8. Hop in a car to see the sights
If rooftops aren’t your thing, get in and amongst the city action by taking a ride through the streets. Jakarta lights up at night with places such as the Selamat Datang (Bahasa Indonesia for ‘Welcome’) Monument (below) in Central Jakarta. The statue of a man and a woman waving to welcome people to Jakarta was sculpted by prolific artist Edhie Sunarso in 1962, in commemoration of the city hosting the Asian Games that year.
9. See the Monas fountain and light show
Gather round to see these pulsating water columns dance in multi-coloured lights. The 80m-long multimedia fountain was completed in 2005 and surrounds the Monumen Nasional (‘National Monument’, better known by its abbreviation Monas), which features a flame tip and marks the centre of the city. It’s located inside Merdeka Square, which at 100ha, is five times the size of Tiananmen Square, and said to be one of the biggest city squares in the world.
10. Have a spiritual experience at Istiqlal Mosque
Also known as Masjid Istiqlal (‘Independence Mosque’ in Arabic), this is South-east Asia’s biggest mosque and was opened by the country’s first president, Sukarno, in 1978. It has been visited by the likes of Barack Obama and Prince Charles, and is situated near the Jakarta Cathedral and Merdeka Square. The main prayer hall is covered by a huge dome and contains 12 columns to represent Prophet Muhammad’s birthday – he was born on the 12th day of the third month of the Muslim calendar. It stays open all night during the Ramadan fasting month.
11. Catch the breeze at Ancol
For a cool sea breeze, head to the white sand beach in the Taman Impian Jaya Ancol park. It spans 3.5km from the Ancol Beach City Mall Kota Intan Bridge and is a two-hour drive from South Jakarta. There are hotels, shops and restaurants in the area as well as adventure parks (below) and plenty of sports to try out.
12. Feel the greenhouse effect
It’s probably a bad idea to be here earlier during the day as Portico Terrace Bistro at Senayan City somewhat resembles a greenhouse with its floor-to-ceiling glass windows. So head to this minimalist design venue once the day has cooled down, and enjoy a bite to eat and some drinks while indie and house music play in the background.
13. Let off some steam with a run
With soaring temperatures during the day, the evening is the perfect time for an outdoor workout. Ragunan Zoo and the Senayan Stadium draw fitness fanatics looking for a clear route by night. Jakarta’s Nike Run Club is also worth signing up with if you’re looking for running partners. Just visit the website to reserve a spot and download the app. Who says your fitness routine must be interrupted while travelling?
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.