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Sleepless Jakarta PDF Print E-mail
The Content - Sleepless Jakarta
Sunday, 15 August 2010 21:48

Jakarta skyline at night

Jakarta officially the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Located on the northwest coast of Java, it has an area of 661 square kilometres (255 sq mi) and a population of 8,490,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political center. It is the most populous city in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia, and is the twelfth-largest city in the world. The metropolitan area, Jabodetabek, is the second largest in the world. Jakarta is listed as a global city in the 2008 Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) research. The city's name is derived from the Sanskrit word "Jayakarta" which translates as "victorious deed," "complete act," or "complete victory."

Established in the fourth century, the city became an important trading port for the Kingdom of Sunda. It grew as the capital of the colonial Dutch East Indies. It was made capital of Indonesia when the country became independent after World War II. It was formerly known as Sunda Kelapa (397–1527), Jayakarta (1527–1619), Batavia (1619–1942), and Djakarta (1942–1972).

Landmarks include the National Monument and Istiglal Mosque . The city is the seat of the ASEAN Secretariat. Jakarta is served by the Soekarno – Hatta International Airport, Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, and Tanjung Priok harbour; it is connected by several intercity and commuter railways, and served by several bus lines running on reserved busway.

Officially, Jakarta is not a city, but a province with special status as the capital of Indonesia. It has a governor (instead of a mayor), and is divided into several sub-regions with their own administrative systems. As a province, the official name of Jakarta is Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta ("Special Capital City District of Jakarta"), which in Indonesian is abbreviated to DKI Jakarta.

Jakarta is divided into five kota or kotamadya ("cities" - formerly municipalities ), each headed by a mayor, and one regency (kabupaten) headed by a regent . In August 2007, Jakarta held its first ever election to choose a governor, whereas previously the city's governors were appointed by local parliament. The poll is part of a country-wide decentralization drive, allowing for direct local elections in several areas.

The Cities/Municipalities of Jakarta are:

  • Central Jakarta (Jakarta Pusat) is Jakarta's smallest city and home to most of Jakarta's administrative and political center. It is characterized by large parks and Dutch colonial buildings. Landmarks include the National Monument , the Istiqlal Mosque, and museums.
  • West Jakarta (Jakarta Barat) has the highest concentration of small-scale industries in Jakarta. The area includes Jakarta's Chinatown and landmarks include the Chinese Langgam building and the Toko Merah building. West Jakarta contains part of the Jakarta Old Town
  • South Jakarta (Jakarta Selatan), originally planned as a satellite city, is now the location of large upscale shopping centers and affluent residential areas. Jakarta Selatan functions as Jakarta's ground water buffer, but recently the green belt areas are threatened by new developments. Much of the CBD area of Jakarta is concentrated in Setia Budi, South Jakarta, bordering the Tanah Abang/Sudirman area of Central Jakarta.
  • East Jakarta (Jakarta Timur) territory is characterized by several industrial sectors erected in this city. There is also still some area of swamps and rice fields in this city
  • North Jakarta (Jakarta Utara) is the only city in Jakarta that is bounded by the sea (Java Sea). It is the location of the Tanjung Priok Port. Big-scale and medium-scale industries are concentrated in North Jakarta. North Jakarta contains the location of Jakarta Old Town , formerly known as Batavia since the 17th century, and was a center of VOC trade activity in Dutch East Indies . Also located in North Jakarta is Ancol Dreamland (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol), currently the largest integrated tourism area in South East Asia.

The only Regency (Kabupaten) of Jakarta is:

  • Thousands Islands (Kepulauan Seribu), formerly a subdistrict of North Jakarta, is a collection of 105 small islands located on Java Sea. It has a high conservation value because of its unique and special ecosystems. Marine tourism, such as diving, water bicycle, and wind surfing, is the most important touristic activity in this territory. The main transportation between these islands are speed boat or small ferries.

Geography and Climate


Jakarta is located on the northwest coast of Java , at the mouth of the Ciliwung River on Jakarta Bay , which is an inlet of the Java Sea . Officially, the area of the Jakarta Special District is 662 km2 of land area and 6,977 km2 of sea area. Jakarta lies in a low, flat basin, averaging 7 metres (23 ft ) above sea level . 40% of Jakarta, particularly the northern areas, is below sea level, while the southern parts are comparatively hilly. Rivers flow from the Puncak highlands to the south of the city, across the city northwards towards the Java Sea; the most important is the Ciliwung River , which divides the city into the western and eastern principalities. Other rivers include the Pesanggrahan, and Sunter.

