Jakarta, Indonesia Report of what it's like to live there - 06/01/15

Personal Experiences from Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia 06/01/15

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

First time living as an expat for an extended period of time.

View All Answers


2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

DC. Trip is brutally long. Expect around 24 hours from the time you leave to the airport until the time you arrive at your new home.

View All Answers


3. How long have you lived here?

2013-2015

View All Answers


4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Government

View All Answers


Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

View All Answers


2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Groceries are more expensive for imported items.

View All Answers


3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

View All Answers


4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Jakarta has all the fast food chains. Dining out is cheap.

View All Answers


5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

Mosquitos are more than just a nuisance. They carry dengue fever so be careful.

View All Answers


Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

View All Answers


2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Cheap. Seems to be widely available.

View All Answers


3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

View All Answers


4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

View All Answers


5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

View All Answers


6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You don't need it but it can really help sometimes.

View All Answers


7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

View All Answers


Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Taxis only. Stick with Bluebird, Silverbird, or Express. I don't know anyone that takes buses. Trains to other cities in Indonesia are OK. Jakarta is currently in the process of building a subway system but it's anyone's guess as to when it will be completed

View All Answers


2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

View All Answers


Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

View All Answers


2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

View All Answers


Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

Yes they do.

View All Answers


Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

View All Answers


2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Seems to be opportunities to volunteer with local children etc.

View All Answers


3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Batik shirts help you stay cool and are still considered formal wear.

View All Answers


Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

View All Answers


2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Lots of Gastro-intestinal issues, food poisoning. Dengue is a concern.

View All Answers


3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

very unhealthy. Indonesians smoke everywhere including indoors. Sinus issues exacerbated.

View All Answers


4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Hot and humid everyday of the year.

View All Answers


Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

View All Answers


2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

View All Answers


3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

View All Answers


4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

View All Answers


Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Varies.

View All Answers


2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Movies, the mall, going out to eat, swimming, getting massages.

View All Answers


3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

There is a very active nightlife scene in Jakarta. Bars, Restaurants, nightclubs. Men will have no problem dating locally, not sure about women. There is an active internations (expat organization) scene that hosts events and a decent expat community. Not a bad place for singles.

Couples will enjoy going out to restaurants and taking excursions outside of the city. Lots of other expat families as well.

View All Answers


4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

View All Answers


5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

View All Answers


6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

Friendly people. Great beaches. Relatively cheap restaurants/shopping/massages. Easy access to other Southeast Asian destinations

View All Answers


7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

You can take a train to Bogor and see the botanical gardens which are not really that special but are a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta. A weekend trip to Singapore is really easy. Flying to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, other Southeast Asian destinations. Thousand Islands are only a 1-2 hour boat ride from Jakarta if you want a mini beach vacation. Bali is always an option as are other island options.

View All Answers


8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Batik shirts, wood-craft.

View All Answers


9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Jakarta has lots of nice restaurants, lots of nightlife. Indonesians are friendly. You can travel pretty easily to other Southeast Asian countries (if you can deal with the traffic on the way to the airport.)

View All Answers


10. Can you save money?

Yes.

View All Answers


Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

How hard it is to spend time outdoors in Jakarta. Lack of sidewalks, lack of green space, horrendous traffic.

View All Answers


2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Probably not. It was ok but I have no desire to go back to Jakarta. Too crowded, horrendous traffic, and air quality was not good. It did serve as a good point to explore other parts of the region though.

View All Answers


3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Winter clothes, expectations of clean, fresh air.

View All Answers


4. But don't forget your:

Sunscreen, E-reader so you have something to do while you're sitting in traffic.

View All Answers


5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

Jalanan

View All Answers


Subscribe to our newsletter


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More