ON THE NORTHWEST COAST OF JAVA ISLAND, JAKARTA IS THE CAPITAL OF A YOUNG COUNTRY BUT AN ANCIENT CIVILIZATION.

Temples and mosques date back to the time of ancient Hindu and Islamic kingdoms. Cuisine reveals waves of ethnic influence from Indonesia and around the world, and grand colonial architecture gives way to soaring skyscrapers. Recently independent, Jakarta embraces a forward-looking attitude, yet holds its vibrant traditions close.

Rupiah (IDR)
Indonesian, Betawi Javanese, Chinese
Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK)

DISCOVERIES

BIASA
JALAN KEMANG RAYA NO. 20, KEMANG
Biasa

Italian-born designer Susanna Perini debuted her Biasa line of elegant, yet relaxed, resort wear handwoven and stitched by local artisans in Seminyak in 1994. As demand grew, so did locations, including a boutique in Jakarta. Committed to working with local artists, Perini has since opened Biasa Art Space, a contemporary art gallery featuring forward-thinking exhibits.

BOGOR BOTANICAL GARDENS
JALAN IR. HAJI JUANDA NO.13
Bogor Botanical Gardens

Explore 210 fragrant, tropical acres at the Bogor Botanical Gardens south of Jakarta. The oldest botanical garden in southeast Asia, it’s bursting with thousands of exotic plant, tree and flower species. Meticulously maintained, explore a Dutch cemetery, a garden wild with resplendent French roses, a Mexican desertscape dotted with cactus and agave, and an impressive orchid collection.

FERRY FROM MARINA ANCOL
FERRY FROM MARINA ANCOL
FERRY

Dotting the shallow seas just north of the city, are the Thousand Islands set in Indonesia’s azure waters. Bright fish cruise idly alongside the coral reefs and thickets of mangrove trees provide shelter for a host of bird species. A short ferry trip from Marina Ancol, a the islands are ideal for snorkeling and reef diving, or simply a quiet afternoon shoreside.

JALAN SURABAYA FLEA MARKET
MENTENG, CENTRAL JAKARTA
Jalan Surabaya flea market

A dizzying array of wares spills from the stalls of this renowned open-air market. Glowing brass ships’ lanterns, brightly painted wayang golek figures and dark wood tribal masks catch the eye. Enameled vessels and glittering art deco rhinestone brooches beg a second look. Vintage LPs are a particular find, as well as the Victrolas that pre-date them. In the best tradition of antique markets, each vendor’s stall is a densely packed mystery of treasures, waiting to be discovered.

NATIONAL MUSEUM
JL. MEDAN MERDEKA BARAT NO.12, KOTA JAKARTA PUSAT, DAERAH KHUSUS IBUKOTA JAKARTA
National Museum

Built in 1862, the comprehensive collections within this heritage-focused museum tell the stories of the diverse peoples of Southeast Asia. View serene statues of deities from Hindu-Buddhist traditions across Indonesia, and exquisite gold and jewels in the Treasure Rooms.

WAYANG MUSEUM
JL. PINTU BESAR UTARA NO. 27
Wayang Museum

Set alongside several folk and fine arts museums lining Fatahillah Square, the Wayang Museum is dedicated to Javanese shadow puppetry. Housed in a neo-Renaissance building that was a former Dutch church, it is now filled with cabinets displaying intricate Indonesian wayang and a collection of antique southeast Asian puppets.

STAY

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Exterior View of Illuminated Hotel and Pool
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