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Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, located on the northwest of the island of Java. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre and the most populous city not only in Indonesia but in Southeast Asia as a whole.
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Points of Interest in Jakarta
- Ancol Dream Park (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol). Consists of Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy world) with ticket fee Rp 150,000 (US$17.60) per person in week days and Rp 180,000 (US$21.20) per person on week end-Sunday-and-Holiday, Atlantis Water Adventure (Waterboom) ticket fee Rp 100,000 (US$11.80) per person, Seaworld (for the largest aquarium in South East Asia), Gelanggang Samudra (Ocean Park) animals show ticket Rp 90,000 (US$10.60) per person, Fantastic Multimedia (Laser) Show ticket fee Rp 50,000 (US$5.90) per person, resorts, hotel, beach, marina, and great restaurants. It's one of the biggest such parks in Asia. Entrance ticket fee to the complex Rp 15,000 (US$1.80) per person excluding parking fee
- Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, (Beautiful Indonesia in little park). See the whole Indonesian culture from here. It offers an exciting tour of 30 provinces of Indonesia with samplings of the country's more than 250 cultures. Highlight features are the Museum Indonesia and the Keong Emas IMAX theater. Entrance ticket fee to the complex Rp 10,000 (US$1.20) per person.
- Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, (Jakarta Arts Theater). Neo-renaissance structure, previously meticulously restored, and now one of the proud landmarks among the Jakarta buildings which have been conserved. Some of the city best performance by both local and visiting artists are often held here.
- Museum Nasional, Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat no.12 (BRT Monumen Nasional, Monas, Transjakarta Busway stop Gambir, Line I), ☎ +62 21 3868172, +62 21 381 1551, fax: +62 21 3447778, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Fri 8:30AM-4PM, Sat-Sun 8AM-5PM and closed on Mon and public holidays. Houses a vast collection of prehistoric, ethnographic and archaeological artifacts, including one of the world's largest collections of Southeast Asian ceramics and Hindu Javanese art. The museum was opened in 1868. See the Jakarta/Central article for more detail, including tour information. Admission charge: Indonesian residents: Rp 5,000, foreign visitors: Rp 10,000.
- Pasar Baru. Although the name means New Market, it doesn't mean the place is new at all. Dating back to the Dutch colonial era, it has been one of the main hub for commodities trading. And nowadays, it has been nothing short of a mixture of stores packed up in a very limited space. You can bet to find unbranded items with good quality and good price here.
- Monas (National Monument). Jakarta's best known landmark, the 137 m monument is located in the centre of Merdeka (Freedom) square. From the observation deck, you can view the city. At the basement there are dioramas that portray the dramatic story of Indonesia history. Entrance ticket Rp 2,500, ticket to the top of Monas, Rp 7,500.
- Presidential Palace, (north of the National Monument). Official residence and office of the Indonesian president is open to the public on weekends for free, preferably make reservation first and use formal clothes, no sandals.
- Textile Museum. Houses a large collections of textiles related to the religious and social practices of the major islands of the archipelago, including batik, ikat and kain ulos.
- Gedung Proklamasi, (Proclamation Building). The historical site of Indonesian independence, where on August 17, 1945 Soekarno-Hatta (Indonesian first President and vice-President) declared the nation's independence.
- Lubang Buaya. Marks the site where an alleged failed coup d'état by Partai Komunis Indonesia (Indonesian Communist Party) met its end, alongside the bodies of several high-ranking generals who are believed to have been tortured to death.
- Museum Sasmita Loka
- Museum Wayang, (Puppet Museum). Dedicated to puppetry, one of Indonesia's most famous traditional art forms. On display are the wayang kulit shadow puppets, three-dimensional wooden puppets and special dance masks. Wayang performances are presented on Sunday at 10AM.
- Jalan Surabaya, (Surabaya Street). Lively open-air antique market on the fringes of the Menteng residential neighborhood. A good place to bargain for exotic treaures.
- Sunda Kelapa Port/Old Harbour. The old port area of Sunda Kelapa remains today as a bustling hub for inter islands trade. Graceful Bugis phinisi schooners, the world's last wind-powered sailing fleet used for trade, still berthed at the quay as they have for century.
- Ragunan Zoo, (to the south Jakarta near Pasar Minggu). A 185-hectare city zoo contains a comprehensive collection of some 3,600 species of wildlife from throughout Indonesia. Look for the rare Komodo dragon. Pusat Primata Schmutzer consists of gorillas and other primates. Entrance ticket fee is only Rp. 4000 ($0.5) due to subsidies from Jakarta administration. A better alternative to Ragunan, however, is Taman Safari near Bogor (see the Get Out section for details.)
