Chaotic, colourful and cosmopolitan
Jakarta offers much beneath its chaotic and sometimes overwhelming facade; you just have to get under its skin a little before you find its cosmopolitan personality.
Its colonial heart of Batavia (now centre of the city) is the site of original Dutch colonisation and has several top attractions. The National Museum of Indonesia was founded in 1778 by Dutch intellectuals and it has dutifully documented life in this island nation for more than 2 centuries. A collection of ancient Hindu-Buddhist sculptures from across the Indonesian archipelago is one of its significant features. After your fill of history, view a panorama of the modern city from 115 metres above the ground on the viewing platform of the National Monument on Merdeka Square. Nearby Istiqlal Mosque is the largest in south-east Asia too.
Chinatown, in western Jakarta, is also worth venturing to – see the Puppet Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics. If the day-tripping gets a bit too much, rest cosily at one of the city's luxury hotels. The benefits of a holiday in Jakarta extend to the accommodation too!