Sunday, March 02, 2014

Travel - Short Work Trip to Jakarta (Feb 14)

I was supposed to visit Borobudur in Yogjakarta before visiting Jakarta, unfortunately, there was an volcano eruption causing the quite a few airports (including Yogjakarta) to close. So my flight was cancelled. 

Good? Bad? Who knows?
(The Mantra that week after I attended a talk by Ajahn Brahm)

I stayed in Shangri-la Hotel in Jakarta (my first time staying in Shangri-la Hotel). Apparently, US Secretary of State, John Kerry was staying in the same hotel while I was there. The security was tight, and saw police cars, press vehicles, US security agents etc...

Lobby of Shangri-la Hotel

Swimming Pool of Shangri-la (View from room)

While Shangri-la Hotel looked rather old from the outside, its interior and the service isquite good. I had a good massage session in the spa center, spent my sunday afternoon chilling by the pool side and the gym facilities is not bad too. Food is average though (I even skipped one breakfast session).

Choice of Eggs for the Omelette.

I was quite fortunate to have my cousin spending half a day bringing me around Jakarta. I understand Jakarta slightly better after the tour with him. One of the places that we visited is the largest Mosque in South East Asia. 

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta

Wiki: Istiqlal Mosque, or Masjid Istiqlal, (Independence Mosque) in Jakarta, Indonesia is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia[1]and has the highest capacity. This national mosque of Indonesia was built to commemorate Indonesian independence and named "Istiqlal", an Arabic word for "independence". The mosque was opened to the public 22 February 1978. Within Jakarta, the mosque is positioned next to Merdeka Square and the Jakarta Cathedral.

A mosque staff brought us around and introducing this mosque to us (as we are non-muslims). Anyway, after the whole tour, he requested for some tips, which we are totally fine to give.

Shopping Mall in Jakarta

My cousin brought me to the place that he was staying. It was really nice, not my typical impression of Jakarta - High buildings & good amenities (swimming pool, tennis court, huge shopping center). I could live here, except for the air pollution!

Festive Chinese New Year in the shopping Mall.

Products of my ex-company (Procter & Gamble).

Went to a supermarket to understand the retail business in Indonesia. Despite my short stint in P&G, it has been very beneficial for me to understand the relationship between the supplier and retailer, and also the stiff competition in the retail industry.

I always remember that Steve Jobs talked about connecting the dots in 2005 Stanford Commencement:
"you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. "

This applies to me. =)

Jakarta's traffic jam is notorious. 
Being creative by "creating" another lane in the highway towards the city.

This nice 300sqm house in the suburb of Jakarta is about the same price of a 100sqm (govt) apt in the suburb of Singapore. 

View from the restaurant - Altitude.
Ended the trip with good food in a nice restaurant. 

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