Jakarta is not only one of the most emblematic cities within the Indonesian archipelago, but also one of the most diverse one with its dynamic faces of contrasts, exaggerations and surprising mixture of the international crowd and local people seeking to live in the centre of major events.
That way, Jakarta has a lot to offer and has become a strongly addictive urban jungle in this part of the South-East Asia region.
The charm of the city lies in its complexity which equally can come across as an overwhelming experience of a stereotypical Asian metropolis. On the contrary, Jakarta is much more than this. Modern business districts, filled with skyscrapers and offices of international companies border residential neighborhoods and provincial simple houses of common workers. Luxurious shopping malls co-exist with little family businesses and street vendors, approaching the drivers directly on the road. The city is filled with ethnicity, cultures and urban subcultures, which don't hesitate to mark own presence in a form of performances, street visuals or local celebrations.
All of this makes Jakarta a perfect exploration base on a discovery of modern Indonesian culture and society, but first it's also worth to spend some time to stroll down the streets, discovering the most characteristic sights the city has to offer.
We start with Monas, the monument built to commemorate Indonesian Independence Day. Located in Merdeka Square, it offers to its visitors a 360-degree viewing platform climbing 155 metres up with more than decent panoramic views of the city. The building features also a small gallery with a historical overview of the country's struggle to independence.
Next stop is a bizarre amusement park, known as Taman Mini, which literally is a miniature scale reflection of Indonesia, built onto an artificial lake. Within the park itself, there are: museums, Chinese temple, nature park and various theatre and shows scheduled. It takes about full day to visit all Taman Mini attractions, since the park covers over 250 acres.
To experience a modern representation of Muslim religion, it's recommended to visit Istiqlal Mosque – the largest mosque of the South-East Asia, which is also an interesting architectural and design form, located in the very centre of the city.
Moving towards an old downtown Jakarta, there is Kota Tua a historic site of the capital filled with Dutch colonial architecture, variety of museums and beautiful streets with magnificent buildings making a perfect landscapes for bike rides and long walks.
We close the list with Surabaya Street (Jalan Surabaya), a famous shopping street with lots of antiques, flea markets and little shops selling hand made goods and traditional crafts.
Jakarta is clearly much more than the things we listed for you, however we prefer to leave you the space to learn, experiment and discover the city by yourself!