Indonesia, also known to have the largest of many things such as the world’s largest country solely consisting of islands, and the producer of nutmeg, palm oil and the most expensive coffee in the world, ‘kopi luwak’ or civet coffee beans. They are also home to the world’s largest flower Rafflesia and the Komodo dragon. Apart from the most popular tourist spot Bali, there are other parts of Indonesia that are just as fascinating and worth visiting. Take a visit to the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta and discover the cultural and artistic side of this vibrant city.
- Pantai Indah Kapuk – PIK
Located in the North of Jakarta, Pantai Indah Kapuk, PIK for short, is the hippest place for foodies. As it is situated near to the airport, making it a convenient pit stop for hungry travellers entering the city as well. With a wide selection of Asian cuisines and well-known restaurants, pick from Michelin Star Dim Sum from Tim Ho Wan, and if you are craving for some Balinese style cuisine, try the ribs at Naughty Nuri’s. Alternatively, try the crispy duck at Holy Duck and if you are not a huge fan of ducks, there are chicken options to choose from. You can also experience the different cooking styles from the various parts of Indonesia.
Apart from the culinary experience, take a stroll down nature among the Mangroves. Choose between walking down the bamboo bridges to capture the beautiful landscape, or take a boat tour to enjoy the natural scenery of the mangrove forest.
2. Kota Tua – Old Town Batavia
If you are big on museum hopping and into historic colonial buildings, West Jakarta is where you want to go. Home to three museums located in Fatahillah Square, there’s the Jakarta History Museum (Museum Sejarah Jakarta), the Puppet Museum (Museum Wayang) and the Museum of Fine Arts & Ceramics (Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik). In the open space in Fatahillah Square, the locals will be cycling around on colourful antique bikes (Sepeda Ontel), which are available for rent.
Take a break at the iconic Café Batavia, a historic building built in 1805 and converted into the restaurant in 1993. Enter the nostalgic ambience of the second oldest building in Fatahillah square, where they serve modern international and Indonesian food. Perhaps a drink or two over at the bar counter or by the windows. Either way, this is a spot that you shouldn’t miss.
3. Probably the best coffee served in Jakarta
Coffee lovers, this is a place you shouldn’t miss when you visit Jakarta. Just as enthusiastic as the owner himself, who ensures that the quality is maintained in every single cup of coffee served. Located in the back alley in the Menteng area, enter the vibrant mix of the café’s deco. Both the indoor and outdoor area set the perfect chillax mood. If you want to try something beyond your usual cup of cappuccino, try the Cloud Mountain which has a cake sitting on top of vanilla ice cream, with a shot of espresso for that extra boost.
The capital of West Java and the third largest city in Indonesia, which is surrounded by volcanic mountains and tea plantations. For the locals from Jakarta, it’s a common shopping and food destination during the long weekends or for short getaways.
- Angklung – Played by the Sundanese
Spend an afternoon surrounded by the cultural ensemble of the Angklung at Saung Angklung Udjo. All their instruments are handmade from black bamboo which are found locally. You will be well-entertained by this two-hour long performance which not only showcased the music created by the different kinds of bamboo instruments but also songs and dances by performers of all ages. Even if you are not musically inclined, you will still be able to be involved and get to play one of this bamboo musical instrument with the rest of the audience to produce harmonious music.
2. Café Hopping in Bandung
Start your day with a good brunch. Located on the rooftop of Mitra Hotel, you will get to admire the panoramic views of the city and volcano mountains such as Tangkuban Perahu and Kawah Putih in the backdrop. All these while enjoying your meal in this café. If you are not up for the usual all-day breakfast like The Magnificent (Classic American Breakfast), try the mains like the Jet in Fog’s Mist (Squid Ink Pasta) or the appetizers like Needle in the Hay, a fruit and vegetable salad in a sweet sticky sauce which is quite similar to Singapore’s Rojak. Pair your meal with a cup of coffee or a good selection of fresh juices and smoothies.
Another great find while café hopping in Bandung is this hideout that is hidden by the facade from the outside. Walk into Two Hand Full and it’s definitely a hipster café, no doubt. Serving up a good selection of brunch menus like all-day breakfast items, grain bowls and smoothie bowls. They roast their own coffee beans perfectly which brew up a good filter coffee. And if you are not big on coffee, you can try their chai latte or the Cold Choco which is chilled and steeped overnight with West Java chocolate.
- Special space to support the Arts
Spasial, which means space in Bahasa Indonesia, is a spacious warehouse and an open space for the artistic community to use this platform to showcase their work and exchange ideas with fellow like-minded individuals. In support of these talents, the owner runs classes and talks on weekdays and music performances on weekends. There is also a coffee shop located in the heart of the warehouse to satisfy your caffeine cravings.
Special thanks to AirAsia and Indonesia Tourism Board for making this trip possible. AirAsia flies to Jakarta 4 times daily, and to Bandung once daily and twice daily on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Singapore.
Oh, I love your experiences in Bandung. In my opinion, Jakarta is not worth exploring because it seems to be the most boring capital city in Southeast Asia. Thanks for the great post!