When you picture the huge and bustling metropolis of Jakarta, what image first comes into your mind?
Is it the culture? Is it the busy nature? Or, is it the street food? Maybe it’s the hot, humid weather, or maybe it’s the fact that the city never seems to sleep, but whatever image first enters your mind, one thing is for sure – Jakarta is likely to surprise you.
Indonesia’s capital and biggest city is certainly an assault on the senses; it is large, it is busy, it is smoggy, it is fast-packed, and it is loud, but despite all of that, there is a strange peace and quiet about the place, which is basically based in its culture and is traditions.
The false impression many people have of Jakarta is that it is dirty and far too busy to be able to see anything, but both of these visions are false. Yes, Jakarta is busy, it is a capital city after all, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw yourself into the freneticism of the place, and embrace it for everything it is. As for being dirty, well, it’s certainly not!
Of course, when visiting a city, you need to pay a lot of attention to your accommodation options, to ensure that you are basing yourself somewhere quite central, and to avoid too much commuting in and out, away from the main attractions you are wanting to explore. Le Meridien Jakarta is a great choice of central hotel, a must see now with all the amenities and facilities you need for a comfortable and luxurious stay; comfort is certainly something you will be needing at the end of a busy day in Jakarta, however you will certainly not struggle to find a hotel or apartment to suit your budgetary needs with the assistance of Traveloka.
Because of the size of the city, you certainly need to do some research ahead of time, to make sure you know what you want to see, and to make sure you actually know how to get there. J-Town is one of the most famous parts of the city, where you will find large shopping malls, history, gastronomy, and plentiful nightlife. This is probably the most modern and cosmopolitan part of the city, however the other parts of the city are definitely worth exploring too.
Central Jakarta is where most of the business buildings are based, however this is also where you will find Lapangan Merdeka, the world’s biggest city square. You will find some very old buildings to explore here too, with the Palace, and the National Museum, as well as Istiqlal Mosque.
For something a little more eclectic, head to West Jakarta, and the bright and vibrant Chinatown. Mangga Dua is a great shopping area for those on a budget, and the nightlife here is a little lower on the budget range too, compared to that found in J-Town. North Jakarta is an altogether quieter affair, with a pretty harbour to explore, and plentiful old architecture. The market stalls here sell handcrafted goods, and the street performers will keep you entertained during your day.
Put simply, Jakarta is a city that has to be explored in order to truly understand it. Don’t fall foul of false impressions, and don’t judge a book by its cover – Jakarta is a city that proves these points to be true.