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Jakarta

Indonesia’s capital began its long journey through life as a trading post established by the Kingdom of Sunda back in the 4th century. In 1596 the first Dutch traders were given permission by the Sultanate of Batan to establish a trading post on the site. Some 6 years later the British East India Company arrived […]

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Despite the steeples of high-rise modernity, the vehicular plough and heave of humanity Jakarta is a city steeped in history and culture. Here there is a conscious appreciation of its long past and a tenacious grip on its cultural milieu.

Indonesia’s capital began its long journey through life as a trading post established by the Kingdom of Sunda back in the 4th century. In 1596 the first Dutch traders were given permission by the Sultanate of Batan to establish a trading post on the site. Some 6 years later the British East India Company arrived and entered into direct competition with the Dutch. This eventually led to the Dutch defeating the armies of the Sultnate and throwing the English out.
In 1619 the Dutch VOC named the site Batavia and became the colonial power in Indonesia for over 300 years.

Nowadays the emblematic colonial site in Jakarta is Kota Tua and is a popular tourist destination for visitors to the city. Here at Fatahillah Square in Kota Tua visitors can view the original town square of Batavia with its heritage buildings housing the Wayang Museum, The Jakarta Historical Musium and the museum of Fine Arts. Other heritage buildings have been taken over by commercial interests and by preserving the original aesthetics and structural integrity make for enjoyable restaurants and bars. An interesting remnant of the colonial era is Jembatan Intan – or The Bridge of Diamond City. This wooden bridge was built around 1710 over the Ciliwung River connecting the Dutch and original British fort. The bridge utilizes a bulky counter leaver system on the tops of its two columns for the span support and has become a popular photography site.

While visiting the capital one should visit Monas-Jakarta’s National Monument and Indonesia’s treasured structure. This symbolic 132-meter monument with its golden tip was erected in the middle of Merdeka Square and was built as a tribute to soldiers who lost their lives in the Indonesian battle for independence against Dutch.

Visitors should not forget that Jakarta is the capitol of the country’s shopping districts and here malls offer premium international brands, restaurants and cafes along with entertainment. Shopping outlets of note are Plaza Indonesia, Grand Indonesia, and Senayan City.

This busy home to 11 million people form all over Indonesia and further afield is capable of showing its visitors some of the grandness of the past as well as a thoroughly good time.

AirAsia has direct flights from Bali for those who want to experience a different side of Jakarta. For more info please visit www.airasia.com

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    olaf purvis

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