Visiting Jakarta

Made up of tens of thousands of islands Indonesia is the largest Archipelago in the world. With over 90% of its population practicing Islam Indonesia is also the world’s most populous Muslim. To some Westerners the Bali terrorist attack that killed nearly 200 Australians in 2006 leaves a deep scar for the country in regards to travel, but I personally see this as a rogue attack similar to the tube bombings in London or train attacks in Madrid; a threat that exists in all parts of the world and not just Indonesia. I felt quite safe while traveling in Indonesia my experiences were nothing but positive!
Indonesia Jakarta Buildings Indonesia Jakarta Monas
I never really got to understand downtown Jakarta, the enormous city seemed to have high rise and commercial buildings going in all directions. I do know the Monas tower on the right is a major landmark in downtown Jakarta. The building on the upper left was another high rise structure I saw in Jakarta. You definitely don’t feel like you’re in a third world country while you are visiting this part of Indonesia.
Indonesia Jakarta Central Park Indonesia Jakarta Shopping Mall

Downtown Jakarta seemed to be filled with endless shopping malls and nice restaurants. Despite the western influence here, I didn’t see very many foreigners in Jakarta. A place I was recommended to visit was Central Park, which turned out to be just a big shopping district. The photo above is from another mall I randomly came across while exploring the city. The two photos below are of restaurants and shopping areas of Central Park. If you plan on visiting Jakarta’s endless shopping areas,make sure you find amazing deals on hotel accommodations with Expedia.
Indonesia Jakarta Central Park Stores Indonesia Jakarta Central Park Pond
Indonesia Jakarta Cathedral Indonesia Jakarta Istiqlal Mosque Minaret
Also in Jakarta is the cathedral seen above, and immediately across the street from that is the Istiqlal Mosque, the largest in southeast Asia. I didn’t go inside the cathedral, but I did go inside the mosque and took the two photos below. A security guard who worked at the mosque gave us a tour explaining that there were only two larger mosques in the world, one located in Mecca, and the other in Medina Saudi Arabia. So this would make the Istiqlal Mosque the largest in the world outside of Saudi. Despite it’s massive size, I found other mosques like the King’s Mosque in Yemen to be much more beautiful once inside.
Indonesia Jakarta Istiqlal Mosque Inside Indonesia-Jakarta-Istiqlal-Mosque-Dome
Indonesia Jakarta Market Indonesia Jakarta Man
In between all the high rise buildings and shopping malls, you’ll still find plenty of the more traditional shopping areas of southeast Asia. On the left is a large market where I bought some headphones that worked for a single use. The guy on the right is a local of Jakarta who insisted on talking to me and taking pictures.
Indonesia Jakarta Market Antique Shop Indonesia Jakarta Market Antique Items

Famous in Jakarta is the antique market, where items from the early 20th century and souvenirs are sold. Above are two photos of some of the shops and antique items they sell, below are some masks and a statue that would make some great souvenirs, just difficult to carry around your backpack and ship home.
Indonesia Jakarta Market Mask Indonesia Jakarta Market Antique Dragon
Indonesia Jakarta Obama Statue Indonesia Jakarta Obama School
Being from the United States, almost everyone I talked to in Indonesia seemed to ask me about Barrack Obama when they found out I was American since he was president at the time of my visit. Since Barrack Obama spent some years in Indonesia during his childhood, I felt I should visit his school where a small statue had recently been dedicated to him. As you can see above, he attended the school in Meteng for two years.
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