- Travel and Places
Places To Visit In Indonesia
akarta is not known as a tourism hub, Bali fills that role, but in recent years there has been a move to rejuvenate parts of the city and attract visitors.For history and culture, head to Fatahillah Square, if you need retail therapy, Jakarta is a shopping paradise. A word of warning, most of the year the city is hot, humid and dusty. Be careful to cover up. Wear a hat when you go out in the sun and keep hydrated.
There are many shopping malls in Jakarta. Most of them are at the high end of prices, but there are some bargains to be had in all of them.
Pondok Indah Mall
In South Jakarta, a little bit away from the crowds of the city center, this mall is well worth a visit. It has a large, friendly feel to it with all the shops well-laid out over four floors. When it all gets too much more you, take a break at one of the several coffee shops.
The excellent Sogo supermarket is well-stocked with produce from all over the world. It also has a restaurant that serves a wide variety of dishes.
Plaza Senayan and Senayan City
Near each other, these two shopping giants can keep you occupied all day – there are many shops, cafes, eateries, shops specialising in electronics and clothing establishments. If you want a break from retail therapy, why not take in a movie at one of the multiplexes on each site.
This mall specialises in electronics, including cameras, computers, software and musical equipment. If your laptop needs fixing, bring it here.
For luxurious shopping, stop your taxi at this mall. Even if you don’t buy anything, it is worth a look at the expensive items on sale. If you have time, check out the art gallery on the top floor.
Plaza Pacific Place
A large mid-range mall with the excellent Aksara Bookstore on the top floor.
If you are a bit bored with shopping, you can always take in a bit of the old Jakarta at Kota Tua.
A good place to head for is Fatahillah Square. On some days, you will find acrobats, snake charmers and fire-eaters performing to the magnificent backdrop of the old colonial building, now a municipal building.
Nearby are the famous Batavia Café and Wayang (puppet) Museum.
A little further on from Fatahillah is the Sunda Kelapa harbour where grand old longships – still in operation – can be admired.
Bogor Botanical Gardens
If you fancy a break from the crowds in Jakarta, 80 kilometres south are the beautiful Bogor Botanical Gardens.
Set in 210 acres, it is best to take a tour in stages as the heat can be oppressive. There is a large café there serving good food. If you prefer, bring a picnic – there are many places to stop and rest.
Jakarta Places of Interest
Sanur Beach, Bali
If it is sun, sea and booze you are looking for, there are plenty of places you can find them on this island. But Bali is so much more than a 24-hour party haven.
If you want some nightlife but peace and tranquillity, Sanur is an excellent choice.
The idyllic, pristine beach is ideal for a sunset walk or just chilling out with an ice-cold beer.
The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival attracts big crowds and major authors every year. Among last years’ novelists was Booker Prize shortlistee, Hanya Yanagihara (USA).
But the event is not just about hob-nobbing with the famous. There are panel discussions, workshops, cocktail evenings, film screenings and poetry slammers.
Known for its Snorkelling and Diving opportunities, the island offers a laid-back lifestyle and welcoming locals. Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve, two hours’ drive from Manado is well known for its efforts in conservation. Over 460 species of mammals, reptiles and birds enjoy protected status there.
But in the interior, there are many more places to visit. One experience not to be missed is a trip to Tomohon Market. About 50 minutes by public transport from Manado, the Market sells just about anything you could imagine to eat. The place is a heaving mass of humanity with sales taking place by the minute. Take in the frenetic energy of the site and then wind down with a cold drink in one of the nearby cafes.
Samosir Island, Lake Toba
Driving from Medan Airport, Sumatra to Lake Toba takes about four hours. Public transport is available but takes longer. On arrival at the lakeside town of Parapet, most people take the boat to Samosir Island and explore the area from there. Most Indonesians on the island are Batak. A Christian clan who have a proud history.
Some tourists are deterred from travelling here because of the inaccessibility of the place. In a way, that has worked in Toba’s favour as of all the beautiful places in Indonesia; Lake Toba is the most natural and uncommercialized.
There are swimming and boating opportunities and taking a guided tour around the island is worthwhile, but the real pleasure is taking in the calm, relaxed atmosphere. Take in the vivid sunsets with a cold drink, explore the town and mix with the friendly locals – heaven on earth.
There are a few sights in Yogyakarta that are worth a visit such as the Fort Vredeburg Museum, dedicated to the fight for Indonesian independence. But most tourists use “Jogja” as a base to explore the impressive Borobudur Buddhist Temple.
The beautifully sculpted monument takes at least half a day to go around. Set on several levels, the site it is quite a challenge to take on in the searing heat of the day. Explore it slowly and bring plenty of water with you to ensure a pleasant trip to this magnificent monument to Buddhist Culture.
Meal for 2, mid-range restaurant
Taxi 1 km
* $1 = 13,330 Rp