The Special Capital Region of Jakarta is the capital and largest city in Indonesia. It is the country’s center of politics, economics, and culture and the city is also referred to as the “Big Durian” because it is seen as the Indonesian equivalent of New York (the Big Apple). Although it is famous for its heavy traffic and pollution, life in Jakarta moves at a fast pace. The city is known to be dynamic, diverse, vibrant, and busy.
Jakarta is overflowing with world-class food, coffee shops, museums, countless shopping malls, and nightclubs. People from all over the country come to the city in the hope of a higher standard of living, which makes it the center and melting pot of Indonesian culture. During the day, the population of the city increases as commuters from the surrounding areas travel to work.
This megacity is home to Indonesia Stock Exchange, Bank of Indonesia, and headquarters of various Indonesian companies as well as multinational companies. It offers attractive job opportunities for locals and expats and expats looking for a job in Jakarta should consider the service sectors, specifically the banking, financial, and trading sectors. There is also a great demand for English teachers. Jakarta’s minimum wage is among the highest in Indonesia, set at Rp3.94 million (US$260). According to Forbes, Jakarta is one of the most profitable cities for expats with an average salary of US$152,600 per year.
Popular Areas in Jakarta
Weather and Climate in Jakarta
Jakarta enjoys warm, sunny, and humid weather all year round. The average yearly temperature is around 24 to 32.5 °C. Jakarta has two seasons: the dry season and the wet season. June to September is the dry season with over 11 to 12 hours of sunlight with an average temperature of around 26°C to 27°C, but it can get as high as 35°C. The temperatures are slightly cooler during the night.
The wet season starts from October until May. You can expect rain every day, especially in December, January, and February. The temperatures and humidity are stable all year long. Some areas are prone to flood, specifically Kampung Pulo, Rajawati, Cipulir, and Kalibata. It’s best to avoid those areas during the wet season.
Getting Around in Jakarta
The main airport in the region is the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, located in Tangerang, 20 kilometers northwest of Central Jakarta. It is one of the busiest airports in the world. The airport has daily flights to and from domestic destinations and has international connections with major cities in Asia, Australia, and Europe. The airport also serves budget airlines such as Batik Air, AirAsia, and Lion Air.
Although Jakarta is infamous for being one of the world's worst cities for traffic, it is easy to get around the city. There are various modes of transportation available. There are a lot of taxis in the city, but most people use Express or Blue Bird since they’re the most reliable brands. The base fare is Rp6,500 and Blue Bird has an app that lets you pre-book a taxi. The best option if you want to be fast is by motorbike taxis (known as “ojek”), you can hail one in the streets or via Go-Jek and Grab, online hailing apps similar to Uber. The apps also provide taxis and private cars.
Transjakarta bus is a good option. It’s more comfortable and faster since it has its own lane. However, the routes are still limited. You can opt for the KRL trains for more affordable transport but they can be overcrowded. Jakarta just opened its first subway system, known as the Jakarta MRT. The trains leave every 10 minutes and they are pretty fast.
Work Visas in Jakarta
Foreign workers who want to work in Indonesia must get a work permit. The government offers several types of permit. The frequently used ones are a limited-stay permit called KITAS and a special work permit called IMTA. Since the Indonesian government has a policy of prioritizing local applicants, getting a work visa can be difficult. It is best to arrange a job and a sponsor before arriving in the country because you cannot apply for a work visa on your own; you need your future employer to obtain one for you. Note that Indonesian immigration authorities are sensitive about misuse and do not use tourist visas to work or do any kind of business.