Jakarta is one of the greatest megalopolises in the world, and this dynamic city can be challenging for visitors. However, it’s a must-visit for anyone looking for a little adventure, and while the traffic can be maddening, this slightly dysfunctional city is full of optimism and presents many of opportunities to get off the beaten path.
Sure, the city is full of brand new high-rises, gridlocked streets, concrete, and always covered in a blanket of smog, however even the poorest citizens are positive and good-natured, and crime rates are low compared to similar sized cities around the world.
The nightlife is decadent and riotous, and Chinatown is a must-visit. You may find yourself rubbing shoulders with the future leaders of Indonesia, including thinkers, artists, movers and shakers in a cool lounge bar or bohemian cafe before heading out clubbing until dawn, or you could spend your days wandering and simply soaking up the many different sights and smells of this Indonesian city.
Head to Ancol Dreamland, which is an amusement park open 24 hours a day. You’ll find Seaworld, animal shows, Atlantis Water Adventure, Fantasy World, Ocean Dream Samudra, Art Market, bowling, golf range, Ocean Eco Park, art academy, gondola and more.
The National Museum of Indonesia is a must-visit, and you’ll find it at Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat which is in the middle of Jakarta. The museum is geographical, ethnological, historical and archaeological and the museum is known as the Elephant Building as you can recognise it by the elephant statue.
Head to Merdeka Square, which is in the city centre of Jakarta. It symbolises the fight for Indonesia and it’s open almost every day of the month (closed on the last Monday of each month).
The Jakarta Arts Theatre (Gedung Kesenian Jakarta) was built during the period when Indonesia was colonised by the Dutch. You’ll find it close to the Jakarta Cathedral and Istiqlal Mosque and there are always many different arts programs happening, ranging from musical performances to theatre shows.
The shopping in Jakarta is varied, and you’ll find everything from budget shopping in markets and malls to high end designer stores. The Plaza Indonesia in FX Mall has many different designer goods, while Mangga Dua is the place to go for high-quality imitations of your favourite designers.
For those who consider themselves to be foodies, Jakarta is one of the best places to find food from around the world and local Sundanese food. There are plenty of options for good, cheap food, and you’ll also find many different restaurants available for fine dining.
Jakarta is jam packed with excellent hotels, although it makes sense to do some shopping around to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Check out www.traveloka.com where you’ll find the Merlynn Park Hotel which is in a great location and sure to give you amazing memories of your time in Jakarta.