On our second day in Indonesia, we stayed in Jakarta. Tony had secured us a private driver for the day to take us wherever we wanted to go. I think it was only about 540,000Rup, but we gave him 600,000Rup (about $60). The first thing we did was go to Taman Mini. I LOVED Taman Mini and think it’s definately worth going to more than once; there is SOOO much to see and do!. Taman Mini is basically a little park that feels like a run-down Disneyland. It has a sample of all the different types of traditional houses on the different islands in Indonesia. In case you’re not familiar with it, Indonesia has more than 12,000 islands and Taman Mini has lifesized samples of 26 different types of traditional houses and buildings. There are also examples of the places of worship of the 6 most common religions in the country. We saw most of the houses, the places of worship but didn’t visit any of the museums. We did visit the flower garden and the orchid garden; those had an additional entrance fee (about 2000-3000Rup each).
It has a monorail–yes a monorail. There was also a sky lift that went over the park. They were kind of scary though. I don’t think you could have PAID me to go on a third world skylift. The other cool thing that it had was a lake with grassy islands in the shape of the whole region of Indonesia. There were the little swan-boat things that you can peddle around the lake, but 1/2 of them were sunk. It’s pretty big and HOT! We were dying of heat, thirst, and hunger by the time we got 1/2 way around the park.
The buildings were awesome and we got lots of pictures of the temples and in the flower garden. Unfortunately our camera died about 1/2 way around the park in the Orchid garden so we didn’t get as many pictures as we’d wanted.
Tony warned us before we entered that people would want to take pictures of us. After about 2 hours in the park I had visions of keeping a journal a la Bridget Jones except that instead of cigs and drinks, # of pictures posed for :). It was field trip day and so there were swams of little Indonesian kids everywhere. They were adorable and all of them either wanted pictures or followed us around. We did get pictures with the last 2-3 groups we posed it. Very cute. We got asked a few more times after that but only 2-3 more times.
We decided to leave the park and grab lunch and try to find either a new battery & charger for my camera, or lacking that, a new camera. We went to a mall and even THAT was a different experience. They were all identically sized little cubes and all the inventory was sampled in the windows and boxes were stacked EVERYWHERE within the store. No such thing as a storeroom; at least not in that mall. We were unable to find a battery without it taking a week to arrive so we had to buy a new camera. We ended up buying a Kodak Easy Share & some SD ram. Our other 2 cameras use compact flash and they don’t make cameras that use that anymore–at least none that were on sale in Indonesia.
TRAVEL TIP – bring a digital camera that takes AA batteries. You can buy them almost everywhere.
We ate lunch at the mall and our guide about had a coronary when he saw the bill. It was about 340,000Rup — since that’s only 35 bucks it didn’t phase us — for 3 people in America that’s about the norm. It was apparantly about 1/2 of his daily wage–we found that bit out later.
We went to the craft fair at the convention center next. We saw an example of many of the types of crafts but saw a lot of furniture, clothing and other things too. Most of the stuff we purchased on our travels, we did not see at the craft show and what we did see was cheaper at the source. We did get one awesome piece of art made of rice paper.
On the way to the convention center saw the goat. Actually, I think we saw a few of them before we realized why he was there. It was the lawnmower. The funniest thing I saw, though, was the driving range. The ball collection device was not a machine, like in the states, but a man holding an umbrella. Yes, an umbrella was all there was protecting him from incoming golf balls. Yes, he was doing that WHILE they were still driving. It’s a good thing they don’t do that in the states. I always aim for the ball collector at home and he’s protected by a cage :).
The other things we did that day were fairly uneventful; eat, pack, sleep.
Day 3 – Bali (AKA Paradise)