Jakarta is a fascinating city. With historical landmarks, shopping malls, mosques, flea markets, and even islands on the coast north of the city, there are many interesting places that are worth visiting. Fortunately, getting around Jakarta is not a problem with all the comfortable modes of transport available in the city.
Getting around Jakarta on land is the easiest way to explore the area, and you have several options to do this. First, you can travel by Transjakarta Busway, or simply “busway”. The vehicles are well maintained and are air-conditioned. Familiarizing yourself with the routes that they take is part of the challenge. Most of them traverse through south and central Jakarta only. If you are going to the greater Jakarta area, you can alight at the nearest stop or “corridor” where you can catch a busway going to another area. Because the busway is generally the preferred mode of transport of many locals, expect it to be packed during rush hours. Taking the busway during the morning or evening rush hour is sure to test your patience. At other times of the day, though, it is very comfortable.
You may also get around Jakarta by riding a bajaj. The bajaj is a three-wheeled vehicle that fits two passengers. It may not be the most comfortable vehicle to ride on, as it can get very shaky at times, but it does give you an authentic experience of the city. Fares for the bajaj are really cheap. These vehicles are common around the city. You can simply hail a passing bajaj and ask the driver to take you to your destination.
For a more local feel of getting around Jakarta, you can ride a mikrolet or an angkot. You can see mikrolets all over the city. They are usually colored light blue and look like minivans with an open door on the left side. Many mikrolet drivers are very aggressive and tend to swerve without warning in order to pick up passengers on the sidewalk. This is why mikrolets have gained a negative reputation in Jakarta. The best thing about them is that they have routes to almost every place in the city and they go to areas that most buses don’t. A fare collector often stands – or hangs – near the door. Payment is given as you go down to your destination.
The ojek is another mode of transport available in Jakarta. It is simply a motorcycle taxi. Typically, the ojek should not be carrying more than one passenger. One advantage of ojeks is that they are able to fit into small alleys and passageways where other vehicles can’t. If you are going to ride an ojek, ask for a passenger helmet. If you are not that adventurous and prefer the most convenient way of getting around Jakarta on land, then you should take a taxi. It is not difficult to spot taxis in the city. To avoid being ripped off, insist on paying by the meter.
Getting around Jakarta by plane, or more accurately, a helicopter, is also possible. You can charter a helicopter through Janis Air Transport. A helicopter is a very fast way to go from point A to point B in Jakarta, so it is very convenient if you are really in a hurry, such as during emergencies. Getting around Jakarta by boat is possible by taking speedboats from the Ancol Marina to nearby islands, such as the Thousand Islands.