These rivers, combined with Jakarta's low topography make it prone to flooding from swollen rivers in the wet season and high sea tides. Other contributing factors include clogged sewage pipes and waterways that service an increasing population, in addition to deforestation near rapidly urbanizing Bogor and Depok in Jakarta's hinterland. Furthermore, Jakarta is an urban area with complex socio-economic problems that indirectly contribute to triggering a flood event. Major floods occurred in 1996 when 5,000 hectares of land were flooded and 2007. Losses from infrastructure damage and state revenue were at least 5.2 trillion rupiah (572 million US dollars) and at least 85 people were killed and about 350,000 people forced from their homes. Approximately 70% of Jakarta's total area was flooded with water up to four meters deep in parts of the city.

The Thousand Islands , which are administratively a part of Jakarta, are located in Jakarta Bay north of the city.


Jakarta has a hot and humid tropical wet and dry climate (Aw) according to the Köppen climate classification system. Despite being located relatively close to the equator, the city has distinct wet and dry seasons. Wet seasons in Jakarta cover the majority of the year, running from November through June. The remaining four months forms the city’s dry season. Located in the western-part of Indonesia, Jakarta's wet season rainfall peak is January with average monthly rainfall of 385 millimetres (15.2 in), and its dry season low point is July with a monthly average of 31 millimetres (1.2 in).


As the economic and political capital of Indonesia, Jakarta attracts many domestic immigrants who bring their various languages, dialects, foods and customs.

The Betawi (Orang Betawi, or "people of Batavia") is a term used to describe the descendants of the people living in and around Batavia and recognized as an ethnic group from around the 18th-19th century. The Betawi people are mostly descended from various Southeast Asian ethnic groups brought or attracted to Batavia to meet labor needs, and include people from different parts of Indonesia. The language and Betawi culture are distinct from those of the Sundanese or Javanese. The language is mostly based on the East Malay dialect and enriched by loan words from Sundanese, Javanese, Chinese, and Arabic. Nowadays, the Jakarta dialect Bahasa Jakarta) used as a street language by people in Jakarta is loosely based on the Betawi language.

Betawi arts are rarely found in Jakarta due to their infamous low-profile and most Betawi have moved to the border of Jakarta, displaced by new immigrants. It is easier to find Java or Minang based wedding ceremonial instead of Betawi weddings in Jakarta. It is easier to find Javanese Gamelan instead of Gambang Kromong (a mixture between Betawi and Chinese music) or Tanjidor (a mixture between Betawi and Portuguese music) or Marawis (a mixture between Betawi and Yaman music). However, some festivals such as the Jalan Jaksa Festival or Kemang Festival include efforts to preserve Betawi arts by inviting artists to give performances.

There has also been a Chinese community in Jakarta for many centuries. Officially, they make up 6% of the Jakarta population, though this number may be under-reported.

Jakarta has several performing art centers, such as the Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) art center in Cikini, Gedung Kesenian Jakarta near Pasar Baru, Balai Sarbini in Plaza Semanggi area, Bentara Budaya Jakarta in Palmerah area, Pasar Seni (Art Market) in Ancol, and traditional Indonesian art performances at the pavilions of some Provinces in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. Traditional music is often found at high-class hotels, including Wayang and Gamelan performances. Javanese Wayang Orang performance can be found at Wayang Orang Bharata theater near Senen bus terminal. As the nation's largest city and capital, Jakarta has lured much national and regional talent who hope to find a greater audience and more opportunities for success.

Jakarta is hosting several prestigious art and culture festivals as well as exhibitions, such as the annual Jakarta International Film Festival (JiFFest), Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, Jakarta Fashion Week, Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival (JFFF), Flona Jakarta (Flora and Fauna exhibition, held annually on August in Lapangan Banteng park featuring flowers, plant nursery, and pets), also Indonesia Creative Products and Jakarta Arts and Crafts exhibition. The Jakarta Fair is held annually from mid June to mid July to celebrate the anniversary of the city. It is largely centered around a trade fair, however this month-long fair also has featured entertainments, arts and music performances by local bands and musicians.

Several foreign art and culture centers also established in Jakarta, mainly serve to promote culture and language through learning centers, libraries, and art galleries. Among these foreign art and cultural centers are Netherlands Erasmus Huis, UK British Council, France Centre Culturel Français, Germany Goethe-Institut, Japan Foundation, and Jawaharlal Nehru Indian Cultural Center.


National Museum of Indonesia in Central Jakarta

The museums in Jakarta cluster around the Central Jakarta Merdeka Square area, Jakarta Old Town, and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.

The Jakarta Old Town contains museums that are former institution buildings of Colonial Batavia. Some of these museums are Jakarta History Museum (former City Hall of Batavia), Wayang Museum (former Church of Batavia), the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum (former Court House of Justice of Batavia), Maritime Museum (former Sunda Kelapa warehouse), Bank Indonesia Museum (former Javasche Bank), and Bank Mandiri Museum (former Nederlandsche Handels Maatschappij).

