Jakarta Itinerary, Indonesia

Paragliding in Indonesia

Paragliding in Indonesia 

The Movie Peter Pan always reminds me of my flying addiction. I want the adrenaline pumping through my veins, intoxicating my mind, and the ecstatic feeling after the flight. During my college days I was hooked on zipline rides, the moment it opened its doors to Cebu I was first in line. Aside from my zipline shenanigans I did base jumping in Bohol, Parasailing in Boracay, and this time around Paragliding in Puncak, Indonesia. Let's go!   

When we booked a flight ticket bound to Jakarta I didn't know a thing what to do there. I've never exactly planned to go there at all. However, AirAsia had all the promo fares laid out and a flight ticket to Jakarta was the cheapest one for the specific dates I and my cousin had in mind. I've searched what's interesting in the city and I didn't find anything appealing to me. I'm not a big fan of the city tour, I would like to learn about their culture and traditions in a different way. An interaction with the locals, hearing the whole story with their tongues is more absorbing for my brain cells. It's quite hard to look for blogs about Jakarta in the English context. 

I've never intended to stay in the city so I've search what kind of adventures are just hours away from Jakarta. I've found blogs with parachutes, flying in the air, and with big laughs on their faces. That's when I've found out that they offer paragliding in Puncak, a few hours away from the bustling capital of Indonesia. I made contact right away with a reputable company in Puncak and I met Nixon who owns the Paragliding Indonesia. The moment you open their website a lovely song plays along and that simply powers up the thrill of flying with them. 

I've always loved the feeling of flying and some people find that confusing. A lot of them asked me if I feel scared, of course, I do. Aren't I afraid of falling? That's definitely one of my deepest nightmares but I'm thinking what if I don't fall what if I fly?! ahahaa. Seriously speaking, let's just say I'm a big fan of all those sports brand logos like "face your fear", "just do it" and "let's get it on". It's one of those explainable feelings you have with people or things that you love. For me, Nothing compares to the Gush of Wind blowing my hair, Heart beating Fast and the Magnitude of Scream I let out from my lungs.

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Puncak
Airport transfer: IDR 700,000/ SGD 70
Travel time: 3-4 hours (depends on the traffic)

Check-in: Hotel Permata Alam
Jl. Raya Puncak KM. 83 Cisarua Bogor
16750 , West Java Indonesia
IDR 600,000

We only stayed in the hotel for two nights, the breakfast of bread and coffee is provided, the staff was excellent but the amenities need a lot of work. It was the Ramadan month so almost all the food outlets were closed yet we still managed to have a good meal. Good thing we arrived in the evening so people were allowed to eat and a few restaurants were open to serve us. 

A few things I've learned that night: First, it's the Ramadan season so restaurants are only open after 6 in the evening next time I'll try to avoid the fasting month. Second, they don't sell beers we asked different kinds of convenience stores around the area and we couldn't even find one. Third, bring a jacket with you it really gets cold in the evening. Fourth, only a few people know English so communicating is a bit hard to learn to be animated when conversing or use sign language. Fifth, Don't ever forget your universal charger, I always have it with me, just a gentle reminder for travelers. The next day we were picked up from the hotel around 9 in the morning to the paragliding site.

Paragliding in Puncak

IDR 350,000 Paragliding Package ( Tandem Flight)
IDR 200,000 Pictures & Videos
Booked with Fly Indonesia and look for Nixon

We took the Tandem flight, a professional paraglider will be coming along with us during the flight. They also offer courses for those who want to fly on their own but you have to stay for two weeks to learn how to fly on your own. I wanted that. Period. Anyways moving on, there's one important thing they have to check before the flight and it's the wind direction. During that time the wind wasn't really cooperating with us so we waited for an hour or so for it to blow in the right direction. Our guide asked a small noodle store to serve us brunch, he had to explain that we were not fasting at all. The view was excellent in that part of the store, the mountains looked stunning and it made the food taste even better. We had Nasi Goreng with Egg and Indomei Noodles. 

Afterward, my cousin bought some tea in a nearby store selling dried tea leaves and tea bags. They were kind enough to serve us tea while waiting for our tandem flight. As I was having sips of the hot tea the guide informed us that the wind is ready and due to my excitement I wasn't able to finish my cup of tea. I came back for it thou but a fly has taken over it as its pool.

The paragliding bags were ready, the pilot has suited up, borrowed shoes fitted and the butterflies in my stomach are all in full throttle. Everyone was ready except me, by the time the harnessed were fully attached to my bag the operator tasked me to run along with the pilot. It caught me off guard as my feet ran ahead of me as I said the word "wait" ahahaa. I screamed and laughed. It was a smooth ride, the pilot told me that we were lucky because the weather was great. I flew first before my cousin yet he landed first before me. It was incredible ride thou it only lasted for a few minutes. Another bucket list ticked off from the pages of my adventure book. 

Gunung Mas Tea Plantation

Later that afternoon we asked our pick-up driver going to drop by Gunung Mas so we can have a glimpse of the Tea Plantation. We added IDR 100,000 for the ride to the Plantation. Long hectares of tea plants covered Gunung Mas, "Gunung" means mountain in Malay and everything looked fresh and vibrant. We roamed for a while, took some pictures, and just walk around breathing the fresh air. Horseback riding and Kite Flying are some of the activities you can inside the plantation. 

The next day we took an early ride back to the city, as early as 7 in the morning we were up and heading back to Jakarta. We encountered less traffic this time around and arrived an hour or so to our hostel. We actually planned on taking the bus, the ticket would just be around IDR 35,000 to IDR 40,000 however we don't exactly know where our hostel is located. The hotel staff advised us to avoid taking the taxi they will charge around IDR 300,000 or more and might drive in circles around the city before taking us to our hostel.

