My Experience In Indonesia – Part 1

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Indonesia, an archipelago consists of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited) stretching along the equator in South East Asia. The largest islands are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara Islands, Moluccas Islands, and Irian Jaya. Indonesia’s land area is 1,811,831 sq km (699,548 sq mi) with total area of 1,919,440 sq km (741,096 sq mi).

Indonesia has approximately 240 million people make it the world fourth most populous nation. Its capital is called Jakarta located at Java Island, the most populous island in the world with more than 124 million of population.

Due to my job responsibility, I need to travel to Jakarta quite frequently; almost once a month.  I flew in every Monday and back to Singapore every Friday. It sounds normal, until my recent trip to Jakarta weeks ago, one of my colleague in Indonesia asked me a question which stunt me on the spot not knowing how to answer it.

She asked me why I had never extended my stay throughout the weekend? Do I dislike Indonesia as a country or I am not comfortable with our colleagues in Indonesia office? I really don’t know how to answer the question and the question has been running in and out of my thoughts in the past few days.

After giving it a thought again, I am definitely sure that I like our team in Indonesia as what they are. I have no problem working with them; I even treated them as my friends. So, why is it that I never thought of having a short break in Jakarta?

One of the main reasons is the traffic.  The traffic in Jakarta stopped me to spend more time there. I remember during one of my trip, it took me more than 3.5 hours to travel a distance of 15km, the longest I ever had. Of cause, it was partly due to the rains, more importantly I had never experience it elsewhere, not in Bangkok, Manila or Kuala Lumpur. The experience was not good and it was embedded in the deepest place of my memory.  Instead having a short break to relax and recharge, I think I will have more stress than before.

Aside bad traffic, I think the Indonesian’s government has not been actively promoting Indonesia as a tourist spot to the world.  I have been traveling to Jakarta for more than 20 times in the last 2 years, but I know nothing much about the city. Is there any place of interest? Any historical architecture buildings left over from the ruling of Holland? Any museum to showcase the Islamic artifacts?

This is part 1 of 2 about Seng Yew’s experience in Indonesia. Next week, he will share with us the interesting sights in Indonesia.



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