Several museums that are clustered in central Jakarta around the Merdeka Square area are National Museum of Indonesia, Monas (National Monument), Istiqlal Islamic Museum in Istiqlal mosque, and Jakarta Cathedral Museum on second floor of Jakarta Cathedral. Also in central Jakarta area the Taman Prasasti Museum (former cemetery of Batavia), and Textile Museum in Tanah Abang area.

The recreational area of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in East Jakarta contains fourteen museums such as Indonesia Museum, Purna Bhakti Pertiwi Museum, Asmat Museum, Bayt al-Qur'an Islamic Museum, Pusaka (heirloom) Museum, and other science-based museum such as Research & Technology Information Centre, Komodo Indonesian Fauna Museum, Insect Museum, Petrol and Gas Museum, also Transportation Museum.

Other museums are Satria Mandala Military Museum, Museum Sumpah Pemuda, and Lubang Buaya.


Jakarta has a vast range of food available at hundreds of eating complexes located all over the city. From the modest street-side foodstalls and traveling vendors to the high-class expensive restaurants. The traditional Padang restaurants and humble budget Javanese Warteg (Warung Tegal) foodstalls is ubiquitous in the capital. Next to myriad selections of Indonesian food and regional specialities from all over Indonesia, there is also international food, especially Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, American, French, Middle Eastern, to modern fusion food because of the cosmopolitan population. One of the popular local cuisine of Jakarta is Soto betawi, which is a cow milk or coconut milk broth with beef tendons, intestines, tripe. The other popular cuisine are kerak telor, gado-gado, sate, and kue cucur.

Tourism and Landmarks

Jakarta is primarily a city of government and business. It is seldom viewed as a centre for tourism other than the old part of the city which is a popular tourist destination. However Jakarta authority saw the opportunity to develop the city reputation as the service and tourism city. There are many new tourism infrastructures, entertainment centers, and international-class hotels and restaurants being built in Jakarta. Jakarta also possesses many historical places and cultural heritage.

The National Monument, stands at the center of Merdeka Square, the central park of the city. Near the national monument stood a Mahabharata themed Arjuna Wijaya chariot statue and fountain. Further south through Jalan Thamrin, the main avenue of Jakarta, the "Selamat Datang" (welcome) statue stood on the fountain in in the center of Hotel Indonesia roundabout. Other landmarks include the Istiqlal Mosque, the Jakarta Cathedral, and West Irian Liberation monument. The Wisma 46 building in Central Jakarta is currently the highest building in Jakarta and Indonesia. Tourist attractions include Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta Old Town, and Ancol Dreamland complex on Jakarta Bay, include Dunia Fantasi theme park, Sea World, Atlantis Water Adventure, and Gelanggang Samudra.

Most of the visitor attracted to Jakarta is domestic tourist from all over Indonesia, majority of them are from neighboring provinces of West Java, Banten, Lampung, and Central Java. As the gateway of Indonesia, Jakarta often served as the stop-over for foreign visitor on their way to Indonesian popular tourist destinations such as Bali and Yogyakarta. Most of foreign visitors from the neighboring ASEAN countries; such as Malaysia and Singapore, visit Jakarta (to some extent also include Bandung) for shopping purpose, since the city is famous for its cheap but fair quality products, especially textiles craft and fashion products.

Jakarta is sprawling with numerous malls, shopping centers, and traditional markets. Jakarta shopping malls with areas in excess of 100,000 metres square, include Grand Indonesia, Pacific Place Jakarta, Plaza Indonesia and Plaza e'X, Senayan City, Plaza Senayan, Pasaraya, Pondok Indah Mall, Mal Taman Anggrek, Mal Kelapa Gading, Mal Artha Gading, and Mall of Indonesia. Other smaller but popular malls are Sarinah Thamrin, Ratu Plaza, Atrium Senen, Mall Ambassador and Pasar Festival. Traditional markets include Blok M, Tanah Abang, Senen, Pasar Baru, Glodok, Mangga Dua, Cempaka Mas, and Jatinegara.


Taman Suropati is located in Menteng garden city subdistrict, Central Jakarta. The park is surrounded by several Dutch colonial buildings. Taman Suropati was known as Burgemeester Bishopplein during the Dutch colonial time. The park is circular shaped with a surface area of 16,322 m2. There are several modern statues in the park made by artists of the ASEAN countries, which contributes to the other nickname of the park "Taman persahabatan seniman ASEAN" ("Park of the ASEAN artists friendship").Still located in Menteng area are the parks Taman Menteng and Situ Lembang pond. The Taman Menteng was built on the former Persija soccer Stadium.