- Istiqlal Mosque, The biggest mosque in Southeast Asia.
- Cathedral Church, (in front of the Istiqlal Mosque).
- Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands), (north of Jakarta in the Java Sea). The Kepulauan Seribu are easily accessible by speed boat from Ancol marina. This spray of some 300 sandy, picturesque islets offers invigorating respitee for those wishing to escape from the bustling city.
- Museum Adam Malik,. Small museum dedicated to Mr Adam Malik, a renowned figure who represented Indonesia in the United Nations, among many of his other feats including as an Indonesian foreign minister.
- Museum ABRI, (Military Museum)
- Jembatan Kota Intan, (Kota Intan drawbridge). The bridge was developed coincide with the development of Batavia by Jan Pieterzoon Coen in 1628, and the only one of the rests of many suspension bridge ever decorating Batavia city.
- Bird Market, Jl. Barito in South Jakarta and Jl. Pramuka in Central Jakarta. Various colourful tropical birds are on sale.
- Fish Market and Museum Bahari, ("Maritime Museum), (at the mouth of the Ciliwung river). This market area bustles with activities related to the sea. The Museum Bahari situated at the harbour, is housed in restored Dutch warehouses dating back to the first trading post of the Dutch East Indies.
- Bird Island, in the Thousand Islands
- Atmosfear Dry Slider, (in FX Lifestyle Centre Mall Sudirman). One of the world's longest slider and fastest
- Museum Bank Mandiri, (in the Old Town area opposite the Northern Terminus of Corridor 1 of the Busway and Kota Station). See the history of banking in the Dutch colonial era. Sections include the history of how the Dutch segregated the services offered to bankers by race, the history of the creation of Bank Mandiri and it's memorabilia, Colonial Era Bank Governors and Rupiah bank notes through time.
- Jakarta Hidden Tours. Ronny and Anneke will lead you around some local slums where you will have a chance to meet local people and witness how they live. The proceeds of your tour will go to the local people and Ronny's Interkultur foundation.
The port of Sunda Kelapa dates to the 12th century, when it served the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran near present-day Bogor. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese, who were given the permission by the Hindu Kingdom of Pakuan Pajajaran to erect a godown in 1522. Control was still firmly in local hands, and in 1527 the city was conquered by Prince Fatahillah, a Muslim prince from Cirebon, who changed the name to Jayakarta.
By the end of the 16th century, however, the Dutch (led by Jan Pieterszoon Coen) had pretty much taken over the port city, and the razing of a competing English fort in 1619 secured their hold on the island. Under the name Batavia, the new Dutch town became the capital of the Dutch East Indies and was known as the Queen of the East.
However, the Dutch made the mistake of attempting to replicate Holland by digging canals throughout the malarial swamps in the area, resulting in shockingly high death rates and earning the town the epithet White Man's Graveyard. In the early 1800s most canals were filled in, the town was shifted 4 km inland and the Pearl of the Orient flourished once again.
In 1740, Chinese slaves rebelled against the Dutch. The rebellion was put down harshly with the massacre of thousands of Chinese slaves. The remaining Chinese slaves were exiled to Sri Lanka.
In 1795, the Netherlands were invaded and occupied by France, and on March 17, 1798, the Batavian Republic, a satellite state of France, took over both VOC debts and assets. But on August 26, 1811, a British expedition led by Lord Minto defeated the French/Dutch troops in Jakarta, leading to a brief liberation and subsequent administration of Indonesia by the British (led by Sir Stamford Raffles of Singapore fame) in 1811-1816. In 1815, after the Congress of Vienna, Indonesia was officially handed over from the British to the Dutch government.
The name Jakarta was adopted as a short form of Jayakarta when the city was conquered by the Japanese in 1942. After the war, the Indonesian war of independence followed, with the capital briefly shifted to Yogyakarta after the Dutch attacked. The war lasted until 1949, when the Dutch accepted Indonesian independence and handed back the town, which became Indonesia's capital again.
Since independence Jakarta's population has skyrocketed, thanks to migrants coming to the city in search of wealth. The entire Jabodetabek (Jakarta-Bogor-Depok-Tangerang-Bekasi) metropolitan region was estimated to have 28 million people in 2010. The official name of the city is Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Raya (DKI Jakarta), meaning "Special Capital City Region".
