to along the Eroupean were back - this time the Dutch who took
the city in 1619 and renamed it Batavia afther the latin name
for Holland. Under its governor, Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Batavia
became the capital of Dutch East Indiest. The Dutch dug canals,
which only encoraged the spread of mostquitoes and disease,
and built houses like the ones they had left behind in Holland,
wich proved highly unsitable for the tropical climate.
dutch droped like flies from tropical disease, but indonesian
and chinese immigrants flocked to the city ( now the "Old
Town" area in the north of modern Jakarta) and its spresed
steadily. By the time of Indonesia Independence Jakarta was
notoriously run down looking city of slums and squalor, and
despite adding a few monuments in dubious taste the Soekarno
regime did title to tackle Jakarta 's problems. Since the 1970s
the indonesian government hoas got an grip on Jakarta, however,
and nowdays the city bristles with new developments, new roads
and numerous improvements. Jakarta stil as hot , noisy and bustling
as it always was, but is never dull for a moment, and makes
a worth while stopover for a day or two on your way into or
our of Indonesia.
the best place to start is around the National Monument
"Monas" which dominates the city skyline.
There is viewing patform at the top from which much of the city
can be seen . Around Monas are several of Jakarta's most important
bulidings including the Presidential Palace,
and the National Museum. To the north of the
city center is what what remains of Old Batavia,
centred on Taman Fatahillah square. Around
here you can find the Jakarta History Museum
and varety of the old style buildings which still give some
impression of what colonoal Batavia was like. Further to the
north is harbour area, from wich the picturesque Buginese "Pinisi"
sailing ships still set out to trade across the indonesian archipelago.
stopover in Jakarta is perhaps best planned as either an introduction
to what Indonesian has to affer- check ot Sarinah departement
store for a taster of what Indonesian has in the ways of hadicrafts,
or Taman Mini Indonesia with its traditional
houses from every province of Indonesia- or as a final chance
to pck up what you've missed out on. Jakarta also has some wonderful
family tourist attraction such Dunia Fantasi, Indonesian's answer
to Disney Wolrld, or Sea world at Ancol with its walk-throug
underwater tunnel, giving non divers opportunity to see indonesia's
marine life up close.
From sandy beaches facing the volcanic island of Krakatoa,
to cold mountain passes lined with tea plantation , the coparatively
little known region has much to offer the traveller.