Taman Lapangan Banteng (Buffalo Field Park) is located in Central Jakarta near Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Cathedral, and Jakarta Central Post Office. It is about 4,5 hectares. Initially it was called Waterlooplein of Batavia and functioned as the ceremonial square during Netherlands Indies. Many of the colonial monuments and memorials erected on the square were demolished during Sukarno era which later built the present monument in the square. The most notable landmark inside the park is the Monumen Pembebasan Irian Barat (Monument of the Liberation of Irian Barat). During the 1980s, the park is used as a bus terminal. In 1993, the park turned into a public space again and has become a recreation place for people and occasionally also used as an exhibition place or other events. The Jakarta Flona (Flora dan Fauna), the flower and decoration plants also pet exhibition is held in this park around August annually.

Taman Monas (Monas Park) or Taman Medan Merdeka (Medan Merdeka Park) is the park where the symbol of Jakarta, Monas or Monumen Nasional (National Monument) is located. The large open space was created by Dutch Governor General Herman Willem Daendels (1810) and was originally named Koningsplein (Kings Square). On 10 January 1993, President Soeharto initiate the action toward the beautification of the park. Several features in the park is a deer park and 33 trees that represents the 33 provinces of Indonesia

What to see in Jakarta

  • The National Monument (Monas)

The monument consists of a 117.7m obelisk on a 45m square platform at a height of 17m, the goblet yard. The obelisk itself is clad with Italian marble. A lift inside carries visitors to the 11m by 11m viewing platform, at a height of 115m. There is also a staircase for use in emergencies. It is topped by a 14.5 ton bronze Flame of Independence containing the lift engine, which is covered with 50 kg of gold foil. The obelisk and flame symbolize the Indonesia people's struggle for independence. Inside the base is the historical museum, a marble-lined room with 48 dioramas depicting scenes from Indonesian history from prehistory until the New Order (Indonesia), and the Independence which contains symbols of Indonesian independence, including the original text of Proclamation of Independence in a glass case, and the coat of arms of Indonesia. The monument was officially opened to the public on 12 July 1975

There’s a joke about the National Monument, people said, it was the last ‘erection’ of Soekarno, the 1st president of Indonesia.

  • The Istiqlal Mosque

Istiqlal Mosque, or Masjid Istiqlal, (Independence Mosque) in Jakarta, is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia in term of of building structure and land coverage and capacity to accommodate people. This national mosque of Indonesia was build to commemorate Indonesian independence, as nation's gratitude for God's blessings; the independence of Indonesia. Therefore the national mosque of Indonesia was named "Istiqlal", an Arabic word for "Independence".

The design submitted by Frederich Silaban, a Christian architect, with the theme: "Ketuhanan" or Divinity was chosen as the winner. The foundation stone was laid by Sukarno on 24 August 1961 and the construction took 17 years. Indonesian president Suharto inaugurated the Indonesian national mosque on 22 February 1978.

The mosque also provides facilities for social and cultural activities, including lectures, exhibitions, seminars, conferences, bazaars and programmes for women, young people and children.

  • The National Museum

The National Museum of Indonesia (Indonesian: Museum Nasional), is an archeological, historical, ethnological, and geographical museum located in Jakarta. Popularly known as Elephant Building (Indonesian: Gedung Gajah) after the elephant statue in its forecourt. Its broad and fascinating collections covers all of Indonesia's territory and almost all of its history. The museum has endeavored to preserve Indonesia's heritage for two centuries.

On April 24, 1778, a group of Dutch intellectuals established a scientific institution under the name Bataviaasch Genotschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, (Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences). This private body had the aim of promoting research in the field of arts and sciences, especially in history, archaeology, ethnography and physics, and publish the various findings.

One of the founders - JCM Radermacher - donated a building and a collection of cultural objects and books, which were of great value to start off a museum and library for the society. Due to the growing collections, General Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles built a new premises on Jalan Majapahit No. 3 at the beginning of the 19th century and named it the Literary Society. In the 1862 the Dutch East Indian government decided to build a new museum that would not only serve as an office but also could be used to house, preserve and display the collections.

The Museum was officially opened in 1868 and popularly known as Gedung Gajah (Elephant Building) or sometimes called Gedung Arca (The house of Statues). It was called Gedung Gajah on account of the bronze elephant statue in the front yard a gift by King Chulalongkorn of Siam in 1871. It was also called Gedung Arca because a great variety of statues from different periods are on display in the house.

The atrium (inner courtyard) of the National Museum, features Doric order Greek architecture.

