Got a little bit of an awakening to the real south east asia today when I travelkled to Jakarta. A little time and cost comparison of travelling between airports and hotels gives a pretty good indication, and note that these prices are not adjusted for purchase power parity.
Time and cost from Prince of Wales Hostel to terminal at Changi Airport Singapore: 45 min and about SGD $2.5 for the train ticket.
Time and cost from Changi airport Singapore to Soekharno airport Jakarta: 1 hr 30 min, SGD $100 for plane ticket.
Time and cost from Soekharo airport – Jl Jaksa backpacker area, including customers clearance: 3 hrs and $100 SGD for return plane ticket so I could get through customs that hopefully wont be used and actually only costs $40 SGD if bought direct. 100,000 IRP (AUD $10) for an hour of internet access to work out where I was going to stay, 250,000 IRP (AUD $25) for storage of 20kg of bags at the airport for 10 days. 200,000 IRP (AUD $20) for two taxis between the airport, the city and Jl Jaksa. All up that was $155 AUD.
Now compare the airport prices to the cost of living in Jakarta:
750ml bottle of Bintang at a back-packer restaurant: 30,000 IRP / $3 AUD
1 Nights private back-packer accomodation with fan and ensuite bathroom : 80,000 IRP / $8 AUD
Beef curry with vegies, rice and tea: 25,000 IRP / $2.5 AUD
1hr Head, neck and shoulder massage with complimentary hair wash to ease the hang-over: 40,000 IRP / $4 AUD.
So, initial impact of Jakarta was not favourable. But since arriving in Jl Jaksa, it has improved immeasurably. The people are very friendly and the locals like to come and hang out with the back-packers, which is very refreshing compared to Singapore.
Made some good friends already and the self-esteem doesn’t mind the way the girls giggle and hide their faces behind their hands whenever I smile at them. So, needless to say last night was a bit of a big night, didn’t get to bed until 3:30am and the locals wanted to keep partying! Tonight might need to be a bit of a quiet one.
Internet access is a bit more difficult here since it is not available in my hostel, but there is still plenty of options for access.