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I have spent quite a bit of time in Jakarta, and I have also been to Malaysia this year.
Jakarta is extremely crowded. The city is very badly laid out. There is little in the way of side walks in most parts of the city. They have large deep drainage ditches on the sides of the road, and they don't cover them with western-style sidewalks with man-holes and nice neat drains. Rather, they have these cement plate things. The dirt will get in the cracks in the plates and clog up some of the ditches. These cement plates will be removed to keep motorcycles off the sidewalks. And in some places, the sidewalk area is just mud. In other places, there are electrical transformers in the way of pedestrians, or trees, or some sort of cement block thing, and you don't know why it's there. The city hasn't done a good job with side walks at all. Street vendors will block the sidewalk and you'll have to walk in the road to get around.
There are a few decent sidewalks in some areas, and some of the suburb areas benefited from city planning from developers. Usually, if a private company is in charge of something, it turns out okay. If the government is in charge of it, it's a mess. Just look in any of the nice buildings in Jakarta, with marble floors, and well laid out. But go on the street and see the mess the government is responsible for. The current governor, Ahok, a Christian, has been doing a good job at improving development with the mess he's been given, but the Islamicist extremists are having him tried on some pretty weak charges of alleged blasphemy, probably to keep him from being elected.
There is a pretty big intersection in town, and the government put up a barricade so they can build a monorail. But they blocked the intersection so that people have to walk in the street. And that is really dangerous.
What is so dangerous about the street? On a typical street during the day, there is slow moving traffic, with motorcycles going by as fast as they can, either weaving through traffic between lanes, or else along the edge of the road next to what passes for a side walk. There are so many of them.
The air is bad, too, especially right by the road. A number of people wear medical face masks or cloth face masks while walking around.
On the streets, there may be no lanes painted, and space for two lanes, but there are three lanes of traffic. If there is a shoulder, people will drive on the shoulder.
Compare this to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. They have around half the population to deal with. But the city is laid out in a reasonable manner. There are spaces where trees and other greenery grown. There are nice wide sidewalks. Traffic can be busy like any normal city, but it is nothing like Jakarta. People generally stay in lanes. Motorcycles weave between cars, and since there is not another vehicle in front of it, they can be dangerous whizzing by pedestrians out of nowhere, but there aren't many of them compared to Jakarta. What I saw of Kuala Lumpur looks like a developed country. It looks more like Singapore than it does Jakarta. It's like a cross between, but more on the Singapore side of things. Prices were fairly reasonable. I didn't really keep count, but I'm thinking it may have been just a bit more expensive than Jakarta. But I know where to get the cheaper stuff in Jakarta, and I don't know about Malaysia.
Taxis are quite a bit more expensive in Malaysia. I want to say about two or three times Jakarta, where they are quite cheap. UBER is even cheaper in Jakarta.
Kuala Lumpur is much nicer in terms of traffic.
In Jakarta, there are people who speak English, but most don't. It seemed like a lot of people spoke English in Malaysia. I did buy a pizza off a guy who did not understand English or Indonesian (which is close to Malaysian), but I think he may have been a Bengali immigrant. There are more Indians in Malaysia. I did not get a chance to sample the Indian food or the fushion food nasi kandar. But I did have an Indian 7 Eleven clerk not give me enough change, and then hand me the rest when the moment before I confronted him on it after I'd already gotten out of line and came back. It sure seemed intentional to me. I don't remember that sort of thing happening in Jakarta.
I would prefer Malaysia to Indonesia. Especially Eastern Malaysia (Northern Borneo)
It should be mentioned that Malaysia is not only Kuala Lumpur and not only Western Malaysia. There is Eastern Malaysia, too with the cities of Kuching and Kota Kinabalu and living standard is very good there.
However I am now in Thailand, where I have my condominium, my second home - but still living in Japan.
I have to say, I prefer Thailand to Malaysia/Indonesia/Philippines/Cambodia for longstay.
Kota Kinabalu looks so boring. It doesn't seem to have any character and the centre of the city is tiny. It looks clean and there's probably good infrastructure and so on, but it looks so sterile.
I have in-laws in Indonesia. But its actually closer to fly from KL to parts of Sumatra than it is from Jakarta. Probably more expensive, though.
I don't mind either. KL would probably be nicer in a lot of ways, with the slightly cleaner air than Jakarta, and the clean streets. I'm open to either. I don't know what starting or investing in business would be like in KL.
My adoptive father is currently in KL with his Angloskank wife and two biological kids. He's miserable in Malaysia. It's a place without soul, oppressive from deep within the structure. What can you expect from a former lapdog of the Anglosphere? Add Islam into the mix.
I've been to both as a tourist and can only compare in that manner. Malaysia is better laid out and organized than Jakarta X100 probably, as you can pretty much get around anywhere by just using their train system, even to the provinces outside the main city. You really don't even need to use a taxi there unless you're just lazy at walking. Jakarta has worse traffic than Manila and that is quite bad so basically you just sit in traffic wherever you go in that city unless you can walk to your destination, which is rare.
The shopping I felt is slightly better in Jakarta than in KLM. However, it depends what your into. KLM seems to import a lot of shit from surrounding countries rather than make their own unique stuff so you can get most of what they sell in the stores in surrounding countries, maybe at better prices in some places.There are giant malls and name global brands in both cities so not really much of a difference there. I though the Larger Jakarta malls had better architecture than in KLM. Jakarta has better local item shopping that is unique to their culture an hasn't been as inundated with outside crap coming in as much to overtake the local. I didn't see that as much in KLM.
