Category: Jakarta



Travel Insurance: simple & flexible

You can buy, extend and claim online even after you’ve left home.

World Nomads travel insurance is available to people from over 150 countries and is designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.




7 Things you should know about travel insurance from World Nomads

  1. Trusted reliable underwriters is backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with great cover, 24 hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.

  • Value for money with the cover you need provides cover for what’s important for travellers from over 150 countries. By focussing on what you need and leaving out what you don’t, World Nomads prices are some of the most competitive online.

  • Flexibility when you need it mostHad a change of plans? You can extend your policy indefinitely or claim online while you are still away. You can even buy a World Nomads policy if you’re already travelling.
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  • More than just great value travel insuranceAll members can learn the local lingo through a series of iPod & iPhone Language Guides and can stay in touch with family and friends with an online travel journal.
  • Commitment to exceptional customer serviceWe want to make sure you get the most from You can find out more about what is covered and the 5 key parts of a World Nomads’ travel insurance policy. If you have any questions about your travel insurance or travel safety in general, please contact directly.

Leave a positive footprint

When you travel to far out places you often receive generous and gracious hospitality from local people, even when they don’t have much themselves.

Footprints aggregates many small contributions from people all over the world fund specific community projects, helping people who struggle with basic needs for food, water, housing, health and safety.

Find out more about the Footprints network and how you can help.


Jakarta to Bandung

Of all the options to get from Jakarta to Bandung, the train is the best option. Other options include flying (Rp.250,000), public bus (Rp.40,000), mini bus (Rp.70,000), or metered taxi (Rp.500,000).

Gabbir Station Jakarta
The Parahyangan Express at Gambir Station in Jakarta

I like the train because it’s relaxing, and the scenery is beautiful. The Parahyangan Express (Rp. 65,000 executive class, three hours) passes through Jakarta’s suburbs, then cuts through the West Javan hills; providing a completely different perspective than road travel. The executive class is a bit more expensive than business class but they don’t allow vendors who get on and off the train into executive class, so it’s a lot more peaceful.

Parahyangan Express from Jakarta to Bandung

Jakarta to Bandung by Train

Train to Bandung

Train from Jakarta to Bandung

Getting to Gambir train station in Jakarta is very easy from Central Jakarta. It’s best to go a couple of days ahead of time and buy the ticket.

When buying the ticket, go to the counter to the right of the ticket window where you’ll find forms to fill out. Fill in your name (nama), address (alamat), phone (tlfn), departure point (dari mana), destination (ke mana), name of train (nama kereta), date (tanggal), and time (jam) desired. All the train information can be found on the signs above the ticket window, or from timetables on the counter. It’s all in Bahasa Indonesian, so have a means to translate handy.

Arriving in Bandung’s train station is straight forward. When you leave the station, you’ll be besieged by dodgy, overpriced taxi drivers. There are no metered taxis in sight, but if you walk straight through the parking lot to the main street, there will be Blue Birds, and Putras who will take you to where you want to go on the meter, costing half what the guys in the train station want.

Jakarta Public Transport

Jakarta public transport leaves a lot to be desired – it is terrible. Visitors to Jakarta are far better off to use one of the excellent taxi services.

TransJakarta Busway
TransJakarta Busway

The TransJakarta Busway is the mainstay of Jakarta’s mass transit system. The problems with TransJakarta begin at the stations. The flat top, steel and glass enclosures have no ventilation at all. By the time the bus arrives, you’ll be drenched in sweat. It’s hard to imagine how one could design a bus station to be any more uncomfortable than these are.

When the bus finally stops, it will be packed to the gills. A few people may get off, and a few may get on.

If you’re lucky enough to push your way onto the bus, you won’t need to hang on, because it’s like a sardine can. The buses are air conditioned, but it doesn’t help much when the bus is so far over capacity. And, pickpockets abound – be very careful with your belongings.

The best time to use the Busway is between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00p.m., and on Sundays. There is a downloadable map on their website. The fare is Rp.3,500, and there are no transfer fees.

