Image Credit: Unsplash | Ke Vin
Jakarta, located strategically in South East Asia, just a few hours away from Singapore and Malaysia, the capital and financial district of Indonesia has earned a couple of nicknames such as The Big Durian, for its capability to either attract and keep people coming back for more or ward people off. Just like the infamous king of fruits, some people will find it addictive and develop a craving for it. But some people will avoid Durian even just by smelling it!
For those who are adventurous, open-minded and willing to deep dive and learn more about Asia, Jakarta is the perfect place to start.
As the second biggest city in Asia after Tokyo, Jakarta’s humongous, so big it is classified as a province. If you’ve been to Singapore, then Jakarta alone is almost as big as Singapore, and that makes Indonesia 2.648 times larger than the Lion City.
The city is divided by 6 districts: Central Jakarta, South Jakarta, West Jakarta, East Jakarta, North Jakarta, and Thousand Islands. So there’s so much for you to see and experience.
Now where should you base yourself when visiting the city?
Central Jakarta and South Jakarta
Entrepreneurs, corporate travelers, digital nomads, luxury travelers, or country representatives will find it easy to stay in both Central Jakarta and South Jakarta. Central Jakarta is located right in the heart of the city and also the center of the financial district of Indonesia, while South Jakarta is located just next to it. In both districts also where you can find major shopping malls are located. Whether you’re a budget shopper or high-end brands lover, you will find almost everything in these parts of the city.
Entrepreneurs and digital nomads will also appreciate Central Jakarta and South Jakarta’s numerous comfortable coworking spaces that can easily be found in major business buildings. Daily passes start from $4 — $10 per person and most coworking spaces allow you to work from normal work hours 9am — 5pm, but there are some that are open 24 hours. Facilities included are high-speed internet, meeting room, conference call box, communal room, private offices, pantry, receptionist service, office supplies (extra fees), cafetaria, and some even have a dedicated gaming room completed with PS and VR in it!
In the districts also where you can find the national landmark of the country, Monas (tips: visit the place as early as you can! Monas can be crowded in the afternoon and especially weekends). Plenty museums that display the nation’s treasures and holding cultural events to keep you busy and learn more about Indonesia as a country.
Local government head offices, Presidential Palace, and foreign embassies are also located in Central and South Jakarta which makes it easy if you need urgent assistance from your embassy.
In these parts of the city, you can also find a wide variety of nightlife and entertainment businesses. Whether you’re looking for a speakeasy bars, themed bars, sports bars, to fancy nightclubs, everything is available in the city.
From salsa-ing your night away at a local Spanish bar to joining EDM parties on a rooftop of a hotel, Central and South Jakarta are the place to be.
West Jakarta, North and East Jakarta
West Jakarta is a mix of traditional and modern parts of Jakarta. In this part of the city, you can find the historical Kota Tua (Old Town), a Dutch colonial buildings turned as museums, a national bank and a train station where you can have a very local experience. Kota Tua can be super busy in the afternoon and evening, especially on the weekends.
North Jakarta is the main harbor area famous for its Chinese and seafood restaurants. It is also the gateway for local Jakartans to head to the city’s Thousand Islands, a popular island getaway just a couple hours from Jakarta. The district’s also home to the country’s largest theme parks, Ancol, Dufan, and Seaworld. There are also art markets, eco parks, and other family friendly entertainments in North Jakarta.
East Jakarta is the city’s main industrial area, but in this part of the city you can also find Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, a recreation park that celebrates the country’s multicultural and multiethnic people. True to its name, TMII is a mini Indonesia, where you can find replicas of traditional and modern buildings, houses, local specialties and people from all over the country.
So, have you been to Jakarta or you want to visit my city? See you soon!