Jakarta is the capital city of
Indonesia. With the population of more than nine millions makes Jakarta becomes
the most populated city in Indonesia. The indigenous people of Jakarta are the
Betawis. People who live in Jakarta also come from various regions with diverse
ethnic backgrounds. These people outnumbered the Betawis. There is the National
Monument (MONAS-Monumen Nasional) in Jakarta. There are also many statues in the
city, including Welcome Statue (Patung Selamat Datang), Free Irian Statue (Patung
Pembebasan Irian), and Farmer Statue (Patung Petani).In addition, there are a
miniature of Indonesia or Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), Taman Impian Jaya
Ancol, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), and Ragunan Zoo. As is the case with other
ethnic groups, the Betawi group is well integrated in the life of the city. In
certain areas their cultural expressions in tradition and art forms are more
In fact since the early 1970's the Betawi cultural art forms have been given
much attention by the Government and with the rise of the tourism industry these
art forms are experiencing a new impetus to flourish.
As the nation's capital, Jakarta is able to show all the various art forms of
all the regions and ethnic groups in the archipelago. And to realize this idea
in line with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika ( Unity in Diversity ), the regional
government feels obliged to develop all traditional art forms as equitably as
possible with the local Betawi art forms as host hesding the rest.
To see for themselves what and now those Betawi art forms are, you can go to any
travel agent and ask for tour to a " Betawi Cultural Institution " to catch a
glipse of the " real thing ". Or you can visit the Jakarta pavillion at Taman
Mini Indonesia Indah ( Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park ) which has long
been showing Betawi ceremonies such as the Betawi wedding ceremony, the
circumcision procession, the baby head - shaving ceremony etc. As mentioned
before, the Betawi group emerged in the 19th century from the melting pot of
races, ethnic groups and cultures. Today the Betawi culture has a distinct
personality of its own, but one can discern the various influences of other
cultures by looking or listening to its art form.
The Tanjidor orchestra is certainly inharited from Dutch land - owners and the
Gambang Kromong and Cokek dance originated in the residence of wealthy Chinese
traders and merchants. The Betawi Cokek dance shows Balinese influence in the
movement of the dancers and the style of playing the gamelan. This style of
playing the gamelan can also be observed in the gamelan orchestra accompanying
the Wayang Kulit Betawi show. The Portuguese speaking community has also left
its inheritance, the Kroncong Tugu with its popular songs Nina Bobo, Kaparinyo
and Kroncong moritsko is said to be the origin of the popular Kroncong orchestra
The javanese presence since the 17th century has left its mark too on the Betawi
music, dance and theatre, Wayang Kulit Betawi and Lenong are examples of this
influence. A major influence on the Betawi culture is Islam, the religion of the
majority of the people. The Rebana orchestra, the Gambus orchestra, the Zapin or
Japin dance are Islam inspired art forms.
As is the case with other groups, the Betawi group has its specific dress for
man and woman. Here are the specification :
Man's Costume :
• A thight - length coat with normal trousers,
• Slip - on shoes
• Traditional Betawi headgear
• A special belt, called lokcan
• A dagger slipped in the belt
• A watch chain with a tiger claw attached
Woman's dress :
• A long Kebaya with buttened cuffs
• A sarong with the lasem motif
• A sarong with the lasem motif
• Pointed sandals with low heels
• A hair - piece of the cepol type
• A hair - piece of the cepol type
• A veil matching the kebaya
• A heavy gold or silver belt
• A three - teir brooch to fasten the kebay.
