27 Mar 2008

Revisiting Jakarta

Tugu Monas

The day in Jakarta was spent sightseeing. Of course we also did a bit of shopping, what woman won't? - but nothing like what we did the first time I came here four years ago. Then, I really went all out - of course at that time I was still working so money was no problem.
Anyway Jakarta has'nt really changed all that much, except maybe for one or two more shopping malls? We visited the old Tanjung Kelapa jetty where schooners used to stop. It's still used by small boats - huge to me anyway - and we saw boats from Sulawesi and the other islands unloading goods on the dock. Its not very big but there were at least seven or eight fairly large schooners anchored. As can be seen in the picture above, the port is still busy.
Aside from that we finally went to the Monas Park where the famed Tugu Monas stand proudly. The park itself is beautiful, with lots of trees. The guide told us that it's at least a few hectares in size and it takes a few hours to run around the park's circumference. I really love the huge old trees - makes the park look like its a little wood. We in KL are so unfortunate in this regard - we don't have a single large park to compare! Taman Tasik Perdana is so small in comparison although I'd say that it is definitely better maintained. And Tasik Titiwangsa Park is in danger of disappearing in the concrete jungle. It used to be a beautiful place for jogging - some parts of it still is - but much of it has been "renovated" to include buildings and oh so many other concrete things which we dont really need!
Jakarta - once we overlook the dirt and dust - is a beautiful city. Especially the areas around the Tugu Monas and the roads near the government offices. Many of the buildings remind me of Washington DC - wide tree lined roads and gardens on both sides of the roads. Its a place worth visiting, if only they take better care of their monuments.

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