Jakarta, or I call it as the City of Sin, is like almost every Capital city where you can find everything (unless a decent cheese). And by everything, I mean everything, metaphorically from the extreme black to the extreme white.
With more than 9 millions inhabitants, Jakarta is the central of economic in Indonesia. Money defines the existence. Materialistic is sadly a culture. As the economic growth is better here than in any other city, many people, just like me, are trying to make their step to fortune in this so called metropolitan. Some are succeed, some have to end up being a low worker. The job market is competitive, not only for Indonesian, but also for foreigners whose making business or just simply being an expatriates in Jakarta.
Having been living in Jakarta since 2011, I am still in culture shock for some natures of the local society. Individualist, selfish and stubborn. Street harassers are in every corner of the city. They whistle, shout, pretend to cough, say something that you hardly catch with their eyes staring at you in a nasty way just to get your attention. Whatever the outfit that you wear, they are always there to harass you. Traffic is crazy, far far crazy during weekday and people still prefer to ride their private car. Public transportation is not sufficient to handle the number of inhabitants and the commuting people from the satellite cities such as Bogor, Bekasi, Depok and Tangerang.
So why I still stay here? That’s a good question. For economic reason, that’s my honest answer. But in one quite evening while strolling around Jakarta by foot, I had time to realize that maybe I would miss this city when I leave. The vivant ambient, lights, party, big city life are somehow attached to myself. I could just find food at 3 am in the morning at the street sellers. I could easily jump from one pub to another pub when I feel the crowd is not comfortable. I am spoiled by its offered availability to many things for 24/7. Then I told myself that life in Jakarta is pretty amazing.
If you happen to stop by in Jakarta or even more if you are staying in Jakarta, these 10 things to do in Jakarta would give you an amazing experience for your stay. Here we go Travel Guide 10 Things To Do In Jakarta.
1. Kota Tua
Kota Tua, Jakarta Old Town or The Old Batavia is small area in Jakarta which was remarking the initial establishment of Jakarta. Jakarta was once called Jayakarta then became Batavia when VOC was taking over the city. That is the reason why the architecture and design of this area has some influence of Netherlands.
Fatahillah Square is like Piazza del Popolo in Rome where you can find some street artists to be in photo with. Most of them will dress like the Netherlands women during 15th century even if they are not as cute.
2. Monumen Nasional (Monas)
Monas is the short name of Monumen Nasional (National Monument in English). Located in Merdeka Square, just a walking distance to the “white house”, you can climb up to the top of this monument which is 132 meters height.
At the ground floor of the monument, it holds the museum telling the history and an important events of Indonesia in diorama. Each diorama is provided with the text in Bahasa and English to help you understand of what it represents. Sometimes the translation from Bahasa to English is not exactly the same though, so its advisable to bring someone who could explain you better in English if you are really interested.
3. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII)
This attraction is interesting for those who want to go around Indonesia in a short weekend. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, in English it means the mini park of beautiful Indonesia. The park consists of the mini Indonesia, which means that you could find the traditional houses and architectures of all provinces in a pavilion form. From Sumatera to Papua. It is conveniently providing some pictures of the diversity in Indonesia.
4. Katedral & Istiqlal
Christianity and Moslem are two the most dominant religions in Indonesia even if the Hinduism is the oldest faith. Thus, in one area, there are Katedral and Istiqlal mosque built face to face to each other. This is intended show that religious tolerance is valuable in Indonesia.
Jakarta is a city with the most numerous malls in the world. Based on the data, there are 170 malls, so finding a shopping place is not as hard as finding a decent cheese (again). With any kind of budget you are, you can always find a place. ITC is the chain of the cheap shopping place.
My favorite malls in general are Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia, Senayan City and Plaza Senayan. When I want to find a cheap stuffs, I will go to ITC Ambassador or Plaza Semanggi.
JAKARTA.IS.PARTY! Pubs, Bars and Clubs are everywhere. Party like in Ibiza! There are always a crowd and will significantly increase during weekend. I stay in the heart of Jakarta so my favorite bars are Union, Skye, Cloud, Paulaner, Lowie or I can move a little bit south to Kemang area which has even more bars like Eastern Promise and once in a while Mamma Rosy will hold an event of Notte Mediterannea.
While for clubs, I am quite picky. I like the place with a good music and no prostitution, or at least not too obvious. My two favorite clubs are Equinox/X2 and Immigrants. Sometimes I could go to Blowfish or Dragonfly only if my friends become so insisting.
So after party, what entertainments that Jakarta could offer? Me, I like to go for Karaoke! Yes, you can rent a small room with the complete set of karaoke for one hour as minimum. It is super fun. Very helpful to release some stress.
Some casual activities like bowling, wall climbing, billiard, cinema or just hanging out in coffee shops are also an options.
7. Street Foods
Despite the street harassers, the streets in Jakarta are decorated by street sellers. Street foods are easy to find. Next to the parks, malls, schools, offices, there are always a street foods.
Don’t be afraid to eat at the street food. Even their hygienic level is not like in the five stars restaurant, but they have a decent food with reasonable price.
If you are first timer, I would recommend you to head at one small street dedicated to street food just next to Taman Menteng where you can try many tastes of Indonesia in your tongue.
8. Dunia Fantasi (Dufan)
If Paris has Disneyland and Singapore has Universal Studio, Jakarta has Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy World). Roller Coaster and Tornado are the attractions which will challenge your adrenaline.
9. Skyline and Sunset Hunting
Being a concrete jungle, Jakarta has a beautiful skyline from most of the top of the buildings. You can catch a fascinating sunset view or the luminous glamour night view from 56th floor.
10. Pulau Seribu
Honestly, the north beach of Jakarta is awful. So if you are expecting a better beach in Jakarta without hopping into airplane, go to the north of Jakarta and take a boat. There are thousands of small islands deemed as Pulau Seribu (thousand islands). The norther you go, the better beach you will get. Pulau Macan is the favorite island among them.
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