Whether it is because you are planning to visit Jakarta soon or maybe it’s because you are a major knowledge buff, whatever your reason, knowing about some place new is always fun. So, below is a small crash course in various facts about Jakarta.
- Located on the northwest coast of Java Island, Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia with about 10 million people in the city and 28 million in the expanded areas and an area of 662 sq km or 256 sq miles.
- Tourism is popular in Jakarta, as the Soekarno–Hatta International Airport is one of Indonesia’s biggest airports and with many using Jakarta as a starting point to the many islands and other parts of Southeast Asia, tourism is just an added benefit.
- The name of the city Jakarta comes from the word Jayakarta, an old Javanese word meaning “victorious deed” or “complete victory”.
- Jakarta was at one time part of the Dutch East India Company and became independent only recently in 1945.
- And because it was formerly a Dutch colony before World War II, and known as the Dutch East Indies, there are bound to be remains that give evidence of the past. One of these includes the Dutch cannons that can be found in old town Jakarta.
- Including the Ciliwung River, there are 13 rivers that flow through Jakarta. The most important one is the Ciliwung River, which divides the city in two, western and eastern.
- During Id-ul-Fitr, a Muslim Holiday, more and more hotels in Jakarta are occupied by families whose domestic helper or babysitter is away for the festive season.
- A city that is growing with a rather fast pace, Jakarta is sometimes called The Big Durian, an Indonesian equivalent of the Big Apple for New York.
- The national stock exchange of Indonesia, the Bank of Indonesia, and the National Monument (Tugu Monas) are some of the major landmarks in Jakarta city.
- A few minutes after the rain starts, especially in the business districts, many children from the surrounding areas offer their ‘umbrella services’.
- The blue taxi, Blue Bird, drives everyone around the city. It is one of the most reliable taxi companies in Jakarta that most people use.
- More and more Jakartans like to do “Gowes” which just means cycling. On a regular basis, the main street down town is closed on Sunday morning for their own car-free day.
- The city of Jakarta offers you a perfect mixture of western architecture and traditional Indonesian culture.
- Jakarta has been known by a number of names: Sunda Kelapa (397-1527), Jayakarta (1527-1619), Batavia (1619-1942), and Djakarta (1942-1972).
- Jakarta can be divided into three sections – the old town in the north, with Javanese, Chinese, and Arab quarters; central Jakarta, with high-rise buildings; and a modern residential garden suburb in the south.
- Jakarta is one of the few cities in South East Asia, with the largest number of museums in the city.
- ‘Patting on the head’ is considered an evil omen among the inhabitants of Jakarta as well as in some of the other parts of Indonesia.
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