Sunday, 22 January 2012

Cost of Living Jakarta 2012

I have updated this information and it can be found here... or click the picture below.

Thank you

Friday, 13 January 2012

Useful Information Jakarta and Indonesia

Below are a fair few websites I have put together to help find things across Indonesia and Jakarta if you are searching for information.
I have provided links direct to websites or to other sites such as wikipedia and you can go from there. The list also is not an complete list as, well, that's what Google is for but this should help you with some information I am sure.

Diplomatic Missions
Visa Rules
TV Satelite
Driving in Indonesia
Phone Networks
Guide Books
Tourist Information

I hope some of it helps

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Years Eve Bali

Yep, another blog about Bali. This time New Years Eve. I can promise you this for 2012, there will be at least 2 more posts regarding my adventures on the Island of the Gods.

This year, I decided to spend the New Year in Indonesia but not in Jakarta, as I have already done that and so to keep everyone happy, Bali.
We flew on the Friday with Air Asia (click here for that story), stayed at the Masa Inn in Poppies 1 for 2 nights (click here for that post) and had a thoroughly good time.

Currently Bali Airport is undergoing a huge redevelopment. This means everything is going to change. So walking out of domestic departures, everything has changed in appearance, lots of white fencing and limited signs and the inability to turn right. So we followed the throngs of other people and headed towards the international terminal. We were looking for our driver as we had pre-booked a car for the rest of the day. Eventually we found the driver and had to walk through the international departure and arrival area into the only pick up and drop off zone, which was unsurprisingly total chaos with security guards blowing whistles to prevent people from stopping, which they did, regardless of whistles. Tourists, touts, sellers, taxis, guards and god knows who else all milling around to either get in or out of the airport.
I consider myself lucky as the taxi queues for both domestic and international where huge and seemed never ending. Anyway, we eventually got into the car and headed to the hotel to check in quickly and then off out again. We landed at 1.05 and got to the hotel at 2. Traffic and the airport slowed us down.

We were going to meet some old friends of mine from England who I had not seen for over 5 years. They were staying in Kuta as well. They had been travelling through Australia and New Zealand and were spending their last 3 weeks of their travels holed up in a 5 star hotel resort in Kuta.  The Ramayana. Very nice it is too.

After meeting and greeting we whisked them off into the traffic where stayed still for a while and then moved out of Kuta and head to the Rock Bar at the Ayana Resort in Jimbaran. The Rock Bar is simply lovely, and well placed to enjoy an afternoon and early evening of gazing across the sea and to watch the sun set. We arrived before 4pm with the idea that it would not be crowded like the last time we visited in November. How wrong we were. The queue was already 30 people long and so by the time we got to go down to the bar itself it was 5.30pm. Cloudy and warm, the place was great. Cold beer and good company, we watched the sun set and enjoyed our time there immensely.

The mountains were visible in the east and the sunset in west made for a beautiful view all round.

By the time we left it was already dark and so we headed back into Kuta at a snails pace. The traffic itself was either crawling along or a dead stop. I have seen Kuta loaded with traffic but this was the worse yet, I guess it being at New Year, it did not help things along.

The next day after a sleep in, big breakfast at Swell in Poppies 1 and then coffee in Starbucks Kuta Bex, we headed to meet our friends again. Mark and Jeanette at their hotel and then spend the day with them. We sat about in the Ramayana Hotel and it was truely a nice place to stay. Clearly out of reach of our budget but nice none the less.
Having been asked what our plans were for New Years Eve, Mark and Jeanette presented us (Yovita and I) with free tickets to the Hotels New Years Eves party, free cocktails on the beach, all you can eat Buffet and midnight cocktails  which was a complete surprise and a really nice thing to do. We said yes.
Heading out of the hotel we ended up in a bar for some lunch time beer at the Discovery mall before walking back to Kuta beach in the rain and arranging to meet later.

