The Colorful Capital City
a cosmopolitan city, Jakarta is always dynamic day and
night. From the skyscraper buildings, to Old Dutch style
architects are one of the interesting objects. Every year,
Jakarta always has new things to build, starting from
entertainment places, buildings, restaurants, to art and
cultural events. Jakarta is divided into five areas: North
Jakarta, South Jakarta, West Jakarta, East Jakarta and
Central Jakarta. Gold Artifacts, Jakarta History and Traditional
Puppets The Monumen Nasional or Monas is at the heart
of Jakarta, located in the center of Merdeka Square. This
monument is a majestic marble obelisk topped with a flame
covered in gold.
The National Museum is one of the finest museums in South
East Asia. There are wide range collections from prehistoric,
ethnographic and archeological artifacts. You can see
an outstanding collection of South East Asian Ceramics
and Hindu Javanese Art.
Drive further North from Jakarta and meet the Taman Fatahillah.
This place was named after the Prince who defeated the
Portuguese in the 16th Century. Near this square, you
can visit three most prominent museums in Jakarta: The
Jakarta History Museum, The Wayang (Puppet) Museum and
The Fine Art and Ceramic Museum.
If you do not have time to take a long vacantion throughout
the archipelago, you can visit Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.
With the area of 160 hectare, the beauty and the diversity
of Indonesia culture will greet you. Besides showcasing
the miniature of this country, they also have cultural
performances, usually on Sunday.Playing with Marine AnimalsGoing
North means dropping into Taman Impian Jaya Ancol. Children
will love this place because they can enjoy the recreational
park with lots of amusement rides at Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy
World). Water slides, bumper cars, rollercoasters and
other surprising rides will boost your adrenaline.
Inside the Ancol area, do not forget to go to Sea World.
Through a big tunnel, you can journey into a tremendous
aquarium tank with more than hundred marine species. Besides
the huge aquarium, there are smaller tanks with distinctive
species such as crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes, little
ray fish and much more. Children can touch several species
that are not harmful.
In the morning, go to the fish market auction at Sunda
Kelapa. The location is far North Jakarta. Based on the
history, this port was a trading place between the Portuguese
and the Hindu Pajajaran Kingdom in the early 16th century.
For more fresh air and cooler weather just go to Puncak.
It takes about two hours by car and you will enjoy the
tea plantations at the high mountains. On the way to Puncak,
you can stop by at the Taman Safari, a drive through nature
park that allows visitor t mingle with everything from
the Sumatran tigers, docile llamas, anoas, giraffes, bears
from America, Europe and Asia.Festive Art & Culture
Events and Hundreds Traditional-International CuisinesOn
the past few years, more cafes and restaurants have sprung
up and around the city. Along Kemang area you will meet
lots of traditional and international cafes and restaurants,
with cozy atmosphere. Besides cafes and restaurants, there
are galleries, gift shops and reproductions of Indonesian
antique furnitures. At the Ciputat area (South Jakarta)
and Surabaya road (Central Jakarta) also sell repro antique
furniture, interior decorations, old textiles, record
players and other interesting antique Indonesian handicrafts
from wood, brass, or silver.
At the Geding Kesenian Jakarta and Taman Ismail Marzuki
(both at Central Jakarta) you could see art performances
such as dance, music, drama, performed by local or international
artist. Every year, Jakarta also held the Jakarta International
Film Festivals; which screens independent feature filmes
and documentaries throughout the world.Shop Till You DropJakarta
is the city of fashion too! Every year, local designers
will show their work of art to fashion lovers. Their label
presence in big shopping malls is side by side with international
fashion brands such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucii, Giorgio
Armani, Christian Dior. Need more cheap goods and free
to bargain? No other place is as cheap and interesting
as Manggua Dua, a huge mall at central Jakarta; Which
sell electronic equipments, carpets, apparels, computers
and many more!
Last but not least, do not forget to bring home Indonesian
Handicrafts. From batiks, ikats, rattans, silverwares,
jewelries, to interior decorations will amaze you at Sarinah
or Pasaraya Grande.
Heart and Soul of Java
Java is divided into four provinces: West Java, Banten
(new province since 2001), Central Java and East Java.
Yogyakarta is located in the southern part of Central
Java and has a special privilege to be a special region.
start the ecological travels from Bogor (60 km from Jakarta).
Visit the Kebun Raya Bogor. Hundred tropical plantation
species had been planted in this huge botanical garden.
If you like more on the rough side and trekking, try Ujung
Kulon (South-western of West Java). This virgin tropical
rainforest is he home o the one-horned rhinoceros. Many
species co-exist such as wild ox, deer, wild boar, panthers,
crocodiles, snakes and birds. Wild water rafting at Citarik
river is also one of the best activities to drive your
adrenaline, or rock climbing at Citatah mountain.
Banten, as the new province also is an interesting place.
The Badui community is a reclusive group of some 3,000
people, living in the remote Kendeng mountain. The term
of Badui is used by the outsiders, but for the people
itself they called as Urang Kenekes. This is a unique
society and refuse modernization.
Parang Tritis beach is located south of Yogyakara faces
the Indian Ocean and it is famous with he mythology of
Nyai Roro Kudul, the goddess of The South Seas. Every
year, The Sultan f Yogyakarta would make a special offering
to her in he Labuahan ceremony.
Move to East Java, and you can reach Mount Bromo. The
ascend to the rim will take about 50 steps. he vast expanse
of sand is formerly a caldera. Every year, based on Tenggerese
calendar year, the local people will have a Kasada ceremony.
They will surround the holy volcano and bring their humble
offering the God of Bromo. This ceremony will be held
on the 14th of Kasada.
Cultural Performance and Delicate Crafts
you can cross to Madura island by ferry. In this island,
you can see the Karapan Sapi, a colorful bull races held
every year after harvest season. Only bulls with specific
standard in color, weight and condition may enter in the
competition. They are judged both by their appearance
and their speed. The grand finale will be held on August
Take a trip to Ponorogo (East Jaa) and see the Festival
of Reog Ponorogo. Reog is a combination of traditional
dance and drama. One person in a trance wears an unusual
big mask with the height about one and half meters. With
live traditional music, they will perform their dance.
In this performance, a little boy rides a tiger toy and
dance together with other dancers with Reog itself.
Puppet performance is also interesting to watch. In Central
Java, the puppet is made from leather called Wayang Kulit
with the Dalang as the puppet master, you will see the
fight, the wisdom or the jokes in Javanese language. You
see the shadow of the puppet through a big screen with
a torch to give a mysticism effect. The story is usually
taken from the epic of Ramayana or Mahabarata.
West Java have its own puppet performance called Wayang
Golek. This wayang puppet made from wood with colorful
clothes. Through a stick attached in the puppet’s
hands, the puppet master will play the puppet attractively
and humorous. The puppet can do martial arts, smoking
a cigarette and other tricks.
Once again, never leave Indonesia without any handicrafts
in your hands. The best silverware will be in Kotagede
near Yogyakarta. Metal crafts could be found at Cisaat,
a small village near Sukabumi (West Java). In Tasikmalaya,
especially in Rajahpolah is the center of rattan handicrafts.
From fashionable bags, purses, hats to home furnishing
and cute souvenirs. Do not forget the batik cloth. Every
single place like Yogyakarta, Solo, Pekalongan or Pamekasan
has its own style.