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Interesting Jakarta

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Melbourne, Australia
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Interesting Jakarta

Hi all,

The more I read about this city the more intrigued I've become.

Our current Indonesian itinerary for August starts off with a flight from KUL to CGK staying at the Shangri-la for two nights and then flying to PKY for three nights: the actual reason for this trip.

As posted earlier, we were then travelling PKY-PNK via CGK... the reason for Pontianak was to then travel on to KCH-BKI.

My thoughts on activities and sights for our full day in Jakarta were to take-in MONAS (earlyish morning), Old Batavia and shop at Sarinah for local handicrafts for gifts on the way back to the Shang.

However, now I feel that I'm being a little too tunnel-visioned about our ultimate goal in Kalimantan Tengah and need to address Jakarta a little more respectfully.

I'm now thinking that we need to have three nights in Jakarta and then move on to Palangkaraya and, after our return flight to CGK, head off straight to KK via MAS (CGK-KUL-BKI) - dropping Pontianak altogether which, in anycase, was to be only an overnighter to catch the flight next morning to Kuching - we were intending to return to Kuching for our usual 'fix' on the way back to KL from KK anyway.

What are your considered thoughts?

Is my first full-day's plan doable... and what to plan for the extra day?

Our interests lie in the areas of architecture (historic), culture, good food and, history in general.

We don't do museums as we've found that, through physical issues, we can't walk too far without a 'nice sit down' and, unfortunately, those institutions do not provide sitting furniture other than that what may not be sat upon without retribution.

After Bangkok, KL et al., earlier this year we're pretty-well shopped out, so we'll leave the malls alone this trip... other than Sarinah for souvenirs and, of course, the fantastic Peter Hoe's in KL on the way home ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I've come across Taman Mini Indonesia Indah but wonder whether we could negotiate it given our limited mobility and, also wonder whether it is a little too 'plastic' - perhaps someone could ease my mind on this?

Our 'three-nights-in-Jakarta' paradigm would be: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday commencing on August the twenty-second... coinciding (I think) with Eid ul Fitri - if so, would this hamper/enhance our plans?

Once again, I find myself kneeling in awe at the feet of the great TAs and supplicating in hope of kind advice.

Cheers ツ

Jakarta
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1. Re: Interesting Jakarta

<<, I find myself kneeling in awe at the feet of the great TAs and supplicating in hope of kind advice.>>

So kindly and nicely asked, surely the anwer will be as kindly given..................

Ivanhoe3079,

Believe me it`s a RARE pleasure to meet a traveler who is interested in JKT from the architectural/ historical etc point of view, and do not care about shopping / nightlife and such.

Unfortunately............... shopping/ restaurants and nightlife are features that JKT is really good about. All historical aspects are in absolute neglect. Pure fact that any building in our climate does not age well speaks loud.....

We are a modern city tending to get even more modern every single day.....locally it`s good, positive and pretty wise...... from the tourism development point of view - huge mistake.

To your plan:

1/ day 1, as you see it, is very OK and doable.

2/ In 2012, Hari Raya Idul Fitri / Lebaran is likely to fall on Sunday, 19 August 2012. Wit this prospective a visit around August 20-21 is very OK, as city will be pleasantly empty ( if this concept is applicable to 12 mil of those who stay in... lol).

3/ about Taman Mini (TMII). I would skip it, due to the appalling conditions of the place and lack of real spark.

4/ Places you may also consider:

Taman Fatahillah:Jakarta History Museum is located in the building which was the former City Hall of Batavia, known in the past as Stadhuis. The building contains 37 ornate rooms. There are also some cells located beneath the front portico which were used as dungeons. A Javanese freedom fighter Prince Diponegoro, who was arrested, was imprisoned here in 1830 before being banished to Manado, North Sulawesi.

Visiting cafe Batavia ( across the square is also a must, even for s seep of Bintang)

5/ About food...............YES.....here is definitely a YES. JKT is the right place to enjoy almost very possible possible cuisine from around the world. Just let us know about your preferences.... suggestions will flow like a river......................????

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Interesting Jakarta

Hi Schonfeld,

Thank you for your prompt reply... and also your final comment in my other post - we'll have to stop meeting like this( ´,_ゝ`)

--

<Taman Fatahillah:Jakarta History Museum is located in the building which was the former City Hall of Batavia, known in the past as Stadhuis. The building contains 37 ornate rooms. There are also some cells located beneath the front portico which were used as dungeons. A Javanese freedom fighter Prince Diponegoro, who was arrested, was imprisoned here in 1830 before being banished to Manado, North Sulawesi.

Visiting cafe Batavia ( across the square is also a must, even for s seep of Bintang)>

--

All of the above was planned when I included 'Old Batavia' and thank you for the heads-up but, on reflection, perhaps we should devote the entire second day to this? And, of course, we couldn't leave out Cafe Batavia whilst we're there - dinner?