Jakarta, from Village to Metropolis
Jakarta, the capital of the nation, has a fascinating history. Lots of
different aspects have colored the city history and the life of people
today. Since the fifth century, ships from China and Champa (Vietnam),
and from all islands in the archipelago docked at the mouth of the
Ciliwung river. Indian and Portuguese traders also visited this small
Javanese sailors, carrying spices from Molucca, also docked there. Nearly all
people from the East and West left their trails to blend special flavor of
Jakarta.Concised description of old historical buildings and monuments refers to
the site where the city of Jakarta itself begins. All historical evidence points
to the area of the Kota, the old city on the banks of Ciliwung river. A bit
south of the place currently known as Pasar Ikan or Fish Market was planted the
first tiny seed that developed into a huge city of more than 10 million
inhabitants. When did Jakarta start its journey throughout history? Nobody knows
exactly!If we stand on top of Menara Syahbandar (the Lookout Tower) across the
bridge over the Kali Besar, we enjoy a view of oldest area of Jakarta. To the
north we can see the present old harbor with its colorful prahu (saliboats) and
the Java Sea. Some 300 meters to the south, you can find a renovated old
drawbridge. In the time of the Dutch East-India Company colonialism, the bridge
was called Hoender pasarbrug or Chicken Market Bridge. At that time, between
17th and early 18 centuries, ships could sail further up to the river Ciliwung.
Towards the south of this drawbridge, the once busy harbor town of Sunda Kelapa
stretched along both sides of the river between the 12th century and 15th
century. Sunda Kalapa was the main port of the Hindu Kingdom of Sunda . The
capital of the Pakuan Pajajaran kingdom was located two day journey upriver, now
known as Bogor. This port was often visited by ships from Palembang, Tanjungpura,
Malacca, Maccasar and Madura, and even by merchants from India and South China.
Sunda Kelapa exported, among other items, pepper, rice and gold.
In 1513 the first European fleet, four Portuguese ships under the command of
Alvin, arrived in Sunda Kelapa from Mallaca. Mallaca had been conquered two
years earlier by Alfonso d' Albuquerque. They were looking for spices,
especially pepper, to this busy and well-organized harbor. Some years later, the
Portuguese Enrique Leme visited Kalapa with presents for the King of Sunda. He
was well received and on August 21, 1522 and signed a treaty of friendship
between the kingdom of Sunda and Portugal. The Portuguese received the right to
build a godown (warehouse) and to erect a fort in Kalapa. This was regarded by
the Sundanese as a consolidation of their position against the encroaching
Muslim troops from the rising power of the Sultanate of Demak in Central Java.
To commemorate this treaty, they put big stone, called a Padrao, which vanished
for some years. This stone was uncovered later in 1918 during an excavation for
a new house in Kota area on the corner of Cengkeh street and Nelayan Timur
Street. This Padrao can now be seen in the National Museum on Medan Merdeka
Barat street. The original location of the stone suggests that the coastline in
the early 16th century formed a nearly straight line which is marked by the
present of Nelayan street, some 400 meters south to the The Lookout Tower.
The King of Sunda had his own reasons for great danger from the expansive Muslim
Kingdom of Demak, whose troops threatened his second harbor town, Banten (west
of Jakarta). Sunda felt squeezed and was in need of strong friends. Thus, the
king hoped the Portuguese would return quickly and help him protect his
important harbor. But they came too late. For in 1527 the Muslim leader
Fatahillah appeared before Kalapa with 1,452 soldiers from Cirebon and Demak.
According to some historians, this victory of 1527 provided the reason for
Fatahillah to rename Sunda Kelapa, Jayakarta, which means "Great Deed" or
"Complete Victory." On the basis of this victory, Jakarta celebrates its
birthday on June 22, 1527, the day Fatahillah gave the town a name of victory of
over Sundanese Hindus and Portuguese sailor.
Prince Jayawikarta, a follower of the Sultan of Banten, resided on the west
banks of the Ciliwung river, which in the early 17th century reached the roughly
at our starting place, the Lookout at Pasar Ikan. He erected a military post
there in order to control the mouth of the river and the Dutch who had been
granted permission in 1610 to build a wooden godown and some houses just
opposite there on the east bank. Dutch ships had already come to Jayakarta in
1596. The Prince tried to keep a close eye on these unruly guests.
To keep its strength equal to that of the Dutch, Prince Jayawikarta allowed the
British to erect houses on the West Bank of Ciliwung river, across the Dutch
godown, in 1615. The Prince granted permission to the British to erect a fort
closed to his Customs Office post. Jayawikarta was in support of the British
because his palace was under the threat of the Dutch cannons. In December 1618,
the tense realtionship between Prince Jayawikarta and the Dutch escalated.