It had started to rain and managed to keep raining all afternoon, which was OK as we were in our hotels taking it easy. We had agreed to meet Mark and Jeanette at 6 in order to get on with the free cocktails and so umbrella up we headed from the Masa Inn and off for a night of great fun.
At the Ramayana, we met up and then we were escorted through the traffic and then to the beach where the hotel had fenced off some of the beach, put up some tents and handed out free cocktails.The rain had stopped and the event was very nice. It ended with a traditional Balinese dance of some sort which well was ok, if a little baffling to watch.

The view again of the mountains was fantastic, I have never seen them so clear before and the sunset and creases in the clouds also was interesting to me, perhaps one too many cocktails before dinner!

The Balinese Dance was again a very strange affair with the men all chanting and waving their hands. The women were beautifully made up and looked amazing. The monkey god looked fairly annoyed and so the tradition dance continued until someone killed the evil god and cheered. Then we went back to the hotel in a big swathe of western tourists, like some great big bule parade, watched by the locals in bemusement and probably huge amusement.

Back at the hotel we were crammed into lots of round tables, each with a waiter or waitress and we got on with the hat wearing and eating. The food was amazing, lots of fresh seafood, salads, fruits, meats, veg and so much of it, The queue for the food seemed  never ending  but the quality was fantastic. I gorged on quality beef, huge prawns and crabs, pork, satay, oxtail. The deserts were equally good. And so after about 2 hours of eating and ignoring the cabaret show and power outages we decided to head to the beach to see the new year in.

Well all I can say about that was. WOW.Getting to the beach was fairly simple, however on the beach was thousands of people milling about as the biggest and wildest firework show went on over and around us. It seemed everyone had fireworks and wanted to be better than the person stood next to him or her. There was in the distance professional firework displays which were amazing but the locals and their desire to light up the sky was simply better. We stood in the same spot for 2 hours watching the fireworks of all shapes and sizes go off around us. The noise and lights and colours was tremendous.

 Whilst the fireworks were amazing so was the light show from the mobile phones!!! As everyone was videoing the event. We all got carried away that we missed the announcement for new year as the beach erupted into what seemed a war zone with the amount of fireworks being let off in huge quantities everywhere.

Eventually we left the beach and then fought our way home to sleep off the nights entertainment. From the main shopping street at Kuta, past Hard Rock to Kuta Bex and then up Poppies 1 was awash with revelers and party goers. It took an hour to get through the streets to the hotel.
As new years go it was different, sober but most enjoyable and with fantastic company  made the evening and seeing in 2012 so much better. So thank you for that.

If you want to sample some of the fireworks and noise they produce, the clip below is just 30 seconds of the 4 hour plus marathon of fireworks on Kuta beach.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Air Asia Bali

I do go on a bit about Air Asia now that everyone can fly, I suppose I want to moan a bit about them but also praise them and then again explain how bizarre I still find flying with them is.
I have just returned from Bali where I celebrated New Year with my fiancee and some good friends from England.

For a change we took the 10am flight out as it was a nicer time to go and the last flight out of Bali (10.55pm) to Jakarta as it was the best option to enjoy another day in Bali.

However, despite these flight times we were sent SMS's informing us to be at the airport and ready for checking in 3 hours before we were due to fly, ie. 7am and 8pm. Great.

So we took the easier option of online check in and getting our boarding passes, which I must say is a great thing to do as it cuts all the hassle out of the airport. All you have to do is follow the instructions online, have a printer available to print your boarding passes and hey presto! you are checked in and ready to fly. We checked in for both the flight to Bali and the return on the same day.

The seats allocated again were bizarre as we purchased the tickets together. We were allocated 'hot seats' or seats at the front of the plane on the way out but not sitting together and on the way back, we were allocated seats right at the back of the plane but together.

