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Jakarta

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Best Time: July-October Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Nearest Airport: Jakarta Check Flights

"A melting pot of differences."

Jakarta Tourism

The capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is its cultural, economic and political centre. Established in the 14th century, it has a rich, varied history, and is a city of exciting metamorphosis- with its bustling traffic, its strong affiliations to its own historical roots, and a hub of development in Indonesia.

The sprawling nature of Jakarta, with its crowds, its maniacal traffic and the sheer speed of life in the city may overwhelm some tourists at first sight. But beneath this rather busy exterior, Jakarta is a city filled with interesting contrasts of the ultra-modern, traditional, extravagant and the humble. It is an eclectic mix of many Asian and South-East Asian cultures (the native Batavian culture in particular), Dutch and Islamic influences and channels them all into a beautiful set of contrasts.

From the old Dutch buildings and Chinese temple complexes in West Jakarta and the activity-filled harbours in North Jakarta to the newly built malls and business centres in South Jakarta, the city has something for every tourist. Additionally, there are the Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu) for the more adventurous at heart, with activities like deep-sea diving, and the presence of marine parks.

With a wide range of activities and the best nightlife in all of South-East Asia, Jakarta is an experience for the culturally curious and the adventurous tourist.

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Currency in Jakarta

IDR is the official currency of Indonesia, and is exclusively used everywhere, therefore all currency must be compulsorily exchanged, for foreign currency is not valid in Indonesia. Credit cards can be used at modern establishments, but for most flea markets and hawker centres in Jakarta, cash is advisable. Any ATM around Jakarta can be used to withdraw cash with cards around the globe.

Exchanging Money in Jakarta

Since there are a lot of unreliable sources in Jakarta, the safest place for exchanging currency would either be at the airport or at commercial banks (BMC in Seminyak).

Daily Budget for Jakarta

For the traveller on a shoestring budget, about IDR 300,000 is the daily budget, including food and travel expenses. Comfortable travel would require a budget of about IDR 500-000-1,800,000, and luxury travel would reach upwards of IDR 20,00,000.

Religion of Jakarta

The Indonesian government identifies six main religions, including Islam and Hinduism, but Islam is the predominant religion of the region. Hinduism is also an important religion in Jakarta, with a few temples dotting the landscape.

Jakarta Customs

Jakarta is relatively more conservative than other Indonesian areas in dressing, so it is advisable for tourists to dress modestly. Tipping is a practice in Jakarta.

Language of Jakarta

The language most commonly spoken is Bahasa Indonesian. In tourist friendly places, the grasp on English is much better, but overall, Indonesian is spoken. Hello (General Greeting): •Hi. Apa Khabar'ê I am fromÄ: •Saya DariÄê Pleased to meet you!: •Senang bertemu dengan anda!ê Good morning/evening/ night: •Selamat pagi/malam/tidur.ê

History of Jakarta

Jakarta used to be an important trading port (as evidenced by Sunda Kelapa) of the Hindu kingdom of Pajajaran Dynasty. After the 17th Century, the Dutch established their colonial foothold in the Indonesian region, which created an entirely different culture which was a hybrid of traditional Indonesian and Dutch influences. Vestiges of this hybrid are still found in Jakartan architecture. Dutch colonial rule came to an end with the Japanese occupation in 1942 and the name •Jakartaê was restored, but it wasnêt until 1950 that Jakarta officially became the capital of the new republic.

Nightlife in Jakarta

Jakarta is the place for rooftop bars and clubs in South-East Asia, the most popular of which are Immigrant and Dragonfly. Empirica is also a great place for clubbing. Jakartaês other more esoteric nightlife options are rather seedy, and a little unsafe for tourists.

Shopping in Jakarta

Jakarta is famous for its antique markets, with the occasional mall here and there, dotting the city. The best antique markets are found in Old Town and near Sunda Kelapa, with all kinds of antiques ranging from old records to memorabilia from the Dutch period. This is great for the discerning collector.

Restaurants and Local Food in Jakarta

The city of Jakarta has been influenced by history and modernisation, in terms of its cuisine, but still remains loyal to its Batavian roots. All these combine together to form a beautiful melange of spicy, sweet and sour food, which is exclusive to Jakarta. It offers tourists an exclusive view of the sheer variety of Indonesian culture. Food in Indonesia ranges from ubiquitous street hawkers at the corners of streets, to swanky restaurants. Some of the best food in Jakarta can be found in hawker centres- local food like Bakso (beef meatball), Satay Ayam (chicken marinated in a unique blend of spices), Indo Soto Mie (Indonesian noodle soup) and Gorengan (fried fruit/vegetables/bean paste/pineapple). Finally, in order to battle the oppressive heat in Jakarta, Es Podeng (shaved ice with condensed milk, coconut and a selection of fruits) is the best dessert found there. Other popular desserts there are Roti Bakar (grilled toast stuffed with chocolate or strawberry jam) and fruit pancakes. The most popular fruit in Jakarta is durian. A large, smelly fruit, it is popularly used in many Indonesian desserts, and is a must-try for the adventurous. Jakarta not only has Indonesian food, but many Chinese and Indian restaurants. Food in Jakarta,in conclusion, is an eclectic mixture for all.
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