|Jakarta is a large and busy city which has a great divide between rich and poor – on the one hand the rich live very comfortably, whilst on the other hand the poor live in slums in temporary dwellings and evidence of this poverty is not hard to miss.
In the aptly named Central Jakarta, you’ll find a number of galleries, museums and monuments. Amongst these is the National Monument which stands 137 metres high. It was built to celebrate Indonesia’s independence. The monument is accessible, including an observation platform at the top which gives great views of Jakarta, plus you will also find the National History Museum here in the basement of the monument.
Other museums in Jakarta include the National Museum which features local sculptures and cultural artefacts, and the Adam Malik Museum which features Asian art and porcelain.
There are a vast number of shopping malls in Central Jakarta, as well as being many in other parts of the city too. What they sell does vary so which one you choose will depend on what specifically you are looking to buy; many though specialize in electronic goods. You may also like to try out two of Central Jakarta’s markets which are Pasar Baru and on Surabaya Street.
West Jakarta has many of the same appeals as Central, though also includes Chinatown and has a good nightlife and entertainment scene, whilst South Jakarta also offers similar attractions plus many of the city’s hotels.
For a different experience to the typical city, head for the North Jakarta district. Here you’ll find an amusement park which has many attractions including a theme park, aquarium (Sea World Indonesia), beach, swimming pool and golf course, as well as the picturesque Thousand Islands.
There are in fact only 110 islands and not a thousand! However, if you can charter a boat or get there by helicopter or small plane they are worth the visit to see a different side to Jakarta. Many of the islands have resorts where you can choose to stay for a while and enjoy the beaches and sea as well as many other facilities often on offer too.
There are also places of interest in Jakarta’s suburbs. Bogor, for example, which is 60km south of the city has an impressive Botanical Garden which was founded in 1811. Within the gardens you will also find the Presidential Palace. Its own grounds are open for viewing and although tours of the palace are available they do require advance arrangement.