Fun things to do in Jakarta

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Jakarta

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    Flags

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    You probably noticed on many pictures, red, orange, green, blue, etc, flags; what are all these flags?
    These flags are the birth of democracy in Indonesia. . . . . Ah! Who am I to write about democracy in this country? I have no lesson to give, should not write value judgements. . . . . Well, apparently, democracy is making its way in the Indonesian society and public life. . . . There will be general elections (Regional Representatives Council and People's Representative Council) on April 9th 2009, and there will be forty parties seeking the elector’s votes. It just appeared the campaign was going very well, and in fair conditions, as in very many places I could see flags of the different parties, side by side; I just liked to see that there were no fights between different parties and that they apparently respected each other. . . .

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    I like this atmosphere

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    I like a lot to walk in the small streets, far from the beaten paths, dream, think sometimes I could live there, have another life, be part the places I visit. The real life is here in the gangs (picture 1), people live as much outside a s inside their houses; in the gangs is the real life, I feel (picture 2), there you are just with people in their everyday life (picture 3); in the gangs you are far from the heavy traffic, it is quiet (picture 4), and when you leave a gang for a small street, still far from the avenues, already, there is more activity, more people, teenagers who cannot live without mobile phone, motorbikes, cars, . . . ah! City life, which I love also, when I know I can leave it any time. . .

    Gang is also dining room Small gang, atmosphere Atmosphere Quiet place far from the traffic noise And back in the street. . .
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    Walk in the streets and meet the kids

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    Visiting cities on feet is very rewarding, you have time to look at things, to smile at people, get smiles in return, it is just warm! Whatever latitude on the planet, the kids are just beautiful (picture 1), like here somewhere in a “gang” in Karang Anyar district; but in Jalan Lodan, they are as nice (picture 2). . .
    A “gang” is a corridor; in Jakarta, gangs are very small narrow streets (picture 3), linking small streets, which themselves link bigger streets, which. . . etc, etc. It is very enjoyable to walk in the gangs of Jakarta, and the locals who do not see often foreigners, are just happy to welcome them! Even in the gangs, there are traffic jams (picture 4)! Ah! I just like it to walk here and see all these smiles (picture 5)

    Gang Karang Anyar Jalan Lodan Gang Karang Anyar Traffic jan in the gang Selamat datang, Bule !
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    Monumental statues

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    On the main avenues crossings, roundabouts, squares, you can see huge statues, which had been created in the same time as the city was growing. . . Many of these statues date back to Sukarno times and they are a bit pompous, pretentious, well, had to contribute to National Feeling, construction of Indonesia. One of the most spectacular examples is the Patung Pemuda, the Youth monument (first picture), located in the Senayan area, at the southern end of Jalan Sudirman; expats call him “pizza man”. This man symbolises the contribution of youth to the development of the country, he carries an eternal flame (and screams, as it burns his hands. . ;))) On the second picture is a statue of Arjuna Wiwaha, a hero of the Mahabharata, at the northern end of Jalan Thamrin; this statue is quite impressive, with its “fire horses”(picture 3), taking Arjuna on his cart to some great accomplishment. . . (?)
    Selamat Datang Welcome, is the name of this monument (picture 4), located on one of the most busy roundabouts of Jakarta, Jalan Thamrin, in the business district, and here (picture 5) is General Sudirman.
    On big avenues or roundabouts you may find many more statues, and some are quite impressive, sometimes with beauty, sometimes with size, sometimes with pretention. . .

    Youth monument Arjuna Wiwaha Arjuna Wiwaha Selamat datang Gen. Sudirman
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    Lapangan Banteng

