A large city of daunting extremes, Jakarta is one of the world’s biggest cities, sprawling over 661 square km of northern Java.
As Indonesia’s most densely populated city (with over 13 million inhabitants), Jakarta’s turn out to be well regarded for its gridlocked streets and urban high rises than as a number one tourist vacation spot. However, in case you’re inclined to look past the chaos, this capital has many hidden charms, including a thrilling antique town (Kota) and colorful nightlife.
Whilst it may not appear to be much, Medan Merdeka, a green square kilometer in the center of the city, is a superb area to begin exploring. At its center, you’ll discover Jakarta’s National Monument, referred to as Monas, a 400ft torch, commissioned to symbolize the indomitable spirit of the Indonesian people. Take an elevator ride to the top to enjoy Jakarta’s sheer vastness from above and go to the National History Museum within the building’s basement, included in the ticket price.
On the west side of Medan Merdeka, you’ll locate the national Museum, which gives a splendid taster to Indonesia and contains many wonderful statues, plundered from primary ruins across the country.
Arguably Jakarta’s greatest attraction is its old town, Kota, to the north of the city’s contemporary center. The capital’s center in the Dutch colonial era, there are only a few of the appealing wooden-shuttered buildings that belie the area’s historical past left these days, however the most important square, Taman Fatahillah remains a hive of activity, with loads of carts promoting street food and tourist trinkets. Taste local food scrumptious offered via the stallholders, like Gado-Gado (an Indonesian salad with peanut sauce), or kerak telor (an omelet fried with sticky rice, dried shrimp, and coconut). Close by in Kota you’ll discover Museum Wayang’s collection of traditional Wayang puppets and the Jakarta History Museum, which displays very exciting artifacts.
North of Kota is the old port of Sunda Kelapa, which became critical for the duration of the Dutch empire and also have a few picturesque timber schooners and Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, an exercise complex popular with locals, providing leisure rides and a waterpark.
Take a journey eighteen kilometers from Medan Merdeka to Jakarta’s further southeast to enjoy the exceptional Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. This large ‘whole country in a single park’ has full-scale traditional homes from every single one of Indonesia’s regions, in addition to everything from a bird park to an IMAX cinema.
In case you’re eager to do some shopping there are lots of contemporary department stores to pick from, or head to Jakarta’s well-known flea market in Menteng, wherein you may haggle over textiles, woodcarvings and “antiques” of questionable provenance.
Air Tickets provides flights from major American airports to Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.