- Cinema: Movie theatres are a more affordable escape at around Rp 25,000 for a plush seat (Rp 50,000 in the weekend, up to Rp 70,000 if you watching in 3D) in any of the capital's shopping malls. Beware of the heavy hand of the Indonesian censor though. The price of popcorn and drinks are exorbitant. Several other cinemas also show Indian, Chinese and Indonesian movies. And the lesser ones also exhibit Indonesian B-Movies with erotic themes (still heavily censored). The largest chain of cinemas in Indonesia are 21 group, Blitz Megaplex and Cineplex 21.
- Fitness centre: Large hotels provide free fitness centres for guests. Some hotels have sauna, spa, tennis court and jogging track. They are also available in shopping malls.
- Golf: Golf is the number one pastime of the upper classes and, as so many other things here, relatively cheap by Western standards. Green fees can go as low as Rp 60,000 on weekdays, although the better courses are twice that, and weekend rates are considerably steeper at Rp 300,000 and up.
- Bowling: Most alleys are found in shopping malls. The fee for a game is US$2–3. Guest can rent bowling shoes etc. The length of the lanes are 32 ft.
- Football: It is not advisable to watch any live local football match in Jakarta, because the Jakmania, Persija Jakarta's ultras often turn into rioters when facing Persitara's North Jak and Persib's Viking, but it's safe to watching the regional and international match (maybe like AFF Cup or SEA GAMES, but AGAIN it's not adviseable if you want to watch Indonesia vs. Malaysia match, because of their rivality tension between fans sometimes can make the situation to be worsen). During and after certain soccer games, foreign tourists should also not go near the Lebak Bulus Stadium, the site of similar feats by lesser teams. Jakarta also has plenty choices of Futsal fields in many areas. Dirt and grass makeshift fields are abundant in residential areas, and can be crowded with players, onlookers and vendors, especially on weekend afternoons. In these casual games, anyone can simply ask to jump in or relax.
- Drifting: There's a drifting circuit on top of Mal Artha Gading (MAG)
- Karaoke: One of the main entertainment program in Asia. With the most popular chains spread throughout Jakarta, such as Inul Vista (Sarinah, Plaza Semanggi, Kelapa Gading, etc.), Happy Puppy (La Piazza, etc.), and NAV (Kelapa Gading, etc.). Expect to pay as low as Rp 60,000/hr+tax for a 6 person room.
- Badminton. As one of the powerhouses in badminton, Jakarta has a multitude of badminton courts, ranging from the national venues at the Senayan Complex to the suburban halls which cater to both futsal and badminton.
Most of them have wood-panel flooring, and are maintained in reasonably good condition. Lighting is strictly functional and is below par in comparison with standard badminton halls. The best way to find a playing venue (and players) is to post a request on badmintoncentral, the global badminton forum. It has a lot of members from Indonesia who would be happy to provide directions to a local hall. People play almost every evening - so, walk in, strike up a conversation with the group's captain, and expect to be accommodated in their group for the evening's session. If the captain refuses payment (usually less than Rp 20,000), it is polite to buy the players a round of soft-drinks (teh-botol is a good choice). Be warned that it is common for Indonesians to eat, smoke, drink and nap by the side of the court. So, watch your footing!
Jakarta has a vast range of food available at hundreds of eating complexes located all over the huge city. In addition to selections from all over the country, you can also find excellent Chinese, Japanese, and many other international foods thanks to the cosmopolitan population. Longer-term visitors will wish to dig up a copy of "Jakarta Good Food Guide" (JGFG) or "Jakarta Java Kini". The JGFG, as its affectionately known to Jakartans, is now in its 3rd edition, with the latest version published in 2009 and covering over 600 restaurants and casual eateries in the city. The JGFG has now also been made into an iPod touch & iPhone application, so you can download all 600 reviews and have them in the palm of your hand for whenever you're craving a bite of some good local food.
You can find Jakartan versions of many dishes, often tagged with the label betawi (Indonesian for "Batavian").
- Sop iga sapi, beef spare rib soup that takes a simple Dutch dish and piles on Indonesian spices.
- Soto betawi, coconut milk broth with beef tendons, intestines, tripe.
- Kerak telor, omelette from egg cooked with glutinous rice and served with shredded coconut and a dried shrimp topping.
- Ketoprak, rice roll, tofu, bean sprout, crackers in peanut sauce.
