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Wordtravels

Jakarta Travel Guide

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The Jakarta skyline at daybreak © flydime

Jakarta is not a city that appeals to everyone but many find it an inevitable and unavoidable stop on the way to more tranquil Indonesian destinations. What has amassed is a decentralized sprawl of low slung buildings amidst occasional high rise towers. With no central Jakarta area it is difficult to experience the city's highlights which are scattered about the enormous districts. Jakarta has a reputation as a rich person's playground. Grungy streets contrast to modern shopping complexes and examples of ostentatious wealth. Visitors can enjoy a bit of this in garish nightclubs and elegant restaurants.

Travelling far in the city is laborious and adding to the difficulty is heavy traffic and haywire street grids throughout dense and stretching sprawl. Yet despite, or possibly because of, Jakarta's reputation as a difficult city, little visited areas and unique attractions feel like personal discoveries. Jakarta is a boiled down representation of everything Indonesian giving visitors a quick introduction or synopsis of the country's various and incredibly diverse cultures, architecture, food, languages, religions, and combined histories. Although it can be a dirty and frustrating city to visit, it has some hidden gems and confronts tourists with the realities of urban Indonesia which provides an interesting contrast to the peaceful rural villages and stunning coastal areas.

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