HI! It has been a while!
I have been living in Jakarta for almost 3 years now and yet, because of busy working, I have never explored the city’s highlights. It’s pretty amazing to know I am so busy in the hustle bustle of the city that I don’t realize there are a lot of wonderful historical sites and museums around the area where I am living.
I woke up earlier last Saturday wishing no “macet” (traffic jam) along my way to Kota Tua (Old Batavia). I started at 7.30 AM from Sarinah Thamrin and took a Transjakarta bus (red-and-yellow) with a route from Blok M-Kota and stopped at Kota Tua (end stop). It took me 30 minutes (in normal days it may take longer, around 40 minutes). My first stop was in Museum Mandiri (still closed and usually open at 9 AM), so don’t come too early! Museum Bank Mandiri was established in 1998 and now is maintained by Bank Mandiri (one of the most prominent bank in Indonesia). This museum offers you a wide range of old banking machines from four older government-owned banks (Bank Bumi Daya, Bank Dagang Negara, Bank Expor Impor and Bank Pembangunan Indonesia).
Next to the Museum Bank Mandiri is Museum Bank Indonesia. Bank Indonesia is the first bank established in 1953 (before in 1828, it was known as De Javasche Bank). In my opinion, it is one of the most properly maintained museums in Jakarta. Here you can learn a lot more about the monetary history of Indonesia from the collection of paper money, safety deposits and so on. When you first enter Museum Bank Indonesia, you will need to put your bags at the front counter.
From Museum Bank Indonesia, I continued walking to Museum Fatahillah (now known as Museum Sejarah Jakarta). Here the visitors need to change their shoes to sandals given by the museum front liners. I would recommend you to bring a hand sanitizer and use it afterwards. Museum Fatahillah is also the most popular destination in Kota Tua, here you can find a lot of historical things from inscriptions, porcelain bottles to different types of furniture.
Next stop is Museum Wayang or also known as Shadow Puppet Museum. Here, the ventilation does not work really good, and a bit smelly. But don’t worry, the unique variety of Indonesian shadows? are just plainly amazing! Here you can find not only puppets and shadows from Indonesia, you can also find Katakali doll from Kerala, south India!
Tired of walking? Take a colourful bicycle which comes handy with a big sun hat! At the corner you can find an ‘Es Potong’ (Ice that is cut – there’s no literal English translation though, you have to see and taste it).
I went to Sunda Kelapa port, however I do not recommend this place as there are not many things to see and too dusty. If you love photography or drawing sketches, it may be a great place worth to pay a visit.
It took me around 3 hours to go through all of these places, it was simply because I love history and read all the information in the museum. You may take longer or shorter hours than mine exploring these areas. Hmm.. but I usually go into deep. 🙂
Photo credits go to mine and downloaded Shutterstock image.
Have fun enjoying Jakarta!