Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia and has a population of about 9.6 million people. It has a high population and thus heavy traffic, it be motor vehicle or motorbike is common.The people are very friendly though be prepared to take many pictures with strangers as “Black Africans’, seem not to be a common occurrence. The following were my highlights:
This is the National Monument of Indonesia, it is about 132 meters tall and is a symbol of their fight for freedom.
There is a National History Museum within the compound that tells the history of Indonesia through dioramas i.e 3 D miniature models, paintings and stone wall carvings. In the museum, the figurines have both Bahasa and English explanations thus one can easily understand what is hapenning.
This is a somewhat theme park that has anything and everything. My highlight of this place was the cultural and artwork area. I have never ever seen that many amazing pieces of paintings on display.The pieces look so real you would easily believe they are pictures. It was awesome talking to the several painters and actually seeing them convert white canvas into masterpieces of art
3. Visit the villages in the outskirts
I visited a little village on the outskirts of Jakarta and really enjoyed myself. I noticed some people had built their homes right up to the river yet didn’t seem worried. It was great interacting with the locals as well as learning their culture.
One of my highlights was meeting some school girls, who are members of a band, and they offered to share their music with me.
4. Enjoy the meals
Try out all local delicacies available, I enjoyed most. Some of those are:
a) Fried catfish: It was my first time eating cat fish and indeed, the chef needs an accolade. I will let the pictures “speak” for my review.
The durian is a “common” fruit in Jakarta that has a spiky exterior that once cut open, reveals a soft, creamy like looking interior. I thought it smelled like concentrated vanila and the taste is more of an acquired taste.
5) Enjoy celebrity status
As an African, I stood out in Indonesia, I saw no other black person while there. The people were however very nice, they would smile, move closer to me, say hello, engage me in conversation and eventually ask to take a photograph with me.
It was great meeting up with my friend Defi, whom I hadn’t seen for years as well as meeting his family. I first learnt about Indonesia when I became friends with Defi years prior in University in Kenya and it was indeed a pleasure catching up years later as I explored his country. Thanks Defi
Indonesia is indeed a place that shattered any pre-conceived ideas I had of it. It was very welcoming, the culture is very liberal and it left me with the notion that I had to return. It is a big place and I thus will need to return to explore more.
For more on my escapades in Indonesia:
Indonesia 101: http://wangechigitahi.co.ke/indonesia-101/