Capital of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta is a huge, sprawling metropolitan city with a population of more than 9 million people. Jakarta is the seat of national government as well as seat of the provincial government of Greater Jakarta. Here is also the national Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. This city is moreover the country’s center of finance and business. It is the center of the nation’s economics and politics as here converge people from all over Indonesia, attracting people from all walks of life. Jakarta is also the center of Indonesia’s modern music and sound, and center of Indonesia’s lively creative industry. It is no wonder, therefore, that whatever happens in Jakarta is national interest and it is for these reasons that Jakarta is the hub of Indonesia’s modern history and modern life.
Jakarta was where Indonesia proclaimed Independence on 17 August 1945 initiated by the National Awakening Movement in 1908 and the Youth Movement against colonialism since 1928. Jakarta was also where the ongoing Indonesian Reform movement started in 1997. Jakarta, formerly known as Batavia, was the seat of the Dutch East India company, VOC, and later of the colonial government over the then Dutch East Indies.
Located on the north coast on the western part of the island of Java, the Province of Greater Jakarta today comprises of 6 municipalities, namely Central Jakarta which includes the Merdeka Square and the elite residential area of Menteng; South Jakarta, which includes the districts of Kebayoran and Bintaro; West Jakarta, now being developed into a prime municipality where Jakarta’s tallest building and hotel will be constructed; East Jakarta, location of the Indonesia in Miniature Park as well as many industrial estates; North Jakarta, the city’s prime trading area and site of Jakarta’s beach recreation Ancol Dreamland; and the Thousand Islands, some 76 idyllic islands lying in the Bay of Jakarta.
In fact, there are a lot of things to do and to see in Jakarta. But travel-wise, Jakarta is difficult to get around because of the dense car and motorbike population. The best advice for visitors is to stay in a hotel in an area where you will spend most of your time for conferences or business meetings, for shopping or exhibitions, while allowing time for exploring the city or for sightseeing to particular days only when one has more time to spare.
Because of its huge population, Jakarta is dense. Therefore one finds justaposed here luxurious houses next to road-side shacks, and state-of-the art cars fighting for space with dilapidated buses. But the city is very dynamic and full of life during the day and well into the night.
Here one finds restaurants serving international cuisine or regional dishes from the archipelago, ranging from exclusive restaurants to road-side stalls to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. There are also a number of beautiful golf courses around the city, where Indonesian and foreign businessmen spend entire weekends.
Jakarta’s nightlife is second to none. Discos, nightclubs, music rooms in top class hotels or stand-alone offer a wide variety of music and dance opportunities. The annual Java Jazz Festival is the international event for jazz buffs. Indonesia’s best bands and singing stars all live in this great city.
Jakarta is, moreover, a great place for shopping, and is able to compete in choice and price with many favourite shopping cities around the world like Singapore and Hong Kong. The Plaza Indonesia, Plaza Senayan, Pondok Indah Mall, Pacific Place, are just a few of the plethora of upscale shopping centers found across this huge city. While for bargain rates, Tanah Abang wholesale center, Mangga Dua and Kelapa Gading are favourite shopping haunts. Yearly the Jakarta Great Sale offers huge discounts attracting thousands of shoppers from the provinces and South East Asia.
|Languages spoken||Bahasa Indonesia|