Jakarta is not as scary as her paintings. It has a metro, nice center and excellent food

So why should not we avoid Jakarta planning a trip to Asia.

Jakarta is certainly not at the forefront of the travel plans of Polish tourists. They overwhelm the enormity of the Asian, growing metropolis and annoy the noise coming from thousands of scooter engines. It irritates solicitations on bargain pricing or carriages, no sidewalks or monuments worth seeing. They shoot the falling debris and children begging on the street.

Actually, there is something in it. Already at the moment when we are standing at the airport waiting for Go-Jeka (local equivalent of Uber, whose name comes from an ojeka - motorcycle taxi) and permeate with exhaust fumes and then, we feel that we would prefer to spend another night in an uncomfortable, airplane seat.

The pleasure of visiting each new place is directly proportional to our attitude.

Jakarta can be treated like a moloch who is best to visit for two hours during the course in Bali. But you can also open up to the city and try to get to know the life of local residents, the colonial history of the capital, the narrow streets of Chinatown and the wide prospectus of the business center.

Jakarta did not always bear that name. In fact, for most of its history, it was called completely different. The city was founded at the end of the 4th century as Sunda Kelapa. Just over a millennium later, the name was changed to Jayakarta. In 1619, they were captured by the Dutch. Conquistadores founded a new fortress in Jayakarta - Batavia, which became the heart of the Dutch East India Company - the largest company of its time.

We owe the Dutch rule to the post-colonial character of the old town and the surrounding streets.

On the main market, we can find many entrepreneurs who, for a small fee, will lend us a bike for a time - the Dutchman and even show around the city. Our task will be - only - to survive in the traffic that rushes at the break of the neck.

If the two-wheelers are not our strong side, Jakarta also gives the opportunity to travel by public transport.

This is probably my biggest surprise of staying in the capital Jakarta. There are a lot of buses around the city. If someone is not afraid of relatively large distances between stops, he can successfully navigate buses.

All you have to do is buy a card for PLN 10 (40,000 rupees) and pay travel on a contactless basis - one costs PLN 1 (4,000 rupees). The low price means that this mode of transport is particularly popular in the city.

Ladies have their own "compartments" in front of the bus. They were introduced after reports of harassment cases, when the bus was particularly crowded. Now the order on the board is also guarded by a dedicated person.

Bus stops are also peculiar. In order to get to them, you have to climb the stairs to the viaduct over the street to later get to the stop located between the lanes of the road.

Stops rise above the street, so buses are also adapted to them. The door is located one meter above the ground, which makes it necessary to be careful when entering, because a wrong foot can cause a fall between the bus and the bus stop.

Such a system eliminates stowaway driving, but at the same time excludes disabled people. I saw only a few stops, which were adapted to handle wheelchairs.

More or less similar number of stops is also adapted to religious needs. On the largest of them you can find musalle, so small places to wash before the prayer and to pray.

The popular means of transport are also bajaje, a small three-wheeled rickshaw, which took its name from an Indian producer - Bajaj Auto. They can be ordered in the application or without it, negotiating the price with the driver.

Bajaje, however, can not escape one of Jakarta's biggest nightmares - traffic jams. Buses have dedicated lines, so this problem does not apply to them.

The fastest way to reach Jakarta is by metro. However, it does not reach the coast and the old city yet. This is to happen only in 2024, when the second phase of construction will end. The first thirteen stations (picture below) were put into use in March 2019.

The northernmost metro station is located in the business center of Jakarta. This is the most modern district, which at times resembles European cities. So we have wide pavements, luxurious hotels and huge shopping centers.

The economic growth (calculated GDP) of Indonesia in recent years fluctuates around 5-6 percent. The capital, which has grown from 1.4 million inhabitants to nearly 11 million in the last 70 years, is the most beneficial.

In the heart of Jakarta is the National Monument . A tall, slender tower symbolizing the struggle for independence of the country. It is surrounded by a huge square that serves to organize festivities or parades.

The Independence Mosque ( Istiqlal Mosque ) was also built nearby. It is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and the third largest Sunni mosque. It can hold up to 200,000 people.

On the other side of the street is the Catholic Cathedral from 1901. Catholics make up nearly 3 percent. Indonesian people, but unfortunately there are incidents in which they are forbidden to celebrate their holidays. In Jakarta alone, there are over 300,000 Catholics.

While walking along the streets of Jakarta, you can also find very strange churches. The following was made in a converted Buddhist temple, as evidenced by characteristic roof.

In order to adapt religion to local realities, the figures of saints were ... oriented.

Original equipment has also been preserved inside.

In a much more difficult situation in Indonesia was recently another minority - people of Chinese descent. In 1998, riots caused by the bad economic situation and high unemployment occurred in the largest cities of the country. The anger of the crowd was directed against people from the Middle Kingdom. The riots led to the burning of supermarkets or riots in Chinese-inhabited districts. In Chinatown in Jakarta today you can see the effects of those unrest. Most homes have all windows or entrances barred, although over 20 years have passed.

Buddhists can happily practice their worship in peace.

The roof that you see above can contrast with the decorative roof of the Catholic temple. The difference can be blamed on the fire that the temple destroyed several years ago. The culprit was the overturned candle. That is why today they are all mounted in racks.

In Chinatown there are many shops with the necessary devotions. More interesting, however, may be the gadgets that Buddhists try to drive away evil spirits. This is, for example, a mirror hung on the facade of a building. It ensures that the monster who wants to visit the house will first see its reflection, which will get scared and run away.

The dominant religion of Indonesia is of course Islam, which practices 9 out of 10 people. I visited Indonesia during Ramadan, the holy month, during which the devotees fast from dawn to dusk. In the picture below, people who gathered in the square of the old town for a few moments before dusk. They are just waiting for the signal from the minaret that you can start the feast.

And Indonesian food is a real pleasure. The Koran prohibits Muslims from eating pork, so beef is especially popular. So I was looking for the most interesting ways to give it.

Cow tongue:

Cow's tail:

Roasted cow skin:

Seafood and fish are also excellent - in the end Java is to the island, and Jakarta is its largest port. In the picture below, you can also see a particularly common practice - waiters first bring the bill, and later mark on it all the dishes delivered.

If we are already at the sea, the sea cucumber will be a special delicacy and aphrodisiac.

Sea cucumber is one of the most expensive things to eat that I could buy at the local market. Apart from it, food is usually several times cheaper than in Poland. The following simple dinner, made of scrambled eggs, fried rice, cucumber and several crisps, cost me the equivalent of PLN 3 (11,000 rupees).

Vegetarians do not have an easy life in Jakarta. They save them, among others eateries that taste and texture meat simulate ... mushrooms:

The drinks are dominated by coconut water. Pay special attention to the coconut label.

Cafe Batavia is the most beautiful post-colonial building in Jakarta. It was established in the 1830s and after restoration it serves as a restaurant.

After finishing the adventure with Jakarta, who did not turn out to be as scary as other travelers paint her. On the contrary! She delighted with postcolonial heritage and curiosities of the developing metropolis. The spacious airport - Bandar Soekarno-Hatta, which is one of the most popular airports in Asia, has made a great impression. Nearly 67 million people visited it last year - slightly more than the Singapore airport and four times more than the Chopin airport.

Jakarta is not as scary as her paintings. It has a metro, nice center and excellent food


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