Pondok Indah

Puspawarna

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I lived in Pondok Indah for three years, from July 2013 to June 2016 and am writing this in July 2016. Depending on where everyone in your family works/attends school, and whether you have a full expat package that pays for housing, it can be a great location for living in South Jakarta.

Above all else, PI is close to most campuses of Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS, formerly known as Jakarta International School). Regardless of whether your child is in pre-school or high school, by living in Pondok Indah you will be close by the relevant campus. Some of the entrances to JIS are on quiet residential streets, so depending on which street in PI you live on, even your young children may be able to walk or bike to school by themselves. This is an almost unheard of option in Jakarta. And for parents who want to volunteer at the school and attend school events regularly, it’s a huge plus.

In addition, most of PI consists of quiet, shady, well-maintained streets that are ideal for running, biking, and walking. While we lived there I ran outside most days, and always saw other people (usually expats but Indonesians too) out getting exercise. One family used to take their elderly grandmother out in her wheelchair every day for a spin around the neighborhood. There were always a lot of dogs being walked, too (it's a very dog-friendly neighborhood).

The houses in Pondok Indah tend to be very large. In fact, if you have guests visiting it’s worth taking a tour of the neighborhood just to gawk at some of the absurdly enormous (and sometimes garishly adorned) residences. Most of those hotel-sized houses are never for rent (presumably they are the homes of wealthy Indonesians), but there are plenty of large houses available. In fact, if your preference is for a cozy place, you’ll be lucky to find a house that isn’t too spacious. Virtually all houses have their own pool and at least a small yard.

As I write this, the housing market is depressed and there are dozens of homes with “for rent” signs on them. So you should be able to get a nice house for a lower price than would have been possible a couple of years ago. A lot of houses were in the USD 4000-6000/month range or even higher a while back; smart landlords will take less money now. Still, even with the downward trend the prices are within reach only for those with a good benefit package.

Dining and entertainment around PI is focused on what residents call PIM (rhymes with “him”) – Pondok Indah Mall, which is a huge mall complex filled with endless shops and restaurants. No one in my family is a mall rat, so we didn’t spend much time there. But you can buy everything from clothing (there is even a store specializing in warm clothes) to electronics to linens to passport photos to tchotchkes. Food-wise, there is Chinese, Japanese, fast food, quasi-American, coffee shops, pastries, and Indonesian (recommended: Remboelan).

Aside from the mall, there are other small shopping areas with additional restaurants; depending on where you live you may even be able to walk there.

Grocery shopping in Pondok Indah is easy if you have expat tastes: there is a Hero in PIM, a very large Ranch Market, and a Carrefour.

One thing you probably won’t get in PI is a chance to experience Indonesian daily life. It’s not the kind of place where people pop into their neighbor’s house. However, if you get to know people through school, work, and community organizations, you’ll probably find out that some of your colleagues live in PI too.

During ordinary traffic days, it took us about 30 minutes to get from our house to the Blok M area and another 15 minutes to get to Ratu Plaza, so our commutes weren’t too terrible by Jakarta standards. Since the new toll road opened, getting to the airport has been remarkably fast. Unless traffic is exceptionally heavy, it takes as little as 30-45 minutes (possibly even less if you are going at a very early hour of the morning) to get to Soekarno-Hatta.

In summary, the advantages of PI are: close to JIS; good for outdoor exercise; nice houses; good place if you have dogs; easy shopping for groceries and most routine needs; and commute times not too bad, with excellent airport access. The disadvantages are: houses are affordable only on an expat package; very little feel for Indonesian life; nothing much interesting around if you aren’t a mall rat.
 
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Macedonian

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Thank you for the nice info !
To be honest iv never been in Jakarta except the airport of course, many times iv prepared myself going there but my wife turns me down cause she hates Jakarta :) she says the macet is terrible and its too hot :D
 

William King

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The golf course is pretty good, though pricey. There's also a large futsal complex.
 

Puspawarna

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Good points, WK. Also, there are several apartment complexes in PI, for those who do not want a house. Bukit Golf is pretty high end, I believe. Hotel Kristal, which also does long-term-stay apartments, is more reasonably priced and is right next to JIS (but along a busy street with a crappy sidewalk, so if your kids are young you would want to walk them to school).
 

dafluff

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Yes yes, but did you know that when the show "Beverly Hills 90210" was all the rage, Indonesia had its own version called "Pondok Indah", and it was every way as cheesy?
 

Puspawarna

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Yes yes, but did you know that when the show "Beverly Hills 90210" was all the rage, Indonesia had its own version called "Pondok Indah", and it was every way as cheesy?

Now that's a show I'd like to see. I hesitate to go into detail about some of the "types" I could imagine inhabiting such a show, because I am afraid I'd rapidly descend into stereotyping.

The show was about Indonesians, right? Not expats?
 

dafluff

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Now that's a show I'd like to see. I hesitate to go into detail about some of the "types" I could imagine inhabiting such a show, because I am afraid I'd rapidly descend into stereotyping.

The show was about Indonesians, right? Not expats?

Yes, rich Indonesian teenagers.
 

lone_ranger

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Kristal is nice, though a bit run-down. There used to be a good bakery in Tower 2. The gym can get a little crowded, with the ubiquitous "trainers" trying to rip you off every now and then. Never liked any of the restaurants in PIM3, save for Remboelan. Had a bout of diarrhea after a meal at the Korean restaurant across from it. The burger joint in PIM 1 was OK. Can't say I like PIM 2 very much, although breakfast on the ground floor near the north end can be quite pleasant, especially on a Sunday morning, which is about the only day that I would be brave enough to drive.
 

waarmstrong

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I like the sushi place in PIM II and the Magnum ice cream cafe in the same general area. I go to PIM to get ideas because it's convenient, but if we really need to buy anything major, its Glodok/Mangga Dua, usually shops along Jl Pinangsia or the nearby Glodok Plaza.
 

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