Sunday, 15 September 2013

Indonesia: Top Things to Do and See in Jakarta

A few weeks back there was a competition on Twitter organised by Indohoy (the duo from the famous Indonesian travel blog of the same name) to commemorate the anniversary of Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta. Tweeps were asked to tweet recommendations on what to do when one is in Jakarta using the hashtag '#JKTbday'. Having just been to Jakarta (and Indonesia) for the first time EVER just over a couple of months prior to the competition, I simply jumped in and participated with my own recommendations. I tweeted not just one tweet, like most others did, but a series of tweets instead because obviously one cannot cover on things to do in Jakarta in just 140 characters, which is the character limit of a tweet.

And so, here are my (tweets on) Top Things to Do and See in Jakarta:

1.   Monumen Nasional (MONAS) (National Monument)

Start your morning from the top of MONAS, the National Monument tower, to get an overview of the city.

[ Wikipedia: Monumen Nasional ]

Tips: The Tower is beautifully lit up in the evening so if you have the time, do visit it in the evening as well.

2.   Museum Nasional (National Museum)

After MONAS, head over to the nearby National Museum, locally known as Museum Gajah (Elephant Museum), for a taste of history and culture of Indonesia.

[ Official websiteMuseum Nasional | Wikipedia: Museum Nasional ]

Tips: Among the most interesting exhibits here include a femur and skull of a Flores man which are estimated to be 500,000 years old and which are thought to be the link between homo erectus and homo sapiens. 

3.   Masjid Istiqlal (Istiqlal Mosque) and Jakarta Cathedral

From the museum, cross MONAS Square and go to Istiqlal Mosque and the old Jakarta Cathedral which are located across the road from each other.

[ Official websiteMasjid Istiqlal | Jakarta Cathedral Wikipedia: Masjid Istiqlal | Jakarta Cathedral ]

Tips: These first three sights above are located close to each other with MONAS Square being in the middle. It is therefore better to combine all three sights in just one trip. 

4.   Kota Tua (Old City/ Old Fort)

Take a busway or bajaj to Kota Tua (literally Old City/ Fort) to see old buildings, port, footbridge and museums.

A busway ticket would cost just around US$0.30 per trip.

Kota Tua is a heaven for photographers, by the way.

Wikipedia: Kota Tua ]

Tips: You can rent a sampan to explore the area around the port. If you want to cover the old port area as well, make sure you head there first in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the blazing sun. You can then spend your afternoon in one of the many air-conditioned museums that surround the main square in Kota Tua. 

5.   Street Food on Sabang Street

In the evening, head over to Sabang Street for some delicious local street food, followed maybe with a local movie.

Tips: If you have highly sensitive stomach, make sure you order food which is prepared and cooked to order.

6.   Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park)

The next day, take a busway or a bajaj to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah for a feast for your eyes. Indonesian architecture and culture at their best!

[ Official websiteTaman Mini Indonesia Indah | Wikipedia: Taman Mini Indonesia Indah ]

Tips: This park is huge so do allocate at least half a day if you plan to explore it. Despite the name, the houses are not miniatures :-D If you go there on a weekend, you can expect to see some wedding receptions at some of the houses, which could be the highlight of your trip.

7. Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (Ancol Dreamland)

Later in the afternoon, you can head to Ancol for some fun time or just to enjoy the sunset by the seaside.

[ Official websiteTaman Impian Jaya Ancol | Wikipedia: Taman Impian Jaya Ancol ]

8. Kepulauan Seribu (One Thousand Islands)

You may also want to head over to Kepulauan Seribu if you’re in a group (cheaper) for some swimming and diving around some beautiful islands.

Wikipedia: Kepulauan Seribu ]

What do you think of the list? Care to share with us your thoughts on the above places? And if you have been to Jakarta before, what other sights do you think are also a must see?