Jayawikarta soldiers besieged the Dutch fortress that covered two strong godown,
namely Nassau and Mauritus. The British fleet made up of 15 ships arrived. The
fleet was under the leadership of Sir Thomas Dale, former governor of the Colony
of Virginia, now known as Virginia State in the United States.
The British admiral was already old and was indecisive. After the sea battle,
the newly appointed Dutch governor Jan Pieter Soon Coon (1618) escaped to
Molucca to seek support. Meanwhile, the commander of the Dutch army was arrested
when the negotiation was underway because Jayawikarta felt that he was deceived
by the Dutch. Then, the Prince Jayawikarta and the British entered into a
The Dutch army was about to surrender to the British when in 1619, a sultan from
Banten sent soldiers and summoned Prince Jayawikarta for establishing closed
relationship with the British without first asking an approval from Banten
authorities. The conflict between Banten and Prince Jayawikarta as well as the
tensed relationship between Banten and the British had weakened the Dutch enemy.
Prince Jayawikarta was moved to Tanara and died in Banten.
The Dutch felt relieved and tried to establish a closer relationship with the
Banten. The Dutch fortress garrison, along with hired soldiers from Japan,
Germany, Scotia, Denmark, and Belgium held a party in commemoration of the
change in situation. They name their fortress after Batavia to recollect the
ethnic group Batavier, the Dutch ancestor. Since then Jayakarta was called
Batavia for more than 300 years.
Under the relationship of J.P Coen, Dutch army attacked and destroyed the city
and Jayakarta Palace on May 30, 1619. There were no remains of Jakarta except
for the Padrao stone now stored at the National Museum in Jakarta. The Jayakarta
grave was possibly located in Pulau Gadung. If we stand on top of Menara
Syahbandar and look around, we can enjoy the beautiful panorama in the oldest
area of Batavia. Certainly, we can't enjoy the remains of the city Sunda Kelapa
or Jayakarta. Kasteel or the Dutch fortress, too, has been destroyed. Here we
can see several remains from the mid-17th century. Nearly all of the remains are
related to trade and sailing.
Menara Syahbandar was built 1839 to replace the old flag pole in ship dock
located right on the side across a river. From the pole and later the tower,
officials observed ships about to anchor gave signals. The tower then is used a
meteorology post. To the West of the Lookout Tower, we can see the view of the
present Museum Bahari. The museum represents a very old and strong edifice with
Dutch architecture. The museum also provides several maps of the city, with
stages of the city development shown. The museum is part of something in Dutch
called Westzijdsche Pakhuizen (Warehouse on the West bank). Here nutmegs,
pepper. coffee, tea, and cloth in a large scale were used to be stored.
The areas around Menara Syahbandar was once the center of Kota Batavia. It was
the center of a trading network with wide spread agents reaching Deshima
(Nagasaki) in Japan, Surate in Persia and Capetown in South Africa. Inter-trade
among Asia was more profitable than inter-trade between Asia and Europe. And the
Pasar Ikan (Market Fish) once was the pulse. Here, the site where the origin of
the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, came from.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The National Monument
The National Monument,or "Monas" as it is popularly called,is one of the
monuments built during the Sukarno era of fierce nationalism.It stands for the
people's determination to achieve freedom and the crowning of their efforts in
the Proclamation of Independence in August 1945.The 137-meter tall marble
obelisk is topped with a flame coated with 35 kg. of gold.The base houses a
historical museum and a hall for meditations.The monument is open to the public
and upon request the lift can carry visitors to the top which offers a bird's
eye view on the city and the sea.