In 2007, a new building to the north side of existing building was opened, featuring many artifacts from prehistoric times to modern times. This new building, called Gedung Arca (Statue Building), provides a new exhibition wing. The old building is named as Gedung Gajah (Elephant Building).

The museum has a collection of 61,600 prehistoric and anthropological artifacts, and 5,000 archeological artifacts from all over Indonesia and Asia. The museum collections is among the richest, the most complete, and the best of its kind in Indonesia and one of the finest in Southeast Asia.

The museum collections is grouped and arranged according the certain subjects:

Gedung Gajah, the old wing of National Museum

Stone Sculpture Collection (Hindu-Buddhist Art of Ancient Indonesia)

The National Museum of Indonesia has the richest and the largest collection of Hindu-Buddhist art of ancient Indonesia. The Hindu-Buddhist sculptures, relics and inscriptions was collected from Java, Bali, Sumatra, and Borneo, all are in display in the lobby, the central hall and the central atrium of the museum.

Treasure Rooms (Archaeology and Ethnography Collection)

The Second floor of the museum is feature treasures, gold, and precious artifact and arranged in two rooms; archaeological treasure and ethnology treasure. Taking picture is prohibited in the treasure rooms.

The ethnology treasure room display various precious objects such as golden jewelry and gilded Balinese kris weapon embedded with precious and semi precious stones. Golden royal crown, golden royal regalia, golden tobacco container, Pekinangan (silver betel-nut set), sword and golden shield is among the collection of the treasure room.

Ceramics Collection

a Majapahit piggy bank from Trowulan, East Java.

The collection of ceramics room is ranged from Majapahit terracota to the ceramics of China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. The museum houses a large and complete collection of ancient Chinese ceramics. It has one of the best and the most complete collections of Chinese ceramics discovered outside China. The ceramics dated from Han, Tang, Sung, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasty is displayed in the museum.

Ethnography Collection

The ethnography collection comprises a wide variety of objects that are part of Indonesian daily life as well as exhibits that are used in ceremonies and rituals. The collections is arranged according to geographic locations of each regions and islands within Indonesian archipelago: from Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Bali, Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara), to Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua.

Prehistory Collection

The museum stores some stone age artifacts such as menhir, stone axe, bronze ceremonial axe and Nekara (bronze drum), also ancient weapons from Indonesia.

Historical Relics Collection (Colonial Era Collection)

The front room of the museum features old relics of colonial Indonesia, from the era of Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) to Dutch East Indies. Most of the collections are antique colonial furnitures. However most of the collections has been moved to Jakarta History Museum that mostly features the history of Jakarta especially the colonial history of Batavia (old Jakarta).

Other Collections

  • Bronze Collection
  • Textile Collection
  • Numismatics Collection

Gedung Arca (New Wing)

Gedung Arca, the new wing of National Museum.

Unlike the exhibition layout of the older building, the museum's permanent exhibit in the new building is based on the frameworks of cultural elements, which Prof. Koentjaraningrat classified into seven substances of culture:

  1. Religious system and religious ceremony
  2. Societal systems and organization
  3. Knowledge systems
  4. Language
  5. Arts
  6. Livelihood systems
  7. Technology and tool systems

Today National Museum has completed the new north wing which consist of seven levels (floors), four of which host permanent exhibitions, while other levels is functioned as the Museum's office. The layout of the four levels is as follows

  1. Level 1: Man and Environment
  2. Level 2: Knowledge, Technology and Economy
  3. Level 3: Social Organization and Settlement Patterns
  4. Level 4: Treasures and Ceramics

These old building and the new wing is connected via the old ethnography room through a glass walled bridge gallery. The bridge gallery is located over the outdoor amphitheatre. The temporary exhibitions with certain themes often took place in this connecting gallery. The Gedung Arca also houses two temporary exhibition halls, one in the ground floor and another is in the basement floor.

  • The Jakarta History Museum

The Jakarta History Museum which is also known as Fatahillah Museum or Batavia Museum, is located in the Old Town of Jakarta. The building was built in 1710 as a city hall of Batavia. Jakarta History Museum, opened in 1974, displays objects from the prehistoric times of the city, the founding of Jayakarta in 1527, and through Dutch colonization from the 16th century onwards until Indonesia’s Independence in 1945.

Jakarta History Museum is located in the building which was the former City Hall of Batavia, known in the past as Stadhuis. This building was the administrative headquarters of the Dutch East India Company, and later of the Dutch Colonial Government. The current building was constructed in 1707 by the city government, replacing the former city hall built in 1627. Governor General Abraham van Riebeeck inaugurated it in 1710.

The building contains 37 ornate rooms. There are also some cells located beneath the front portico which were used as dungeons. A Javanese freedom fighter Prince Diponegoro, who was treacherously arrested, was imprisoned here in 1830 before being banished to Manado, North Sulawesi. Another freedom fighter earlier imprisoned here around 1670 was Untung Suropati from East Java.

This building is located in front of a public square, which in the past was known as Stadhuisplein, the City Hall Square. The square is now known as Fatahillah Square .In the center of the square is a fountain which was used as a water supply during colonial era. Also located in the square is a Portuguese cannon (known as Si Jagur Cannon) with a hand ornament showing a fico gesture, which is believed by local people to be able to induce fertility on women. The square was also used as the place of executions.

In 1970, the Fatahillah Square was declared a Cultural Heritage. This effort was the beginning of the development of the historical area of the City of Jakarta, carried out by the Government of DKI Jakarta. The Jakarta History Museum was inaugurated on March 30, 1974 as the center for collection, conservation and research for all kinds of objects of cultural heritage related to the history of the City of Jakarta.

Jakarta History Museum has a collection of around 23,500 objects, some of them inherited from de Oude Bataviasche Museum (now the Wayang Museum). The collection includes objects from the Dutch East Indies Company, historic maps, paintings, ceramics, furnitures, and archeological objects from the prehistoric era such as ancient inscriptions and sword. museum. Jakarta History Museum also contains the richest collection of Betawi style furnitures from the 17th to the 19th century. The collections are divided into several rooms such as Prehistoric Jakarta Room, Tarumanegara Room, Jayakarta Room, Fatahillah Room, Sultan Agung Room, and MH Thamrin Room

  • The Wayang Museum

The Wayang Museum is a museum dedicated to Javanese wayang puppetry, also a venue for training and research on shadow puppets.

The building occupies the site of a church which was built in 1640 under the name of the Old Dutch Church (Dutch: De Oude Hollandsche Kerk). In 1732, the church was renovated and the name was changed into the New Dutch Church (Dutch: De Nieuwe Hollandsche Kerk). In 1808, an earthquake destroyed the church. Later in 1912, a building was constructed in the Neo-Renaissance style on the site, which initially functioned as a warehouse belonging to Geo Wehry & Co. In 1938, the building was renovated and adjusted to the Dutch colonial architecture. The garden of the Wayang Museum located on the former yard of the Dutch church was the funeral site of General Governor Jan Pieterszoon Coen.

The museum has a collection of various kinds of wayang, such as wayang kulit and wayang golek. It also displays various collections of wayang and dolls from countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Suriname, China, Vietnam, France, India and Cambodia. The museum also shows gamelan sets, wayang sculptures, as well as wayang paintings. Inside the museum is the plate marking the tombstone of Jan Pieterszoon Coen. A wayang theater and a workshop of wayang-making is periodically organised in the museum.

  • Fine Art and Ceramic Museum

    The building of the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum was completed on January 12, 1870, and was used as the Court of Justice (Dutch: de Raad van Justitie). The building was known as Paleis van Justitie. During the Japanese occupation, the building was used by KNIL and later after the independence of Indonesia, was used as the Indonesian military dormitory and as the logistic warehouse. In 1967, the building was used as the West Jakarta Mayor Office. In 1974, the building was used as an office for the Jakarta Museum and History Department. The building was officially inaugurated as the Fine Art and Ceramic museum by president Soeharto on August 20, 1976.

    The museum displays the traditional handicraft of Indonesia. The museum also displays paintings by Indonesian painters such as the romanticist painter Raden Saleh and expressionist painter Affandi. The paintings are organized by important period in Indonesian fine arts history: The Raden Saleh Era Room (1880-1890), Hindia Jelita Room (1920s), Persagi Room (1930s), Japanese Occupation Period Room (1942-1945), Pendirian Sanggar ("Founding of Art Studio") Room (1945-1950), Birth of Realism Room (1950s), and the Contemporary Art Room (1960s-now).

    The museum also displays traditional ceramics from various areas of Indonesia and cotemporary ceramics. There are also ceramic collections from China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and Europe.

  • Sunda Kelapa Harbour

Sunda Kelapa is the old port of Jakarta located on the estuarine of Ciliwung River. "Sunda Kalapa" (Sundanese: "Coconut of Sunda") is the original name, and it was the main port of Sunda Kingdom of Pajajaran. The port is situated in Penjaringan sub-district, of North Jakarta, Indonesia. Today the old port only accommodate pinisi, a traditional two masted wooden sailing ship serving inter-island freight service in the archipelago. Although it is now only a minor port, Jakarta had its origins in Sunda Kelapa and it played a significant role in the city's development

The port thrive on international spice trade especially pepper, the main spice produce of Sunda kingdom. Sunda Kelapa, together with Aceh and Makassar, were one of the few Indonesian ports that maintained ties with Europe.

