Mention Jakarta and these words automatically pop up: traffic congestion.
Jakarta’s gridlocked streets are infamous amongst locals and travellers alike. The city is a fascinating one, but the humdrum of car horns and congested streets make for a somewhat monotonous industrial-like pace that is less than ideal. A day or two in the city is great, but what makes it even better is all the day trips you can take out of Indonesia’s capital city. Holidaymakers love to make Jakarta their base for travel, and head to the great outdoors.
To escape the maddening traffic, head for the hills (or the sea!) for a scenic adventure with one of these easy day trips out of Jakarta’s city centre.
Visit the “Paris of Indonesia”, Bandung
During its Dutch colonial days (1800 to 1942), Bandung was dubbed the “Paris of Indonesia”. Its striking Art Deco buildings were famed for being the social cluster for the wealthy and has now turned into a thriving shopping, cafe and art scene. The city also lies on a river basin surrounded by volcanic mountains, which makes the climate cool and fresh compared to Jakarta. For a taste of the city without the traffic, head to Bandung instead.
How to get there: There are many bus options that can take you to Bandung, but we recommend the bus route from Pulogadung Jakarta Station. The Patriot bus leaves every hour from five in the morning to seven in the evening and will take about three hours. Alternatively, take a train from Gambir Train Station for scenic views, which will take about three hours as well.
Stop by hilly Puncak
Puncak, situated about 1500 metres above sea level, is a popular weekend getaway for locals and holidaymakers. The hilly resort town is home to the volcanic peaks of Gede and Salak, and many choose to stroll through the 85-hectare Cibodas Botanical Garden while they’re here. During the season, come by for a bit of strawberry picking, or take in the views of the vast tea plantations here. Those who enjoy a bit of a challenge also like to visit Puncak for its paragliding experience, complete with expansive views of the area.
How to get there: Puncak, although beautiful, is hard to get to without a car. Experienced drivers may take the long toll highway and exit at Ciawi, and private van hires are common among tourists too. The journey will take about two and a half hours one way.
Spend time at the beaches in Banten
Banten’s landscape is unlike other destinations in West Java. Here, the hills are replaced by stunning beaches that seem to transport travellers to a completely different country altogether. Pantai Carita Anyer is a popular beach, but for an off-the-beaten-track experience, pay a visit to the pristine sands of Tanjung Lesung and Sawarna. After the beach, head to the famous Ujung Kulon National Park, home to exotic wildlife like the Javan rhino.
How to get there: Take a 15-minute bus ride from Gatot Subroto LIPI to Latumenten and walk to the Grogol train station. There, take a 30-minute train ride to Tangerang. Alternatively, take a train from Manggarai station to Batu Cepar station, and transfer lines to Tangerang station. This route will take about an hour.
Traverse through Bogor
Bogor, a city south of Jakarta, is a humid location popular for its plants and food. The rainy climate makes it ideal for the thousands of plant species in the Kebun Raya Bogor botanic garden. The grounds were founded in 1817 by the Dutch colonial government and is also host to the neoclassical Bogor Palace and the Bogor Zoology Museum. When you’re feeling peckish, stop by the area of Taman Kencana in Central Bogor. Crowd favourite restaurants include Kedai Kita, a diner famed for their barbeque grilled pizza.
How to get there: Take the train from Tanahabang or Jakarta Kota to Bogor Station. The journey should take about an hour and a half.
Take in the serenity at Situ Gunung Lake
The bustle of Jakarta can be a bit much sometimes, so spending a lazy day somewhere else just doing absolutely nothing is a really a great way to spend the day. Situ Gunung is West Java’s languid destination for busy bees. Here, visitors can just sit by the lakeside and people watch, or go fishing and boating. Those who get bored quickly can spend the afternoon going four kilometres uphill to Curug Sawer, where a cascading waterfall awaits.
How to get there: Take the train from Tanahabang or Jakarta Kota to Bogor Station. Transfer lines to take a train toward Sukabumi and disembark at Cisaat Station. There are plenty of public minivan rentals here for visitors to reach Situ Gunung with ease, and will cost about 10 Singapore dollars per minivan.
Explore the unique Baduy Tribe
It’s hard to imagine that an ancient tribe lives a mere 120 kilometres from the bustling metropolis of Jakarta. The Baduy tribe is an tribe of people who eschew the modern world and live in villages located in the Lebak Regency. Technology doesn’t count here — machines, electricity and vehicles are non-existent here, and people from the tribe use nothing but water from the streams to wash and clean themselves.
How to get there: Take the train to Rangkasbitung from Jakarta’s Tanah Abang station. From here, transit at Aweh Terminal and make your way to Ciboleger Terminal, the entrance gate to Baduy Tribe.