Jakarta is The Capital City of Indonesia

By: Douglas Scott

Jakarta is the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia, a country composed of more than 13,000 islands with a population of over 180 million. Comprising more than 300 ethnic groups speaking 200 different languages, the Indonesia population exhibits marked diversity in its linguistic, culture, and religious traditions.

Jakartas history began as a flourishing port north of the city and developed southward over the centuries. Five autonomous municipalities emerged, together offering a veritable city of contrasts. As off putting as the overpopulation and traffic congestion may be, the metropolis promises many pockets of attractions that make for a gratifying stay for those who plan their trip well.

From the Capital City, sophisticated land, air, and sea transport is available to the rest of the country and beyond.

The cheapest and most central accommodation area is along Jalan Jaksa, a small street south of the National Monument. Many of the mid range hotels are also found in this vicinity. Jakarta has the widest range of street hawkers, markets and restaurants of any Indonesian city most are found on and around Jalan Jaksa or in the markets around Jalan Surabaya in Menteng.

Despite the crushing poverty exhibited in many parts of the city, Jakarta has a large number of giant, glittering malls.

Jakarta has a vast range of food available if you know where to find it. In addition to selections from all over the country, you can also find excellent Chinese, Japanese and Korean food thanks to the cosmopolitan population.

Jakarta has the widest range of street hawkers, markets and restaurants of any Indonesian city most are found on and around Jalan Jaksa or in the markets around Jalan Surabaya in Menteng.

There are a number of interesting museums including the Indonesian National Museum, which houses an enormous collection of cultural objects from the countries various ethnic groups and the Jakarta History Museum, which contains memorabilia from the Dutch colonial era. The cities public monuments include the fanciful National Monument in Merdeka Square and the Statue of Welcome.

Cultural showcase hosts a variety of Western and Indonesian performances, ranging from poetry readings and jazz concerts to premier showings of international films and gamelan concerts. There are a number of upmarket bars, discos and restaurants on Jalan M H Thamrin that feature live acts for somewhat sleazier entertainment, try the nightlife along Jalan Abang Timur 14. A cheaper alternative is to walk to Taman Ria at Merdeka Square and see the local talent perform amid the bright lights of the merry gorounds.

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