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Known as the 'Big Durian', Jakarta is not just the capital city of Indonesia, but also the most populous city in Southeast Asia. A vibrant blend of many cultures and ethnicities, this sprawling city offers an adventure for every type of traveler. Here, modern skyscrapers stand alongside ancient temples, bustling markets and stylish malls coexist, and there's no shortage of culinary delights. The city's diverse blend of cultures - from Javanese, Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian, and European - is reflected in its architecture, languages, and of course, its complex and rich culinary scene. The National Monument, locally known as Monas, is a must-visit, as is the grand Istiqlal Mosque and the beautiful Jakarta Cathedral.
Visiting Jakarta by car is a quintessential Indonesian experience. It is the best way to soak in the city's soul and offers the flexibility to explore at your own pace. Not to mention the convenience to visit some of Jakarta's nearby attractions like the mini-Indonesia theme park of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, located around 20 km east of downtown Jakarta, or the tropical resort filled with water and amusement parks at Ancol Dreamland, which is just a short drive north from the city center.
A day trip by car to the cool-climate city of Bandung is highly recommended. Just a 3-hour drive from Jakarta, Bandung is popular for its colonial architecture, thriving arts scene, and fabulous shopping options. There's also the witness the majestic spectacle of sunrise over Borobudur, a 9th-century Buddhist temple complex in Central Java, a worthwhile 8-hour trip by car. All in all, Jakarta, with its unique charm and its wide range of surrounding attractions, serves as a perfect hub for travellers looking to explore Indonesia beyond its generic travel stereotypes, and promises an enriching, vibrant, and diverse cityscape experience.Indeed, a trip to Indonesia is simply incomplete without a visit to Jakarta.