South East Asia tour, 2006 – part 3

This post has been a long time coming. The previous two parts (part 1 and part 2) are more than a month old…

After a single night in Singapore we continued on to Indonesia and Jakarta. We didn’t really have any plans for the almost 2 weeks we were going to stay, and to be honest I was a little worried about that. Jakarta just isn’t a very good holiday destination. A few days are fine, but more than a week and I start going nuts :-)

It turned out to be very nice though. We stayed with one of Dita’s uncles. The house was more crowded now than the last time. Two grandsons, twins, [Nina's hubby's name], the husband of Dita’s cousin, and new maids. Luckily there’s a lot of space in the house.

The weather in Jakarta this time around was not as bad as I had expected. Almost cool and dry. Well, not cool and dry at all really, but less hot and humid than then my experience from earlier trips. Even traffic wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I also noticed that the economy is doing better. The last time Mal Ambassador was to a large part empty. This time around there were hardly any empty “boxes” left. They were even selling BMWs on the ground floor. I guess this means the economy is better, it doesn’t mean life is better for the Indonesians though.

When planning the trip Dita had planned about 10 days, uninterrupted stay in Jakarta. After only a few days it became obvious that neither of us would survive for that long in Jakarta though. Luckily there are now low-cost airlines in Asia :-) For about 1M rupiah we got two return tickets to Bali. We only stayed three nights but it was a very nice break from Jakarta. Dita has a cousin in Sanur who put us up for the stay. Cheap and good :-)

Bali took us a bit by surprise this time. While Jakarta was bustling with activity and there were obvious indications that the economy was doing better, Bali was sleepy and void of tourists. We have some postcard like photos from the beach in Sanur, clear blue sky and an empty beach. A few years ago you’d have to be up pretty early in the morning to get such a shot. We took our pictures around noon. I can’t say we were disappointed though, the streets were easy to navigate, no queues anywhere, and we almost had WaterBom to ourselves.

Before starting our return trip we spent a few more days in Jakarta visiting family and friends and “enjoying” the traffic. Travelling back to England took two days, first back to Hong Kong with a short stop in Singapore, then to London’s Heathrow the following day. The flights were like good flights are, boring and uneventful.

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