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Start with a visit to Monas, the National Monument built in the 1960s and 1970s to honor the Indonesian people’s ' fierce patriotism and strong commitment to freedom'. The tower is 450ft (137m) tall and topped with a large bronze plate coated in 35 kilgrams of gold. The bottom of the monument is a museum showcasing dioramas of Indonesia history, while the top has an observatory that offers an excellent view of the city. Visitors can also visit the auditorium which showcases the original Indonesian flag and proclamation text being read by the first President, Soekarno.
Monas is located in the center of Merdeka Square. The square is ringed by Gambir Train Station, Jakarta City Hall, government offices, and U.S. Embassy.
Walk to the exit and just few meters from there, stands the National Museum on Jalan Merdeka Barat . This museum showcases artefacts of Indonesian culture and history and is one of the cities 'must see' attractions.
How to get there? taxi, car, busway (alight at MONUMEN NASIONAL station, just across the station is National Museum. However, you need to walk further to reach the gate of Merdeka Square).
How far? In the central part of Jakarta, 20mins from Mangga Dua. 1 - 1.5 hours from the surrounding area.
In weekend this place gets more crowded with the hour. If traveler wish to see Jakarta from the toppest level of the monument, it is better arrive as early as 8AM, while the queue just begins. Otherwise, it can take between 2-4 hours just to get one's turn into the elevator going top.
More landmarks include the Taman Mini Indonesian Indah, or miniature park, which has cultural exhibits from each of Indonesia’s provinces. Don’t be fooled by the name—the park spans several hundred acres. Like other 'mini' theme parks from Southeast Asia, this may appeal more to local than international tastes.More info on Taman Mini Indonesia Indah can be found here
Some museums inside the Park including: Purna Bhakt Pertiwi Museum (showcasing all souvenirs that is collected by the late President Soeharto from all over the world), Indonesia Museum, Oil and Gas Museum, Electricity Museum, Philatelic Museum, Komodo Museum (showcasing dioramas of regional wildlife and some reptile houses), Transportation Museum, Freshwater Aquarium, Telecommunication Museum, Insect Museum, and Sports Museum. Besides, in the park, there's also monument of the friendship of Non-Block movement.
It's worth noting that Taman Mini is a long trek from central Jakarta, so unless you are keen to tick off every attraction in the city it may be an idea to skip it.
The historic core of old Jakarta is known today as 'Kota'. Some of Jakarta's most impressive historic buildings are to be found here. Taman Fatahillah (Fatahillah Square) is the centre of the old city. The early eighteenth century Batavia Town Hall is here. It was restored by UNESCO in 1972 and may well be the city's most important historic edifice. One street across is the Great Canal with Dutch-era townhouses and offices. The architecture is impressive but in a terrible state of decay and neglect. A rejuvenation has long been promised by the city's government but it has so far taken them almost a year to re-pave the main square.
You can start the tour at Museum Bank Mandiri just opposite the busway station and facing Jakarta Kota train station. It showcases everything related to the biggest government owned bank. Just beside it is Museum Bank Indonesia which has been beautifully restored and re-opened as the Money Museum. Trace your step towards the pedestrian walkway until you find Fatahillah Square on your right. On the left is Puppet Museum and on the right, facing the square is the infamous Jakarta History Museum (the former City Hall). Opposite the street from Jakarta History Museum is the Arts and Ceramic Museum. You can even try the ceramic workshop inside.
For visitors who prefer to unwind, just opposite Jakarta History Museum is Cafe Batavia which serves Indonesian and European food in the colonial atmosphere. End your day by walking towards the Kota Train Station. Architecture admirer may step inside and look in detail the art-deco train station which serves train trip to several points in jakarta as well as the western suburb of Tangerang.
How to get there? taxi, car, busway (alight at KOTA terminus on Corridor 1 Line), public minibus (or 'angkutan kota') from Mangga Dua, Pasar Baru, Senen.
How far?5 mins from Mangga Dua, 20mins from city center.
1. Satria Mandala Museum, dedicated to the history of the armed forces, and the Jakarta Museum, home to the city’s largest collection of maps and antiques from the 1700's. Location: Jalan Gatot Subroto, approx 30mins from city center.
2. National Archieve Building (Gedung Arsip Nasional), as the name suggets, it's where the archieves are stored. People go here to admire the beautiful buildings which is the former residence of Governor General Reyner de Klerk. Nowadays, it is a favourite spot for taking photographs, holding wedding receptions, and other functions. This building was the location of the gala dinner held for Hilary Clinton during her visit in February 2009.
Location: Jalan Gajah Mada, in between city center and Old Batavia. If you're coming by busway, alight at Mangga Besar station.
3. Kite Museum (Museum Layang-Layang), quite new but has extensive collection of modern and traditional kites in all sizes. Location: Jalan H. Kamang number 38, Pondok Labu, South Jakarta. Kite making workshop also available.
Chinatown area in Jakarta is called Glodok. It was an old commercial area and are still popular until now. Walk towards Jalan Pancoran and you can see many establishments that are associated with Chinatown; Chinese medical hall, Chinese bookshop, cake shop, Chinese snack shop amongst other. Turn to bustling lane called 'Petak Sembilan' and you can find many eateries and food seller here. More food seller can be found in the lane just besides 'Gloria' building across the street. The infamous Buddhis temple, Dharma Bhakti Temple, is located inside Petak Sembilan area. Continue your tour towards Pasar Pagi area, you'l find big carpark building on your right; this is Asemka, the centre of wholesaler for fashion accessories. Just under the flyover in front of you, you'll find shops lining beneath the flyover. It's the Pasar Pagi (Morning Market) which is also the wholesale center for stationeries, wrapping papers, and other fancy stuff. If you walk towards the beginning of the flyover, you'll see Jakarta Kota Train Station just in front of you.
The other side of Glodok (Jalan Pinangsia) is famous for electronics trading. You can find all kind of electronics and electricals stuff here; not to mention computer stuff, pirated DVDs at Pinangsia Plaza all at lower price than in shopping malls.
Pasar Baru is notable as shopping area. But you can also see some historical sites in the area. Along the Pasar Baru Canal, just besides the main entrance, there is an ANTARA building. It is the national news agency of Indonesia and there's a museum at the ground level of the building.
Across the canal, more interesting sights await. The white classical building in the corner is Jakarta Art Building (Gedung Kesenian Jakarta). It often showcases theatrical acts, traditional musics, and shows. Just besides the building is the headquarters of Indonesian Post Office (PT. Pos Indonesia). Walk circling the building, you can find St. Ursula Girls Catholic School, and The Catholic Cathedral. Visitor can pay a visit to the cathedral museum as well. Opposite the cathedral, you will see a massive building; it's the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque complex in Southeast Asia.
Hungry visitors can pay a visit to many restaurants/eateries at Pasar Baru or for nostalgic feeling, you can try some establishments at Jalan Veteran (across the canal from Istiqlal Mosque). Highly recommended is Ice Cream Ragusa.