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Menteng, Jakarta Overview

The sub-district of Menteng is located within Central Jakarta, an administrative municipality of the Capital City of Indonesia. The tourists who happen to visit Menteng are surprised to see well-lit, wide boulevards lined with trees as well as grand fountains and fine dining establishments within the special residential zone that is home to diplomats and top celebs of Indonesia.

The Selamat Datang or Welcome Monument is a prominent landmark of Menteng that is thronged by the hip and happening crowd who enjoy the classical music concerts and art exhibitions taking place frequently.

Menteng is most famous for its planned urban residential area founded in 1912 when Indonesia was ruled by the Dutch. With access to all parts of the city and provision for numerous amenities, it has grown over the years to become one of the most upscale and expensive neighbourhoods. Also known as the Beverly Hills of Indonesia, it has the Ex-President Suharto residing here. Even more intriguing is the fact that Barack Obama, the former President of USA had spent his formative areas in this neighbourhood.

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Places to Visit in Menteng

1. Tugu Tani- Also known as the Heroes Monument, the Indonesian struggle for independence is personified by this bronze statue of a young peasant lad with a rifle strung over his shoulder. The statue also includes the figure of a mother offering rice to her son who is fighting for his rights.

2. Sasmita Loka Ahmad Yani Museum- This is a museum exhibiting the collections of Ahmad Yani, a commander of the Indonesian Army who had been killed during the 30 September Movement. The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and visitors are permitted to look around for free.

3. Tugu Kunstkring Paleis– Originally known as the Galeri Seni Kunstkring, this served as a “fine arts circle” of the Dutch East Indies. The building contains many beautiful art works from the erstwhile era along with artifacts and jewelry items. The gallery can accommodate up to 1000 people at a time while the fine dining restaurant and tea house below are frequented by both the residents as well as tourists.

4. Proclamation of Independence Monument- The monument exhibits the statues of the First President and Vice President of Indonesia declaring its independence on 17th of August 1945. It serves as a prominent landmark of the city.

5. Cut Meutia Mosque- The mosque is named after an National figures who fought against the oppression by the colonists in Aceh. The building, initially a Dutch property, had been converted into a mosque in 1987.

6. Taman Kodok Menteng- This is a beautifully manicured park built on 74 acres of ground within the city. Previously a stadium, this park also includes a playground and several sports facilities.

7. Bartele Gallery- This is yet another art gallery housing Indonesian books, and other literature along woth antique maps and printed work of historical eminence.

Shopping in Menteng

Menteng is a shopper’s paradise with international brands of clothing and other items being available aplenty. While one can frequent the huge malls such as Plaza International and Grand Indonesia Mall for shopping in comfort, there are several stand alone shops along the beautiful streets of the neighborhood as well.

People hoping to go camping choose to stop by Eiger Adventure noted for its quality camping equipment and sports gear. Of particular interest is the Cikini Gold Center, a modest mall selling all kinds of precious artifacts and gold jewelry. Tourists with a modest budget can also indulge in a bit of trinket shopping here.

However, the most interesting destination for enthusiastic shoppers looking to stretch their money is the flea or antique market of Menteng occupying the Surabaya Street. There are nearly 184 stand-alone shops here that sell everything of antique value including batik garments, old coins, porcelain, and even ship accessories salvaged by the divers.

Wood carvings, lampshades and old phones as well as out of print books can be found here as well. There is intense haggling going on in the street though with the experienced locals being able to obtain the coveted items at less than half the asking price.

Food in Menteng

There are a number of places to dine in Menteng with casual cafes to fine dining restaurants abounding in the residential area. Visitors can expect to dine on the best cuisines from across the world here with the following being worth a mention…

1. Sribu Rasa- This is a restaurant that is popular with the locals as well as the expats. It specializes in Indonesian cuisine with special dishes from the islands of Indonesia on the menu. It is a trifle pricey by local standards though.

2. L’Avenue at The Hermitage- Tourists hoping to dine on French cuisine are in for a treat at this opulent eatery that is done up in style with Colonial Art being the main focus. The customers are thrilled to find the best of the European dishes on their plates.

3. Bunga Rampai- This is the most popular restaurant serving Indonesian and Dutch food. Visitors are eager to dine here for not only for its delicious food but also for the ambience and décor. It is spread over three floors with the uppermost floor topped with a magnificent glass arch.

Best Time to Visit

May to October is considered to be the dry season in Jakarta making it an excellent time to visit Menteng

Tips

1. Walking is the preferred way of sightseeing here and visitors are advised to wear loose clothing
2. It is essential to shade the face and head while walking in the day time
3. Bargaining is allowed in the antique market area but the bigger shops sell their goods for a fixed price
4.  It is necessary to respect the local traditions and use only the right hand for activities
5. It is customary to leave small tip at restaurants

How To Reach Menteng

The best way to reach Menteng is to hire a Blue Bird Group Taxi from the Airport. Alternatively, the Railink connection to Sudirman Baru would serve the purpose admirably. Locals prefer to take Bus No. 4 to Menteng.

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