The beautiful capital of Indonesia, a Southeast Asian country is Jakarta. The nation, which is an archipelago with more than 18,000 islands in total, is full of amazing sights and experiences. The capital has enough attractions to keep you busy for a month. There are so many attractions to see and so much cultural and historical heritage. Here’s a quick guide to Jakarta that will help you explore this beautiful city.
Seeing Jakarta’s History: Old Town The best place to see Jakarta in its old days is Jakarta Old Town or Old Town Batavia. This area was declared heritage in 1969. The beauty of the area was recognized by European voyagers and travelers as early as the 16th Century. They called it “Jewel of Asia”, and “Queen of the East”.
Old Town Batavia is a place where history is brought to life by the beautiful and scenic surroundings of colonial Dutch architecture. There are many museums and other tourist attractions lined the streets. Gedung Arsip Nasional is one of the attractions. Cafe Batavia and Museum Bank Indonesia are other options.
You can walk freely into many buildings, but you will also find many street vendors and open market stalls in the vicinity. You can visit the Sunda Kelapa old harbour, the old drawbridge and the Puppet Museum to see the Javanese leather puppets.
Most museums in Jakarta close on Mondays. Because there is usually a puppet show at Puppet Museum, Sunday is the best day to visit. You can also view Jan Pieterszoon Coen’s funeral at the museum. He was an officer in the Dutch East India Company (VOC), which in the 17th century renamed Batavia from Jayakarta.
Immersing yourself in Indonesia’s Culture: Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, also known as Beautiful Indonesia Miniature park (TMII), is literally translated into English. This park is located in East Jakarta and covers 250 acres. It’s a beautiful place to feel as if you are actively part of the culture of beautiful Indonesia.
It takes an hour to see everything in this enormous park. This is because it is a conglomeration all things Indonesian. It is impossible to see the entire archipelago in one place. The best thing is to allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the beauty of seeing the country in the most efficient time. You can see the beautiful archipelago of Indonesia from the cable car that runs inside the park.
Encyclopedia Britannica describes TMII to be a living museum because of the wealth of culture that you will experience. The park is made up of pavilions representing each of the 34 Indonesian provinces. Each pavilion has its own environment, furniture, and ornaments that give the area a unique feel. You can also visit other fascinating museums while in the park like the Reptile Museum, Military Museum, Indonesian Museum, and many more. Enjoy the tranquility of the sub-parks, and the recreational facilities.
TMII’s best day is Sunday because the traditional shows and dances of the pavilions are only performed on Sundays or public holidays.
Visiting Jakarta’s National Landmark: Monas
You cannot leave Jakarta without visiting the monument that was built to commemorate the day Indonesia became an independent country. The Monas stands for Monumen Nasional. It was constructed by Mr. Soekarno in 1961, and opened to the public ten year later. It was the tallest building in the Soekarno era. The monument, measuring 132 meters high, towered above Jakarta and served as a reminder of the struggle for freedom from colonial rule.
You can climb up to the top of the Monas via an elevator, and view all of Jakarta. The Independence Room houses the national flag and other important artifacts. The National History Museum is located at the Monas’ base. A beautiful park, Merdeka square, is also nearby. The museum contains 51 dioramas that tell the story of Indonesia’s struggle to become independent.
Monas is not the best day to visit if you are looking to climb the highest point. Sundays and holidays are busy days. Only one lift can hold 11 people, but hundreds of people are eager to get on the lift every holiday.
Although these destinations are easily accessible, many Jakartans cannot speak English. You will need an English-speaking driver or tour guide. This Jakarta Tourist Guide will help you find the best places in Jakarta and show you more about the beauty of this city.