INDONESIA, LAND OF SMILING PEOPLE AND SWELTERING HEAT. AND WHEN THE PLEASANT CONVERSATION OF THE FRIENDLY INDONESIANS ON THE PLANE IS ADDED TO TURKISH AIRLINES’ HOSPITALITY AND FABULOUS FOOD SERVICE, YOU’LL WONDER WHERE THE TIME WENT.
If you’ve checked out the Jakarta weather forecast before leaving and have put summer clothes on, don’t let the clouds you see as the plane descends to land worry you because it really is very hot. In fact, Jakarta is like a sauna in the open air. You’ll encounter classic Indonesian architecture the minute you leave the airport. When you exit the charming one-story terminal building, a wave of hot air will lick your face despite the clouds. And if you think you’ve escaped the Istanbul traffic, I’ve got news for you! Jakarta is no different.
Indonesia is extremely rich in sights to see, and Istiqlal Mosque, Asia’s largest, heads the list. But don’t expect the usual mosque architecture. As you look around for the mosque, you’ll spot a small dome atop high, white concrete pillars and a minaret some distance away. When you enter this three-story mosque, there are marble columns and a marble floor like the Mosque of the Prophets in Medina, and lines on the floor to indicate the qibla (direction of Mecca).
The National Monument
A monument soaring into the sky will catch your eye on the large square opposite the mosque. Built to commemorate freedom from Dutch colonization, the National Monument stands 132 meters tall. It opened in 1975 and has been flooded with tourists and locals ever since. The park where it is located literally turns into a fairgrounds, especially at night. When you go up the elevator to the viewing terrace, a 360° panorama of Jakarta will spread out before you in all its glory.
You’ll notice a graceful mosque on your way to Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park east of Jakarta. Agung At-Tin Mosque stands out for its aesthetic structure and distinctively Indonesian architecture.To be perfectly frank, no one who enters Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park expects it to be this big, but the fact is that every province, architectural monument and cultural treasure of Indonesia is represented here.
A World Full Of Surprises
Walking around this humongous 250-hectare park, which includes a small zoo, the Indonesia Historical Museum and a Water Recreational Center, is no piece of cake, so we strongly recommend you take the teleferique. It’s impossible not to be impressed by the stone and wood workmanship on the monuments here, whose elegance and refinement are a literal embodiment of the graciousness of the Indonesian people. One of the museum’s main attractions are the shadow puppet characters similar to Turkey’s Karageuz and Hadjivat.
Sea World at Ancol welcomes those seeking relief from the sweltering heat. You can see thousands of species of marine life from sharks to octopuses at the park. And the souvenir shop is sure to grab the attention of the kids on the way out.
Ragunan Zoo at Pasar Minggu is an Indonesian must-see for the diversity of its fauna. Spread over an area of 140 hectares, it boasts upwards of 270 animal species and 171 plant species, and more than three thousand animals in total. Key among them are, the Komodo Dragon, which is only found in this region, and the Sumatran Tiger with its piercing blue eyes. Just standing next to the tiger’s cage is a daunting experience.
Indonesia, an exotic land in Southeast Asia where you will open the door to an inviting world of splendid natural and cultural treasures.
Don’t Leave Without Seeing
Jakarta Textile Museum
Tea plantation at Puncak
Antique-Hunting at Jalan Surabaya