Hello Friends from all over Asia and maybe also all over the world! We like to welcome you to Indonesia, especially for you who specifically come to watch the Asian Games 2018 competition in Jakarta and Palembang. You might already done some research about our country, and maybe also about our cities, but here we would like to give you some guide and survival tips while you are in here. Of course tips that we are about to mention here is tips that are tech related, especially recommendation of mobile apps that might be useful for you, and some guide to live in a smart way with your smartphone while attending Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. Anyway, i can only give general guide for you regarding Jakarta city, since i live here in Jakarta. But some tips might also useful and still relevant for Palembang as well.
This is one most important part before we talk about other things. You have a smartphone, but it's useless if it's not connecting to the internet. You have 2 options here.
- Buy a local SIM Card, then use it for your smartphone.
- Buy a Mobile Modem so you can connect not only from 1 smartphone, but even more on other devices such laptop, tablet, and you can also share it with your friends.
Why bother buy a SIM Card, i suggest for you just buy a mobile modem instead. A good mobile modem i would like to recommend is Smartfren. How to get it? You might be able to find it on some stores, but you can easily find it on Roxy Mas 1st floor, it's a building that well known of having stores selling tech devices such smartphones and anything related. You can look for Smartfren official store on 2nd floor. It might cost you around USD40, but you can use it at least for 1 month with around 10GB data.
Now that you can connect to the mother of internet, let's talk about how to move from place to places, Transportation!
Jakarta is well known as a city that have terrible traffic and public transportation. Our MRT will run on 2019, which means it's not ready for Asian Games 2018. But we have TransJakarta (Bus) and Commuter Line (City Train) that you might still can use.
Our TransJakarta is copying the Bus Rapid Transit system from Bogota, Columbia. To access the TransJakarta bus, you need to climb up the stairs in order to get to the Bus Stop (Halte). Of course this is not a friendly way for elders, children, and also people with disabilities. But if you feel fine with the effort to climb stairs everytime you want to take the bus, you can use TransJakarta.
We also have a city train that called Commuter Line. You can find the map here. Commuter Line is not as good as MRT in Singapore, but it's a real good choice if you need to travel far from the city to suburb area.
Now, how to pay to be able to use TransJakarta and Commuter Line? You need to have an e-Money Card. There are several other local Banks that release their own version of digital transaction with card, but maybe i just recommend you e-Money that release by Bank Mandiri. You can get it on many local minimarket, Indomaret or AlfaMart. You can ask the cashier to give you e-Money, and ask them to topup your e-Money with some amount of money so you can use it.
Indomaret or AlfaMart is sort of our Indonesian version of 7-eleven store, that sell many daily stuffs you need. So if you don't bring with you soap, shampoo, tissue, mineral water, etc, don't worry, you can easily find it on Indomaret or AlfaMart.
Go-Jek & Grab
If you are a person that's not comfortable with our local public transportation, you might want to consider to use our local version of Uber, that called Go-Jek, or Grab. Go-Jek is local Indonesia tech startup, while Grab is from Malaysia. Both is quite strong here, i mean they both have many drivers as partner. So choosing either Go-Jek or Grab is just fine and feel the same for me. You can also pay both with cash. Using the bike is much cheaper than using the car. Car is more comfortable, you might want to use it if you are traveling in a group. But if you need faster transport to slip over the traffic, bike should be a good choice. If you already have Grab app installed on your smartphone, you should be able to use that same app here.
Food & Store Directory
We have many interesting street food here that you can explore with Foursquare app. If you need to look for restaurant recommendations, i can suggest Zomato, Nibble, and Qraved. Jakarta also have tons of shopping malls, that have many popular store tenants such as Starbucks, Burger King, KFC, etc. To explore stores inside shopping malls, you can use Spotpunch, a mall directory app that is available in iOS and also Android. With Spotpunch, you can choose which shopping mall that you are in, then you can easily find information such on which floor the store that you are searching is located. With Spotpunch, you can also explore stores inside shopping malls by categories. Don't forget to mention Google Map app that is very much reliable here.
But if you feel too lazy to explore and move around. Don't worry, you can also order food with Go-Food, it's a feature that you can access also with Go-Jek App. And you can pay with cash to the bikers later. But please make a valid order, don't fool the bikers, because they use their own money to buy you your order initially.
I think that's all that i can add for my recommendation for now. I might add more later. Enjoy your vacation here for Asian Games 2018, Energy of Asia!