Jakarta Public Transport
Jakarta Bus

Small local buses supplement the TransJakarta Busway; they run on set routes. Most of them are not air conditioned – they too are crowded, and often smell of diesel fuel. Fare is Rp.2,000

Jakarta Public Transport

These small blue, and sometimes red minivans are called Microlets. They run on set routes in a fairly small area. The fare is Rp.1,500.

Jakarta Public Transport
Jakarta Bajaj

These noisy, smoking monsters are the most uncomfortable of all Jakarta’s public transport options. There is no set route and no set fare. Locals don’t seem to have a problem with fares, but foreigners have to bargain hard.

Taxi’s are more expensive, but the best option for visitors. Check out my post on Jakarta Taxi Safety for the ins and outs of taking a taxi in Jakarta.

Ragunan Zoo Jakarta

Ragunan Zoo in Jakarta is a welcome relief from the chaos of Jakarta. Strolling among the 50,000 trees in the 147 hectare (363 acre) park caused me to forget I was in the middle of one of the most densely populated cities on Earth.

Ragunan Zoo Jakarta

The zoo is home to over 3,000 animals. While Ragunan Zoo is not the best zoo in the world, it is certainly worth a visit. Much of it is not too unique – it has a lot of animals like zebras, elephants, giraffes, and deer that can be seen at pretty much any zoo.

The unfortunate thing about it is the very few people who go to tease and harass the animals. I have seen people giving ice cream to elephants, cigarette butts to orangutans, and throwing trash at Komodo dragons. There doesn’t seem to be any security on hand to prevent it – such a shame! They could really do with a strong educational campaign, and a bit stronger parental supervision.

Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
Giraffe Kisses Anyone?

The things that make Ragunan special are the Komodo Dragons, Sumatran Tigers, Orangutans, and the Schmutzer Primate Center – a zoo within a zoo.

Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
Komodo Dragon

Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
Komodo Dragon

Ragunan Zoo Jakarta

Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
Sumatran Tiger

The Schmutzer Primate center is a privately funded facility that is far superior to Ragunan Zoo itself. Built from a grant from a private party, the Schmutzer Primate Center is intended to be a research, education, and recreational facility. It has a theater, library, exhibits, as well as a vast tropical rain forest that provides an artificial environment for the gorillas, chimpanzees, gibbons, grizzled leaf monkeys, orangutans, and other primates that live there.

Ragunan Zoo Schmutzer Primate Center Jakarta
Schmutzer Primate Center

Schmutzer Primate Center Ragunan Zoo Jakarta

Schmutzer Primate Center Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
The Schmutzer Primate Center has a well designed, tropical rain forest.

Schmutzer Primate Center Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
The Schmutzer Primate Center is much cleaner, and less crowded than the main zoo.

Schmutzer Primate Center Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
Unhappy captive chimpanzees - the sad reality of zoos.

The Gibbon is one of the most endangered animals in Indonesia and there is a dire need for funding to feed those in rescue centers like this one, and the Cikananga Rescue Center in Malang, Java. The International Primate Protection League (IPPL) has a program to helps abandoned silvery gibbons in Indonesia.

Schmutzer Primate Center Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
Rare Silvery Gibbon

Schmutzer Primate Center Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
Crested Black Macaques

Schmutzer Primate Center Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
Schmutzer Primate Center includes a walk-thru tunnel that makes it easier to see the animals. Unfortunately, they cage some of them in small enclosures so people can see them. This Orangutan definitely wants to get out into the jungle.

If at all possible, go to Ragunan Zoo during the week. Weekends are very crowded with Indonesian families having a well deserved day out with the kids.

Ragunan Zoo Jakarta
Weekends are busy!

Ragunan is a great day out with friends and family. You can relax and stroll quietly through the gardens, or if you have children, there are a lot of things they’ll like. There’s a circus, boat rides, children’s zoo, and playground. Don’t worry about taking anything to eat or drink – there is an abundance of traditional foods and refreshments available. You might want an umbrella though – depending on the time of year, a afternoon downpour might be possible.

For more information about Ragunan Zoo, check their website, and map.

Taxi fare from Central Jakarta is around Rp.60,000. Admission is Rp.4,000, plus an additional Rp.5,000 for the Schmutzer Primate Center.