Puncak to Jakarta
Private Van: IDR 600,000 
Travel time: 1-2 hours

For more details:
Address: JL Raya Puncak, KM 87, Bukit Paralayang, Puncak, 16750, Indonesia
Contact number :+62 21 87952963
Email Address: flyindonesia@yahoo.com,  info@indonesia-paragliding.com
Website: http://www.indonesia-paragliding.com

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” - Leonardo da Vinci

After paragliding off we go to the capital city of Indonesia...


What to do in Jakarta 

1. Where to Stay

Check-in: Six Degrees Backpacker

The first thing you want to do is to find a great place to stay in the city. We stayed comfortably at Six Degrees Backpacker, the hostel is budget-friendly and has a good location. You need to find a place not too far from the airport and is a bit close to few tourist landmarks. 

What I like about this hostel is that they served delicious breakfast, offers the free billiard game, darts, a book corner, great wifi connection, and even a small theater to watch movies. 

Six Degrees Backpacker
Address: Jl. Cikini Raya No.60, Jakarta, Kota XJakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10330, Indonesia
1 night ( dormitory) : IDR 160,000

Instructions for your taxi driver: (I got this from their website).
Masuk Jalan Cikini Raya, lewat TIM (sebelah kiri), lewat 7-eleven, masuk komplek ruko “central cikini” sebelah kanan. Parkir depan “Texas Chicken” Tempat kami adalah pintu kuning yang sebelah kiri nya Texas".

2. National Monument (Monas)
Address: Medan Merdeka, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia

If there's one place you should visit in the city. It's the National Monument of Indonesia. It was built to commemorate Indonesia's fight for Independence. The 132 meters tower is located in Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta.

3. Istiqlal Mosque or Masjid Istiqlal
Address: Jl. Taman Wijaya Kusuma, DKI Jakarta 10710, Indonesia

Visit the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. We visited Jakarta on a Ramadan season so the mosque was jampacked with Muslims. Different kiosk floods the gateway with Halal foods after the fasting time ( no pork, no lard kind of foods).

4. Jakarta Cathedral
Address: Jl. Katedral No.7B, Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta 10710, Indonesia

Just on the other side of the road is Jakarta's neo-gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral. It's quite interesting to see two religions peacefully in front of each other's place of worship. It is also the church of the seated Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jakarta. 

5. Street food: Nasi Goreng
The mixed fried rice is one of the delicious foods in Indonesia. I loved it especially if you add in one sunny-side-up on top of it. I'm also a big fan of their coffee and tea, a must-try when in Indonesia. Choose the authentic coffee brew and tea from the province. 

Check out the National Monument at night. The tower is flooded with lights that change color every minute. Check out the Street food outside Monas too.

6. Tea Plantation in Gunung Mas
Address: Perkebunan Gunung Mas Jl. Raya Puncak Kotak Pos 6 Cisarua 16750

While you're in Puncak don't miss the chance to see the Tea Plantation. See the bountiful tea leaves on the mountains and smell the freshness of the countryside. 

You can also buy tea bags boxes for souvenirs or for your supply. I've never thought organic tea would taste that good, you should try it to believe it. 

7. Ride the Tuk-Tuk
This is something authentic to Asia, one thing you should experience during your travels. The tuk-tuk vehicle they have in Vietnam looks secured and even budget-friendly if you know how to haggle with the price. We paid IDR 20,000 for our tuk-tuk ride from Six Degrees Backpackers hostel to the National Monument. Most of the attractions are just around the city so getting around is pretty easy with a map in hand. 

8. Get Lost
Most of the attractions are just around the city so getting around is pretty easy with a map in hand. -as mentioned above. However, no matter how good you are with the applications "here" or "mapsme", even the old school map given by the hostel. The chances of getting lost around are inevitable. It's still more fun if you get lost then in this way you get to interact with the locals. They know the city well and even knows the shortcuts to different attractions around the area. For sure directions seek advice from the hostel staff before heading to your desired spot or when you're on the road approach policemen, train or bus personnel, and sidewalk vendors. 

Traveling is not just about getting too famous tourist spots and trying out their specialties. It's deeper than that the experience is more satisfying when you get to talk to locals and listen to their stories. Talk to a stranger, mingle with the other tourist and surely it would make your travel more memorable.  

9. Learn Basic Greetings
Terimah Kasi - Thank you
Sama sama - Welcome
Makan - Eat

This is one thing I do with all my travels. I try to learn the basic greetings most especially the word "Thank you". Aside from that I also try to learn words like Delicious, Good Morning, Discount for shopping purposes, and so on. Once you say their native language with anything you do in the country it would always put a smile on their faces. They will treat you more as a friend and will try to interact with you more. It's either they burst out laughing or will give you a big, wolfish smile, ahahaa. Believe me, it always works! Why wouldn't you want to make somebody's day brighter with a smile? Be friendly and embrace the wonders of traveling. 

10. Lastly, Experience flying and go Paragliding!
Address: JL Raya Puncak, KM 87, Bukit Paralayang, Puncak, 16750, Indonesia

If you're like me who's always on a quest for an adventure then take the road less traveled to Puncak. Make sure to travel early or stay one night in Puncak and don't forget to bring a jacket, it gets cold late in the afternoon till night time. 
Travel time: 2-3 hours (depending on the traffic)

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Do you want more adventure?
If you still have more days to spare why not Hike the Blue Flame Volcano of Surabaya, Indonesia.

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is to Explore the streets of Taiwan and hike the province of Hualien.

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