Jakarta is an enormous city and usually isn’t high on a Western traveler’s To-Do list when visiting Southeast Asia. Even though it may not have pristine beaches like other parts of the area, there are still parts of Jakarta that are rich in interesting history and worth a visit.
Just to give you an idea of the behemoth that is Jakarta, it currently ranks as the 2nd largest metro area in the world with 30+ million inhabitants:
That being said, a trip to Jakarta can be as brief as you want to make it — we stayed for 2 nights as part of a stopover from Bali to Singapore and felt that we amply covered the highlights.
1. START: We [...]
Our impression of the Keraton started long before we stepped foot in the hotel. Admittedly a bit wary about spending the next few days in Jakarta (thanks to our friendly hotel owner in Bali!), I was a bit on edge as we arrived at the airport — where we were the only tourists around. My thoughts of dread quickly turned around, though, when we were met with a hotel representative at baggage claim with our name and the Keraton logo on an iPad. He grabbed our luggage and escorted us out of the airport.
We came upon a huge fleet of Mercedes Kompressors and we jumped in one with chilled towels (with the Keraton logo) and a small [...]
Air Asia QZ 7529 Dept: Bali (DPS) 3:35 pm Arrv: Jakarta (CGK) 4:15 pm
We knew we needed to fly fro Bali to Jakarta for weeks (if not months), but for whatever reason never booked a flight. We were partly putting it off having heard not-so-great things about Jakarta and I guess we were a little nervous to go. In fact, up until the day before our flight, we were still deciding whether we should extend our stay in Bali/Ubud or fly to Singapore early or bite the bullet and go to Jakarta. We finally ended up booking our Air Asia flight the day before departure for $156.67 USD total (for the two of us).
We knew before we ever left the US that we wanted to do a bike tour of Ubud. I’d done a bike tour of Tuscany when I studied abroad and it was one of my favorite memories from my time, so I was really looking forward to learning more about the area in Ubud with a long bike tour. Plus, what’s more romantic than a bike ride through the rice paddies on your honeymoon? Many tours were advertised for appx $30, leaving at 7 or 8am and returning by 2pm, so we knew it wouldn’t be hard to do once we arrived.
As luck would have it, we were chatting with the Swiss owner of our hotel (Villa Semana) upon arrival and he very kindly [...]
We were having the best time just hanging around our hotel (W Retreat & Spa Bali) during the first part of our honeymoon, but finally felt like we should venture out and explore more of the island. After speaking with the hotel concierge about how to best leave the property and see some cool sights in the area, we settled on hiring a car and driver by the hour. The W had a few prescribed routes for sightseeing, but the beauty of being able to rent a car + driver is that you can easily custom tailor it to what makes sense for you.
We weighed our options and ultimately decided to leave in the morning to visit the temples Tanah Lot and then Taman Ayun –with a few more [...]
Everything about the W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak was fun, lively and the perfect place to begin our honeymoon. As I’ve covered in a previous post about the hotel (you can read it here), our very own pool villa was everything I always wanted in a honeymoon + more.
But, when we ventured away from the private pool and quiet oasis of our villa, the rest of the W always had a lot going on and plenty to experience. There was always a lively party, plenty of Balinese culture to take in and rum drinks overflowing by the pool – no matter what time of day or night. Much of the crowd was always gathered at one of the two on-site restaurants, so this post will [...]
Stop One on our honeymoon was Bali, Indonesia and stop one of our Bali trip was a few days’ stay at the W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak. Prior to our arrival, we had flown from Charleston – NYC, NYC – Frankfurt, Germany, Frankfurt-Bangkok, then finally Bangkok-Denpasar, Bali — arriving in Bali two days after departure. Tired doesn’t even begin to describe us.
But, upon arrival at the W, our excitement quickly took over and we couldn’t wait to explore the grounds and get to our private pool villa (say what?!) ASAP. I have always loved the fun, quirky atmosphere at W Hotels, but this W blew the others away by a long shot. Everything was done [...]
Fresh off of multiple amazing flights (Lufthansa Boeing 747 First Class and Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class), numerous world class lounge experiences (Lufthansa First Class Lounge – New York and Lufthansa First Class Lounge – Frankfurt) and, most recently, a full spa and massage experience at the Bangkok lounge (Thai Airways Royal First Lounge and Royal Orchid Spa – Bangkok), we had been traveling for about 54 hours so far and were getting ready to reach our (first) final destination of Bali, Indonesia. That being said, we weren’t entirely “over it” by this point, but getting pretty close, so, when the time came to board, we were more than ready to embark on our [...]