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Selamat Datang Monument and the failed visit to Jakarta Old Town a.k.a OLD BATAVIA

Here's what I missed blogging about during our short stay in Jakarta. We stayed in a very nice hotel and we had all the reasons to just cuddle inside our room and/or use the different facilities and never think about anything else. At night though, we thought about going around the city to hunt for a nice place to eat.

After the short conversation with two locals in the hotel sauna, we decided to give Old Kota District a try.


Before leaving for Old Kota District, we dropped by Selamat Datang Monument (Welcome Monument) which is located in the center of a roundabout known as Hotel Indonesia Roundabout because of its proximity to to Hotel Indonesia Kempinski. The fountain sorrounding the Welcome Monument is the view we see each time we look out of our hotel window. This was constructed during the 1962 Asian Games.

Selamat Datang Monument with Hotel Indonesia kempinski on the background

The place is a major draw among tourists and especially locals. When the fountain is turned off at around 10pm, locals go against the flow of cars to go to the central roundabout and hangout in there. I noticed that the crowd is mostly young people so you can see teenagers dating, friends chatting with each other and people simply enjoying lazy hours. Street food vendors also take advantage of the crowd to sell their snacks. I saw this group pf students going around playing their instruments serenading people in exchange for a few bucks. Kakatuwa.

Selamat Datang Monument's immediate vicinity transforms into another park where people gather and enjoy themselves. 

We then hopped in a cab and directed the driver to take us to Old Kota District without knowing what to expect in there. I imagined the place differently from the way the two locals at the sauna narrated it to me. I was too focused on the food they were discussing with me because they say it's where we can find some nice Chinese food without going on the details of what specific restaurant to go to. I did search google for some massage shops in the area and I saw many mostly offering massage with happy ending. hahaha

As the taxi approached the area, the building looked familiar to me. First the train station in Kota and then the National Museum in front of it. We were in Old Batavia and I didn't even know this is where we were headed. I have researched about the place prior to the trip and it was actually part of the itinerary, the next day supposed to be, but we were here at almost midnight on a Chinese New Year season. That said, the place was packed with people mostly teenagers, again.

A little trivia. Old Jakarta or Batavia was once Dubbed "The Jewel of Asia" and "Queen of the East" in the 16th century by European sailors. It was named by the Dutch and was once a center of commerce for the whole continent due to its strategic location and abundant resources. --source.
This is the Intramuros of Jakarta.
Then it started to rain. Great. We were like rats running for cover against the sudden downpour and competing for shelter against the crowd of locals.

A few minutes later and the rain stopped. We walked around to finally look for a place to eat. The streets were still drenched with garbage everywhere. Thanks to this sight we lost our appetite. I quietly appreciated the colonial/old buildings surrounding us while I followed my colleagues who were at that time in a hurry to get out of the place.
Cafe Batavia anyone? ^^
No more Chinese food, no more massage (with happy ending?), no more strolling around the place with beautifully lighted colonial buildings. We came at the wrong time. Thanks to the rain, thanks to the big crowd, we were in no mood to stay longer. We called a taxi and went back to our hotel.  Visit to Jakarta Old Town a.k.a OLD BATAVIA, #fail.

The place deserves another look though. I shall return and see you again Old Batavia.^^


--Taxi to PRAMBANAN? No, do-it-yourself via TransJogja
--Postcard Perfect PRAMBANAN TEMPLE in Yogyakarta
--#PRAMBANAN2014: Free Museum, Souvenirs, Nasi Gudeg and the Notorious Becak Ride
--EDU HOSTEL Yogyakarta is about Comfort and Space
--WIJILAN GUDEG: Nasi Gudeg Komplit Special Bu Lies
--Borobudur Golden Sunrise Tour
--#BOROBUDUR: A Temple or a Shrine?
--SIGNATURES RESTAURANT at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta
--HOTEL INDONESIA Kempinski Jakarta
--Jakarta International Airport to KOTA STATION Central Jakarta by bus


  1. Well, actually you've already went to the Kota Tua. That's it! You just haven't explore it yet.

    The Chinese foods are found around Mangga Besar, a few minutes walk from the Old City. So are the happy ending massage. Just cross the street from the Kota Station, walk ahead, then you'll find your paradise :)


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