Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, and is the world’s second-most populous urban area after Tokyo, with a population of about 35.934 million as of 2020. Jakarta is nicknamed the “Big Durian”, the thorny strongly-odored fruit native to the region, seen as the Indonesian equivalent of the “Big Apple” (New York City).
The popular heritage tourism attractions are in Kota Tua (map) and around Merdeka square (map). Other tourist attractions include the *Thousand Islands, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (wiki, map), *Setu Babakan Betawi Cultural Village (map), *Sunda Kelapa (map) old port and the Ancol Dreamland complex on Jakarta Bay (map).
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It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Southeast Asia, and was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies when it was known as Batavia. As the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta is the melting point of cultures of all ethnic groups of the country.
Jalan Jaksa (map) and surrounding areas are popular among backpackers for cheaper accommodation. PIK is a relatively new suburb for hangout, while Kemang (map) is a popular suburb for expats.
*Bogor (map) – One of the primary destinations to escape from Jakarta, with well-kept natural habitats, world class botany garden, resorts, and multiple golf courses. The city is most famous for its presidential palace and the extensive botanical gardens (Bogor Botanical Garden), which is one of the oldest in the world.
November to March is the peak of the rainy season, and floods and traffic chaos on many of the streets usually occur. The rain is almost always absent from June through August.
Finding places in Jakarta, especially smaller buildings not on the main arteries, is easier said than done. Conveniently, most navigation apps such as Google Maps or Waze are useful for finding addresses and places throughout Jakarta due to regular updates from users.