

3. International Trade Center (ITC)

Beside malls, there are also places called ITC in Jakarta. Places with names started with ‘ITC’ are spread around Jakarta, depends on it’s location, one could called ITC Pulogadung because it’s located at Pulogadung, ITC Kuningan for its position in Kuningan, and so on. In ITC, you can almost find any kinds of things. Starting from grocery, fashion, mainly electronics. There are a lot of people go to ITC to buy cellphones, computer or tablets. There are a lot of wholesale products and you can also haggle the price here.

ITC opening hour : varies between 08-11.00 am to 09-11.00 pm.

ITC Roxy Mas

ITC Roxy Mas. Source : Viva News

It is true that every mall in Jakarta has different ‘taste’ and selling point, depends on which part of Jakarta the mall is located. And, while you do a city tour Jakarta, which one you prefer? A classy mall with branded stores, or a ‘humble’ mall with cheaper product. Hmm…hard choice I guess..

Doing City Tour Jakarta on Big Mall Jakarta

Jakarta as the capital city of Indonesia certainly has a lot to offer. With increasing population, Jakarta has become a potential marketing target since people from all of Indonesia is residing there. Developers built more malls in almost every part of Jakarta making going shopping in Jakarta more convenient. This time we will take you to do a city tour Jakarta on big mall Jakarta..

Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, A Mall For A Start

If you are staying in the center part of Jakarta, you can visit one of the big mall in Jakarta, called Grand Indonesia Shopping Town which located in the heart of Jakarta. It is near Bundaran HI, and you can reach the mall by riding Transjakarta Bus or Commuter Line train.

View of Grand Indonesia Shopping Town From Bundaran HI

View of Grand Indonesia Shopping Town From Bundaran HI

What is great about this mall is it had Galeri Indonesia Kaya inside of it where tourists from outside Indonesia can learn some things about Indonesian culture. It also had a Dancing Fountain Shows that plays at a certain time.

Galeri Indonesia Kaya

Galeri Indonesia Kaya

The Dancing Fountain

The Dancing Fountain

Grand Indonesia opening hours : 10:00 am – 10:00 pm.

To The West, Central Park Mall

If you strolling around or doing city tour Jakarta around western part, Central Park mall will be a good choice for you. The access is easy and it surrounded by two more malls around it for alternative. It is a huge mall in a mixed use complex for office, apartments and a hotel. It features a musical fountain at the park area.

Central Park Mall

Central Park Mall

The Central Park Mall can be reached by Transjakarta Bus that runs at Corridor IX and the shelter’s name is Mall Taman Anggrek, the other mall beside Central Park Mall which has an ice skating rink inside of it.

Central Park Mall opening hours : 10:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Popular Mall in South Jakarta

One of the most popular mall for Jakarta’s residents is Pondok Indah Mall. It is located in South Jakarta and it is near real-estates complex. Hence, this mall targeting high income customers and people who are looking for prestige. There are upscale designers boutiques and fine dining inside this big mall in Jakarta. You can reach Pondok Indah Mall by public transports such as Transjakarta Bus and Metromini Number 72.

South Bridge of Pondok Indah Mall

South Bridge of Pondok Indah Mall

Pondok Indah Mall opening hours : 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

So, which big mall in Jakarta you wanna visit on your City Tour Jakarta activity? Tell us on comment below :p

One Day City Tour Jakarta

A combination of bad traffic and limited time might not help you with one day chance to visit whole Jakarta. So, I give you 4 place which can put on your one day city tour Jakarta itinerary :

1. One Day City Tour Jakarta : Visit  Jakarta Old Town (Batavia)

Located on North Jakarta, Jakarta Old Town area is a place where you can find a lot of old building with Dutch architecture and museums.

Dutch Architecture Main Gate on The Red Shop Museum

The Red Shop’s Main Gate with Dutch Architecture

You also can found some museum in Jakarta Old Town area :
– Bank Indonesia Museum
The Red Shop — currently closed for renovation
– Arts and Crafts Museum
Wayang Museum Jakarta
– Fatahillah Museum
– Indonesia Post Office Museum

I suggest you to spend at least half day to stroll around Jakarta Old Town. If you do not have many time left, visiting Bank Indonesia Museum (Museum Bank Indonesia) and Wayang Museum Jakarta is a must, do not skip those two museums. Trust me.

2. One Day City Tour Jakarta : Visit Jakarta Chinatown (Glodok, Petak Sembilan)

From Jakarta Old Town area, you just need to walk around 15 minutes to Jakarta Chinatown. You can take a glimpse of traditional market, local Chinese mall, or eat in Chinese food restaurant. And you can also find Viharas, Chinese Church around that area. But, to walk around Jakarta Chinatown is a little bit tricky, because there has a lot of small alleys, you do not want to get lost and wasting your precious time, don’t you?

A Glimpse of Vihara

A Glimpse of Vihara

3. One Day City Tour Jakarta : Visit Monas at night

Next, you can put Monas on your Jakarta Day Trips. National Monument or Monas Jakarta located in the heart of Jakarta. It stands 132 meter from the ground and it has 35 kilograms pure gold at the top of it. Actually, you can go up there to see Jakarta from the top of Monas Jakarta, but the queue is unbelievably too long, you better go to a higher building if you really want to see Jakarta from the top.

Image Courtesy : Media Indonesia

Image Courtesy : Media Indonesia

So, the second option (a better option, I think) is to visit Monas public garden at night. In 82 hectare area, you can see Monas Jakarta spread splendidly with colorful lights. Everyone can come to Monas Garden until midnight to do sport, recreation, etc.

4. Eat and Mingle at Sabang Street at night

Sabang Street is also known as Haji Agus Salim Street located on Central Jakarta, near Sarinah Mall and has various kind of restaurants, food trucks, or Jakarta street food. You can find Western, Eastern, Indonesian, and even Fast Food on Sabang Street. When sun goes down, Sabang Street get more visitors, people seems to never sleep!

Food Truck on Sabang Street (image courtesy : news portal okezone[dot]com]

Food Truck on Sabang Street (image courtesy : news portal okezone[dot]com]

For one day city tour Jakarta, we also recommend you to visit National Museum in Central Jakarta in the morning. They will tell you more about Indonesia’s culture and heritage in one place. At least you need 2 hours to see all their famous collections, a lot of interesting stuffs and stories. So, are you ready to explore Jakarta in one day? To get some help about arranging tour, go check our city tour offer here