May 25th-May 30th: Jakarta, Indonesia


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June 19th 2010
Published: June 19th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

Leaving the USLeaving the USLeaving the US

In line to check-in at the lovely LAX.
May 25th-May 30th: Jakarta, Indonesia

I’m going to cheat a bit here and do a jumbo past-blog about where we have been. (My apologies for the delay in starting this blog. Between me finishing the book and enjoying the honeymoon, extra minutes in front of the computer were about as appealing as a tetanus shot.)

We left California on May 25th and flew into Jakarta, a city that Lonely Planet describes as “hard to love.” Cars upon cars, concrete upon concrete, people upon people, we could see how some would not like this place at all. We actually did. We stayed at Gran Mahakam hotel, a definite indulgence with a landscaped, rooftop pool that overlooked the city sprawl. A lot of time was spent up there after any errand in the hectic pace. During the day, I worked on the book and Adam snooped about the town. The novel he is working on is set in Jakarta, so this was a writing week for both of us—the last writing week of the trip. At night we explored the club scene that first interested us in Jakarta. (Crazy club scene in the country with the highest Muslim population? We had
City-scape of JakartaCity-scape of JakartaCity-scape of Jakarta

We took this photo from the rooftop of our hotel.
to check that out.) We went to a few in the Kemang area and the best we found was this one in a mall (it seems like all the great things are in malls in Jakarta) that had four different clubs within one. Yes, it was great and full-on clubbing.

This was also a great city for eating, and we had some of the best food there. On our return flight home, we will stay on the other side of Jakarta and hit the famed Stadium club.

Tips for other travelers:
*Hotels in Jakarta:
Gran Mahakam was a great hotel and worth the price if you can swing it. (We paid about $80 US per night.) We didn’t include the breakfast buffet which was a mega-feast of every European and Indonesian indulgence from smoked salmon to mie goreng. Instead, we walked outside to the street vendors and had some of the best breakfasts there for about 10,000-30,000 rupiah/ $1-3 US dollars for the both of us.
*One of the yummiest meals was at Koi. It’s a tapas/wine restaurant with a shoddy bottle of Beringer’s white zinfadel going for $65 US. We drank the cocktails instead and they were
Warung in JakartaWarung in JakartaWarung in Jakarta

Warungs (food stalls) line the roads in Jakarta and are cheap and delicious. Here I am eating our first breakfast in Indonesia. It was a green mung bean porridge and quite good.
excellent and economical—whoppers of drinks really. Get the barbecued whole fish with peanut sauce. Perhaps this was the best fish I have ever eaten.
*Bars in Kemang area
We loved Tabac the best which you enter through a telephone kiosk. Very cool, dark, hip, and not all expats. We also checked out Eastern Promise, a British style pub, but it was a bit too travelers-only.



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Rooftop Pool at Gran MahakamRooftop Pool at Gran Mahakam
Rooftop Pool at Gran Mahakam

We spent a good bit of time in this pool.
Dancing Down the HallwayDancing Down the Hallway
Dancing Down the Hallway

I forget the name of this club, but it was a fun one with four different dance floors and different music at each one.


19th June 2010

first stop
Looks gorgeous! Nice that you enjoy the exotic foods and such a good looking couple too. No head scarf there?
20th June 2010

No need for a hijab or anything like that. Not in the places we have been so far, and I don't think that's going to change. Everyone is quite tolerant and accepting. Such gracious people here.

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