Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia and has a population of about 9.6 million people. It has a high population and thus heavy traffic, it be motor vehicle or motorbike is common.The people are very friendly though be prepared to take many pictures with strangers as “Black Africans’, seem not to be a common occurrence. The following were my highlights:

1.Monas:

This is the National Monument of Indonesia, it is  about 132 meters tall and is a symbol of their fight for freedom. 

Monas-National symbol of Indonesia
Monas-National symbol of Indonesia found in Jakarta, Indonesia

There is a National History Museum within the compound that tells the history of Indonesia through dioramas i.e 3 D  miniature  models, paintings and stone wall carvings. In the museum, the figurines have both Bahasa and English explanations thus one can easily understand what is hapenning.

Figurines telling the history of Indonesia
Figurines telling the history of Indonesia at Monas, Jakarta, Indonesia

2. Ancol:

This is a somewhat theme park that has anything and everything. My highlight of this place was the cultural and artwork area. I have never ever seen that many amazing pieces of paintings on display.The pieces look so real you would easily believe they are pictures. It was awesome talking to the  several painters and actually seeing them convert white canvas into masterpieces of art

Great artwork at Ancol, Indonesia
Some of the great artwork at Ancol, Indonesia

3. Visit the villages in the outskirts

I visited a little village on the outskirts of Jakarta and really enjoyed myself. I noticed some people had built their homes right up to the river yet didn’t seem worried. It was great interacting with the locals as well as learning their culture.

Villages by the river in Indonesia
Villages by the river in Indonesia

One of my highlights was meeting some school girls, who are members of a band, and they offered to share their music with me.

Wangechi with all girl band in Jakrta, Indonesia
With all girl band in Jakarta, Indonesia

4. Enjoy the meals

Try out all local delicacies available, I enjoyed most. Some of those are:

a) Fried catfish: It was my first time eating cat fish and indeed, the chef needs an accolade. I will let the pictures “speak” for my review.

Wangechi having dinner-catfish, Indonesia
My dinner consisted of this full catfish in Jakarta, Indonesia
Wangechi enjoyed her catfish dinner
What was left after I was done with my dinner in Jakarta, Indonesia.

b)Durian:

The durian is a “common” fruit in Jakarta that has a spiky exterior that once cut open, reveals a soft, creamy like looking interior.  I thought it smelled like concentrated vanila and the taste is more of an acquired taste.

Wangechi sampling the durian in Indonesia
Sampling the Durian in Jakarta,  Indonesia
The inside of the Durian fruit
The inside of the Durian fruit, I enjoyed in Jakarta, Indonesia

5) Enjoy celebrity status

As an African, I stood out in Indonesia, I saw no other black person while there. The people were however very nice, they would smile, move closer to me, say hello, engage me in conversation and eventually ask to take a photograph with me.

6) Friends 

It was great meeting up with my friend Defi, whom I hadn’t seen for years as well as meeting his family. I first learnt about Indonesia when I became friends with Defi years prior in University in Kenya and it was indeed a pleasure catching up years later as I explored his country. Thanks Defi

Wangechi with friend Defi in Indonesia
With Defi, a great friend in Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesia is indeed a place that shattered any pre-conceived ideas I had of it. It was very welcoming, the culture is very liberal and it left me with the notion that I had to return. It is a big place and I thus will need to return to explore more.

For more on my escapades in Indonesia:

Bali: http://79.170.40.46/wangechigitahi.co.ke/bali-a-true-beauty/

Yogyakarta: http://79.170.40.46/wangechigitahi.co.ke/cultural-immersion-in-yogyakarta/

Indonesia 101: http://79.170.40.46/wangechigitahi.co.ke/indonesia-101/

 

 

 

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