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Jakarta

Jakarta

Cheap Holidays to Jakarta in Indonesia

Jakarta is not a city that appeals to everyone but many find it an unavoidable stop on the way to more tranquil Indonesian destinations. Jakarta is a decentralized sprawl of low slung buildings and occasional high rise towers; the lack of any real city centre makes it difficult to experience the city's highlights, which are scattered about the enormous districts. Jakarta has a reputation as a rich person's playground and although it is a city of grungy streets and some conspicuous poverty, travellers will also find modern shopping complexes and examples of ostentatious wealth. Visitors can enjoy a bit of this glamour in the garish nightclubs and elegant restaurants.

Travelling far in the city is laborious and adding to the difficulty is heavy traffic and haywire street grids throughout dense and stretching sprawl. Yet despite, or possibly because of, Jakarta's reputation as a difficult city, little visited areas and unique attractions feel like personal discoveries. Jakarta is a melting pot of everything Indonesian, giving visitors a quick introduction or synopsis of the country's various and incredibly diverse cultures, architectures, foods, languages, religions, and combined histories.

Although it can be a dirty and frustrating city to visit, Jakarta has some hidden gems and confronts tourists with the realities of urban Indonesia, providing an interesting contrast to the peaceful rural villages and glorious coastal areas.

You can see Jakarta growing and expanding, with new suburbs springing up on its outskirts and new high-rises reaching for the sky in the downtown area. The hub of the modern city is Taman Merdeka (Independence Square), which is dominated by the showy, 132 metre tall National Monument, crowned by a glittering, stylised metal flame. Taman Fatahilla is the epicentre of Kota, the original heart of Dutch Batavia, and still has a sprinkling of picturesque old buildings.

The nearby Glodok district is the heart of Jakarta’s substantial Chinese community, and in recent years has also seen gentrification. Sunda Kelapa, the old port, is lined with warehouses dating back to the colonial era and filled with old-fashioned schooners that still carry cargo between Jakarta and the outlying islands. South of the centre, Jalan Jaksa is a colourful thoroughfare, lined with antique and souvenir shops, cheap restaurants, guesthouses and tour agencies.

Indonesia’s sprawling capital is one of the fastest-growing, most chaotic and most exciting places in South East Asia. It is the gateway to a vast, vibrant and varied island nation that’s home to dozens of fascinating cultures.

Formerly the colonial capital of the Dutch East Indies – when it was known as Batavia – Jakarta has grown from its original seaport district into a huge modern conurbation of high-rise hotels and apartments, thronged shopping malls and wide, busy avenues.

Jakarta has many interesting museums to visit such as the History Museum which provides you with an understanding of the country´s Dutch colonial era. The Taman Ismail Marzuki is a cultural centre with many events throughout the year. The city is also packed with dining and snack spots ranging from restaurants to roadside hawkers.

The lure of Jakarta’s bright lights has attracted Indonesian migrants from all over this huge country. As a result, the capital’s menu is stupendously varied. Staples such as noodles and nasi goreng (mixed fried rice) are on the menu everywhere, but there’s much more to try. Chicken and beef are the most common fowl and meat dishes – Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country, and pork is a rarity.

Café culture is something that the Indonesian capital has developed in the past years, but hawker stalls and street food still remain popular among locals and tourists alike. Many of them offer free WiFi and air-conditioned seating, perfect for a relaxing break in the hot city.

Jakarta is a fast growing city of entertainment! Here you will find everything from bars to chic clubs and karaoke, all that's left is to take a pick and choose what you would like to do for the night.

Over the last decade Jakarta has become a major shopping destination, with numerous brand new, air-conditioned shopping malls springing up all over the city, in competition with established malls and department stores such as Blok M, while international department store chains such as Sogo, Mark’s and Spencer’s and Metro have also made an appearance.

Good buys include traditional ikat and batik textiles, traditional and modern wood carvings from Bali and other islands, antique pottery and Dutch colonial antiques (though these are very often faked). Many international sports and leisure wear brands have factories in Jakarta and sports footwear, sports clothing and designer wear are available at good prices.

Jakarta Sightseeing

Jakarta can be a challenge for travellers as it is sprawling, dirty and confusing, but it is also interesting: a collision of people and cultures and religions which may be a bit overwhelming but can also be entertaining. Attractions in Jakarta are not clumped together and for the most part it is not a city whose wonders can be explored on foot. In fact, it can be difficult to know where to start as a tourist seeking worthwhile things to see and do in Jakarta.

A great starting point, particularly if you've just landed in Indonesia, is Indonesia Miniature Park (Taman Mini), which showcases the cultures and some of the treasures of the different islands and regions in the archipelago, giving visitors a good overview of the whole country. Here you can find recreations of famous temples and statues and examples of the architectural styles of different Indonesian cultures. A good way to get a sense of the layout of Jakarta is to pay a visit to the National Monument of Indonesia, the city's landmark obelisk, which you can ascend for impressive views, and which houses a small museum on the fight for Indonesian independence. This is also one of Jakarta's main meeting points for locals and is a lovely spot to indulge in some people watching.

Those interested in the colonial history of Jakarta should stroll around Old Batavia, the rundown waterfront area surrounding Taman Fatahillah Square, which was once the centre of Dutch rule in Indonesia. Although not well maintained this old district still boasts some 16th-century buildings and other unexpected relics. Other popular attractions in Jakarta include the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in Indonesia, and the Museum Bank, a beautiful old building that once housed one of Indonesia's first banks and is now an intriguing banking museum.

If you are travelling with kids in Jakarta be sure to check out Kidzania theme park which is one of the city's most celebrated fun zones.

 

Jalan Mangga Besar Raya No.7-11, Jakarta Indonesia. With a history stretching back almost to the foundation of Jakarta itself, Mangga Besar and its surrounding area remain a microcosm of all the city has to offer. Stroll along timeless streets, immerse..
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