Every city in the world has history and culture attached to it, and whilst some might not be so evident, some have a blend which is perfect in every way. If you’re sick of the same old places, and you’re craving a new destination, with a totally unique feel and culture, then Indonesia could be the place for you.

Jakarta is the capital city of this huge and sprawling country, located on the island of Java. Java is the most populated part of the entire country, with the rest of it being varied to say the least – you can trek through jungles in Borneo, lay back on paradise, castaway beaches, and visit small towns with locals who will be happy to show you their way of life. Basically, Indonesia has something for everyone, but if you are looking for a city break with a difference, then Jakarta is for you.

Photo and editing: Adrian Christopher Koss

Photo and editing: Adrian Christopher Koss

Loud, vibrant, colourful, and rather bustling, Jakarta is that blend of old and new that we mentioned in the title, with huge skyscrapers and massive shopping malls, set back amongst traditional buildings and markets. It’s a contradiction, but a wonderful one, and somewhere which will certainly fill your camera memory stick.

Of course, you need to find somewhere to stay, and this being a massive city, as well as the capital, you won’t struggle to find somewhere. Head online for the best deals, with Traveloka having many fantastic bargains to grab. You will find accommodation for every budget, from small guest houses, to large scale hotels, such as Fairmont Jakarta, as just one example.

Getting around Jakarta is probably best done on foot or by taxi, as attempting to drive or use public transport could result in delays. Yes, the city is huge, but wandering is probably the best way to find something new and exciting to explore. The huge malls are dotted around the city, and all offer air conditioned havens, away from those high and humid temperatures you may experience. Of course, in order to try something new, it’s really all about food.

Now, Jakarta food, and Indonesian food in general, requires a strong stomach, mainly because of the high quantity of spices used in cooking, but if you can acclimatise to it, then you’re in for a real treat. Street food is available in many different areas of the city, however do be aware that you need to check what you are eating is cooked properly! Every region of the city has different specialities, and if you’re into sea food then it has to be Muara Karang you’re heading to. For street hawker food, there’s no shortage of destinations, including those aforementioned shopping malls, China Town (Glodok), and the Old Town (Kota Tua).

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Some delicacies you might like to try include sop iga sapi, which is a soup made of beef spare ribs, and ketoprak which is rice roll with tofu, bean sprouts and crackers, topped in a delicious peanut sauce. Put simply, food in Jakarta has to be tried, to complete your exploration.

Photo credits:

Thrillseekr for Flickr
A-C-K for Flickr
Yang Gundul for Flickr

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