JAKARTA, BOOMING METROPOLIS
Jakarta, Indonesias capital city, is a booming metropolis and is the centre of government, commerce and industry. It has an extensive communications network with the rest of the country and the outside world. Over the last several decades, Jakarta has developed into one of Asia leading cities with its skyline covered by modern skyscrapers, state-of-the-art shopping centres and recreation complexes.
As one of Indonesia designated tourist areas and a gateway to other tourist destinations, Jakarta is equipped with all the means of modern transportation by air, sea, rail, or by land. It has the largest and most modern airport in the country – Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and the countrys most important harbour. Tourist attractions include such as Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park), restored colonial period buildings, island resorts in Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands), and a beach recreation complex called Ancol.
Jakarta is also city of contrasts with a mix of the traditional and the modern, the rich and the poor, and the sacral and the worldly. It is also a melting pot of diverse cultures and this one of the citys assets that makes it a most fascinating destination for visitors.
Geography: The city is located on the northwest coast of Java at the mouth of the Ciliwung River on Jakarta Bay, which is an inlet of the Java Sea. Administratively Jakarta is divided into five regions – South Jakarta, Central Jakarta, East Jakarta, West Jakarta, North Jakarta and one regency known as the Thousand Islands Regency, which is located in Jakarta Bay north of the city.
Climate: The temperature is between of 22o C to 33oC, and the average rainfall is 1,916.8mm- 924.50mm per year.
PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO DO
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Indonesia in Miniature Park)
This is an extensive park, which gives visitors a glimpse of the diversity of the Indonesian archipelago, It represents Indonesias 27 provinces and their outstanding characteristics, reflected most strikingly in the exact regional architecture of the province. It has its own orchid garden in which hundreds of Indonesian orchid varieties are grown. There is also a bird park with a walk-in aviary, a fauna museum and recreational grounds with a swimming pool and restaurants. Of special interest is Museum Indonesia, which is built in Balinese architectural style and houses contemporary arts and crafts and traditional costumes from the different regions of the country. Another must-visit at the park is the Keong Emas IMAX theater. The Park is open from 9am. to 4pm. daily.
Popularly referred to as Monas this is one of the monuments built during the Sukarno era of fierce nationalism. (Sukarno was a former President of Indonesia) It stands for the peoples determination to achieve freedom and the crowning of their efforts in the Proclamation of Independence on 17 August 1945. The 137m-tall marble obelisk is topped with a flame coated with 35 kilograms of gold. The base houses a historical museum and a hall for meditations. A lift carries visitors to the top of the building, which offers a birds eye view of the city and the sea. It is open to the public.
This is the official residence and office of the Indonesian President located north of the National Monument. It is open to the public on weekends for free.
Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (Ancol Dream Park)
One of the biggest beach recreational complex in Asia, it consists of Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy World), Seaworld (with the largest aquarium in South East Asia), Gelanggang Samudra (Ocean Park), resorts, hotels, beaches and marina. Entrance ticket, weekdays: Rp.133.000-, weekend: Rp.163.000 – .
Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands)
A group of islands in the Jakarta Bay, this is a haven away from the bustle and bustle of city life. There are golden beaches fringed with coconut palms. The surrounding waters are a paradise for divers and are filled with a myriad of tropical fish that live among the multicoloured corals. Some of the islands in this group developed for tourism are Pulau Bidadari, Pulau Ayer, Pulau Laki and Pulau Putri, which have cottages, restaurants, diving and sailing facilities. On Pulau Air and Pulau Bidadari there are cabins for rent. Pulau Tanjung near Putri has an airstrip. The islands can be reached from Tanjung Priok or Pasar Ikan (Sunda Kelapa) by ferry or by chartered boat.
Lubang Buaya (Heroes Monument)
Located in southeast of Jakarta, about 20 kms from citys centre, this memorial park is dedicated to the six army generals and one army officer who were slain on 1 October 1965 in an abortive communist inspired coup detat. The centrepiece is the Pancasila Monument with statues of the seven heroes standing near the old well in which their bodies were thrown after having been tortured and executed by communist militia squads.
Better known as Pasar Ikan (fish market), it is located at the mouth of the Ciliwung River and was formerly the harbour town of Sunda Kelapa where the Portuguese traded with the Hindu Kingdom of Pajajaran in the early 16th century. As it is a fishermans wharf and an inter-island port there is many tall masted Bugis schooners from South Sulawesi anchored at the harbour – a picturesque scene.
Gedung Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Arts Theater)
This neo-renaissance structure has been meticulously restored and is now one of the proud landmarks among the many Jakarta buildings, which have been conserved. Some of the city best performance by both local and visiting artists are often held here.
Jalan Surabaya (Surabaya Street)
For a unique shopping experience, visit this lively open-air antique market on the fringes of the Menteng residential neighbourhood. A good place to bargain for antiques and unique handicraft.