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    A very quiet place in Jakarta, is Lapangan Banteng; it is a strange area, as very few people walk around or hang out in this rather big park. The landmark here is the “Tugu Bebas Irian”, the statue for freedom of Irian (first picture), the high statue of the guy breaking his chains (second picture). There are other statues in the green park and under the trees, amongs fountains and basins, and walking here is quite enjoyable; you will see, when you visit Jakarta by feet, you will enjoy places like this one, where is some shade, and far from the traffic and noise; the sculptures are a mixture of modern and Hindu style in some way, like these four legged wooly ducks (!?) (picture 3), or Papu style, like this fountain (picture 4).
    Lapangan Banteng is surrounded by official buildings like ministry of finance or the supreme court of justice; the famous hotel Borobudur (which, by the way, is not anymore what is was since its renovation in 2000), is also close by, but you are also very close to the Cathedral and Istiqlal mosque; this green park, which was in the past a major gathering place for the Dutch high society, nowadays the location for some floral exhibitions, is very quiet and enjoyable, and makes a good “operations base” when visiting central Jakarta by feet.
    I should not make politics in VT, but here, I have to do: freedom of Irian, the locals have never been asked if they wanted to be “free” (and certainly not with the fake referendum of 1963), and they just have new colonisers who “liberated” them! Ah Sukarno was clever, and his incredible caprices in foreign policy just scared the United Nations or the other countries and they let him do what he wanted.
    Sukarno! Where is my food? Where is what you promised? Some Jakartan make jokes about the monumental statues dating back to Sukarno times, and here in Lapangan Banteng, the guy (some locals also call “the incredible Hulk”) breaking his chains (picture 5) asks for freedom, or food, rather than looking thankful. . . .

    Tugu Bebas Irian Tugu Bebas Irian Strange animals Papu style fountain Where is the food ?
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    Find hidden temples. . . .

    by kokoryko Updated Apr 8, 2009

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    Walking in the small streets I came across a Buddhist temple, I detected earlier from the incense odour in the street, 20 m away! From outside, except the entrance, tells you are in front of a Buddhist temple; this temple is Sin Tek Bio Temple, created in 1698, in Batavia, located Jalan Pasar Baru Dalam Pasar, N° 146 if you want to find it. The streets are narrow and I could not make an overview picture! So, Candles, incense and red atmosphere on the first picture. You find there the usual things you see in a Buddhist temple (picture 2), with a big Buddha, covered by the ash of burning incense (picture 3). A young girl guided me in the temple, which is distributed on three levels, and from one of the windows, I could catch these two dragons (picture 4). The incense cones participate to the decoration (picture 5). After a short moment of quietude and relaxing, I was ready to face again he hectic streets of Jakarta.

    Candles Little statues Ash on Buddha's belly Typical dragons on the roof Incense torsades
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    The labyrinths behind Pasar Baru.

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    I love to get lost and immersed in the cities, love to try to feel the atmosphere of hidden places, just walk, meet people, look at the houses, find some unexpected. . . . In the area of jalan Kelinci, East of Pasar Baru, the houses and house life extend on the street, you almost feel you are in the house of the inhabitants (picture 1); and walking , you are welcomed (picture 2), are invited for a chat, get directions to follow if you want to go deeper in the labyrinth.
    In these popular places, yes the houses are on the street, as you can even see people sleeping close to the street (picture 3); life is still very hard in Jakarta, . . . . but that does not prevent people to be kind and welcoming; in this area, live mainly ethnic Chinese (picture 4), but they are and feel Indonesian, and this lady (picture 5), preparing food in a very small stall on the street side, offered me some, as I was curious about what she was preparing.

    In the small streets (gangs: Welcome ! Hard life Chinese Jakartan Bon appetit !
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    Pasar Baru

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    Theoretically, Pasar Baru is a pedestrian area, but there are so many deliveries to do, during all day. . . so there are also vehicles in the pedestrian area! Opposite Gedung Kesenian or the Post office, you can cross a kali on a bridge on which an arch, in Chinese style (first picture) marks the entrance to Pasar Baru (New Market).
    Pasar Baru, as the name indicates is a commercial area; this pasar (bazaar) has been ceated by the Dutch in the 18th century and was very soon settled by Chinese traders. Today, many Chinese still live in the area, and there are Buddhist temples hidden in the labyrinths formed by the small streets. Many Indian are doing business nowadays specially in the textiles.
    On picture 2 is a general view of the pedestrian street, with the arcades; Indian textiles on picture 3, lots of everything in some sections of the street (picture 4), and at the northern end, you can even find paintings (picture 5). Shoes, watches, household, well lots of things can be purchased in Pasar Baru, and also fake brand watches for those who are interested.

