Jakarta, officially known as the Special Capital Region of Jakarta, is the capital and the largest city of Indonesia. It is also the known to be the most populous in Southeast Asia. Jakarta is located on the northwest of Java and is considered to be Indonesia’s center for economy, politics and culture.
Jakarta is not only popular to domestic travelers within Indonesia but it is also popular for foreign travelers as it is their usual jump off point on their way to more popular tourist destinations such as Bali and Yogyakarta. However, you shouldn’t leave Jakarta too quickly as the city has a variety of tourist spots and attractions to offer. There are many historical monuments and landmarks particularly around the Merdeka square and Jakarta Old Town. When in Jakarta, don’t miss seeing the Taman Mini Indonesia, the National Monument or a visit to the Ancol Dreamland.
The Taman Mini Indonesia Indah is a recreational area located in the east of Jakarta. Literally translated it means “Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park” and as the name suggests it is a park focused on the Indonesian culture where you can see almost all aspects of Indonesian life captured in several different pavilions. It also houses a collection of Indonesian architecture and traditional clothing and dances. Other than these educational exhibits, you can also enjoy a lake with a miniature archipelago in the middle of it.
The Ancol Dreamland, also known as Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, is a resort destination located in Ancol Kelurahan along the waterfront in of Jakarta. It boasts of a theme park, golf course, hotels and other leisure activities. The theme park is named Dunia Fantasi or Fantasy World has over 30 rides and attractions. Ancol Dreamland also has a water park called the Atlantis Water Adventure which has a wave pool, flowing river pool, rainbow ball pool, waterfall pool, two children’s pool and several slides. For animal lovers, drop by the Ocean Dream Samudra which has a small aquarium, a 4D theater and features a number of animal shows including a dolphin and sea lion show. This is just a few of Ancol Dreamland’s attractions. It is also home to Sea World, Ocean Eco Park, Ancol Beach City and more.
How to get around Jakarta
Jakarta is known for its traffic jams and can take getting used to for many foreign travelers. While Jakarta is increasingly expanding their public transportation network, it is still not enough to ease the congestion. The city is connected by several intercity and commuter railways along with several bus lines that run along reserved busways. The TransJakarta Busway is a modern air-conditioned bus rapid transit system that has twelve lines operational as of 2013. While it is generally comfortable, take note that the bus service may be unreliable which can result with a long waiting time especially during rush hours.
If you want a leisurely tour around the city, a good option would be to take one of Jakarta’s government-run tour buses. Called the City Tour Jakarta, these tour buses are double decker and tourists can ride them for free. It follows a prescribed looping route that stop at most of Jakarta’s places of interest. It runs between 9 in the morning to 7 in the evening.
The best option for travelers would have to be to travel by taxi. It is relatively cheap and usually very fast, depending on the traffic. The city has several taxi companies and are widely available throughout the city. You can easily hail one along the street but be mindful that it can be difficult to get one during rush hour.
How to get to Jakarta
Jakarta is served by two airports, the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) and the Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport (HLP). The Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is located at Tangerang, Banten. It serves all international and most of the domestic flights to and from Jakarta. It has three terminals connected by a free shuttle bus. However, the shuttle can be unreliable so if you are in a hurry, it would be best to take a taxi although relatively more expensive. Meanwhile, the Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport is an older airport located on the southeast of the city. It is mostly used by charter flights, private and military aircrafts.
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