- Bubur Dingin, lit. Cold Pouridge with beef sweet soup
- Nasi uduk, rice cooked in coconut milk similar to nasi lemak, served with choices of various toppings; such as fried chicken, beef, fried shalots sambal
- Nasi ulam, rice cooked in coconut milk served with fried minced beef, sweet fried tempe, many other toppings, cucumber, and sambal (chilli sauce).
Your stomach may need an adjustment period to the local food due to many spices locals used in their cooking. Standard price on this guide: The price for one main course, white rice ("nasi putih") and one soft drink, including 21% tax and service charge.
- Street Food, Jakarta is famous for its street delicacies. Every Region of Jakarta has its own unique offering of street foods. Some areas for looking for great /exceptional and unique. street food are Kelapa Gading (Seafood), Muara Karang/Pluit (Seafood), "Nasi Uduk" (Kebon Kacang, Central Jakarta) and Tennis Sized Meatballs(Blok S, South Jakarta).
It is advised if you are a foreigner unfamiliar to the standard of Jakarta's food hygiene to ask for your companions opinion about the food joint's hygiene level before eating on the place, or even better to let your body 'adjust' to the different standards of hygiene on foods in Jakarta by eating on more cleaner restaurants for a few days before trying out food acquired from street vendors, as these foods may take a toll on your stomach. It is advised to be acclimated to the Indonesian environment for at least 2 weeks before eating street food. Prices are around Rp 5,000-25,000 and then do so with some caution.
The food courts of Jakarta's shopping malls are a great way of sampling Indonesian and other food in hygienic and air-conditioned comfort.
- Plaza Senayan (basement)
- Plaza Semanggi (level 3A and 10-Plangi Sky DIning), Taman Anggrek's Dapur Anggrek (level 4), all have good selections.
Mal Kelapa Gading
- Mal Kelapa Gading's Food Temptation (level 3) claims to be the largest in Indonesia.
- Gading Food City, offering a vast selection of mostly Indonesian outdoor eats with live music.
- La Piazza is more upscale.
- Eat n Eat in the New Kelapa Gading Mall 5, a new food court with a traditional colonial era Indonesian atmosphere and offers a great mix of Indonesian cuisine and others from the Malay Archipelago.
- Kemang Food Fest, in Kemang, the most popular expatriate neighborhood, offers great food for 24 hr/7 days a week. A number of restaurants (both offering eastern and western food) gather in this outdoor establishment.
- Tebet is another great option near the centre of the city. The area offers great food (both indoors and outdoors), including a comic cafe and is surrounded by fashion outlets. If you happen to be near Bundaran H.I., Grand Indonesia's
- Food Louver on the level 3 skybridge in the Grand Indonesia foodcourt near Bundaran H.I. offers a great variety of food from around the world, some seats offer a great view of the Jakarta Skyline.
Most budget restaurants have delivery service or you can call Pesan Delivery service , ☎ +62 21 7278 7070. You can order take away foods from most budget restaurants. Some traditional Indonesian cuisine may be too hot and spicy for many foreign tourists.At some restaurants you can ask for food without chilli: "Tidak pakai cabe" or "Tidak Pedas". Standard price is Rp 15,000-50,000.
Mid to Upper-scale restaurants are plentiful and prices range from Rp 30,000-100,000 for entrees.
- Pondok Indah Mall 2's Restaurant Row
- Mal Kelapa Gading's Gourmet Row
- Senayan City's Basement Floor
- Grand Indonesia's Crossroad of the World district
- Cilandak Town Square.
The best gourmet splurges in Jakarta are the opulent buffet spreads in the 5 star hotels such as the Marriott, Hotel Mulia, Ritz-Carlton and Shangri-La, which offer amazing value by international standards. Standard price: Rp 150,000-300,000 per person
Jakarta may be the capital of the world's largest Islamic country, but it has underground life of its own. If you're the clubbing type, its nightlife is arguably among the best in Asia. From the upscale X-Lounge to the seediest discos like Stadium, Jakarta caters to all kinds of clubbers, but bring a friend if you decide to brave the seedier joints (though they tend to have the best DJs). Fans of live music, on the other hand, are largely out of luck if they go to budget bars, at least unless they're into Indonesian pop.
When out and about, note that Jakarta has a fairly high number of prostitutes, known in local parlance as ayam (lit. "chicken"), so much so that much of the female clientele of some respectable bars (operated by five-star hotels, etc.) is on the take.
