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Beyond the Asian Games: 5 Things To Do In Jakarta

The Flame of Independence at the Monas Tower, which is illuminated in the night., Photo Credit: Shutterstock
04 Min Read

Although cheering on the athletes at the Asian Games is an activity in itself, there's a lot more to explore in Jakarta. Here are five things to do from visiting a historic cemetery to eating your way through the streets

The Indonesian city of Jakarta plays host to the upcoming 18th Asian Games between the 18th August - 2nd September. The pan-Asian multi-sports event will witness an in-pouring of athletes come to the Indonesian capital to represent their respective nations in the continental competition. A tourist's paradise, Jakarta is at the center of Indonesia's culture, politics and economics. While you might visit the city to cheer on the athletes representing your nation, do not forget to explore the corners that make up this marvellous capital. Attractions such as the symbolic Monas Tower, the Jakarta War Cemetery, a water adventure park, among others await its visitors. 

Monas Tower
The National Monument of Indonesia stands at the centre of Merdeka SquareThe National Monument of Indonesia, standing at over a 130 m in the centre of Merdeka Square in Central Jakarta commemorates the struggle for Indonesian independence. Ever wondered how a nation with over 17,000 islands came to be? Well, upon entering the Monas Tower, you will see walls bearing relief sculptures exhibiting important moments of Indonesian history such as the beginning of the Majapahit Empire. Also, pay visit to the iconic Flame of Independence, which is illuminated in the night allowing the tower to be seen from miles around. Interestingly, the tower captures the philosophy of Lingam and Yoni. The earlier a stark representation of masculinity and light and the latter, of femininity and darkness.
 
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah carries the synopsis of Indonesian culture
Comprising of over a 17,000 islands and 26 provinces, the vast nation of Indonesia is challenging to cover in a single trip. With each of its province embracing a distinct culture from the rest, the transcontinental nation prides itself in its massive diversity. The Taman Mini Indonesia Indah is a miniature park in Jakarta carrying the synopsis of Indonesian culture and aspects of daily life from its many provinces. You'll find different sorts of traditional houses built in each of the provinces as well as their clothing, dance, and traditions. 
 
Jakarta War Cemetery
A tribute to the many who lost their lives during WWII at the Jakarta War Cemetery
As WWII entered its peak, Japanese forces attempted to enter the port city of Jakarta, then known as Batavia. The Indonesian forces, though greatly outnumbered, fought back in defence of their nation. The cemetery contains the graves of the many who sacrificed their lives to protect their country. A number of graves dedicated towards the Australian forces, as well of undivided Indian forces lie here. 
 
Atlantis Water Adventure
A large water slide at the Atlantis Water Adventure in Jakarta
Want to get away from the Indonesia heat? Looking to get away from the hustle of the city to have an enjoyable family day? Well, make your way to the Atlantic Water Adventure. A vast water complex, it is divided into eight sections. Large wave pools and fun water slides of many kinds for different age groups are spread across the park. 
 
Must-Try Street Foods 
Nasi uduk Betawi, a type of street food found in Jakarta
Known for street food which brings spark to one's taste buds, Jakarta has several food items which are sure to leave one salivating for more.  The Martabak manis, a type of Indonesian dessert, popular for its buttery sweet flavor is a soft pancake stuffed with peanuts, chocolate, nutella, cheese to name a few. On the other hand, if you aren't a fan of their dessert, try the Nasi uduk Betawi which is steamed rice cooked in aromatic coconut milk. The dish is accompanied by additional dishes such as balado stewed egg, fried vermicelli noodle, sauteed tempeh, among many options. If you want something light, have Gorengan, which means “fried food". It is served in different bases ranging from banana to cassava, to tofu, yam and fermented soy bean. 
 
Getting there: There are no direct flights to Jakarta from India. A host of airlines fly between India and Indonesia. Try Air Asia, Jet Airways, Thai Airways and Garuda Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia has introduced a direct flight to Bali from Mumbai. Indians can avail of visa on arrival in Indonesia. It costs $35 and is valid for 30 days
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