Eating at Lara Djonggrang (http://www.tuguhotels.com/laradjonggrang) is like taking a step back in time. Take a walk through the ancient beauty of Indonesia and treat yourself to a unique dining experience. The restaurant is in a majestic old house and you can tour through the many different rooms with artifacts from all over Indonesia. Great for lunch or dinner. Try the menu at Koi (www.koiindonesia.com) which includes a variety of international dishes from every corner of the world. There are now two Koi’s – located in Kemang and Mahakam. You can even shop for furniture and housewares, as both restaurants house a gallery. If you love French food, then try Emilie Restaurant (www.emilierestaurant.com), which is located in Senopati (near Pacific Place Shopping Plaza). Maybe you are looking for romance and fine dining? Amuz (www.amuzgourmet.com) won the “2011 Award of Excellence” by Wine Spectator. If you have never experienced wine paring, it’s a sensational way to enjoy and complement a 3- 6 course dinner.
Jakarta has an abundance of five star luxurious hotels. The competition between the major chains keeps prices and value for money well within reach and below what you would pay in Singapore or other Asian cities. The Ritz Carlton has two properties. Try the newer one at Pacific Place (www.ritzcarlton.com/JakartaPacificPlace). The hotel is in the same building as the shopping plaza. The Hotel Intercontinental (www.jakarta.intercontinental.com) is centrally located in the business district and also has the best priced Sunday brunch. For only US$30 you can treat yourself to a five-star gourmet buffet with free-flow champagne. For a touch of beauty and elegance, The Dharmawangsa Hotel (www.the-dharmawangsa.com) is an experience all on its own. It is located in the leafy suburb of Kebayoran Baru. The architectural style is uniquely modern Indonesian, blending history and fine furnishings. Visit the stately library and order a chocolate martini or enjoy high tea accompanied by traditional Indonesian gamalong music.
Immigrant (www.immigrant-jakarta.com) is a stylish nightclub (1920’s style) and appeals to a crowd 25 yrs and up. It’s a place for sexy drinks, tapas, and vibrant music. Located in Plaza Indonesia (now refurbished), Central Jakarta. Dragonfly (http://www.ismaya.com/dragonfly) is a very cool place, which resembles a NYC club, located near the JW Marriott Hotel in Gatot Subroto area. Nearby is Blowfish (www.ismaya.com/blowfish/), which serves great cocktails and even better food. In addition, the well-patronized, iconic BATS (www.shangrila.com/en/property/jakarta/shangrila/dining/restaurant/bats) in the basement of the Shangri La Hotel, centrally located in the heart of Jakarta, serves generous portions of salads, pizzas and steaks and pumps out live nightly entertainment.
Check out Pacific Plaza (http://www.pacificplace.co.id) in central Jakarta, which is floor-to-floor high-end brands with plenty of glitz and glamour and a great selection of food. For more traditional shopping, Pasar Baru (Jl. Pasar Baru Selatan, Central Jakarta) is a pleasant outdoor (covered) market and will not break the bank. A blend of Indonesian, Chinese and Indian shop owners sell beautiful textiles, clothing and souvenirs. It is advisable to have your driver drop you at the start of the one way pedestrian walking mall and meet you at the other end. For major bargains and serious all-day shopping head to Mangga Dua in North Jakarta. There are six malls in the area, so be sure to tell your taxi or private driver to head to Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua (Jl Mangga Dua Raya, Mangga Dua Tel: 021 6599459) for six floors of shopping. The complex resembles a Chinese rabbit warren. Get there early and take plenty of water. It’s hot inside and not air-conditioned.
5. GET OUT OF TOWN
How about a day snorkeling on a tropical island? A day trip to Pulau Ayer (www.pulauayer.com) in the Thousand Islands will include a 90-minute speedboat ride from Ancol Marina, welcome drinks and full use of the resort facilities. The boat leaves at 9.00am and takes you back at 4.00pm. You can even stay overnight at one of the beachside cottages if you fancy. If you love animals up close and personal then Taman Safari Indonesia (www.bogor.tamansafari.com) is an adventure through Sumatran tiger country, elephant territory and you will possibly have lions leaping at your window. It’s an open air, drive through safari experience only 80 km drive from the airport.
CURRENCY – Indonesian Rupiah
VISA – Requirements vary. For details http://www.kemlu.go.id
BEST TIME TO VISIT – Indonesia has a fairly even climate all year and averages 28 degrees. The wet season falls between October and April and the dry season between May and September.
MORE INFORMATION –www.jakarta-tourism.go.id