Established in 1778 by U.M.C. Rademacher under the auspices of the Batavia
Association of Arts and Sciences,it offers historical,prehistorical,
archaeological and ethnographic aspects of Indonesia through its extensive
collection of artifacts and relics which date as far back as to the Stone Age.It
has one of the most complete collections of bronzes and ceramics dating back to
the Han,Tang and Ming Dynasties.The Museum has one of the finest numismatic
collections in the world,including cloth and money which was used on several
islands until recently.The religious art section is filled with statuary and
sculpture salvaged from sites of Hindu,Buddhist and Islamic edifices.Its
collection of cultural instruments,household utensils,arts and crafts provide an
introduction to the life of the various ethnic groups which populate
Indonesia.This museum is popularly known as Gedung Gajah or "Elephant Building"
because of the stone elephant offered by King Chulalongkorn of Thailand in 187
1, placed on the front lawn of the building.
Indonesia in Miniature Park
An extensive park to get a glimpse of the diverseness of the Indonesian
archipelago,it represents Indonesia's 27 provinces and their outstanding
characteristics,reflected most strikingly in the exact regional architecture of
the province.It has its own orchid garden in which hundreds of Indonesian orchid
varieties are grown.There is also a bird park with a walk-in aviary,a fauna
museum and recreational grounds with a swimming pool and restaurants.
Of special interest here at Taman Mini is the Museum Indonesia.A richly
decorated building in Balinese architecture,it houses contemporary arts, crafts
and traditional costumes from the different regions of the country.Open from
9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. daily.
"Theater Imax Keong Emas" (Golden Snail Theater).Located in the Taman Mini is
the Imax theater which presents "Beautiful Indonesia" on a gigantic screen using
the latest Imax system.Open from 11.00 am - 5.00 pm.
Jaya Ancol Dreamland
This is Jakarta's largest and most popular recreation park.It is built on
reclaimed beach land at the Bay of Jakarta,having,sea and freshwater
aquariums,swimming pools,an artificial lagoon for fishing,boating,bowling,an
assortment of nightclubs,restaurants,a steam-bath and massage parlors.
Daily shows are held at the Aquarium where dolphins and sea lions perform.The
Ancol complex includes a Marina,Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy Land),a golf
course,hotels and a drive-in theater.The "Pasar Seni" or art market has a varied
collection of Indonesian handicraft,paintings and souvenirs on sale.At a nearby
open-air theater art performances are held using the local dialect.
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A recent addition to Jakarta's growing recreation facilities is the Fantasy
Land,a 9.5 hectares (23.75 acres) entertainment park located inside the Ancol
Dreamland.Planned to eventually become a part of a 200-hectares (500-acres) park
designed to usher the visitors into the fascinating world of modern science and
technology,the present facility takes them on an imaginative tour of Old
Jakarta,Africa, America,Indonesia,Europe,Asia and the Palace of Dolls.Each of
the areas is designed to give the visitor a feel of the region he is visiting
through features and architecture of the area at a certain period of its history
and by the use of animated puppets in the Palace of Dolls.
The park also offers a number of restaurants and souvenir shops.
The Marina Jaya Ancol
This is a special port for yachts,motor and sail boats,the port of departure for
Pulau Seribu and the scattered islands in the Bay of Jakarta.This is also the
place for marine recreation and sports where each facility is amply
provided;water cycles,canoes,sail boats,fishing gear and many others. Stalls
along the beach serve drinks and snacks while tents are available for sunbathers
and sea lovers.
This street is located in one of the city's better residential areas known for
its flea market.Stalls offer a wide range of goods,some of them antiquities,
including ornate lamps,porcelain,brass-ware,handicrafts,Bargaining is
necessary,including the skill to distinguish authenticity from imitations.
