Lifestyle & You
Have you been living in Jakarta for a long time or are you a confused greenhorn? Are you happy with your pad or are have you got your beady eye on a new place? Of course people have differing accommodation needs, as personalities and lifestyles vary greatly. However, whether you're used to living alone, with a spouse or are part of a complete nuclear family, there are plenty of housing (and flatting?) options readily available in Jakarta, despite its conspicuous overcrowding.
This month we take a look at some of the city's many and varied residential areas in the hope that it may prove useful to those of you in the market for a new place to call home. Our humble guide may possibly even end up changing your whole life, so pay attention!
Just off the T.B. Simatupang toll road you'll find the Cilandak neighbourhood. The area is currently best known for the still very hip Cilandak Town Square, famous for its restaurants and cafes. The recently renovated Cilandak Sports Centre with its huge Olympic sized open air pool is also a worth a visit. The area features a plethora of great apartments ideally suited for young couples who prefer practicality to pretension.
The Cinere district has undergone a lot of changes of late and the locale has become a popular choice for families to live in. Although there aren't (yet) any major shopping malls in the area, travelling to nearby Pondok Indah or Kemang is an effortless journey. Cinere is also well known for its many restaurants and, perhaps most importantly, is far enough south to provide families with a bit of greenness, fresh air and general respite from the chaos of the capital.
Cipete connects the main South Jakarta arteries of Jl. Fatmawati and Jl.Antasari. There are many agreeable small cafes, restaurants and boutiques to enjoy here set amongst the cosy back streets of the area. The streets may be small but herein lies the appeal of Cipete. The mellow rows of sleepy houses that nestle under the shade of Cipete's many lush trees provide respite from the surrounding bedlam of South Jakarta in full swing.
Couples with young children often opt to live in Kebayoran Baru because of its relative residential calm. Houses here are neither too small nor too big and the streets aren't overcrowded with cars, making it safe for parents to take their kids for a walk or bike ride.
A little further away from the city's main southern districts lies Kebon Jeruk. Although it may seem a long way away when driving here, Kebon Jeruk is easily accessed from many areas of town. Houses in Kebon Jeruk are also perfect for families as the area is a fair distance from Jakarta's main and highly polluted thoroughfares.
Just behind the Plaza Indonesia complex sits Kebon Kacang. More suited to the single sophisticate about town, Kebon Kacang features apartment complexes of varying prices. The restaurants of Jl.Wahid Hasyim are close by, as are the enormous new Plaza Grand Indonesia, the Sarinah building and the celebrated Hotel Indonesia roundabout. The main busway route on Sudirman is also close at hand and if you want to live near to Jakarta's throbbing downtown action then Kebon Kacang could be the perfect place for you.
Kemang has traditionally been a popular area for Jakarta's expatriate community to live in. With plenty of international schools close by, as well as Western supermarkets (Kemchicks, Hero Kemang and Gourmet Garage) as well as a myriad of popular restaurants and bars, Kemang offers residents a self contained all-in-one living experience.
In addition to Kemang, the Kuningan district is also popular with the expatriate community. Suitable for those working in the central business district as well as nearby Menteng, Kuningan is where Jakarta's main embassies are located. Several great apartment buildings can be found here including the huge Taman Rasuna complex. Kuningan is also very close to the Singapore like Mega Kuningan district with its offices and increasingly popular night spots as well as the massively popular Ambassador shopping Mall.
Although the Mampang area is usually chock solid with traffic, it can be quite a convenient location in which to live. The area is close to the centre of town and yet is actually in the south of town where international schools and leafier lanes are easily accessed. There are also good shopping options in Mampang (Kemang and the newly opened Pejaten Village top the list here). Reaching the city's skyscrapers and offices in Kuningan and on Jl. Gatot Subroto and Jl. Sudirman is also a cinch. Mampang definitely offers its residents the best of both worlds.