Jakarta is one of the world’s truly great cities. That’s a bold statement, I know. And, many would challenge it. The naysayers might ask - Where is the rich history found in Rome? Where is the culture of Paris? Where is the tradition of London? Where is the ultra modernism of Tokyo? Or, where is the diversity of New York?
In answer to those questions I would reply, “there, not here in Jakarta.” That is precisely what makes Jakarta a truly great city. Jakarta is completely unique unto itself. Jakarta is a frontier city – an inferno of activity blending ancient traditions with 21st century development. It’s the political, social, and economic hub of the world’s fourth most populous nation. How could it not be fascinating?
Come to Jakarta and you will find world class architecture, the trendiest designer shops, chic nightclubs, an array of five-star international hotels, and gourmet restaurants staffed by some of the best chefs thriving next to traditional food sellers and traditional markets.
You will sit in the worst traffic you have probably ever seen where an endless river of motorbikes swirl around cars like a wild river churns around its boulders. You’ll breathe some of the most polluted air in the world. A rat will likely cross your path more than once. You will likely be repulsed by the sight and smell of the open sewers and heavily polluted canals. And, the grinding poverty with its dirty street children, deformed people, and the elderly begging for their next meal in the shadow of a sleek high-rise will break your heart.
Through all the challenges of being in Jakarta, remember that you are witnessing the coming of age of a very young nation and of a people who struggled under colonial rule for centuries.
Jakarta is a traveler’s city and a business city – not a tourist city. You will enjoy and learn from Jakarta to the extent you discard any preconceived notions of how things ought to be, or how things were back home and accept, experience, and respect what is.
Check out our hotel, restaurant, nightlife, and activity guides to Jakarta. Then, book a ticket, buckle your seatbelt and ready yourself for one of the most dynamic experiences you will ever encounter.