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Finding Nature in Jakarta

A stroll through Menteng in search of some of Jakarta's best parks
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.6 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Jakarta isn't known for its parks, but Menteng is one of the grassiest, greenest areas in the city. Located in the center of town, the... more »

Tips:  The route is mostly shaded, so avoiding the midday heat isn't such a must.

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Points of Interest

Sukarno, Indonesia's first president, commissioned the sculptor Edie Sunarso in the 1960s to cast two statues to welcome athletes and visitors to the Fourth Asian Games. The bronze figures were placed atop the Welcome Monument, located at the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout in the center of the city, and there they still stand, waving excitedly.

... More

2. Jalan Panarukan Park

There are actually two parks on Jalan Panarukan, each a small, grassy triangle. Towering skyscrapers loom not too far away, but the thick foliage of Menteng's tree-lined streets almost obscures them from view. It's a nice neighborhood -- some of the city's finest residences are located here, and most of the parking spaces are occupied by shiny... More

3. Menteng Hawker Center

These two long rows of food stalls serve up a wide selection of basic Indonesian cuisine. It gets pretty crowded after the sun goes down, but try the rujak manis (Indonesian fruit salad with spicy peanut sauce), nasi gila (literally, "crazy rice") or savory martabak (stuffed pancake). The sweet martabak makes for a good dessert.

The... More

4. Menteng Park

Menteng Park is home to a lively basketball scene, with games of reasonable quality played most afternoons and especially during the weekend. The style is quick passing and lots of fast breaking. There are also several concrete football courts.

It's also a popular place for photo shoots. It's not uncommon to see a photographer with a digital... More

5. SDN Menteng 01

This is the elementary school attended by U.S. President Barack Obama during his childhood in Menteng. Obama, who went by "Barry" in his youth, lived in Jakarta with his mother and his Indonesian stepfather from the ages of 6 to 10. Obama described the experience in his book "Dreams From my Father," and there's even an... More

6. Suropati Park

One of Menteng's larger parks, Suropati takes its name from a Balinese slave who ran away from his Dutch master in the 17th century. It's full of strange-looking statues, including six that represent the original members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). There are pigeon houses and plenty of benches. On Sunday the park makes a... More

7. Situ Lembang Park

One of Jakarta's hidden gems, this teardrop-shaped park centers around a fishing pond whose perimeter is marked by little docks you can sit on. Most of the visitors bring rods to cast about, but even if you don't want to fish, Situ Lembang is a nice place to relax. Bicycle vendors sell water, coffee and other drinks, and shaded benches make for... More