We opted for a getaway to Jakarta for our spring break. My husband had a business trip there, so we tagged along. It was really quite fun, albeit a bit overwhelming at times.
We arrived late, but had no trouble getting a SIM card and a taxi. We bought SIM cards for $19 USD in the airport that covered our 3 day trip with plenty of data. We took a Silver Bird Taxi, which was great since our driver knew exactly where our hotel was located.
We stayed at Frasier Place in Setiabudi, in a one bedroom apartment. The apartment was really large and had everything we needed. One child slept with us, the other slept on the couch. The pool was really nice, which made up for the breakfast buffet, which was merely ok.
Our first day we decided to go to the Indonesian History Museum. The girls and I took a Grab. I highly recommend Grab for getting around in Jakarta. It is so easy, and we always had a car within a couple of minutes of when we needed it. The cars were all good quality, too. Our first driver was fantastic. He took us by the monument and pointed out things along the way, like Chinatown, the US Ambassador’s residence, parks, etc. It was almost like having a tour guide. We arrived at the museum and it was really affordable to enter. However, there really weren’t a lot of tourists around and we were definitely being stared at. My daughter was asked by several locals to have their picture with her. She didn’t mind, but it was a bit strange. The museum was pretty sparse and I wouldn’t repeat that visit. After half an hour, we were done. My daughters were feeling really uncomfortable with all of the staring, so we decided to head to the mall instead.
We opted for the Grand Indonesia Mall. What a relief! It was very quiet on a Thursday afternoon, and we were able to shop for hours. We had lunch at an Italian restaurant, Popolamama, and their pizza really hit the spot with my kids. The waiters were great, and we tried their mint orange breezers – so delicious. At the mall, the kids were beside themselves excited to find some of their favorite stores. We loaded up on new clothes, and wandered around the mall all afternoon.
That evening, we joined my husband at The Rosemary. It is a great British gastropub, and all of us had a blast there. They had a live band playing with open mic, and they let my daughter join them on stage. Our food was quite good, they had two for one wine, and a good selection of beer. It wasn’t too crowded, but had a lively crowd. We stayed until it closed at midnight, with our kids. It was that much fun.
The next day, we took the kids to Kidzania in Pacific Place Mall. I went in at first, and it is really amazing. Even though we don’t speak Bahasa, the kids were able to do just about every activity. They had a great time and learned a lot.
Later we had dinner in the mall, and the food court is truly amazing here. It is a great place to escape the chaos of the city.
Overall, we enjoyed our time in Jakarta. While we intended to do more cultural things, the malls were too good to pass. We’ve been living in Singapore for quite a while, and really don’t enjoy the shopping here. In Singapore, the stores are overpriced, and the much higher end than our budget and tastes. In Jakarta, we found prices that were much lower than in Singapore, and the stores were a great mix. We would definitely go back.