    South Entrance of Pasar Baru General view Textiles and Islam Walking in Pasar Baru You can also buy paints at the Northern end.
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    Hectic morning traffic

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    The greater Jakarta counts more than 20.000.000 inhabitants, and they all need to work, study, well, make their living, and in that sort of a city, there is really a lot to see when you wake up early morning; train-bike-bus all is here (picture 1), and overcrowded! Travellers on the roofs of the train, the buses are full, the bikes invade the whole breadth of the street. . . . Scaring, no? Even the policeman (picture 2) who probably is here every day looks a bit scared. . . . In the first hours of the days, it is always like that in the Pasar Minggu area, South Jakarta.
    And when it rains, like here on Jalan Sudirman (picture 3), the bikers leave teir bikes on the street and run to some shelter, you keep the umbrella open till the last centimetre before entering the bus. The motorbike is getting the most popular means of transport in Jakarta (picture 4) but it is farm from the Vietnamese motorbike population; but in the morning, the most impressive are the trains, totally full. . . .

    Trains, bikes, buses. . . . Not sure the police can help. . . When it rains, it's serious! In the traffic Close to the train passing fast
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    No Panic !

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    Ah! not a things to do tip! Local customs, may be, but I am not a local here. . . . . Well it is just a story of hospital! I got an infection at a foot, after a very mild injury which I did not treat seriously; the infection got serious after a few days, and a local friend strongly advised me to go to the hospital.
    Indonesian hospitals are very “interesting”, as they are crowded, look like ant nests, people everywhere, walking in all directions, where are the employees? Who are the docs? The patients? The nurses? Well, some have uniforms, and after a while I find my way, and once in the movement, all goes smoothly, and soon I had been examined, got a prescription, and even got a card of customer! Ah! I remembered suddenly the panicked eyes of a traveller in a very , very quiet hospital in Central Asia; I was just wondering for a few seconds what the reaction of this self proclaimed solo traveller would have been in this ant nest here.
    It took rather long to heal my foot, and at the time of writing and other visits to medics in France, my foot is still a bit swollen, but is getting better every day.
    I did not make pictures in the hospital, it is not a thing to do , where ever you are; so I show you my feet, my precious feet who take me to so many places, are so precious for discovering the world!
    An ant nest, but competent doctors and nurses, and I paid for the doc and medicines 117.000 Rp, about 11 Euros; I would have paid 10 times more in one of the “expat clinics” where the only advantage (besides air conditioning) is that employees speak English. And Now I have a “customer” card; my details are recorded there, and if I have to come back, they can find my file. . . Ant nest, but very organised and modern!

    It was time for my foot ! Prescription
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    Jakarta Post Offices

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    The old post office located near Pasar Baru and Gedung Kesenian the most famous theatre and cultural events hosting building of Jakarta, in Central Jakarta, is considered as a historical building; and yes, it is an old and interesting building, where you can enter and buy stamps for your postcards and send parcels. . . etc. . .. all what a post office does. The post office is a high building and inside is like a warehouse with a big part of the roof made of glass, for the light (picture 2). . . You can buy collection stamps for your postcards (picture 3), on a marble counter, and for older collections, you can meet outside aa few persons who sell or exchange collector stamps (picture 4).
    On the last picture is the post office of Taman Fatahillah, not as nice, outside as the previous one, and very “classic” inside.

    Old post office, Jalan Pos The big hall, Jalan Pos Buying stamps for cards for VTfriends and other. . Stamp seller/collector Inside the post office, Taman Fatahillah
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    History Museum

    by kokoryko Updated Apr 8, 2009

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    The former town hall (stadthuis) hosts the Museum Sejarah (History museum) since 1974; it is not a very great museum you would expect in the capital city of Indonesia, it is not a modern museum, but it has a provincial charm and there are few displays and explanations which give you an very good quick insight in the history of Indonesia and Jakarta. You start here from pre-historical times and walk through time in the museum till the days of independence.
    First of all, the building itself (picture 1), a long two storey (three with the mansards level) renovated, with a campanile above the entrance deserves a look; imagine how it was when Dutch militaries guarded it, the crowds on the square in front, it is a very interesting building.
    A few very important displays (originals, or casts) have to be seen in theis museum: the batu tulis (engraved stone) known as Ciaruteun stone (picture 2), dating back to an old Hindu kingdom of the fifth century; witness of the very important influence of Hinduism in Java, Hindu based philosophy and philosophy of life, which is far from having been erased by Islam, and the statue of Vishnu (picture 3) is another witness.
    In the museum are pre-historic remains, and I was deceived not to find some links to the “Man of Java”, the first discovered Homo Erectus (Discovered near Solo, in 1891), a possible ancestor aged one million years! (nothing to do with the much publicised “hobbits” of Flores).
    In the wide rooms of the museum, you will mainly see artefacts from Dutch colonial time, mainly furniture like on picture4.
    Ah, near the entrance is a strange winged Portuguese cannon (picture 5).
    A little part of the museum is really worth to visit, but all the furniture, tables, beds, dishes. . . too much for me!
    Open Tuesday Sunday, 9 am, 3 pm
    Closed Mondays and public holidays
    Entrance 2000 rp

