I can not help myself to start this article with skeptical question (Is Jakarta Worth Visiting?), but let me explain. The reason why you choose to visit Indonesia, one of the Asian country which has the sun shines almost everyday, maybe has million reason listed itself. But, for choosing Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, to travel, I might say there should be an extraordinary reason behind.
I know – and maybe you have heard this before – how Jakarta have a complicated public transportation, a nightmare traffic, bad pollution, high crime rate, and many reason why you should avoid Jakarta to be your travel destination. In short, many people said Jakarta does not offer a ‘normal’ holiday mood (read : relax) for you.
Okay, Jakarta is not a good option for you to do some relax. But, how about shopping? Can Jakarta be your perfect shopping destination?
Based on 2014 government’s data, Jakarta has the largest mall’s quantity in the world, 173 malls in one city only. Is that enough to make Jakarta as good as a global shopping destination in the world? No, it is not enough, because malls scattered in every corner of Jakarta. Me, as a local, even do not think that it is a wise decision to ‘run’ from one mall to another mall just for do shopping, without any specific reason. The bad traffic is the reason why.
So, it seems enough to avoid travel inside the city if you read my reasons above, right? Many people might suggest you to go another quiet and touristic city like Yogyakarta on Central Java, or Bali island instead.
But, do not get me wrong. I – as a local person who start this article with skeptical question – still suggest you to take a little time to take city tour Jakarta. In the name of long flight you take, for the big effort you do to come to Indonesia, I feel sorry who missed Jakarta and just passed it through. Here is why :
You will miss an opportunity to take a glimpse of whole country through one city only
Jakarta is the economic center for Indonesia. People from all over Indonesia come here to try their luck for better economic condition. They all commute and stay in Jakarta. You will see ethnic, cultural and social diversity in one place, Jakarta. You can find anything in whole country in one city only. They gather all in the city, they brought their traditions, local foods, street foods, cultures here, in Jakarta.
You can taste a spicy, salty, sweet, sour, or any kind of Indonesian food taste in Jakarta. You can find it everywhere, sold on food trucks or inside the classy modern mall. You can buy every kind of Indonesia food in one city, Jakarta.
You can meet local person from different ethnic group in Jakarta. You do not need to go to West Sumatra to meet Padangnese people, you do not need to travel to Central Java to meet Javanese people, they all gather around here, you can meet them all in Jakarta.
And to answer ‘Is Jakarta Worth Visiting?‘ question, I might say…Jakarta is worth every penny, every minute from you to visit. You can get a glimpse of Indonesia through Jakarta. A holiday basically is a humble acceptance of something new, something you never seen before, even something weird or unusual. So, for a chance to take a look of Jakarta, why not?