Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia and a city of surging economy. With a population of over 10 million, it is the most populated city of Southeast Asia. Along with Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi, Jakarta forms the second largest suburb in the world, Jabodetabek.
Jakarta is the political, administrative and economic capital of the country and is the 17th largest city of the world. Indonesian is the prevalent language of the area.
Located to the northwestern coast of Java, Jakarta covers a total area of about 660 sq km. It’s mostly plain and abundant in alluvial soil with extensive swamps and has an average height of about 8 m. The Jakarta Bay lies to the north of the city. The Ciliwung River divides the city into east and west principalities and the city also has River Sunter and River Pesanggrahan flowing through it. Together, the three rivers and heavy rains cause severe flood situation in Jakarta almost every year.
The city is divided into 5 main regions, namely, East Jakarta, West Jakarta, North Jakarta, South Jakarta and Central Jakarta.
How to Reach (Transport) :
The Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is the main airport of the city as well as the busiest airport of the country. It handles over 50 million passengers every year. It is located about 20 km away from the city and is connected to the rest of the country via Air Asia, Mandala Airlines and Garuda Airlines. It connects Jakarta to cities of Singapore, Malaysia, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Dubai, Sydney, etc, via various international airlines. Taxis and buses to the city are easily available from the airport. The Halim Perdanakusuma Airport earlier the main airport is now mainly used for private and VIP flights.
Jakarta is also accessible by trains from several cities in Java as well as by buses from nearby cities. Various ferry companies also offer passenger services from the seaport of Tanjung Priok to other parts of the country.
Inside the city, one can rent a car or avail of the several public transports which include buses, taxis, motorcycle taxis called ‘ojek’ or the more popular ‘bajaj’ which is equivalent to the tuk-tuks of Thailand.
When to Visit :
Jakarta features a typically tropical monsoon climate with distinct dry and wet season. The months from November to June constitute the wet season of the year with an average monthly rainfall of over 389mm. The best time to visit the city is from May to September when the climate is relatively dry and pleasant.
Fairs and Festivals :
Being the social capital of the country, Jakarta hosts several festivals and other events all the year round. Some of the important ones are listed below:
- The Lunar or the Chinese New Year, celebrated several weeks, both before and after the New Year throughout the country, is a public holiday. Festivities include dragon boat races and lion dances. The Cap Go Meh is held right after to commemorate the culmination of the New Year festivities.
- Java Jazz Festival, held in March, is a prominent musical event of the country and showcases both local and international talent.
- Jakarta-Japan Matsuri Festival, held in September, is celebrated for about a week all over the city. It is mainly a cultural event and aims at strengthening the bonds between Indonesia and Japan.
Points of Interest (Places to Visit) :
Jakarta is strewn with museums, beautiful parks and shopping malls. Some of the noteworthy places to visit in this city are as follows:
- Ancol Dream Park, located on the coast, is essentially an amusement park. It houses the Seaworld, South East Asia’s largest aquarium as well as many resorts, restaurants and a beautiful beach.
- National Museum houses a large collection of artifacts belonging to the prehistoric era. It was founded in 1868 and boasts of one of the largest collections of Hindu Javanese art and Southeast Asian ceramics.
- Kota Tua, the old town of Jakarta, expresses a unique colonial charm and has several museums and serves as a recreational area to the locals.
- Ragunan Zoo covers an area of 185 hectare and has about 3,600 wildlife species. The famous Komodo dragon, Pusat Primata Schmutzer and a few other primates are the highlights of this zoo.
Jakarta has an array of accommodation options, from cheap hostels to small motels, from standard mid-range hotels to resorts and luxury hotels, from monthly rental rooms to even apartments. Hostels, locally called ‘losmen’ found in the area of Jalan Jaska are the cheapest options. Popular budget hotels include MaxOne Hotels, Clay Hotel, Neo Hotel Cideng, Amaris Hotel Juanda and Tune Hotel Pasar Baru. International luxury hotels belonging to chains of Hilton, Oriental, and Hyatt are also available here. These hotels are equipped with restaurants, bars, swimming pools, nightclubs and even shopping malls.
Last Updated : October 21, 2013