    The former stadthuis (city hall) Batu Ciaruteun Vishnu; old Indian influence on Java. Old furniture and a visitor Portuguese winged cannon
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    The backyard of the History Museum

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    There is a backyard in the museum, and, coming out from the building you “meet” this Hermes (first picture), a strange statue here! You can visit prison cells under the building (picture 2) which were still used by the Japanese when they occupied Batavia, and where now cannon balls are stored. In the garden, you will find some rusted boat anchors, a few cannons, can have a look at Hermes from another perspective, and admire the vegetation and the epiphytes on the trees. Very few foreign tourists visit this museum and in the garden it is very fun to watch the local tourists and have a chat with some of them, always curious and very kind.
    Open Tuesday Sunday, 9 am, 3 pm
    Closed Mondays and public holidays
    Entrance 2000 rp

    The messenger of the gods In the old prison cells. Old anchor Hermas again; he is elegant! Trees ans epiphyts.
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    Bahari Museum is really worth a long stay!

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    On the ground level one of the biggest boats on display is this Asmat outrigger canoe (first picture), rather difficult to photograph in the museum rooms, and to have a better view on boats, it is better to look at models (picture 2), which are very nice and well done, with some explanations; many models are on display in the museum rooms, they look very tiny in the big hall of the warehouse (picture 3), but is it not nice to have that much space for the displays? And I was interested by displays on construction techniques, with big posters, but unfortunately most explanations are in Indonesian (picture 4); coming back near the entrance, I noticed not only that the warehouse was well preserved but the museum is artistically laid out, with nice colours matching with the décor (picture 5).
    Well, the Museum Bahari is certainly not a world top maritime museum, but it has a real personality, is located in a very interesting district of Jakarta, in a beautiful group of old buildings, and it is very enjoyable to spend two hours here and learn about this country made of thousands of islands.
    Open Tuesday-Sunday 09.00 - 15.00 WIB (WIB means Waktu Indonesia Barat, West Indonesia time): 9 am-3 pm
    Closed Mondays and public holidays.
    entrance : Rp. 2.000

    Outrigger Asmat (West Papua) boat From Sumbawa (Model) Long beautiful hall How boats are built ! Like a modern sculpture.
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    Boats, instruments. . . . Bahari Museum

    by kokoryko Written Apr 8, 2009

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    On the lower level of the museum, in the wide rooms, there is space to display some examples of boats and vessels created in Indonesia; don’t forget Indonesia is formed by thousands of islands, where very different people, cultures and beliefs live; that has an influence on the behaviour with the sea, the creation of boats, the navigation techniques, etc. . . . So in this museum, you will see a few examples of boats, like this Balinese boat, on the first picture , and other boats of the lesser Sunda Islands on the second picture, where even Ibu Herdanti is admiring.
    Other boats are outside (picture 3), and I was lucky to have a “private” guide, for some explanations (In Indonesian) but there are very few (if any) explanations about the boats outside.
    The first level of the museum displays navigation instruments (compasses, sextants. . . . ), lights for lighthouses (picture 4), lighthouses models. . . .
    A maritime museum has also to tell about marine life, and this one does, even shortly; there are many displays of shells, and a genealogic tree of molluscs (picture 5): why not know a bit about the relationships of the shells we collect?
    Open Tuesday-Sunday 09.00 - 15.00 WIB (WIB means Waktu Indonesia Barat, West Indonesia time): 9 am-3 pm
    Closed Mondays and public holidays.
    entrance : Rp. 2.000

    Balinese boat Big hall and boats Boats outside French signal light Molluscs genealogy (euh! phylogeny!)
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