Saturday, June 27, 2015

First glimpse of Jakarta and Puncak

I'm moving roles soon and travel is back on the agenda. Hooray for the wanderer in me!

I actually already went on my first trip for my new role. It was a hectic 3 days visiting Jakarta, which I have never visited before. The only times I've visited the country was a trip to Bali around 10 years ago, and a short trip to Batam when we lived in Singapore.

Here are some of my first impressions:

1. All the horror stories you hear about the traffic is true. And this is already coming from me, who normally travels an hour and a half or two hours to get to work because of the bad traffic in Manila. Jakarta's traffic can beat ours hands down, and for that I am thankful (in a way) that I live here.
If we didn't have a Police escort, we would never get to where we're going.

2. When you're given something to eat, just eat first and ask later. Hahaha.

The best meal I had in Indonesia, was the satay from this place along the highway in Puncak.
When we arrived, the restaurant was empty, satay was on the table,
served with sides of peanut satay sauce and Bango, the thick sweet soy sauce,
with chili and tomatoes, and the freshly cooked satay kept on coming.
It was so good, I swear, I ate 11 sticks! I counted. They even served really tasty soup with clear broth and what looked like meat ribs. It was only after eating did Karl tell me I was eating goat which we call kambing in the Philippines, a lot of people- me included, don't really eat goat, but anyway it's a relative of lamb, and it was so good. In fact, when one of our Indonesian colleagues asked if I would have eaten it if I knew what it was, I wholeheartedly said yes! Hahaha.

I just find it a bit too visual to see the goat hanging
upside down and knowing that this is where the satay
came from, and I had the missing ribs in my soup.
Good thing I noticed it only on our way out.

The arrangements were so well made, that the restaurant only started accepting customers when we were done eating, because they wanted to make sure there was enough freshly cooked satay to serve our big group.

3. Puncak, which means Peak, a province in West Java is a popular getaway due to the mountain scenery and cooler climate. I think they also have Tea Plantations you can visit nearby, but we weren't able to join that activity because we had to fly back. Travel time from Jakarta is 2 hours without traffic, but because traffic is very real, we actually allotted 5 hours travel time to make sure we caught our flight back with no problem. 

We stayed at the Pesona Alam Resort and Spa, but because we were there for a workshop, we didn't really get to explore the resort that much. However, the view was still very beautiful.

The Lobby

View from my room
I needed the coffee to power me up for 7am Zumba!

View from the field where the 7am Zumba was held
All in a day's work! How come no one told me about the 7am Zumba?!?
4. In my 3 days in Indonesia, I haven't figured out yet what to shop for, so we settled for Indomie! Just give me time, I'm sure I'll figure it out.
Indomie is the popular Instant Noodles brand.
For the next trip, I wouldn't mind stocking up on some of my new discoveries. 
Lychee flavored water that's very refreshing.
Biskies, which I got for free with every minimum spend from AlfaMidi.
It's a savoury biscuit sandwich with chocolate filling, perfect for those who
enjoy eating salty and sweet things together.
That was my first 3 days in Indonesia. Well, actually just one, since we actually spent 2 days of it in transit so I'm looking forward to getting to know this place more. just saying.

Thanks Karl for the great Indonesian adventure!

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