Jakarta Warnings and Dangers
As one of the largest cities in the world, Jakarta has its own series of potential dangers you need to know about before making your way to the capital city of Indonesia.
Avoid Traveler’s Checks
Back in the day, one of the best ways to travel to a country was with the American Express Traveler’s Checks. That no longer is the case. Attempting to cash these traveler’s checks is often problematic. Only major bank locations will accept these checks, so smaller branches will likely not take them (because there has been a problem with counterfeiting so banks no longer accept them). If you do have these checks, you’ll be better off trying to cash them inside of the airport. Some travel agents may take the checks and a few other locations can accept these, but you’ll probably be charged a big fee. Instead, just use your debit or credit card.
There are all sorts of taxi scams and problems you’ll encounter. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to avoid a few of these. However, if you are mindful of what is going on, you can greatly reduce your chance of such a problem.
For starters, never take a taxi that doesn’t use a meter. If someone tries to quote you a price you need to avoid it. They will quote you a price far above what it should cost. Even if you negotiate him down, you’ll still overpay.
Other problems includes taxi drivers rigging the meters so you pay more. This isn’t as common but it still happens. To avoid this you’ll want to hail a taxi that looks reliable. If it looks like a fake cab (it just doesn’t match the rest) than avoid it. Most of the major taxi companies are regulated so if you get in authentic looking cabs you should be alright. If you have your hotel hail a cab that will work as well.
Always Have Your ID
Now, as a tourist you’ll likely always have your ID with you anyway, but this is just an extra reminder. There are often roadblocks around town for various reasons and IDs may be checked. Make sure to have your passport. You can have your driver’s license and this may work, or you may run into a police officer who wants something more. Also, make sure you have a photocopy of your passport kept somewhere in your luggage. This way, should something happen to your passport you can go to your national embassy in Jakarta and have a replacement expedited. Emergency passports are available and work for 24 hours if you are flying out within this time. If not, the expedited passport should only take a few days.
In such a huge city, traffic is crazy. Even if you have a crosswalk in your favor, watch out and pay attention. It isn’t unheard of for a pedestrian to be hit and injured because a driver wasn’t paying attention.