Completed in 1627,the building initially served as the Dutch East Indies
Company's Town Hall. Additions and renovations including a stone gate, offices
and renovations were added between 1705 and 1715.The known Indonesian
hero,Diponegoro,was said to have been imprisoned in its dungeon before his exile
to South Sulawesi.
The building was used as military barracks and offices when the Jakarta City
Administration decided in the early 1970s to make it the focus of a restoration
plan of old Batavia. Now a museum,it provides the historical background of
Jakarta through displays of old maps and antiquities including furniture and
porcelain used by the Dutch rulers of Batavia, plus a 16th century Portuguese
cannon which stand across the cobblestone square.
Sunda Kelapa, better known as Pasar Ikan (meaning fish market) is located at the
mouth of the Ciliwung river.It was formerly the harbor town of Sunda Kelapa
where the Portuguese traded with the Hindu Kingdom of Pajajaran in the early
The fish catch of the day was auctioned in the early morning at the old fish
market.The street leading to it was lined with shops selling all sorts of
shells, dehydrated turtles,lobsters and mostly everything the seafarer might
need.Dutch domination of Jakarta and the rest of Indonesia began from this
area,whereas the remnants of Kasteel Batavia,an old fort and trading post of the
Dutch East Indies Company can still be seen now.Sunda Kelapa is at present a
fisherman's wharf and an interisland port.Tall masted Bugis schooners from South
Sulawesi anchoring there offer a picturesque scene. They belong to one of the
last-fleets of sail boats in the world and still ply the seas between the
islands,as they did centuries ago,carrying merchandise.
T.I.M. Art Center
The focal point of cultural activities in Jakarta is the Jakarta Art
Center,known as Taman Ismail Marzuki or TIM in short.It is said to be the
largest of its kind in Southeast Asia and consists of exhibition
halls,theaters,an academy of arts,an archives building and a planetarium.A
monthly programme of events,available at hotel counters,includes
exhibitions,plays,musical and poetry recitals,dance performances,folk art and
drama from the various regions of Indonesia.
This group of islands in the Jakarta Bay offers a haven away from the bustle of
city life.There are golden beaches fringed with coconut palms.The surrounding
waters are a paradise for skin divers.They are filled with a myriad of tropical
fish which live among the multicolored corals.The islands can be reached from
Tanjung Priok or Pasar Ikan (Sunda Kelapa) by ferry or by chartered boat.Some of
the islands in this group developed for tourism are Pulau Bidadari,Pulau
Ayer,Pulau Laki and Pulau Putri.Pulau Tanjung near Putri has an airstrip.There
are cabins for hire,having fresh water on Pulau Air and Pulau Bidadari only.The
Pulau Putri Paradise Co. has developed Pulau Putri,Pulau Melintang,Pulau
Petondan and Pulau Papa Theo as a holiday resort with
cottages,restaurants,diving and sailing facilities.
Jakarta's zoo is situated in the suburb of Ragunan in the southern part of the
city.Laid out in a lush tropical setting,such indigenous animals as the Komodo
lizard,tapir,anoa, ava tiger,banteng, wild ox and brightly colored birds are
given ample room to be in this green foliage.Open dally from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00
p.m. The zoological garden is most crowded on Sunday and public holidays.
The Wayang Museum
This puppetry museum on the western side of Taman Fatahillah in "The Old Town"
area has displays of wayang puppets from all parts of Indonesia and some from
other parts of Southeast Asia as well.The wooden and leather puppets displayed
here represent the finest craftsmanship in this particular form of traditional
theater.The museum also shows shortened performances of the wayang kulit leather
puppets every Sunday morning.
Satria Mandala Museum
This central museum of the Armed Forces displays exhibits on progress in the
development of the Indonesian Armed Forces,its role in the struggle for the
nation's independence and other military relics. Open daily except Mondays.
Lubang Buaya Heroes Monument
Situated in the southeast of the city about 20 km from downtown,it is a memorial
park dedicated to the six army generals and one army officer who were slain on
October 1, 1965, in an abortive communist inspired coup d'etat.The centerpiece
is the Pancasila Monument with statues of the seven heroes,standing near the old
well in which their bodies were thrown after having been tortured and executed
by communist militia squads.
