Kampung Bali

Area in Cikini & Menteng

Literally in the shadow of the rarefied upscale world of the Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia malls, this kampung (traditional neighbourhood) is typical of where most middle class Jakartans live. Follow the narrow streets and lanes at random (all are named 'Jl Kebon Kacang' followed by a number). Stores selling all manner of mundane items like produce and plastic buckets are mixed with homes – some compact and single-family, others even more compact and multi-family.

You'll also find repair shops and stalls selling quick bites to eat to the ever-frenetic locals. Look for signs saying 'Kost Wanita', which are supervised dorms for young single women who come to Jakarta from rural villages to earn money and possibly find a better life. Inscrutable house mothers ensure that life (at least inside the dorm) remains chaste and help to reassure nervous relatives back home.