14.07.2010 - 14.07.2010 38 °C
We had a brief encounter with Jakarta. Probably one of the busiest cities I have ever experienced .........intensified further by the heat.
We got the cab to take us to the old town. It had a canal system similar to Amsterdam, which seemed to be fermenting in the heat. Because this area of Jarkata is prone to floods, it was not that developed. The grandness of the colonial buildings were draped in authentic shabby chic and disrepair. A lot seemed derelict with the odd furniture still in them. This was in stark contrast to the din of deathwish traffic hurtling past.
We got the cab to drop us at Batavia Square. The square seemed to be surrounded by roads with a million lines of traffic interweaving each other. On one end of the square there were a row of bicycles and hats clearly for the entertainment of Dutch tourists. More on the history of Indonesia http://asiarecipe.com/indohiseurope.html. We walked past, a bunch of trendy grungy local youths not disimlar in style to ones in Amsterdam menacingly grouped together.
We decided to try out Cafe Batavia for dim sum breakfast.
Very few times, have I been to bar which was themed but not cheesy. At 10am, we were their first customers so it was empty.......yet as we sat down, I felt emersed in a soulful 1930s zingy but serence atmosphere. Jazz drifted through the room above clinking of waiters organising their glassware behind the bar. And then and there my husband (who like many British men would rather stick pins his eyes than dance) stood up and took my hand and started to dance.
I loved everything about this swanky bar/restaurant (check the photos). The colours, the proportions, the lights, the pictures on the walls – even the food accessorised with the styling. It was delicious as well.
Back in the oppressive heat, we decided to try and spend our last fleeting moments in Indonesia checking out the landmark monument and museum. The architecture around this square was very modern with wide pavements and glossy corporate highrises.
The museum itself was interesting enough with diaoramas reflecting Indonesia through the ages but our real objective was to go up the tower. With no queue at the ticket office we figured with 2 hours left we would have loads of time. We only saw the huge queue to the lifts of the tower once we were back outside. We must have waited for over an hour and only half of the queue had decreased. Aagggh. With the chocka traffic we had no choice but to abort the mission and run for a taxi to the airport.
Absolutely loved Indonesia and plan to go back.