Jakarta Indonesia is certainly the most famous city in Indonesia but isn’t really the exotic locale some might think it to be; burning hot, smoggy streets, millions packed into every road and alleyway, and everyone trying to make a buck in every direction you turn. Still, the capital city of Jakarta has many laudable traits; one being that on the rise to modernization, the city proudly remembers its past through preservation of its storied cultural heritage. The skyline is a great example, with beautiful colonial buildings standing alongside modern skyscrapers.
Jakarta’s roots stem back to the 14th century when it was a minute harbor village during the rule of the Kingdom of Pajajaran, Java’s last Hindu Kingdom. As with most historical capital cities in Asia, the city was conquered by Muslim czar Fatahilklah and who subsequently changed the name to “City of Victory” or “Jayakarta” in June of 1527. Later in 1616 Jayakarta was ruled by the Dutch who constructed the city of Batavia which remained their central Southeast Asian post for 300 years. In 1941, the city was seized by the Japanese who were defeated not long after. Once again the Dutch aimed at restoring their power, only this time during an enduring freedom struggle. On August 17, 1945, Indonesian leaders claimed independence from foreign administration in Jakarta.
As the main gateway to Indonesia, Jakarta welcomes millions of annual visitors, many who travel solely to Bali, Lombok, or other popular tourist islands for beach vacations. In more recent years, there has been an influx of large, luxury Jakarta hotels, contemporary shopping malls, and fine dining restaurants catering to foreign visitors. Food in particular is available in abundance and is generally very inexpensive. At first glance, and even with scores of modern tourist amenities, Jakarta Indonesia seems to need to work harder at first impressions. It’s those who explore in depth who are most greatly rewarded. Beneath the façade of this concrete jungle where dirty slums and smog-filled streets are prominent, lies a destination with many facets. From Chinatown’s aromatic streets to the vast choice in exciting nightlife, Jakarta brims with many unexpected surprises. The rich blend of cultures alone combine to offer visitors a fascinating backdrop that begs delving into.
There are five dominant neighborhoods in Jakarta Indonesia; Central, North, South, West, and East. Central Jakarta is home to the business district; North Jakarta is the historic district; South Jakarta is filled with shopping malls, bars, restaurants, and most of the glitz and glamour found in the city. Chinatown dominates most of the west side while East is a blend of almost everything. One of the biggest attractions is Old Town, the area that was once called Batavia and is now named Kota. The area around Kota is a popular spot to stay for visitors and is packed with history and countless other tourist attractions such as Taman Impian Java Ancol, a recreation and entertainment area along the bay near Kota.
Whether flying to Hatta International Airport in Jakarta Indonesia just to move on to one of the many islands like Sumatra or Sulawesi, or stopping on a layover to Australia or New Zealand, there are unlimited choices in Jakarta hotels. From tiny, family-run guest houses to large, luxury Jakarta hotels, there is really no type of lodging that can’t be found in the city. Both Central and South Jakarta are the most popular tourists areas for accommodation.