One of my favourite dishes is the legendary sop buntut (oxtail soup) at the Hotel Borobudur restaurant. This may be a hotel joint, but the dish is so famous that they’ve even opened a few outposts around the city. As a big coffee lover, I highly recommend Tanamera Coffee. They roast their own beans, and the baristas are true artists who take pride in their work. For dinner and drinks, I like Social House, which offers a vast selection of wines and delicious dishes.
You have to see the National Monument, also known as Monas. It’s an iconic landmark and, from the top floor, you can take in panoramic views of the city. Then there’s Kota Tua Jakarta, an area with immense historic value and lots of beautiful Dutch-style buildings. For those with kids, head to the Jakarta Planetarium and Observatory. And if time permits, visit the beautiful Thousand Islands. It’s just a couple hours’ boat ride from Jakarta and you can dive, swim or just relax and picnic on its sandy shores.
Download the GO-JEK app before your flight. It’s an easy and practical way to book a ride – that’s usually cheaper than a taxi – or even order food. I also recommend wearing light clothing if you’re exploring the city, as it stays hot and humid throughout the year. And if you’re tired after a long day of discovery, unwind with a traditional massage at one of Jakarta’s many massage parlours.
The Dharmawangsa Jakarta Hotel is one of the best luxury hotels that showcases Indonesia’s rich culture. Even if you’re not a guest, you can sample their famous chocolate martini. I guarantee you’ll order another once you’ve had a sip of your first! The Hermitage is another special hotel set in a grand colonial building. It has a really nice rooftop restaurant, La Vue, that’s perfect for a romantic night out.
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– ILLUSTRATION BY JAMES WESTON LEWIS
This article was originally published in the June 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine.