- A taste of everything 5. Activities for the adventurous and hardy
- Shop till you drop 6. On the crossroads of religions
- City’s tourist attractions 7. For the body, mind and soul
- Ancient traditions live on 8. From the high peaks to the deep seas
A. Today Jakarta has much to offer, ranging from museums, art and antique markets, first class shopping to accommodations and a wide variety of cultural activities. Jakarta’s most famous landmark, the National Monument or Monas is a 137m obelisk topped with a flame sculpture coated with 35 kg of gold. Among other places one can mention the National museum that holds an extensive collection of ethnographic artifacts and relics, the Maritime Museum that exhibits Indonesia’s seafaring traditions, including models of sea going vessels.
B. Sumatra is a paradise for nature lovers, its national parks are the largest in the world, home to a variety of monkeys, tigers and elephants. Facing the open sea, the western coastline of Sumatra and the waters surrounding Nias Island have big waves that make them one of the best surfer’s beaches in Indonesia. There are beautiful coral reefs that are ideal for diving. For those who prefer night dives, the waters of Riau Archipelago offer a rewarding experience with marine scavengers of the dark waters.
C. Various establishments offer professional pampering service with floral baths, body scrubs, aromatic oils, massages and meditation; rituals and treatments that use spices and aromatic herbs to promote physical and mental wellness. Various spa hotels are extremely popular. Indonesians believe that when treating the body you cure the mind.
D. Jakarta has a distinctly cosmopolitan flavor. Tantalize your taste buds with a gastronomic spree around the city’s many eateries. Like French gourmet dining, exotic Asian cuisine, American fast food, stylish cafes, restaurants all compete to find a way into your heart through your stomach. The taste of Indonesia’s many cultures can be found in almost any corner of the city: hot and spicy food from West Sumatra, sweet tastes of Dental Java, the tangy fish dishes of North Sulawesi.
E. In the face of constant exposure to modernization and foreign influences, the native people still faithfully cling to their culture and rituals. The pre-Hindu Bali Aga tribe still maintains their own traditions of architecture, pagan religion, dance and music, such as unique rituals of dances and gladiator-like battles between youths. On the island of Siberut native tribes have retained their Neolithic hunter-gathering culture.
F. Whether you are a serious spender or half hearted shopper, there is sure to be something for everybody in Jakarta. Catering to diverse tastes and pockets, the wide variety of things you can buy in Jakarta is mind boggling from the best of local handicrafts to haute couture labels. Modern super and hyper markets, multi-level shopping centers, retail and specialty shops, sell quality goods at a competitive price. Sidewalk bargains range from tropical blooms of vivid colors and scents in attractive bouquets to luscious fruits of the seasons.
G. The land’s long and rich history can’t be separated from the influence of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. There is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Java, the majestic Buddhist ‘monastery on the hill’, Borobudur, the largest Buddhist monument in the world. About 17 km away from this monastery is a 9th century temple complex built by the Sanjaya dynasty. Prambanan complex is dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Ciwa, Vishnu and Brahma. The spread of Islam also left interesting monuments such as the 15th century Minaret Mosque in Kudus.