III. Allegro con gusto: the lively spirit of Jakarta

I. Adagio: the serene beauty of the past in the present.
II. Andante: a walk through Jakarta's parks and interesting areas.
IV. Finale: the farewell and intro to the rest of Indonesia.

National Monument

The National Monument, better known as Monas, stands tall in the center of Jakarta as a monument to celebrate Indonesian people's determination to achieve freedom that culminates in the Proclamation of Independence in Aug 1945. Built during the Sukarno era of fierce nationalism, this 137-meter marble obelisk is topped with a flame coated with 35 kg. of gold.

You can find a museum at the base of the obelisk. The museum and the monument are open to the public, and you can also take the elevator to the top to get a bird's eye view of the city and the sea.

Jakarta Skyline

Unfortunately, I know of no place where you can view the skyline of Jakarta from ground level, something like viewing Manhattan across the Hudson River or London across the Thames. The Thousand Islands off the northern shore of Jakarta is a bit too far; But you can view the skyline from the top: the viewing area at the top of the National Monument is a good place to get a bird's eye view of Jakarta. Or you can try the new revolving restaurant in Kuningan.

Hopping in and out of a Metro Mini


Jalan Surabaya

Within the Menteng Residential Area, Jalan Surabaya is known for its flea market. Its stalls offer great deals (depending on your bargaining skill) on a wide range of lamps, porcelains, and various kinds of handcrafts.

Pasar Burung (Bird Market)

Much like American teenagers cannot live without their walkmans, Javanese men cannot live without their singing birds known as perkutut - their pride and joy. If you can master the language barrier, the Bird Market is a great place to buy toprical birds - just make sure that you can bring them to your home country. Check with the Animal Quarantine people.

Jakarta Nightlife

A movement within Jakarta's lively spirit without partaking its rich nightlife is like describing the excitement of New York Stock Exchange when there is no trading. Thus, it deserves its own page.

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