Monday, May 31, 2010

Part 1: What to know about Jakarta and Garuda

As you all know by now, i was invited by Garuda Indonesia to attend the Garuda Indonesia Malaysia inaugural familiarisation trip for bloggers to really get to know abit more about Jakarta as well as the airline itself. So to start the ball rolling, lets get down to business and let me tell you abit more about these two.


I suck at geography. I can still remember the times at school when i could score decent marks across board except for Geography and it was at that time, an official mystery as to why i still managed to get a 50 or 51% (probably for fear of the cane at home).

So it when to comes to arranging holidays particularly in the area for directions, you can see that my holiday destinations involved usually involves alot of homework like my earlier Taiwan trip or no homework like my beach holidays.

As for Jakarta though, i had to google my way through to tell me that:

1. Jakarta is roughly 2.7 times bigger than the city i lived in, Kuala Lumpur but based on population figures at 2008/9, Jakarta has more than 5 times the people living in the city. It goes to easily show how they manage to gain their notorious reputation of having perpetual traffic jam. Always ask the driver for the estimated time it takes to get to point A to B, with "macet" (pronounced as "machet" meaning traffic) because you will find suddenly the trip isn't as near as you think it might be.

[What you would expect to see from out of your car window, 90% of the time]

2. The mainstream language used is Bahasa Indonesia which has similarities with Bahasa Malaysia and if you must know, simple English may get you by, barely just.

3. It is only a 2 hour flight away! That is like driving up to Ipoh for your chicken hor fun.

4. As a food blogger, the local cuisine involves eating alot of rice such as nasi padang, nasi gudeg, nasi bebek goreng ("fried duck") or other peculiar items like Alpokat Juice ("avocado juice with chocolate condensed milk"). Stay tune on that one.

Fortunately, to get around the traffic, the language and guidance to food, our ground transport in Jakarta was all arranged and settled by Bulan Madu (which i would like to sincerely thanks for the warm welcome and reception throughout our stay) and if it was not obvious enough, specially caters for romantic holidays for couples in all parts of Indonesia.

This time around i wouldn't have to plot Point A and B on Googlemap and print booklets of directions before i go.

Garuda Indonesia

[Doesn't look too shabby, does it?]

The national airline for Indonesia, what MAS is to Malaysia is what Garuda is to Indonesia.

When i first posted the status "Free trip from Garuda" on Facebook, immediately i received a remark "is it safe?" It of course prompted me to (surprise, surprise) google about their history to reveal that Garuda had been imposed a ban to fly to Europe due to security reasons. What was of course the more horrific piece of news was that the latest crash was as recent as 2007 where the plane crashed while landing resulting in deaths.

Well i am glad that all is over and parked under history because for one, i survived the trip and with the recent award as most improved airline barely 2 weeks ago and also as a 4 star airline awarded by Skytrax, you are technically in safer hands than AirAsia who has 3 stars, the most frequented airline used for budget travelers like me.

Lo and behold, tickets to Jakarta flying a full service airline like Garuda isn't all that expensive either, try asking the travel agent and a return trip can be yours could very well for around RM500++ inclusive of fuel surcharge and airport taxes. If you are lucky, it might be even cheaper! Quite handy to know especially now is the season to send your indonesian maids back for holidays.

Sound boring so far?

Well wait till you see who my companions are.

From the left;

Isabelle from Garuda Indonesia's Malaysia office, this girl virtually single handedly organised everything from air to ground which caused the tendency to look at us every evening and tell us she needs beer. What is there not to like about a girl who drinks beer?

Thomas Yap from who never fails to be there with his digi camera recording every single funny moment and can rival any girl out there with his cam-whoring skills.

Nicole Tan a.k.a NicoleKiss, one of the big time travel blogger in Malaysia, listen to the around the world adventures makes you feel like the country mouse in the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse story from Aesop Fables. I was holidaying with a celebrity, you hear me?

Niki Cheong a.k.a Bangsar Boy, another CELEBRITY blogger. This guy just appeared on TV, frequently appears on newspaper with his own column (although not as frequent as the Prime Minister, of course). This guy here is hilarious.

Hanis Zalikha, the second runner up of the Malaysian Dream Girl show awhile back and is modelling part time. She has over 18,000 fans on her facebook fan page, a number that only i can drool at? Of course not only that, she was the "chomel" adik for our whole group.

Everyone one of them provided nothing but fun to the trip and i think i could not have asked for more in making friends with them all.

With that formal introduction, i will be kicking off with my food reviews, soon, as soon as i bloody edit and run through a thousand pictures.

Off to sleep, this is more stressing than going to work at a 9-5 job.


Selba said...

Oh.. Nicole is also in the team? I used to be a silent reader in her blog in the old days. One time, she posted about the famous Indonesian chocolate "SilverQueen" which was invented by my grandpa. Funny thing she was referring me as a guy! hehehe....

Life for Beginners said...

Oh man. I remember those Jakarta traffic jams... yikes.

Looks like you got a great bunch for company on this trip. :D

J said...

Hmmm.. Why's almost everyone touching their face/ hair in the group photo?
(Where's that anyway? Looks like tiered padi fields in the background. Cool!)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

j: very windy haha. its paid fields behind it is the bridge used by the trains (no longer in operation though), pretty scenic.

kennymah: a great bunch, if only i can show all the crazy pics n vid we did..

selba: ur grandpa created chocolate?? woooo.. haha at least i know you are a "she"!

Nina Nurziana said...

nice pic ;)

Ivy Isabelle said...

That's nice introduction of everyone! Look forward more post from you..

p/s: I still need a beer *lol*

ai wei said...

cool to have a trip with celebrities!!! waiting for ur coming up posts :)

Niki Cheong said...

I want a beer too :P

And why is my hand in that funny position in the picture?

It was great fun, the trip, no? :)

CUMI & CIKI said...

cannot w8 to see how u write a travel post.. am sure it's gonna be smashing.. :) yay!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

c&c: haha travel posts, here i come!

niki: i think i need a jug..

ai wei: yes big big celebrities!

ivy: wait for happy hour ok..

nina: thanks!

Ivy Isabelle said...

Niki, you look so chomel with your hand up to your ear ;P

yapthomas said...

What? Why am I not touching my hair too? :P hahaha

Let's grab a jug or two sometime next week! Wheeee.... and one glass of Strawberry Shake for our adik... :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

yapthomas: haha that sounds like a fine idea!

ivy: haha i wonder y he did tat ar?..

qwazymonkey said...

So that makes you a celebrity too! :)

Ivy Isabelle said...

Hahaha... that you would have to ask him lol.. so chomellll niki =P

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ivy: haha

jon: no la..just beside the celebrity only

Wilson Ng said...

Go holiday also complain. Sigh.

Mummy Zara Sofea said...

i love Jkt... =)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

mummyzara: its awesome!

wilson: no laaa...

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