The Good Guide
Joining a walking tour by Jakarta Good Guide to explore China Town in the Capital Center...
Having livedin Jakarta for more than 20 years now, I have a regular destination I like to visit to clear my mind from work. At least once every two months, I go to the city’s China Town of Glodok in West Jakarta to indulge in some authentic Chinese food or simply to enjoy the legendary Ice Coffee Tak Kie in Gloria Alley. And every time I go to these places, I only have two agendas in my mind: to eat some delicious Chinese dishes and to see the historical buildings. But ever since I joined the Jakarta Walking Tour by Jakarta Good Guide, I realized this area has more to offer...
It is pretty easy to join Jakarta Good Guide’s walking tour – just by checking out their Instagram account, I could get almost everything I needed to know about the program. The Jakarta Walking Tour is available in two choices, the regular or the weekend tour.
Held every weekday, the regular tour is the most recommended for tourists or first-time visitors in Jakarta. Choices for this excursion includes Jakarta’s Old Town, China Town, City Center, or Old Town Night Tour. Available from Monday to Friday, the regular tour is held twice per day at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. So, tourists or residents of Jakarta can choose the best schedule or destination for them.
The weekend tour is just as much fun. Hosted every Saturday and Sunday, this excursion is divided into several themes, depending on the destination – choices include a visit to the Cikini, Jatinegara, Sunter or Karet-Kuningan area.
It was a beautiful Thursday when I decided to join the regular tour to visit China Town in Glodok in West Jakarta. I was pretty lucky because Farid Mardhiyanto, the founder of Jakarta Good Guide, was the guide of the day. He is a licensed tour guide who used to take inquiries from online communities – so, I was sure that I was in good hands.
The idea of creating a walking tour in Jakarta was born from his experience visiting London in December 2012 where he joined a walking tour. London has a variety of thematic walking tours that he thought could be applied in Jakarta. Although Jakarta’s infrastructure is not as comfortable and friendly as that of London, he was optimistic that he could establish a walking tour in the capital city of Indonesia. In 2014, he decided to run the Jakarta Good Guide. He started promoting this activity by sharing some posters at a number of hotels, and after a while, he finally posted information about this walking tour in online publications, including creating a blog and an Instagram account.
The walking tours are divided into several themes, depending on the destination. The tour is conducted in Indonesian language if all the participants are Indonesians. However, if at least one of the visitors is a foreigner, the tour will be held in English. Now, Jakarta Good Guide has seven tour guides that can speak foreign languages, such as Chinese, French and English – and that means everyone can join!
Pay As You Wish
My tour began when all the participants had gathered in front of the Candra Naya building on Jalan Gajah Mada in Glodok. There were nine participants, including me, that day. Most of us were strangers, so to break the ice, we introduced ourselves. Not long after, we entered the Candra Naya mansion, one of the conserved Chinese-style buildings in Jakarta.
According to Farid, this building used to house Khouw Kim An, a former major of Batavia city in the 18th century. As I was admiring this building, I realized that I have made the right choice by joining this program. Jakarta Walking Tour guided by Jakarta Good Guide is certainly the perfect platform to learn about the history, culture, and community of the sites that we visited. The excursion got more interesting as we went to discover some hidden spots in a “secret” alley that are not tracked nor recorded by Google Maps. This experience gave me a new perspective of Jakarta, indeed!
After listening to all the stories and history of Jakarta’s China Town in Glodok, it was only right that we ended this program with a lunch at Gloria Alley. Indulging in some delicious local food, I felt I had more knowledge about the local community, the cultural sites, and the hidden gems of Jakarta – I felt satisfied with the walking tour as I got to know the city I was born and raised in a little bit more.
Jakarta Good Guide doesn’t put any price on their tours, which makes it even more interesting. By the end of the tour, Farid gave a small bag to each participant. We only needed to put as much money as we wish into that bag. Meaning, participants can contribute as much as they want to give, depending how much they think the tour is worth.
WANT TO JOIN?
Simply click www.jakartagoodguide. wordpress.com to experience a walking tour with Jakarta Good Guide!
Contributor : Edna Tarigan
Magazine issue > Capital Corner