July 29, 2019
East meets West in Indonesia’s capital city
It is considered as one of the world’s most populous megalopolises, and as such offers a contrast between old traditions and cosmopolitan customs. It is a bustling city that mixes old Dutch East India architecture with modern skyscrapers, interspersed with malls and bazaar-style retail spaces that bring out one’s bargain-hunting prowess. Much like Metro Manila, sprawling Jakarta is divided into five districts, each bringing its own unique experience for travellers.
Jakarta Pusat, considered as Central Jakarta is where one can find iconic landmarks like Monas, The Merdeka Palace, The National Museum, Istiqlal Mosque, The Jakarta Cathedral and Monumen Selamat Datang or the welcome monument widely renowned as Bunderan HI. Central Jakarta is the place for some high-end shopping and luxe living, as most of the prestigious shopping malls and upscale hotels are located here.
North Jakarta or Jakarta Utara is perfect for thrill seekers, as this is where Ancol Dreamland is located. Boasting of a variety of amusements such as Dufan Theme park, Seaworld, Atlantis Water Adventure Park, and the Ecopark, this is also where an art market inside Ancol features souvenirs that include paintings by local artists, traditional puppets called Wayang Kulit, and even wall hangings made from goat leather.
Ancol Bay is also the gateway to a seaside getaway. A boat ride brings tourists to The Thousand Islands or Seribu Archipelago, where some of the islands have luxe beach hut accommodations perfect for sun worshippers who want to plunge directly from their rooms to the clear blue waters of the sea.
Historical heritage sites can be found in West Jakarta, including Museum Fatahillah and its surrounding Kota Tua or Old Jakarta district, which is perfect for tourist shoots on a classic bike tour. A contemporary art exhibition venue named Museum Macan is also a must-see for Yayoi Kusama fans because some of her artworks can be found here.
At East Jakarta, tourists can find the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, the miniature of Indonesia Archipelago. This park also provides a sense of Indonesia’s diverse culture.
South Jakarta is where one can experience Indonesia’s indigenous Betawi culture up close. Here, tourists can visit traditional houses and enjoy activities such as watching their traditional dance performances, and tasting their native delicacies such as Kelak Telor or spicy omelette, and drinking Bir Pletok, an herb and spice based beverage that they drink during celebrations.
As for foodies who love to travel for taste, Jakarta is also the perfect destination to enjoy delicious renditions of Indonesia’s five national foods Nasi Goreng, Gado-gado, Soto, Sate, and Rendang.
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