Top Things to Do and See in Jakarta, Indonesia | www.rambleandwander.com

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P.S. By the way, believe it or not, a few days after participating in this Twitter contest, I found out that I was the winner of the contest! Wha hae! Not bad for a first timer to the city! ;-) For this, I owe three of my friends from Indonesia, Fahmi Anhar, Febry Fawzi & Helga Indra, all of whom patiently (heh heh!) guided this old guy through their capital city either via online or in person when I was there. So terima kasih, guys! :-)

Going to Jakarta, Indonesia? Do check out these Jakarta hotels for your accommodation requirements there.

For other www.RambleAndWander.com blog entries on Indonesia, click here

For other www.RambleAndWander.com travel blog series on "Top Things to Do and See in...", click here.


Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. nice post bang,
    next time kita berangkat ke pulau tidung yuk!

    1. Makasih, Helga. Couldn't have done it without you and others showing me around, hehe :-)

      Yes, yes! Pulau Tidung! Yuk kita ke sana!

  2. Terima kasih, bang! I even haven't got a chance to make a list such like this! :)

    1. My pleasure :-) You should do one too and perhaps include a few other gems that only locals know about? That would be great actually.

  3. cool. am going to JKT for weekend trip next month. gud info!

  4. street food on sabang street.. food first hehehe.. especially in asia.. :D
    kalau nak pi lagi.. habaq mai.. nak ikut sekali hahahaa ;P

    1. Cheq tak tau lagi bila nak pi sana. Cheq pun kena check bajet jugak nooo... tapi kalo hang nak pi sana, senang ja, jalan ni tak jauh dari belakang Gedung Sakinah tu. Confirm tak dak sesat2 no.

  5. hi RAW... Personally, i don't really fancy Jakarta...Dusty, humid and crowded...but may be i should make a revisit, to see the better side of Jakarta...:)

    1. Hahaha! I know what you mean and I think I can see where you're coming from, especially when you travel with children. I think because I travelled alone it helped a bit in terms of moving around, esp. once I got past the humidity. But beyond that, I'd like to see more of Jakarta and find out what else it can offer to its residence and visitors alike.

  6. Ok, yang muzium tu nampak sangat cantik la Raw. Zaman Belanda punya design eh? Nice~

    1. Errr... it was built by the Dutch but I think the design is more Greek than Dutch actually.

    2. Ok, the tiang. I got your point. Hehe. But still looks very nice tho. With white colour. But, strange coz why the Dutch did not build it with Dutch's design then...

    3. Yup, the columns. Maybe they wanted to have something that looks more "international", heh heh! ;-)

    4. you should come visit me here Khai, I'll guide you and tells lot of stories here.

  7. If I can find cheap flights, I might be tempted to go to Jakarta end of the month and will base my trip on this list...

    1. Hi Jeff, I have seen some return flights between KL and Jakarta going on sale for less than RM100 so do be on the look out if you really like to go there :-)

    2. Jeff, now AA has a promotion going on foe flights to Indonesia. :)

    3. And rupiah has gone down a bit so this could be the right time for you to visit Jakarta :-)

  8. blogpost : n/a stands for ... you belum blog lagi ke? or the venue tak da url?

    1. Not blogged about it yet. The venue's website, if any, is linked under "Official website"

  9. woow woow there's my name here. hehe
    hope you enjoyed your time with me.

    1. Haha! I give credit when credit is due. That's why your name is here too :-) I definitely enjoyed my time there with you. Should probably have stayed longer actually :-)

  10. hello all,
    nice blog,
    please visit our pulau tidung, we are ready to help to make great vacation here :)

  11. There's a lot of beautiful places in Indonesia, you have to take more travel around Indonesia. I'm an Indonesian, nice to meet you :)

  12. Simple and informative.
    Nice post!

  13. Woow! Pulau Seribu Jakarat itu ternyata tak mencapai seribu Pulau..

  14. aaah, this is bringing back childhood memories. Taman mini and Ancol. Spent many a weekend there.

  15. terima kasih bang informasinya. sangat bermanfaat

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