--

<About food...............YES.....here is definitely a YES. JKT is the right place to enjoy almost very possible possible cuisine from around the world. Just let us know about your preferences.... suggestions will flow like a river......................????>

--

We like to savour local cultural dishes when we travel, so:

In Melacca, George Town & Chinatown, KL; we must have at least one occasion when we dine at a Peranakan restaurant and find that interesting fusion of cuisines developed by the the Baba Nonya Straits very much to our taste.

In Bangkok, we dine mainstream Thai, but when in Chiang Mai we find their northern Thai cuisine more than welcome.

Hanoi is a delight and we just have to have as many bowls of Pho that we can, similarly with Kuching and its Sarawak Laksa, not to be confused with its cousin Laksa in Penang.

The list goes on, but you get the gist... however, sometimes Mrs Ivanhoe just has to find a local version of an 'English Pub' for fish'n'chips (゜,゜)

So, to sum it up, if it's good - we'll eat it!

Cheers ツ

Edited: 17 March 2012, 17:13
Melbourne, Australia
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3. Re: Interesting Jakarta

BTW: Just as I thought: we'll give TMII a miss.

As I've changed the plan for our first full-day - moving 'Old Batavia' to the next instead of the above... is there anything you might advise us to see/do instead? Although I'm sure Mrs Ivanhoe would prefer to just swan-around the pool.

Cheers ツ

Jakarta
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4. Re: Interesting Jakarta

hey there again,

1/ <<would prefer to just swan-around the pool.>>

Definitely recommended experience, as poll at S-la is very welcoming.....LOL

2 Another thing to do

..............

For a glimpse of Indonesia's performing arts go to Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta's cultural main venue, where Balinese and Javanese dance performances are staged regularly. Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, a theatre with a colonial-influenced architecture, also hosts Indonesian traditional dance performances. The Bharata Theatre (the Bharata Theatre at Jl Kalilio 15 in Pasar Senen) specializes in Javanese theatre based on famous Hindu epics, the Rarnayana and Mahabharata, but will ocasionally showcase traditional dance performances.

3/ about food:

Indonesian:

Loro Djonggrang ( withe evening dance show/ musical performance)

Jl. Teuku Cik Di Tiro 4, Menteng. Phone: 315 3252, 316 0288.

Bengawan Solo

Hotel Sahid Jaya Ground Floor Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 86

Tel. (62-21) 570 4444

Oasis

http://www.oasis-restaurant.co.id/ at Raden Saleh Street is good for Rijsttafel service ( colonial time tradition of presenting and serving food).

Jakarta
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5. Re: Interesting Jakarta

Lavish dinner buffets are FABULOUS in JKT, one of the best is in your hotel - SATOO restaurant. Do not miss................

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Interesting Jakarta

@ Schonefeld,

Thanks, again, for getting back to me and your welcome advice...

Loro Djonggrang rather appeals as a dining/cultural experience that we should include in our itinerary for (say) the twenty-eighth(?), especially after sorting through the reviews on TA and discarding those reviewers that, perhaps, were not doing the venue justice and had posted them via FB and are 'local's with a grudge(?) - just follow the link and you'll see what I mean...

( ゚ Д゚)

Regarding the more formal performances... not too surprisingly; I could find little about their program for our time-frame - but will look more closely at this nearer to our trip and also ask the Shang... looks quite interesting.

Speaking of which... we'll undoubtedly dine at Shangri-la's SATOO on the evening of our arrival - we'll have flown MEL-KUL-CGK and won't want to stray too far away from bed.

Oasis is also worth looking into...

Thank your for your most valued assistance, rest beckons and I'll sleep on these well-advised suggestions.

Cheers ツ

Edited: 17 March 2012, 20:44
Jakarta
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7. Re: Interesting Jakarta

Pleasant dreams and new ideas ( sometimes THEY come during our sleep...LOL).

cheers

Lombok, Indonesia
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8. Re: Interesting Jakarta

Just for your interest download this and have a look before you head off to Jakarta.

thejakartaglobe.com/pages/…savingbatavia.pdf

Have a great time.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Interesting Jakarta

@ Schonefeld: Thank you it was, and I awoke this morning to be pleasantly side-tracked by an important issue concerning Interesting Jakarta...

@ j_hurcules: Thank you so much for the link! What a riveting read and the Jakarta Globe is to be greatly congratulated on their Saving Batavia exposé on the Kota Tua Master Plan.

I also note that the article on West Jakarta’s mayor was re-published in today’s Globe – as one reader commented “I can see that this article is more than 1 1/2 years old, but last week I still have not seen one single, old building in scaffolding in order to be restored.” thejakartaglobe.com/specialissues/…271634

At least the Globe is keeping the fight alive, but why re-hash an old story instead of a follow-up on the initial interview?

Now returning to the collection of articles, first written in 2009, that addresses the project so well…

One wonders why the Grand Poobahs are looking to the West and the US precincts of Williamsburg and the like when, as is pointed-out by the Jakarta Globe, there are prime examples on their doorstep.

Why not apply the methodology that saved Georgetown, Malacca, Hanoi, Kuching, et al?

