Jakarta Museum Guide: West Java

A lot of my friends have remarked upon visiting Jakarta that it is a polluted and a heinous traffic nightmare. Although there remarks are warranted, nonetheless, Jakarta is a fascinating city to visit and more especially if your interests are in museums and the colonial days of Jakarta under the Dutch occupation. Thankfully, the Indonesian Heritage Society has helped, and in an extremely large way, to preserving the grand old buildings of bygone days. Much of old Jakarta has changed little in appearance since the founding years. One of my favourite places is Sunda Kelapa, the old port, where these days you can still see the Phinisi schooners unloading their goods from distant islands in the archipelago. But it’s not only the old port that will hold your fascination. There are 57 museums in the Greater Jakarta area and each one well worth visiting even if only to admire the grandeur Dutch architecture.

At last there is now a decent guidebook for visitors to Jakarta who wish to explore the old areas and see the museums thankfully in part to the Indonesian Heritage Society. The guidebook is titled Museum Encounters Jakarta and is one that will soon be adorning my bookcase, and, at a retail price of Rp75,000 it is excellent value. The one thing about this guidebook is that it provides all the information you will need like addresses, opening hours, information about the collections and buildings. The book even lists whether or not the museum has English-speaking guides. This is always an asset for those not yet fluent in Bahasa Indonesia.

If you want to contact the Indonesian Heritage Society for any further information, here are their details:

The Indonesian Heritage Society
17th Floor, Sentra Senayan 1,
Tel: (+61) 21 572 5870
Fax: (+61) 21 572 5871

Website: www.heritagejkt.org