Jakarta certainly isn’t a primary tourist destination, there are a handful of good museums and dozens of swanky shopping malls. Though Jakarta’s infamous traffic jams still choke the city. So if you really want to get under the skin of Indonesia, a visit to this mammoth city (the Greater Jakarta conurbation exceeds 20 million people) is essential. In recent years Jakarta has suffered on several fronts. Severe floods cause massive damage to homes and infrastructure. The city faces many challenges. Millions live in desperate poverty, many in flood prone areas.

South of Monas is jalan Jaksa, the traditional backpacker centre, which is well placed for the historic north of the city and transport links, with busways and the main train station, Gambir. North of Monas is the old city of Kota, containing most of Jakarta’s meagre tourist attractions, while nearby is the schooner harbour of Sunda Kelapa. The modern harbour, Tanjung Priok, is several kilometres along the coast to the east, past the Taman Impian Jaya Ancol recreation park. Jakarta is surprisingly safe. Violent crime is very rare and tourists are very seldom targeted. It does, however, remain the most crime-prone city in Indonesia.

Jakarta, source : wikipedia.org


Museum Wayang
One of the best collections of  puppets in Java and its dusty cabinets are full of a multitude of characters. The collection includes puppets from not only Indonesia but also China, Vietnam, India, Cambodia and Europe, and masks used by dancers. There are free wayang performances here on Sunday.

Museum Sejarah Jakarta
This bell-towered building, built in 1627, served the administration of the city and was also used by the city law courts. You will find the odd exquisite piece, such the stunning black granite sculpture of Kali, a Hindu goddess associated with death and destruction.

Balai Seni Rupa
Houses contemporary paintings with works by prominent artists, including Affandi, Raden Saleh and Ida Bagus Made. Part of the building is also a ceramics museum, with Chinese ceramics and Majapahit terracottas.

Museum Bahari
Is a good place to learn about the city’s maritime history, and though the wonderful old buildings.

Museum Nasional
Built in 1862, There’s  a superb display of gold treasures from Candi Brahu in Central Java, including some glittering necklaces, armbands and a bowl depicting scenes from the Ramayana. Outside the museum is a bronze elephant that was presented by the King of Thailand in 1871

Museum Pancasila  Sakti
Is a bizarre homage to anticommunism. Inside you’ll find dioramas depicting Communist crimes, photos of the 1960s show trials, and even bullet hole–ridden military uniforms

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
100-hectare park has full-scale traditional houses for each of Indonesia’s provinces. Free cultural performances are staged in selected regional houses. Sunday is the big day for cultural events, but shows are also held during the week

Taman Impian Jaya Ancol
This 300-hectare, landscaped recreation park, providing non-stop entertainment, has hotels, theatres and a variety of sporting and leisure facilities including bowling. It’s easily the city’s best entertainment for kids in the city.

Around Jakarta

Pulau Seribu is the perfect respite for those stuck in the capital too long. There are 130 islands in the group, Pulau Pramuka is the group’s district centre which is about 15km north of Jakarta. The most accessible islands have been developed into resorts with bungalows and water sports. The resorts have offices in Jakarta or at the Ancol Marina.


This is the closest resort island and is popular with Jakarta residents for day trips. It is one of the least interesting resorts, but you can use it to visit other islands.

to be continued

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