Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, is a big, vibrant metropolitan city with lots of choices of entertainment and there are surely many fun activities to do, both in Jakarta, and places around Jakarta Province (the city of Jakarta is a part of Jakarta Province).
Going to malls sounds too ordinary, but venturing to Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) by a speedboat, enjoying the nature at Bogor Botanical Garden, visiting a safari park in Bogor, the mini Disneyland ‘Dufan’, and Taman National Indonesia Indah (TMII), a huge park that displays the culture of each ethnic group in Indonesia, are the cool activities you and your family can do while in the Jakarta area.
1. See Indonesia at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII)
Indonesia is the world’s 5th most populous country, and it is one of the countries with the most diverse ethnic groups in the world. If you are lucky enough to be in Jakarta, to be able to learn more about these tribes, you don’t need to go to various places in the country, as the traditions, clothing and architecture of all Indonesia’s tribes from 33 provinces are represented in separate areas of ‘Taman Mini Indonesia Indah’ (TMII, Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park, or The Mini Garden of Beautiful Indonesia).
The feathery clothing of the Dayak tribe in Kalimantan, the pointed roof tips of tribal houses from Sumatra and the lively dance of Asmat tribe in Papua are just a few of the hundreds of cultural things you can see in TMII! Don’t miss viewing the miniature of the Indonesian archipelago from above, from inside a cable car. It’s like seeing a giant map of Indonesia with real land and water!
2. Have fun at the fantasy world, ‘Dunia Fantasi’
Is there a Disneyland-like amusement park in Jakarta? If Hong Kong and Tokyo have Disneyland, in Jakarta you’ll find an amusement park called Dufan (it stands for Dunia Fantasi, meaning the fantasy world), which always has new attractions every year. Every amusement park typically has roller coasters and other adrenaline-pumping attractions, but each theme park always has attractions that others don’t have.
In Dufan, you will find different attractions from other amusement parks such as the ride called ‘Ice Age Sid’s Arctic Tour’ (such a ride can also be found only in Germany!). On this ride, you will have a bumpy ride through a cave with a river and walls of ice, and see some scenes taken from the Ice Age movies, an animation film talking about the danger of global warming, played by animated animal characters.
Also, don’t miss the newest ride ‘Dragon Slide’, where you will travel down through a 142-meter-long (465.88 feet) winding tube from the height of 14.8 meters (48.56 feet) into the pool below (be prepared to get wet!).
3. Cruise, snorkel, and trek around Thousand Islands
Thousand Islands isn’t just the name of a popular sweet and sour, orange salad dressing, but it’s also the name of a cluster of more than 1,000 inhabited and uninhabited islands north of Jakarta (isn’t it surprising to find uninhabited islands near a big metropolitan city like Jakarta?).
What can we do around these islands? Well, lots of things! From fishing, diving and taking a sunset cruise on the sea, to trekking, seeing a Dutch fortresses and the underwater aquarium, and staying in a resort on 1 of the islands, these are unimaginable activities – especially if you haven’t heard about these islands.
Surely, there are certain islands tourists can go, such as Ayer and Princess Islands, but where can we rent the boat? Well, you don’t need to worry about it as there are many travel organizers in Jakarta that provides many different packages for you to choose.
4. Go to a safari park
Where do most of the Jakartans spend their holidays, you ask? There is an undisputable answer for that, it’s Bogor! This isn’t too surprising as Bogor is the only city near Jakarta (about less than an hour’s drive) that has cooler weather and many attractions. In Bogor, you’ll find activities like the Safari Park in Bogor’s Cisarua District (called Taman Safari), where you and your kids will be refreshed.
When you are in Jakarta, the Taman Safari park is the place to go for a safari park, as Indonesia’s other 2 safari parks are in East Java and Bali. Taman Safari has collections of more than 2000 animal species, including komodo dragons and Australian kangaroos!
The highlight is viewing the free-roaming wild animals from inside your car (or a shuttle bus). You can also feed some of the herbivores with carrots you bought before entering the park from one of the hawkers. There is also an animal circus (e.g. elephant and dolphin shows), night safari, amusement park (e.g. roller coaster, haunted house etc.) and the baby zoo, where you can hold a baby tiger and have your photos taken with it.
5. Relax and learn some flora at Bogor Botanical Gardens
Another interesting destination in Bogor is the Bogor Botanical Gardens, located in the center of the city. It doesn’t cost much to enter this garden (25,000 IDR or 1.90 USD), but for that amount of money you’ll get to enjoy some peace, fresh air, and you will also learn the classifications of many plants. In the safari park you can find many kinds of animals, in here you will find more than 10,000 kinds of tropical plants.
This garden was founded by a Dutch governor in 1817 and it is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Asia. Plants are clustered according to their classification or origin (e.g. orchid garden, Mexican garden etc.) and all these plants are free to photograph!
From inside the compound, you can also see a white building with Dutch architecture (e.g. tall pillars, tall roof, big doors and windows etc.) named the Presidential Palace, or Istana Presiden in Indonesian. This is the place where the president of Indonesia occasionally stays for recreational purposes. You will also get to see many deer roaming around the palace, and you know what? Although you can’t enter the palace, you can feed these lovely animals from outside the palace’s fence with carrots!
Going to Bandung is a good idea too
The activities mentioned above are just a few of the things you can do in and around Jakarta. If you want to go further south, there is another big city named Bandung, the capital city of the neighboring West Java Province with many very nice attractions such as the crater of Mount Tangkuban Perahu and Trans Studio theme park.
Although it doesn’t belong to the same province, it takes only about 2 hours to get there from Jakarta by car. So whether you have one or three days in Jakarta, there are many fun activities for you to do, both in and around the city.
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