|The Sumatran Hippo|
Staying in international hotels in Jakarta requires some tedious security checks like the airport. All these are done with security reasons so tolerating it, is in your best interest. What I dislike about Jakarta is the macet (traffic congestion) but with a population of 9.6 million, macet is almost unavoidable. It takes so long to get across from one place to another. I had a brief stop in Jakarta to meet a dear friend before leaving for Puncak, a highland about two hours from Jakarta…but again depending on the traffic.
Every time we come to Jakarta or Bandung we usually hire a driver to drive us around and the service is really not expensive, considering we are free from the hassle of driving. We stop over in Puncak to have lunch and the restaurant has a fantastic view overlooking the tea plantation. After lunch we proceed to the driving Safari not far from Puncak. On the way, we made several stops at the local stall for grilled corns and coconut drinks. It is obvious that many of these stalls are run by young kids and when asked, they told us that they are helping their parents after the school session.
|Wide open ready for the thrown bananas|
Approaching the Safari, we made another stop at the fruit stalls to purchase some bananas and carrots for the animals. The Safari is very interesting and there are many wild animals wondering around and we could get pretty close to the animals. There are opportunities to feed the animals and some of them come really close to our vehicles for carrots and bananas. It is very entertaining to watch the animals and kids would definitely love this place. You can stay at a hotel in the Safari if you wish but you have to book ahead.
After the Safari, we continued our journey to Bandung for some shopping. Bandung is an interesting city packed with tourists and locals from Jakarta who come to shop here. It is well know for its multiple factory outlets which offer good bargains.