A nightlife district popular among expats is Blok M in South Jakarta, or more specifically the single lane of Jl. Palatehan 1 just north of the bus terminal, packed with pubs and bars geared squarely towards single male Western visitors. While lacking the bikini-clad go-go dancers of Patpong, the meat market atmosphere is much the same with poor country girls turned pro. Blok M is now easily accessible as the southern terminus of BRT Line 1. For a more off-the-beaten track experience, head a few blocks south to Jl. Melawai 6 (opposite Plaza Blok M), Jakarta's de-facto Little Japan with lots of Japanese restaurants, bars and (what else?) karaoke joints.
To hang out where Indonesia's young, rich and beautiful do, head to Plaza Indonesia's EX annex, packed full of trendy clubs and bars including Jakarta's Hard Rock Cafe. Plaza Senayan's Arcadia annex attempts to duplicate the concept, but with more of an emphasis on fine dining. The Kemang area in southern Jakarta is popular with expats and locals alike. It has numerous places to eat, drink and dance.
The Kota area in northern Jakarta is the oldest part of town with numerous colonial buildings still dominating the area. It is also considered to be the seediest part of town after midnight. Most karaoke bars and 'health' clubs there are in fact brothels who mostly cater to local Jakartans. Even regular discos such as Stadium and Crown have special areas designated for prostitutes. Other notable establishments in this area are Malioboro and Club 36 which should not be missed. This part of town has a large ethnic Chinese population who also dominate the clubbing scene there.
The bulk of the clubbing scene is spread throughout Jakarta however, most usually found in office buildings or hotels. A help of an experienced local with finding these places is recommended. Do note that nightlife in Jakarta tends to be pricey for local standards.
Due to the liberty Jakarta has, there is no specific dress code that should be worn unless you are in a religious area. However, it is best not to dress too openly to prevent from people giving awkward stares or from giving the impression (especially for women) that you are a prostitute since most of them in Jakarta do have very short dresses or skirts. Sandals are fine to wear if you're heading for North Jakarta since it is mear the beach. During the month of Ramadhan, all nightlife ends at midnight.
If you're stopping in Jakarta, consider buying an extra suitcase, because there's lots of good shopping to be done. Do consider too, however, that though quality can be excellent, purchasing real branded things or quality products in Jakarta comes with a real expensive price tag.
- Shopping Malls: Despite the crushing poverty exhibited in some parts of the city, Jakarta has a large number of giant, glittering malls, well above expectations for newcomers. Note that, for imported goods, prices in many of the more expensive stores can be much higher than what would be charged in the same shops in other countries. The up-market malls in Jakarta are the centrally located Grand Indonesia (including the department stores of Seibu, Alun-Alun Indonesia and Harvey Nichols, as well as restaurants and a cinema on the top floors) and opposite to it Plaza Indonesia (including Marks and Spencer, as well as restaurants, cafes and a cinema), Pacific Place (including M Department Store, Kidzania Theme Park and Galeries LaFayette), Plaza Senayan (including Sogo and Metro), Senayan City (including Debenhams), Pondok Indah Mall (including Sogo and Metro), Mal Kelapa Gading (including Sogo), and Mall of Indonesia (including Centro).
- Markets: In addition to malls, there are also numerous extremely large shopping centres, quite a few of which can be found in the Mangga Dua (Two Mangoes) area. These include the huge Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua and the gigantic WTC (Wholesale Trade Centre) Mangga Dua, massive indoor markets with hundreds upon hundreds of shops selling everything at wholesale prices. When you shop in those places, you can always bargain the price. Tanah Abang and Pasar Baru are hugely popular among Malaysian tourists.
- Convenience stores: If you want to avoid the oversized malls and you're looking for smaller yet modern places to shop for daily needs then Indomaret or Alfamart stores are located virtually everywhere throughout Jakarta, including some of the housing complexes. These two Indonesian convenience store chains are complemented by international convenience stores. Circle-K is omnipresent, and since 2010, 7-Eleven has extended its franchise to Jakarta, with more than 50 stores.
- Antique shop: If you are looking for some antique product such as local handicrafts, Indonesian traditional batik, wayang golek (Javanese puppets), you can go to Jalan Surabaya in Central Jakarta where you can find many antique shops along this street. Pasaraya Grande shopping mall at Blok M, South Jakarta has one dedicated floor for all Indonesian antiques and handicrafted goods. Pasar Seni at Ancol is the centre of paintings and sculpture, you can ask the painters to make you as the model for your paintings. Sarinah department store also has a vast section of traditional gifts for sale
- Duty Free Shops: Duty Free shops are available at Soekarno Hatta airport and a small number of shops in the city. Bring your passport to the shops.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Jakarta on Wikivoyage.