We’ve delighted in visiting these cities and many others and, for instance, when strolling down Jalan Carpenter in Kuching we’re not surprised to see furniture being sold and made in the traditional manner or footwear for sale in ‘shoe street’ Hanoi and that Hang Gai Street (Hemp Rope Street – in days gone buy the shops there supplied goods to sailing vessels) is now unofficially called Silk Street because of its wares – all the while marveling at the colour and movement that surrounds us.

I said ‘strolling’, however, in most of these culturally-retained areas have also kept the trishaw! What an absolutely fabulous device is this… because of previously mentioned mobility issues, Mrs Ivanhoe and I hire one each for hours at a time and just mosey around stopping when something catches our interest or when an item for sale catches our eye… trishaws have become as indispensible to us as shade-umbrellas and kipas tangan when we’re in the tropics and are disappointed when we find them to be unavailable because of some Grand Poobah’s intervention such is happening in Chiang Mai and threatening Hanoi where more and more electric ‘people movers’ are flourishing.

It is well worth considering Singapore as a model NOT follow… the place is so sanitized one can almost smell the Dettol – and the only trishaws available there are limited to circling round a square as if they were a pony-ride and not a non-polluting form of local transport – their Grand Poobahs have turned the city-state into a modern Disneyland that, albeit, has a fantastic public transport system (if you can climb over the sniffer-dogs to get into the train).

In the meantime: I applaud the Master Plan’s rationale that Kota Tua become a ‘living cultural heritage environment’ under the slogan ‘live, work, play learn’ and not just become an artificial village of pedestrian coble-stoned walkways that dies after the last customers leave their shekels on the restaurant table.

However, I’m at a loss to find that hawkers have been banned and evicted as part of a beautification project… good grief! They’re part of that colour and movement that is Asia! Mobs of tourist come from far and wide to ‘discover new dishes’ and claim their favourite provedore of the best-made Gado Gado as their own.

Perhaps Governor Fauzi Bowo is the man to apply the solvent to the glue that somehow got this project stuck in the early seventies when he first started-out on his urban-planning career and will continue to be inspired by his fond memories as a boy visiting his friends and playing in the area.

However, don’t put a price on the cost of the entire conservation project – and, mind you, I don’t mean this to be at all unkind, but… it will frighten the natives!

Time is running out for Pak Sofyan Djalil and Governor Fauzi Bowo come to agreement on the Memorandum of Understanding ensuring that sanity reigns with the State Ministry for State-owned Premises complying with the Master Plan or, better still, releasing the buildings to entrepreneurs and forward thinking Non-Government Oraganisations to sympathetically develop them.

It is a relief that the stakeholders have now been included in the MP but, similarly, without government assurance, protection of assets and, tax-breaks who would dare?

The article(s) led me to follow-up and search for the website of the Indonesian Heritage Society (www.heritagejkt.org) and found that individual new/renewal of registration with the Society is a stiff Rp.500,000 (around AUD50ish) and, although I’ve downloaded the membership form and will endeavour to join when in Jakarta (there is no facility to join on-line), I came up with a thought… Perhaps the Society could create a new class of membership for non-Indonesian residents and the subscriptions being deposited in a ‘special’ fund to go towards conservation of Kota Tua.

Membership applications with a cost of (say) Rp.100,000 (or around AUD10) could be handled by the major hotel’s tourist desks which would be encouraged to direct tourists to the precinct – more tourists, more money being spent in the locality, more incentive for entrepreneurial effort.

Just a thought… but please! Let the powers-that-be not create another (sanitized) Singapore.

But to, finally, end - I’ll leave it to another comment by that reader of today’s Globe: “I think it is really sad to realize that all these visions of two civil engineers (talking about the West Jakarta Mayor and of course Mr Fauzi himself) are merely just words without any substance. It is also really sad as I can see on some building the former beauty they represent and I can imagine that with a lot of PROFESSIONAL(!) work they could stand once again and impress tourists.”

Or have the Grand Poobahs just turned the conservation of the heritage of Kota Tua into a cash-cow industry of ‘jobs-for-the-boys’ to be strung-out as long as possible?

Cheers ツ

Jakarta
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10. Re: Interesting Jakarta

1/ <<Society is a stiff Rp.500,000 (around AUD50ish) and, although I’ve downloaded the membership form and will endeavour to join when in Jakarta >>

Please do not take it seriously. But you gonna be the first and only paying customer of THAT society......................LOL

2/ all projects, plans etc are still bla-bla-bla and will stay in this condition FOREVER. Country with more than 200 mil population has MORE important issues to deal every day ( poverty, medicine, education, food etc) than putting some useless houses in restoration scaffolds.

3/ corruption and stealing money ( especially from humanitarian/ transport projects) is a major sport among local bureaucracy. Even komisi antu-korupsi has conscience to write in there annual report ( about any case) that * money MYSTERIOUSLY disappeared*.........have i brought your the picture??????

Edited: 18 March 2012, 18:12