Metro Manila · To Megacity Jakarta (Indonesia)
Jakarta is well-known for batik design clothes and being the hub connecting Megacitizens on their travels to Bali or places of cultural heritage such as Jogjakarta. The country in general is famous for their (spicy) delicious cuisine, clothes and beautiful beaches. Jakarta itself though is, as many other Megacities, a vast area of traffic jams, air pollution and an international crowd. The Megacity is home to the ASEAN Secretariat.
There are a number of airlines catering the route Manila-Jakarta. Recommended one-stop flights are offered by Philippine Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. The best way of flying to Jakarta is through the Cebu Pacific direct flight.
In order to catch your plane to Jakarta, you will leave from Manila's NAIA Airport. Singapore and Malaysia Airlines depart from Terminal 1 (International Terminal), Philippines Airlines departs from Terminal 2 (PAL Terminal) and Cebu Pacific departs from Terminal 3. Tell the cab driver the airline and terminal number as the terminals are not interconnected.
NAIA is crowded. Therefore, make sure you are not too early or too late when getting there. As this is an international flight, try to be there at minimum 2 hours and maximum 3 hours before departure of your plane.
For most Megacitizens, no prior VISA arrangements are needed. VISA on arrival which lasts up to 30-60 days can be obtained directly at the airport. For more information, see here.
Arriving at Jakarta Airport (Soekarno-Hatta)
Assuming you are in jakarta only for a short-term tourist stay (for everything else you have to obtain a VISA before-hand), there are two different methods of obtaining a VISA for Megacitizens from different countries. ASEAN Nationals do not need a VISA for the short duration of their stay anyway. Citizens inter alia of European Union countries (list of countries) can just go to the VISA on arrival desk, pay 25 USD there and take the receipt and their passport and go to the immigration desk. There, the officer will stamp the VISA, after you show him that you paid for the VISA on the VISA on arrival desk.
Important: Between and arrival, there is NO money exchange nor ATM. You HAVE TO BRING DOLLAR CASH (25 USD) to pay for your VISA.
However, if you find yourself arriving at Jakarta airport without VISA and Dollar cash, there is a way. Go to the security guard next to the immigration officers. Tell him about your problem and ask him to let you go through immigration to withdraw money at the ATM machines adjacent to the immigration. As deposit, you have to surrender your passport to him. Once you were able to withdraw money, go back to the immigration area, pick up your passport, go to the VISA on arrival desk, pay for your VISA, go to the immigration desks.
Bring some Dollar cash with you. At least 25 USD. You can withdraw money at the ATMs directly at the airport.
After you leave the immigration area, before you get into a cab, there are shops where you will be able to buy SIM cards for your mobile devices. Even though these vendors are legit, they sell the SIM cards for a much higher price than you would pay at a shop in the city.
To get into the city, take a cab.Follow the signs and try to get a taxi from either Blue Bird or Silver Bird (premium service if Blue Bird). Try to avoid other taxi companies if possible. The ride to the city might take an hour or even longer and will be around 20 EUR (depending on where exactly you are going in the city). It always helps to have the address of your destination printed (especially in the national language Bahasa).
Leaving from Jakarta Airport
Leaving from jakarta Airport is quite straight forward. You should go back to the airport by (Bluebird) taxi. Make sure to avoid rush hour. If in doubt, ask the staff at your hotel when you should leave to catch your flight at the particular time. Add 30 minutes to an hour and order a cab for that time.
As usual, try to be at the airport 2 - 3 hours before departure of the flight. There is only one drop off from which you can reach all the terminals (as opposed to the Manila airport).
There is not much going on in the Jakarta airport. You can get a coffee and do some shopping but in general it is not very comfy and does not invite to stay longer than you really have to.