“Big Durian” sums it all for the happening Jakarta – the quickening rhythms, the hustle and bustle, and the kaleidoscope of colours. The eclectic mix of a great metropolitan of more than 28,000,000 inhabitants blends seamlessly with the latest fashion trends in shopping malls like Grand Indonesia or Mangga Dua, as the scent of excitement lingers in the warm tropical air of Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands). Towards the calmer side of the city is the wonderfully preserved Betawi culture as shown in Setu Babakan Cultural Village, which perfectly infuses both heritage and modern footprints into Jakarta’s unique tapestry.
Best of Jakarta
View the city skyline atop a magnificent Italian marble monument gilded with a 35kg gold leaf! The museum on the ground floor showcases the history of the city and the whole nation. Watch locals as they go about, catch the musical fountain or even attend Cosplay events.
2. Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (Ancol Dreamland)
As holiday getaways go, it has everything from a theme park with more than 30 thrilling rides, captivating underwater creatures at the oceanarium, splash-tastic water parks, a pristine beach golf course and many more. No wonder it is touted as the largest integrated tourism area in Southeast Asia. A fun day bundled into one amazing resort destination!
3. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park)
It’s almost impossible to cover the largest archipelagic country in the world in a lifetime, but this park is the next best thing. Despite the name, there’s nothing “mini” about this place. Explore amazing pavilions that represent most of the provinces in Indonesia, visit the 16 various museums or visit any of the fun 11 gardens and parks. There’s even a public swimming pool and 3D IMAX theatre. Fun for everyone!
4. Kota Tua (Old Jakarta)
Travel back in time and see the city when it was called Batavia, a walled city of the colonial Dutch East Indies. Although it no longer holds the title “The Queen of the East” as it did in the 16th century, there are still interesting sites to see here: Fatahillah Square, Port Tower, Wayang Museum, Zion Church, Café Batavia, Port of Sunda Kelapa and many more.
5. Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands)
Located 45 km north of Jakarta’s bustling port is Kepulauan Seribu, a surprisingly beautiful chain of islands highly accessible from the city. Aside from a plethora of activities such as kayaking, sailing and swimming, the islands are also famous for stunning diving sites, especially the smaller islands where the gorgeous coral reefs call home.
6. Museum Nasional (The National Museum of Indonesia)
Spend your time examining one of the world’s largest collections of Southeast Asia ceramics and Hindu-Buddhist artefacts, and we promise you it’ll be worth every single astounding second! The museum has more than 61,000 prehistoric and anthropological artefacts, as well as over 5,000 artefacts, so be ready to spend a full interesting day here.
7. Setu Babakan
Seen as the natives of Jakarta, Betawi is an ethnic group consisting of the descendants of the various ethnic groups living around Batavia (Jakarta) from circa 17th century. Immerse in their culture in this cultural village as you’re serenaded by whimsical folk songs, enchanting dances and heavenly cuisines along the perimeter of a beautifully tranquil lake!
8. Tanah Abang
More stuff for less moolah, this is where to go. Be spoilt for choice at the gorgeous arrays of scarves and fabrics at exclusive bargain prices at the largest textile market in Southeast Asia! This wholesale haven is where you can find anything under the sky, from household goods to the latest in fashion and accessories!
9. Jakarta Nightlife
The gigantic metropolis sizzles after the sun goes down with a dizzying range of chic cafés and exciting clubs vying for the spotlight. Warning! Pick your party grounds and dance the night away! Go club-hopping from Jalan Sudirman all the way to Hayam Wuruk for favourite hang-out places like Social House, Immigrant, Hard Rock Cafe, Illigals and Stadium.
10. Kerak Telor
The glutinous rice used for this dish must be prepared hours in advance before the cook mixes it up with duck eggs to make a rich and fulfilling omelette. Sprinkled on are dried shrimp, grated coconut, fried shallots and a dab of chilli. Best served with a cup of java.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Jakarta at its immediate neighbour, Banten Province. Nature lovers can arrange a trip to Ujung Kulon National Park, the last sanctuary of the critically endangered Javan rhinoceros. Beaches around Tanjung Lesung, Carita and Anyer are perfect for families while international surfers prefer Sawarna.