I'm not really a food guy but you can pretty much get global food from all parts of the world in either place. I think there is more international branded places to eat in KLM than in Jakarrta from what I noticed, however if your into authentic Chinese or Indian food than KLM would have better places for that than in Jakarta since those 2 demographics are the largest in Malaysia.
In regards to nightlife I felt KLM was slightly more interesting and had more of an international flare than Jakarta did, however if you go out the bars and dance places are expensive because of the alcohol tax. There are lots of taxi/pick up girls at select Western style bars in KLM if your into that, but I'm sure they are expensive in comparison to say Thailand or Philippines. I noticed girls from Vietnam (many were hot), Thailand, Africa, Stan countries. (I did not partake just observed) Jakarta had ok nightlife but much of it was not oriented to foreigners, let alone Westerners. There were a few places that had pick up/taxi girls but they weren't that good looking in comparison to girls in KLM. A lot of the nightlife places you needed to speak the local language to get in or have someone accompany you, whereas in KLM that was not the case. The places that catered to foreigners were more so for Asians and it was quite obvious most of the girls at these places were trafficked girls from other countries pretending they were hanging out in the bar/disco. I wouldn't necessarily go to Jakarta for the nightlife, it more for doing other things. KLM I guess would be ok if you had lots of money to spend.
You could find all levels of hotels in both countries at various prices, I think Jakarta is still overall cheaper than KLM. I guess it just depends on ones budget, location and whether they want to project status or not.
IMO, the local women are generally ugly in both places but maybe KLM the woman are slightly better looking. It's hard to say if one is actually attractive cause they wear those dumb Muslim outfits all the time that hide their body. So at least you can maybe see their face but from what I noticed since they can hide their body they could care less what it looks like under all the clothing so I noticed many women are over weight in both countries. In Jakarta it was either one extreme or the other, overweight or extremely thin, no in between. The Indian and Chinese women I noticed in KLM were generally unattractive looking for the most part. Some of the back packer tourists from other countries were good looking but most are in their 20's so if your already over the hill you probably won;t get much luck with them. If you want to try your luck with them get a hotel that specializes in attracting foreign backpackers or whatnot.
Sight seeing stuff, there was more to do in KLM than in Jakarta. I think Indonesia has better places to visit if you get outside Jakarta whereas Malaysia has better sightseeing in their main city rather than other parts of the country.
KLM the people there spoke way better English than in Jakarta, I hardly ran in to anyone that spoke decent English there except for the guys that owned the hotels I was staying at. Everywhere else I went it was nada for the most part. All menus had pictures and you just pointed at what you wanted rather than try to converse. They had that in KLM too but not as much.
Overall, it would probably suck to live in either city long time but probably KLM is a better option over Jakarta if one had to choose. I did notice though that in Malaysia there is an artificial 'peace' amongst the 3 dominant ethnic groups. There is no real cultural unity there unlike what the government tries to portray. Chinese hang with Chinese, Indians with Indians, Malays with Malays. So their whole multicultural experiment is a farce just like it is in the West, no difference. At least in Indonesia they are generally one people and culture so there isn't as much tension among the population there, other than the typical problems Muslims cause against Christians for instance, which seems to be an ongoing issue in that country.
Oh yeah, I did get stared at more in Jakarta than I did in KLM, but I'm assuming because KLM is used to more nationalities and races visiting than in Indonesia. KLM people were slightly more open than people in Jakarta conversation-wise with strangers although that wasn't my main concern visiting either place.
I don't know how 'normal' women would act around a foreigner or Westerner living there over a longer period of time, so cannot comment on that. I'm not generally attracted to full-blooded Malay looks so I wasn't necessarily looking to hook up with anyone while I was there. I thought the Vietnamese girls I saw in KLM blew away Malay girls in regards to looks by a long shot, so you can't help not notice them when one is out and about.
So if you like more organization and city sightseeing got to KLM. If you prefer more organized chaos and adventure while constantly having to change your daily plans on the fly than go to Jakarta if you're into that sort of thing.
PS: oh yeah for some reason I ran into more asshole Westerners in Jakarta than I did in KLM for some reason, not sure why but I did.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
About food, Malaysia has Subway, and Jakarta does not anymore. I hear they have Quizno's. Do they have Taco Bell in KL? They don't have that in Jakarta now. If you have cravings for specific American foods, maybe KL is better. They had Mexican food at that mall at Petronas in the food court in KL when I was there.
But if you want local food, my guess would be Jakarta is better. Indonesia has a lot more people groups with their own cuisines, and Chinese ethnic groups. The advantage when it comes to local food in KL would be Indian food and fushion with Indian food. A lot of Indonesian and Malaysian food appears to be just about the same. But Malaysia wouldn't have the variety of local food. I doubt you can get Manado food, which is a unique cuisine. They have Minang people, so you can get 'Padang food' in Malaysia, too.
As far as women go, most women from Malay type people groups aren't all that attractive to me. But there are some who are very pretty, too. If I were single and available and in a room full of white college students from the US, maybe 5 to 10% of them would be interesting to me as far as looks go. In China, probably about the same. In Malaysia or Indonesia, probably 3 to 5%.
But I think it's easier to get a virgin in Indonesia. It's easier to get a woman who expects to cook and do housework and that sort of thing than in the US. I don't know about China, but I'd guess Communism messed up their traditional culture as far as the role of women is concerned.
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