When you think of Indonesia, as a travel destination, most people think of Bali, to the point that few travellers venture out of the Bali, Lombok and Gili Islands region - yet there’s so much more to squeeze out of Indonesia.
Today, we’re going to look at the city of Jakarta, which is the capital of Indonesia, known for its incredibly good-natured and positive people all bursting with optimism as the capital city industriously develops.
The chances are, if you’re heading to Jakarta, you’re probably not going there because it’s on your travel bucket list; it’s probably because you have a connecting flight or perhaps a work engagement. Indeed, many tourists treat Jakarta as an entry and exit point into Indonesia, passing on the treats the city has to offer - but if you can spare 48 hours to explore this quirky city you’ll find that it may be crowded, loud, and busy - but it definitely isn’t boring!
If, on the other hand, you’re planning to stay in Jakarta long-term, then the first thing you’re going to want to do is find an apartment to live in, which can be difficult given the language barrier; this is where sites like https://rumahdijual.com/jakarta-selatan/ can come in handy, as you can use Google Translate to translate the page and see exactly what you’re getting - which is way more convenient than traipsing around real estate agents.
Similar to Kuala Lumpur, shopping in Jakarta is a huge pastime, with several prestigious malls and street markets alike. If you head down to the district of Menteng, you’ll find a famous flea market which has a range of goods from arts, crafts, textiles and food; just bring comfortable shoes as the market is over half a kilometre long. If you’re looking for a more fancy mall experience you might want to head to https://www.forbes.com/sites/bishopjordan/2017/01/09/top-shopping-malls-jakarta/#741a7fb410c6 for more insight.
The Thousand Islands are considered part of greater Jakarta, meaning, if you’re looking for some beach time in order to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city - you don’t have to venture too far from Jakarta to find natural beauty, peace and serenity.
Just a few hours outside the city centre you’ll find beautiful beaches, covers and inlets that are a million miles away from the chaos and congestion of Jakarta. The best way to explore the islands is to take a boat tour that allows you to island hop.
This tower is the most famous monument in Jakarta that symbolises the independence of Indonesia, declared in 1945, after years of Dutch colonial rule. The tower is located in Merdeka Square, which translated, means ‘freedom’. Head to the observation deck at the top of the tower on a clear day to get tremendous views across the whole city.
Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands and is split into 26 provinces. Therefore, it’s unlikely you’ll even scratch the surface of this immense country on a trip here, but for an overview of the highlights head to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah or Beautiful Mini Indonesia.
This park is arranged according to province where you’ll find models of traditional homes and learn about the local traditions, costumes, and diverse ways of life across the country. This is a great place to come with children and offers an interesting way to get your bearings and understand the geography of this vast country.
Ragunan Zoo is a place you’ll find over 3,600 species spread out over 185 hectares of land. You can find Komodo Dragons and Orangutans from Indonesia along with a variety of species from other parts of the world. The zoo is also home to an array of indigenous flowers and plants. The zoo is closed every Monday, and the top tip is to wear plenty of insect repellent when visiting.
The beach within Jakarta is called Ancol Beach, which consists of a strip of golden sand that is technically free to walk on - but requires payment to enjoy facilities such as sun loungers; there are also a number of swimming pools along the shore as well as other attractions including SeaWorld and a waterpark.
This is another great choice if you’re travelling with children.
Dunia Fantasi is Jakarta’s version of Disneyland and fans of Disneyland may find many parts of it surprisingly familiar. Whilst it doesn’t really compare to the likes of Universal Orlando, it’s well worth a visit. There’s a Main Street, as well as a Puppet Castle, and you will find a variety of rides including the Niagara Flume (great to cool down on a hot day).
This textile museum is one of the less visited museums in Jakarta, however, it is well worth the trip if you are interested in fashion or textiles as you’ll get the chance to learn more about traditional Indonesian weaving and fabric painting techniques.
The museum has just over 2,000 pieces on show including some famous Indonesian batik items. There are also a range of antique looms displayed as well as a very pretty garden which hosts plants used to make dyes for the fabrics. One thing to check out, are the taster classes where you can learn how to make Batik art work.
Found in Taman Sari is the area of Glodok which is essentially Jakarta’s Chinatown.
It is the largest Chinatown in the country and one of the biggest in the world; having started out in the Dutch Colonial Period. Today, it’s a range of temples, markets, and shops where you can stroll around and admire the traditional Chinese architecture. It also has a famous electronics centre which is one of the largest in Jakarta. The other thing to look out for are the traditional medicine shops, that have a range of weird and wonderful remedies.
Atlantis Water Adventure is a vast water park complex that’s perfect for cooling off on a hot day. The park has eight areas and you will find a large wave pool in addition to a variety of fun slides and pools for various age groups. This is a great family activity that offers a more fun and relaxing side of Jakarta away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.