Travel Destination Review: Jakarta, Indonesia
One of the key destinations of Southeast Asia, Jakarta has a special flavor that makes it one of my favorite places. Not only is Jakarta the most populous city in Indonesia, it’s also the biggest city in the whole of Southeast Asia!
However, unlike most of the bustling cities of Southeast Asia, Jakarta has its own special significance: it’s street culture, it’s architecture, it’s climate, it’s history and it’s story: it’s unique, it’s different, and it’s definitely one of the most exotic places in Southeast Asia!
With a population of over nine million people, a vibrant street culture and a fusion of Betawi, Chinese, Arabic, Malay and Sundanese influences, Jakarta is like a chocolate waiting to be unwrapped.
If you’re on a visit to Jakarta, you may find yourself wanting to stay on until you’ve discovered every nook and cranny, and until you’ve run out of things to do! However, this may just be impossible, for this city is an adventure that just never ends!
Tourist Attractions in Jakarta
In Jakarta, there’s always something to see, an adventure to go for, a cuisine to sample, a temple to admire, a winding street to meander through as you haggle, shop and sample finger-foods at local food-stalls and shows to watch!
Here are a few of Jakarta’s famous tourist attractions, without which a trip to Jakarta would not be complete!
Jakarta is home to the famous National Monument, the Istiqlal Mosque, the West Irian Liberation Monument and the Jakarta Cathedral, all of which are quite impressive, and something you really must take a look at! On the tourist route of Jakarta, there’s also the Jakarta Old Town with its colonial buildings and winding streets, the Ancol Dreamland Complex, The Duni Fantasi Theme Park and the Gelanggang Samudra!
The museums of Jakarta
Jakarta has many glorious museums around Old Town, Merdeka Square and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, many of which are housed in colonial buildings! Some of these include the Jakarta History Museum, the Wayang Museum, the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum and the Maritime Museum. With Jakarta’s wide and varied history, a trip to the beautiful museums is a must. You’ll be fascinated with all the relics of an ancient civilization!
Jakarta’s Performing Art Centres
These give a true impression of Jakarta’s culture and tradition! Why not start up with a visit to the Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) centre and follow up with a jaunt to Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, Balai Sarbini and Bentara Budaya Jakarta!
Jakarta’s Traditional Indonesian Art
For performances that reflect the traditions of Indonesia, head to Wayang Orang Bharata theater! Other places where you can sit back, relax with a cool drink and take in the graceful Wayang and Gamelan performances are the five star hotels in Jakarta!
Festivals of Jakarta
If you’re in Jakarta, you might want to catch one of the beautiful, exotic festivals that are in profusion through the year! Some festivals in Jakarta that are all about fun, music and adventure are the Jalan Jaksa Music Festival, the Kemang Festival, the Jakarta International Film Festival, the Jakarta Fashion and Food Festival, the Flona Jakarta, the Jakarta Fashion Week and many more! Another not to be missed festival is the Jakarta Fair that lasts for a month between June and July, and hosts entertainment galore!
If you’re heading to Jakarta, you might want to put your taste-buds in full mode! Jakarta has a huge network of street stalls all over the city, so you can sample all sorts of gastronomical delights from a fusion of cuisines. Be it Chinese, Malay, Korean, Thai, Indian, American, Middle Eastern or even French, you’re bound to be sampling something new all the time!
Some exotic dishes to try out include soto betawi, kerak telor, sate, gado-gado, nasi goreng and kue cucur. When eating some of these, you may want to ask what’s in them, though!
If it’s produced, it’s in Jakarta! Jakarta is known for its vast variety of shopping malls and traditional markets where one can get everything under the sun! Tourists in Southeast Asia make it a point to visit Jakarta and get everything they need for everyone back home!
Where to Stay
When you are in Jakarta, accommodation may be the least of your worries! Whether you’re a backpacker with extremely shallow pockets or a CEO looking for a five star resort where you can live in style, you’ll find some awesome Jakarta hotels to stay in. Let’s take a look at a good few!
- Great climate, vast variety of food and awesome traditional performances
- Vast city, with many things to do!
- Lack of an effective public transport system
- Traffic jams on most major roads