The old port served as the main port of Batavia until late 19th century, when Netherlands East Indies government decided to built a new Tanjung Priok port to accommodate the increasing traffic as the result from the opening of the Suez Canal. The new port located 9 kilometers east from the old port. After the independence of Republic of Indonesia, the Batavia old port is renamed back to its original name, Sunda Kelapa, as a tribute to the long history of the port as the cradle of Jakarta.

  • Jakarta Old Town

Jakarta Old Town (Kota Tua Jakarta), also known as Old Jakarta, and Old Batavia (Oud Batavia), is a small area in Jakarta, Indonesia. This special region spans 1.3 square kilometres of both North Jakarta and West Jakarta . Dubbed "The Jewel of Asia" and "Queen of the East" in the 16th century by European sailors, Old Jakarta — or Batavia, as it was named by the Dutch — was once considered a center of commerce for the whole continent due to its strategic location and fertile resources.

In 1526, Fatahillah sent by Sultanate of Demak, invade Hindu Pajajaran's port of Sunda Kelapa, then he change the name of the port to Jayakarta. This town is only 15 hectare in size and rendered in traditional Javanese coastal city. In 1619 VOC destroyed Jayakarta under the command of Jan Pieterzoon Coen. A year later VOC build a new town named "Batavia" to honor Batavieren, the Dutch ancestors. This city centered around east bank of Ciliwung river, around present day Fatahillah Square.

The inhabitant of Batavia are called "Batavianen", later known as "Betawi" people, the creole ethnic, the descendants of mixed various ethnicities that has inhabited Batavia.

In 1635 the city expanded towards west banks of Ciliwung, on the ruins of former Jayakarta. The city was designed in European Dutch style completed with fortress (Casteel Batavia), city wall, and canals. The city was arranged in several blocks separated with canals. The city of Batavia was completed in 1650. It become the center of VOC in East Indies. The canals was disbanded due to outbreak of tropical diseases within the city wall because of sanitation and hygiene problems. The city began to expand further south as epidemics in 1835 and 1870 encouraged more people to move far south of the port, to Weltevreden area (now the area surrounding Merdeka Square). The city later become the administrative center of colonial Dutch East Indies. In 1942 during the Japanese occupation, the name of the city changes to Jakarta, and now serves as the capital city of Indonesia.

  • The Maritime Museum Jakarta

The Maritime Museum is located in the old Sunda Kelapa harbor area in Penjaringan Administrative Village, Penjaringan Subdistrict, Jakarta, Indonesia. The museum was inaugurated inside the former Dutch East India Company warehouses. The museum focuses on the maritime history of Indonesia and the importance of the sea to the economy of present-day Indonesia.

The museum displays models of fishing boats and other maritime objects from different parts of Indonesia. The museum also exhibits the celebrated Pinisi schooners of the Bugis people of South Sulawesi, which at present make up one of the last sea-going sailing fleets in the world.

The Maritime Museum was installed in a former Dutch East India Company warehouses. The warehouses were built beside the mouth of Ciliwung River, the main river of Jakarta. The warehouses is divided into two parts: the Westzijdsche Pakhuizen or "warehouses of the west bank" (constructed from 1652-1771) and the Oostzijdsche Pakhuizen or "warehouses of the east bank". The west warehouse consists of four building units, three of them are now used for the museum. These were formerly used to store spices e.g. nutmeg and pepper. Also coffee, tea and cloths were stored here before being shipped to various ports of Asia and Europe.

Some of the warehouses were rebuilt at the end of the 17th century in order to create more space between the city wall and the warehouses. Different dates on stones appear above some doors of the museum which probably refer to the years when repairs, extensions or additions to the warehouses were executed.

Between the warehouses and the city wall in front of the museum, the Company kept supplies of copper and tin. These metals were protected against rain by a wooden gallery attached to the front of the godowns. This broad gallery was also used by guards on patrol, because the path on the city wall in front of it is rather narrow. The wooden gallery was attached to the second floor of the warehouses facing the waterfront, but has long gone since been taken away. The big iron hooks which once supporting the gallery can still be seen.

The remaining city wall in front of the Maritime Museum onwards to the bastion Zeeburg and a bit further west is all that is left of the wall that once surrounding Batavia during the 17th and 18th centuries. Only Zeeburg and Culemborg remain out of the twenty three bastions from that period. The Menara Syahbandar (also known as de Uitkijk), situated about 50 meters from the Maritime Museum, is the former watch tower that was built on the remains of the old bastion Culemborg. The watch tower acted as a signal box and observation post since 1839 over the roads of Batavia. Before 1839 the signals with the ships were exchanged from the flagpole at the old VOC-shipyard situated straight behind the watchtower. The tower lost part of her function after 1886 when the new harbor of Tanjung Priok was opened.

