Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is a sprawling cosmopolitan city where the modern and the traditional meet head on. There are fine museums and superb examples of colonial architecture, traditional temples and marketplaces as well as a plethora of antique shops, shopping malls, restaurants and discotheques.
The National Monuments one of the many monuments built during the Sukarno era of fierce nationalism. The 137-metre tall marble obelisk is topped with a flame coated with 35 kgs.of gold, and represents the people’s determination to achieve the freedom. It towers over Merdeka (Freedom) Square, and serves as Jakarta’s most prominent landmark. The monument is open to the public and houses a historical museum and meditation hall. An elevator carries visitors to the top, offering a bird’s eye view across the city to the sea.
Located on the west side of Merdeka square, the National Museum in Indonesia, if not South-east Asia. Established in 1778 by U.M.C. Rademacher under the auspices of the Batavia Association of Arts and Sciences, it offers historical, prehistorical, archaelogical and ethnographic aspects of Indonesia through its extensive collection of artifacts and relics which date as far back as to the Stone Age. It has one of the most complete collections of bronzes and ceramics dating back to the Han, Tang and Ming Dynasties.
The Museum has one of the finest numismatic collections in the world. The religious art section is filled statuary and sculpture salvaged from sites of Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic edifices. Its collection of Cultural instruments, household utensils, arts and crafts provide an introduction to the life of the various ethnic groups which populate Indonesia. This museum is popularly known as Gedung Gajah or "Elephant Building" because of the stone elephant offered by King Chulalongkorn of Thailand in 1871, placed on the front lawn of the building.
Located at Jalan Pintu VIII Senayan, this Park has a beautiful lake for boating, canoeing and paths for cycling. Other facilities for children include bumper cars, a miniature train and a merry-go-round. Evening entertainment features live music and popular local comedians. Open daily from 16.00 - 22.00 hrs, Saturday to midnight, Sundays and holidays from 08.00 – 22.00 hrs.
The Museum of the Armed Forces displays exhibits on the development of the Indonesian Armed Forces, its role in the struggle for the nation’s independence, and other military relics. Open daily except Mondays.
Both are located at Jalan Proklamasi 56, on the site of the former residence of the late President Soerkarno where the nation's Independence was proclaimed. By the Perintis Kemerdekaan Building stands the Soerkarno-Hattan Monument, in commemoration of the nation's first president and Vice President, who together proclaimed Independence on behalf of the Indonesian People. Open daily from 8.00 a.m.
This street is located in one of the city's 'upscale' residential areas and is well-known for its flea market. Stalls offer a wide range of goods, some of them antiquities, including ornate lamps, porcelain, brassware, handicrafts. Bargaining is necessary, as is the skill to distinguish true antiques from the 'instant antiques'.
Sunda Kelapa , also known as Pasar Ikan (Fish Market), is located in the far north of the city at the mouth of the Ciliwung river. This is where the Portuguese traded with the Hindu King dom of Pajajaran in the early 16th century. The fish catch of the day was auctioned in the early morning at the old fish market. The street leading to it was lined with shops selling all sort of shells, dehydrated turtles, lobsters and everything else the seafarer might need.
Dutch domination of Jakarta and the rest of Indonesia began from this area, and the remnants of Kasteel Batavia, an old fort and trading post of the Dutch East Indies Company, can still be seen. Sunda Kelapa is at present fisherman's wharf and in inter-island port. Tall masted Bugis schooners from South Sulawesi anchoring there offer one of the finest sights Jakarta has to offer. They belong to one of the last fleets of sail boats in the world and still ply the seas between the islands, as they did centuries ago, carrying merchandise.
The idea behind Taman Mini is to give the visitor a glimpse of the diversity of the Indonesian archipelago. In a single location. This extensive park represents Indonesia's 27 provinces and their traditional characteristic, reflected most strikingly in the exact regional architecture of the province. It has its own orchid garden varieties are grown. There is also a bird park with a walk-in aviary, a fauna museum and recreational grounds with a swimming pool and restaurants.
Of special interest at Taman Mini is the Museum Indonesia. A richly decorated building in Balinese architecture, it houses contemporary arts craft and traditional costumes from the different regions of the country. Open from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. daily.
Also known as (Golden Snail Theater). Located in the Taman Mini is the Imax theater which presents "Beautiful Indonesia" on a gigantic screen using the latest Imax system. Not to be missed if you're visiting Taman Mini! Open from 11.00 hrs-17.00hrs.
Built in the form of the Veranus Komodiensis (the only pre-historic giant lizard found exclusively) on Indonesia's Komodo Island ), it exhibits dioramas depicting the amazing variety of fauna indigenous to Indonesia. Located at Taman Mini and open daily from 8.00 - 15.00 hrs.
The Stamps Museum at Taman Mini has an attractive collection of stamps once issued in the country over the years. The Museum is ideal for the philatelist. Open daily except Monday, from 08.00-15.00 hrs.
Jakarta's zoo is situated in the subsurb of Ragunan in the southern part of the city. Indigenous animals such as the Komodo dragon , tapir, Java tiger, wild ox and brightly coloured birds are given ample room in a lush tropical setting. For a taste of Indonesian families on an outing visit on a Sunday or holiday when the zoo is most crowded. Open daily from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Some of the world's most beutiful and exotic orchids come from Indonesia. Jakarta has a several extensive Commercial orchid gardens which are open to the public, the best known of them are located at Slipi, Taman Mini and the Ragunan Zoo.
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