Indonesia – the largest archipelago in the world with over 13,000 large and small islands – consists of 5 main islands: Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua and is divided into 34 provinces, and as Jakarta is the primary entrance to Indonesia for most, we thought we would take a look at what to do, see and experience while visiting this vibrant city.
Mainly you will fly into Soekamo Hatta International Airport when visiting Jakarta, a large, modern city with a landscape pierced with luxurious skyscrapers and contradicted by building in the Old City area. As the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta city itself offers so much. Many 5-star hotels, restaurants, markets and fun parks. We also love to shop and Jakarta has gorgeous shopping centres which are a must visit, especially in June and July each year. At this time each year the city has it's 'Festival Jakarta Great Sale' where most malls and shopping centres drop their prices by up to 80%. You are sure to bag a bargain – especially if you are after some of the big name brands. Jakarta is also the home of the Presidential Palace.
To immerse yourself in the sights and smells of Jakarta we would recommend a visit to a local seafood restaurant on the water at Ancol called, Bandar Djakarta. This place was buzzing with local families, business people and tourists. The restaurant has a live band and we you will be treated to a wide array of fresh, local seafood. The chilli crabs are delicious. Later in the evening, the restaurant has karaoke and it is very popular. We especially enjoy watching all the lights around the harbour and witnessing the fishing boats and their crews heading out for their regular catch. If you can see if you can book one of the private and lovely little wooden huts that sit over large ponds of koi. Stunning and it will keep any children with you entertained.
Indonesian Miniature Museum Theme Park: Taman Mini Indonesia Indah literally translated means 'Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park'. This is an extensive theme park set in over 250 acres on the outskirts of town. It is culture-based and all the Indonesian islands are realistically reproduced in miniature on a central lake. There are also cable cars, museums, and even an Imax cinema. Indonesia's 26 provinces and culture, is encapsulated in separate pavilions with the collections of architecture, clothing, dances and traditions.
Ancol Dreamland or Dufan Amusement Theme Park: Fun for the young and young at heart. Experience 27 rides in Fantasy World, 8 pools at Atlantis Water Adventure and see SeaWorld, shows, flume rides and roller coasters. You can even play a round of golf here.
Old Town – Kota Tua Traditional Markets: Take in one such as Pasar Santa to experience local delicacies and food truck frenzy. Try the Martabak Boss (Indonesian Pancake) and the Pempek Palenbang (a deep fried and boiled fish cake). Bakmi – a stir-fried noodles dish served with a sweet soy sauce is delicious and a must try.
Climb up MONAS Tower to see Jakarta from high above.
Beaches: Head down to the main Ancol Beach and Resort area of Jakarta and enjoy a night or two – here you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience pampering day spa experiences, great restaurants and some great relaxation.
Shopping: Ths is a city to shop in so apart from the markets get your shopping fix at the malls: Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia, or Plaza Senayan for instance.
Places to stay: Shangri-La Jakarta – one of the top five hotels in the city it boasts refined elegance; Grand Hyatt, Hotel Indonesia Kempinski – which is an 11-minute walk from Sudirman train station, this luxury hotel is also 2.1 km from the National Museum of Indonesia or for those on more of a budget, the Mercure, Ancol.
Currency: Indonesian currency is the Rupiah
Passport: All tourists entering are required to hold a passport valid for a least six months as of the date of arrival and a round -trip ticket or evidence of continuing overseas travel
Recently, courtesy of the Department of Indonesian Tourism and Dream Tours and Incentives Management we had the pleasure of experiencing a new side to Indonesia, the island of Sulawesi. Our 8 days were filled with amazing experiences that offered so much diversity, and we met some of the friendliest people on the planet.