During the Japanese occupation, the warehouses were used as a logistic storage for the Japanese army. After the Indonesian independence, it was used as a warehouse for PLN and PTT. In 1976, the building was declared a cultural property. The building was inaugurated as a museum displaying the history of Indonesian maritime on July 7, 1977.


The museum focuses on the maritime history of Indonesia. Some of the displays are Dutch East Indian ship models and cannons. There is also a scale model of the island Onrust which was the former shipyard for repair of the Dutch East Indian ships.

In the field of traditional sailing the museum owns various ship models of the Indonesian archipelago. A model of Majapahit ship of ancient Java was in display, it is based on the ship bas-relief from Borobudur temple. A particularly rare collection is the traditional vessels of Pinisi, Lancang, and Gelati. There is also an exhibition of shipbuilding tools and descriptions of the maritime traditions and folklore.

In the field of modern shipping, the museum displays various navigational aids, Indonesian Navy maps, information about lighthouses and old pictures of voyages of the K.P.M. ships

The museum also shows display of "Biological Oceanography", showing the biodiversity of the coastal areas of Indonesia

  • Glodok, the Jakarta’s China Town

Glodok is the shopping center in Jakarta Old Town It specializes market for electronic consumer goods, such as television, radio, and computer, Chinese novelty merchandise, and hardware.

As shopping center, most of the vendors in Glodok are Chinese. Glodok is the biggest Chinatown area in Indonesia, and one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world. The Chinese came to Jakarta since the 1600s as traders and laborers. Most of them came from Fujian and Guangzhou provinces in southern China. Centered on Pintu Besar Selatan Road, it has become a commercial hub for the relatively prosperous Chinese community. Assimilation between Chinese and pribumi made a language known as Betawi language. Administratively, the area is a kelurahan under the Taman Sari subdistrict, West Jakarta.

In 2006, prohibitions against Falun Gong and any activities thereof were posted in Glodok. The government declared it a priority to ensure the safety of the Glodok area against any kind of Falun Gong activities, which it ironically associates with the Chinese state and communism.


In Batavia (now Jakarta), Dutch colonialism created commercial opportunities which attracted immigrants from many areas of what is now Indonesia. This economic activity also lured thousands of Chinese people to Java. Swift immigration challenged the city's limited infrastructure and created burdens on the city. Tensions grew as the colonial government tried to restrict Chinese migration through deportations.

Glodok and Jakarta Riots

On 9 October 1740, 5,000 Chinese were massacred and the following year, Chinese inhabitants were ghettoized in Glodok outside the city walls.. In 1998, Glodok was badly scarred during rioting. Because some "Pribumi" Indonesians accused Chinese Indonesians of hoarding the nation's wealth, and because of the large concentration of Chinese Indonesians residing there, Glodok suffered severe violence during the Jakarta Riots of May 1998.

  • Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) or "Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park" is a culture-based recreational area located in East Jakarta, Indonesia. It has an area of about 250 acres. The park is a synopsis of Indonesian culture, with virtually all aspects of daily life in Indonesia's 26 (in 1975) provinces encapsulated in separate pavilions with the collections of architecture, clothing, dances and traditions are all depicted impeccably. Apart from that, there is a lake with a miniature of the archipelago in the middle of it, cable cars, museums, a theater called the Theatre of My Homeland (Theater Tanah Airku) and other recreational facilities which make TMII one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.

Venues of Indonesian Provinces

Since each Indonesian province maintains its own unique and distinct cultures, shelters, attire and dialects, TMII built a model of each of the houses from Indonesian provinces. TMII attempted not only to reconstruct the homes of the various provinces, but also to create a realistic model of the environment and shelters of the various people of Indonesia. The venues, which are situated around the main lake in a similar fashion to the different islands of the Indonesian archipelago, are thematically divided into six areas in respect to the main islands of Indonesia; Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku and Papua.

Since 1975 until 2000s, the original design of TMII consist of a model of the houses from the 27 provinces of Indonesia, including East Timor. But after the secession of East Timor from Indonesia in 2002, the East Timor pavilion changed its status to become the Museum of East Timor. Also since Indonesia now consist of 33 provinces, currently the new province pavilions of Bangka Belitung, Banten, West Sulawesi, North Maluku, Gorontalo, and West Papua is being built in northeast part of the park.

After the recognition of Indonesian Chinese culture as the integral part of Indonesian culture in 2000, the new Indonesian Chinese pavilion and a Confucian temple is currently being built within the park.