Sunday, October 14, 2012
Indonesia: One of the Friendliest Countries in Asia (If Not in the World)
I'm from the country that's considered to be the friendliest nation in Asia and 8th in the world - the Philippines. So when I visited Jakarta, Indonesia, I was pleasantly surprised that the people were overly polite and courteous. So coming from Singapore (Read about my thoughts on Singapore here) to Indonesia, it felt like the same feeling I had when I was staying in Iloilo the visited Davao. Just when I thought my countrymen were already the most polite and the most hospitable, it was really such a nice experience to immerse myself in other people's culture and experience the genuine kindness. It was such a different and enak (nice) experience.
While it's normal for most countries to be hospitable to tourists (since they bring in money and Asians are especially nicer to Caucasians), I find it really surprising that the Indonesians were so nice to me even though they thought I was a local (Indonesian too). It only means they're just naturally pleasant people.
Even those who can't really speak English, they would just smile and greet you. You could just feel the warmth in their smiles and even those who sell on the streets, they would offer you what they're selling and even if you're not buying, they would thank you for your time (whereas I know some people in my homecountry where they would smirk if you don't buy from them).
While my whole experience in Indonesia was such a pleasant and fulfilling one (figuratively and literally), below are just some of the highlights.
Quick Trivia about Indonesia
Indonesia is famous for their big malls. It feels like people have no other hobby but shop.
Indonesia is a Blackberry country. While there may be few iPhone users, almost 90% uses Blackberry.
Getting a motorcycle is so cheap you'll see tons (as in tons!) of motor riders in Jakarta.
Rasane is one of the best seafood restaurants in Indonesia. Well, it may be fair to outrightly declare that since I haven't really visited many others (I've only visited two), I was told that it's one of the must-visits. Lo and behold, their crabs are just to die for. Even if I felt like I was already full, I just couldn't resist to keep eating! haha
Rasane, best seafood restaurant in Indonesia
Nasi Padang, where they serve lots of foods in your table and you just need to pay for the plates you've finished. Cool selling strategy! Tempt people to eat what you've served them ;)
Michael & Jack's Salon, top notch service. Definitely the best salon in Indonesia
I've experienced getting service from some of the cheapest and the most expensive salons in the Philippines. The last one was with the Philippe Tordjmann Le Salon (Hilary Clinton's hairstylist in case you're curious) but the service I've gotten at Michael & Jack's Salon was simply the best. The people don't really know much English so it helped that I've got my friend, Lydia, to translate and it helped that her sister-in-law has a Standard Charted Bank card and help us get us discounts. I totally recommend this salon. I might just go to Indonesia on a regular basis just to get my manicure and pedicure done ;) Seriously, that's how awesome the people are! I had Hair Spa, Pedicure Spa, Manicure Spa and Hair Dry and everyone was just so friendly. Like every step I take they would just smile and even if they don't really speak and understand English, they just provide you with the best service they can. It was just so amazing.
Michael & Jack's
Jl. Let. Jend S Parman 111 kav. 28
Shogun Reflexology was another great place to go if you need to get some massage for those tired muscles. Everyone was just smiling and for just 140000 Indonesian rupiahs = 17.8627 Singapore dollars, I've enjoyed Hot stone Massage with excellent service.
Shogun, best reflexology and spa centre in Indonesia
I would definitely recommend Indonesia. The people are just so nice. I would recommend that when you visit, you go with someone local so you could enjoy the experience more.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Can't waiiiiit! Will be in Jakarta, Indonesia this October 12th to 14th :) Booked the ticket through Lion Air and I'm so excited. The ticket (round-trip) costed me S$127.00.
Will be going there with my colleague, Lydia and I can't wait to have a whole day of pampering and makan (eat, eat, eat).