My 24 Hours in Jakarta
Today is the last day of my trip to Indonesia. I have set the alarm clock early because I want to take advantage of the morning in the city since there are enough things to see in Jakarta. Although I have been told that it is not worth spending an hour in Jakarta, I want to check it out for myself.
I almost did not encounter other foreigners during my visit to the city. The majority of tourists arriving in Indonesia go directly to Bali, forgetting the other 17,000 islands in the country. I do not know why, but it has a special atmosphere, which gives me very good “vibes”.
I went down to the restaurant to have breakfast and I found a very large buffet, but already too crowded (as it has happened in Gili Trawangan). I had my breakfast and after getting a bit of news with the laptop, I hired a taxi at the door of the hotel to take me to what will be my first stop in Jakarta.
Sightseeing in Jakarta
It took me a little over half an hour to get into chaotic traffic but enjoying the views so different from what I’ve been seeing these days. When I crossed the street I was in front of one of the most beautiful squares that I have seen in Jakarta.
Kota Tua and the Fantastic Cafe Batavia:
Kota Tua is the old quarter of Jakarta, or rather of old Batavia. This is where the Dutch colonial invaders established the base of operations of their colony. In this area, you will find many Dutch colonial buildings as well as the fantastic Fatahillah Square with the building that was once the city council and seat of the Dutch East India Company, now a museum of history.
To me, Kota Tua was definitely the area that I liked the most. It was crowded with people and markets in the adjoining alleys. Be prepared to give interviews and photos to students as if you were pop stars.
One of the things that caught my attention was the colorful bikes they had in the Batavia Coffee Section. They have them impeccable, so people can rent them and shop around or take photos. My idea was to enter Cafe Batavia, one of the most famous, if not the most famous in Jakarta.
Monas and the National Museum of Indonesia:
Monas is the name that receives the national monument of Indonesia, erected to celebrate its independence. At the base of the monument, there is a museum about the history of the country. Opposite the Monas Monument is the National Museum of Indonesia where I found a large collection of historical pieces from Prehistory to the colonial era.
Ancol, the beach area:
After a while observing the life that passes in the heart of the city, I set out for Ancol, the famous beach Sightseeing in Jakarta. It is an area similar to Singapore’s Sentosa but somewhat less maintained. The beach is not worth to bathe but to walk and watch the sunset. I went on Sunday and the area was full of local strolling.
Indonesian cuisine was unknown to me. I do not remember ever having seen an Indonesian restaurant in any city in the world. From rice, noodles, and soups to the essential Pisang Goreng (fried banana), Indonesian food is rich in shapes, colors and, of course, flavors. Some typical dishes you’ll find everywhere are Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Mie Goreng (fried noodles) or Sate Ayam (chicken skewers with peanut sauce). This last dish is very famous in Thailand but I was unaware that it was Indonesian.
Commercial Centers of Jakarta
Like Bangkok, Jakarta has several gigantic shopping centers where you can find almost everything. The most famous are the Grand Indonesian Mall although The Park Plaza is somewhat more luxurious. They are side by side and are okay to escape a little from the heat if you squeeze a lot. They are in the heart of the financial district, close to the Skye Bar.
Located in one of the largest shopping centers in Jakarta, the Alun Alun is a beautiful place where you can buy clothes, crafts, ceramics and accessories at a good price.
Night Life and Jakarta
Probably the Skye Bar is the most famous bar for sightseeing in Jakarta. The Skye Bar is located on the 56th floor of a skyscraper on a bench. You have to go with long pants to get in. It’s worth paying a visit, as the views of Jakarta at night are amazing. You can change the view of the city after seeing the large number of skyscrapers it houses.
Black Cat Jakarta: Jazz & Blues Club
One of the most popular jazz and blues clubs in Jakarta, it is frequented every day by a large number of people eager to hear good live music. As for the tourists, they often visit it very often since they find a good atmosphere very similar to the western one, they have the opportunity to choose between a good selection of drinks and liquors and the prices are moderate and very fair according to the quality of the place.
Almost everyone told me that there was nothing to do in Jakarta, so my expectations upon arriving in the city were not very high. Maybe this has helped me make it look interesting. You know, at least you usually expect from such a place that it surprises you. I had a good time in Jakarta and I enjoyed meeting the capital of Indonesia.