So you arrive at T3, Jakarta airport and after showing security your boarding pass outside the terminal you are allowed in and then ignoring anything to do with checking in, proceed via starbucks for 1.5 hours to the departure lounge where at last you pay your 40,000 rupiah airport tax, show some id and get checked in.
Thats it. You are then free to board the flight when it gets called.
This flight was earlyish so we boarded early and then took off late due to the amount of flights taking off at once.

During the flight the pilot wished some one a happy birthday just before the usual notice about drugs and the death penalty, lovely.

Getting off the plane at Bali we were all directed to transit as there was no one really bothering to show anyone the way, so I just ignored them all and headed to the door I am familiar with, walked through arrivals and out into Bali Airport, which I will save for another post.

Bali was great.

Again at some point during our stay in Bali an SMS arrived telling us to be at the airport 3 hours before the flight leaves. Now as we had already checked in, I was not sure whether that necessary still we headed through the traffic to the airport and arrived there at 8pm.
We went to the check in desk but they did not want to know as we had boarding passes and so we on through to the departure lounge.

Being Air Asia, you expect delays. The website in the day said everything was on time, but that was clearly just a lie.
The flight to Bandung was late to take off and we were told at some point around 10pm that our flight was delayed and we would not depart until 11.30pm. Great.

Eventually we saw the Air Asia ground crew setting things up and then were told that we would board in the next 10 minutes, so we got up and queued. When we went to board,  no one took a look at id's and so we were  just let on to the plane, some armed with 3 or 4 pieces of luggage and the scramble for storage space began.
The flight on the way back was very bumpy but the usual. Crammed into tiny seats for just over an hour and trying to sleep while the plane jumped and rolled through the clouds and storms around Java.

Instead of going to the Air Asia terminal where all the other Air Asia planes were, we had to get off at T2 and the walk through some of the terminal, down some stairs and then stuffed into as few buses as possible and then taken to T3 and let off and out into Jakarta.

I should comment, when we were getting off the flight, the cabin crew clearly had to be somewhere and were already off the plane and away. I saw some of them in T3 walking out to transport before the passengers.

So another great flight and fun time with Air Asia. I cant wait for my next flight with them, I going from Bandung.... Should be great

Monday, 2 January 2012

Galaxy 10.1 Crashes

So, there I was happily using my tab for the use it was designed for; killing pigs with eggs, updating 4square and reading the news when for some and unknown reason it died. Simply froze and then went blank, no power, no life, nothing.
Sat in the departure lounge of an airport waiting to fly off for a holiday did not leave me that impressed,, not in the slightest.
So after a few deep breathes, I went to my phone and did some online searches and hey presto, I eventually got it back working again and it is now as good as ever and a lesson has been learnt, which is nice :)

Here are 10 things not to do to get it working (as I tried them all and none worked)

  1. shaking it
  2. dropping it
  3. stroking it nicely, its not a cat
  4. shouting at it
  5. looking at it with forlorn
  6. crying
  7. generally looking pissed off with the world and yourself
  8. repeatedly pressing the 3 buttons (volume and on/off) in sheer desperation
  9. removing the sim card and then replacing it
  10. being sad
Instead, try these things, but do so at your own risk and with out blaming me if things get worse
  1. do try to switch it back on, if that does not work, then leave it a while a try again
  2. plug in the charger to see if the screen will show a charging battery, if not don't despair
  3. hold the power key and the + volume button, this might get the start up screen, if it does, you are off
  4. hold the power key and  the - volume button, this might get the start up screen if it does, you are off
  5. hold the power key down and press the screen (at the same time) for between 8 and 30 seconds and that might restart your tab
  6. Search the net for 'reset galaxy tab 10.1' and follow the advice there.
If your tab asks for a factory reset, this means it will wipe all your SD cards memory. Think wisely before you say yes to that. Also I have no idea if this works for any other type of tab so I would direct you to point 6 because the information I have provided is for the 10.1 tab only. 

Option 5 worked for me. I never had to factory reset so I was lucky.

Just saying