Bajaj in Jakarta

The Jakartan equivalent to Thailand 's tuk-tuk is the bajaj (pronounced "bahdge-eye"), orange mutant scooters souped up in India into tricycles that carry passengers in a small cabin at the back. They're a popular way to get around town since they can weave through Jakarta's interminable traffic jams much like motorbikes can

Although slow, boneshaking (suspension is not a feature in a bajaj), hot (locals joke about the "natural A/C") and the quick way to breathing in more exhaust fumes than you ever thought possible, riding around in these little motor-bugs can really grow on you.

There are no set prices, but a short hop of a few city blocks shouldn't cost much more than Rp 5000. Be sure to agree to a price before you set off! Bajaj drivers are happy to overcharge visitors, and often can ask double or even more of what you would pay by meter in air-conditioned Blue Bird taxi (obviously, the normal price should be less than even for a cheaper variety of taxi). Locals who regularly use the bajaj know what a typical fare should be and are happy to tell you. Also, since bajaj aren't allowed on some of the larger roads in Jakarta, your route may well take you through the bewildering warren of backstreets. Try to keep an eye on what direction you're going, because some unscrupulous bajaj drivers see nothing wrong with taking the "scenic" route and then charging you double or triple the price.