Jakarta: The Cultural Offerings
This metropolis with a population of almost 10 million people might be intimidating at times, but when people are patient enough to give Jakarta a fair chance can find a cultural blend of each and every ethnicity and cultural group living in Indonesia. With a complicated past of dictatorships until about 30 years ago, Jakarta in the modern times holds a number of attractions and delights for everyone. Jakarta being a melting pot of cultures from the archipelago and other nations, Jakara cultural offerings are from a broad spectrum of regions and ethinic groups.
So before you head off to the volcanoes in Java or the beaches in Bali, linger for a while in Jakarta for a modern 21st century taste of Indonesia on the steam streets of Jakarta. Here are a few (not all) reasons why Jakarta is one of the best experiences you can obtain.
The first place that should be on your list when out in Jakarta is Old Batavia. Old Batavia is referred to as the historical core of the city’s Dutch colonial era. Some buildings have been weathered by time, while some have been lovingly restored. But each building in Old Batavia stands as a testament to tasteful architecture. 300 meters north of the train station is Taman Fatahillah, an attractive cobbled square hemmed in by museums, showcasing the culture and dynamic history of the city, and while you are in the area, make sure you do not miss the chance to luxuriate in the stylish surroundings of the historic Café Batavia, on the northwestern corner of Taman Fatahillah, a gorgeous restaurant that has been open since back in the 19th century. The best part is that the Café is open 24 hours a day can satisfy any hunger pangs at any time of the day or night.
There are a number of museums in the city, but after strolling through that bit of living history in Old Batavia, we suggest a walk through the Museum Nasional (The National Museum) to delve deeper into the colorful history of the city. This particular museum has artifacts from the prehistoric era to the more recent events, like the eruption of Krakatoa 200 years ago.
If it is an experience, Indonesian performing arts that you seek, then a show at Gedung Kesenian is exactly what you need. A concert hall that was constructed by the Dutch and the English, back in the early 1800’s, has been put up to a number of uses. From a venue to entertain British, then Dutch soldiers, to a gathering place for youth poetical activists to a military headquarters, today, the Gedung Kesenian brings in outstanding fine art acts from around the world, and also showcases the most brilliant performers from across Indonesia.
Jakarta truly is a city which can give the taste of the modern Indonesia, while also letting you revel in the contemporary culture and history that the city has to offer.