This museum displays various textiles from all over the country,from hand-woven
cotton,silk and batiks,as well as,of ancient or contemporary productions.
Two warehouses are the only ones left,which were of the first trading post and
port of the Dutch East Indies Company in Java.They now house the Maritime
Museum.The old harbormaster's tower stands nearby.Open from 8.00 a.m. till 2.00
p.m. on Tuesdays Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. On Fridays closed at 11.00 a.m.
and on Saturday at 1.00 p.m. It closes on Monday.
Built in the form of the Varanus Komodiensis (the only prehistoric giant lizard
found exclusively on Indonesia's Komodo Island),it exhibits dioramas depicting
the fauna of insects and wild animals.Located at Taman Mini and open daily from
8.00 - 15.00.
Situated in downtown Jakarta is the Portuguese Church, built between 1693 and
1696 for the Portuguese speaking people of Batavia. Although rather plain from
the outside, its interior is quite impressive with its baroque pulpit and organ.
This strikingly modern building on jalan Gatot Subroto is the parliament where
at least once in every five years,the People's Consultative Assembly (the
National Congress) holds its sessions.When not in session, visitors are allowed
in but permission must be obtained in advance.
Perintis Kemerdekaan Building and the Soekarno - Hatta Monument.
Both are located at jalan Proklamasi 56, on the site of the former residence of
the late President Soekarno where the nation's Independence was proclaimed.By
the Perintis Kemerdekaan Building stands the Soekarno-Hatta Monument,in
commemoration of the nation's first President and Vice President,who together
proclaimed Independence on behalf of the Indonesian people. Open daily from 8.00
Some of the most exotic orchids come from Indonesia.Several commercial orchid
gardens are open to the public,the best known of them is located at Slipi and
This village in southern Jakarta is a protected area where the old rural life
style of Jakarta is preserved.Condet is also famed for its fruit orchards.
The Stamps Museum at Taman Mini has an attractive collection of stamps once
issued in the country over the years.The museum is ideal for philatelists. Open
daily except Monday, from 08.00 - 15.00.
Indonesia Jaya Crocodile Park
This park in Pluit, North Jakarta has about 700 crocodiles of all sizes and
ages.It offers regular shows, usually taking their themes from popular
Indonesian folk tales.
Handicraft from all over Indonesia. Batiks, jewelry, electronic and photographic
equipment, garments made to order and local herbal cosmetics.
Note: Picture of Traditional mask worn by native people of Jakarta at certain
Accommodation - Places To Stay in
Sahid Jaya***** Diamond
Hotel Regent Jakarta****
Hotel Le Meridien Jakarta****
Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza****
Hotel Horison Jakarta****
Hotel Ciputra Jakarta****
Hotel Jayakarta Tower****
Hotel Dusit Mangga Dua****
Hotel Kartika Chandra****
Hotel Sari Pan Pacific****
Hotel Le Crystal****
Hotel OMNI Batavia****
Hotel Ancol Travelodge****
Hotel Atlit Century Park***
Hotel Betawi Sofyan***
Hotel Ibis Slipi***
Hotel Cikini Sofyan***
Hotel Pondok Putri Duyung***
Hotel Grand Menteng***
Hotel Sabang Metropolitan***
Hotel Ibis Kemayoran***
Hotel Wisata International***
Hotel Orchid Palace**
Hotel Patra Jasa***
Hotel Gajah Mada**
Hotel Sasano Jakarta**
Hotel Menteng II**
Hotel Menteng I**
Hotel Surya Baru**
Hotel Kebayoran Inn**
Hotel Setia budi Palace**
Hotel Grand Hotel Paripurna**
Hotel Pasar Baru*
Hotel Salemba Indah*
Hotel Indra International*
Hotel Bandara Sheraton****