The City of Jakarta (Indonesian) is a steaming mass of around 10 million people that holds terrible poverty alongside unbelievable wealth. The Port of Jakarta's traffic is always heavy, and the air is polluted. At nighttime, foreign visitors may not be safe. Visitors may be overwhelmed at first by this whirling urban hotpot, they will find it a vibrant cosmopolitan city with luxury shopping and some of Southeast Asia's most exciting nightlife. For details on the many opportunities available to visitors to the Port of Jakarta, please visit the city's tourism website.
The Port of Jakarta has a hot, humid equatorial climate. Its wet season, with an average 350 millimeters (14 inches) per month, peaks in January. Its dry season, when rainfall is as low as an average 60 millimeters (2.4 inches), is at a low in August. The city is always humid, and daily temperatures range from a low of 25 °C (77 °F) to a high of 38 °C (100 °F).
Visitors will enjoy a trip to the Sunda Kelapa Port, the old harbor. As they have for centuries, the world's last wind-powered sailing fleet of Bugis phinisi schooners still berths at the quays and still operate trade routes between the islands. At the mouth of the Ciliwung River, the 500-year-old harbor area has seen Hindu, Portuguese, Dutch, English, and a host of Asian traders over the centuries. The Dutch East Indies Company fort and trading post are still there. Gangs of coolies unload timber, coal, and spice cargoes from the wonderful wooden schooners. Visitors can hire a dugout canoe and paddle boats to take a personal tour of the waterfront or hire a boat to go to the old fish market. It's best to go there early in the morning to get the best flavor of the Port of Jakarta's old harbor.
Gedun Kesenian Jakarta, or the Jakarta Arts Theater, is one of the Port of Jakarta's most outstanding landmarks and the venue for the city's best performances. The building was beautifully restored in 1987, and its Empire style is reminiscent of old Jakarta from the 1800s. In 1821, the Dutch colonial government created a permanent art building here called Schouwburg Weltevreden. At that time, the interior was lit by candlelight and kerosene lamps. Gas lights appeared in 1864, and electricity was first used in 1882.
The Port of Jakarta's Museum Nasional holds a huge collection of ethnographic, prehistoric, and archaeological artifacts and wonderful collections of Hindu Javanese art and Southeast Asian ceramics. Opened to the public in 1778, the Indonesian government manages the museum, which is also a research and study center. Some of the artifacts and relics date as far back as the Stone Age, and the museum is home to a fantastic collection of Chinese ceramics dating back to the Han Dynasty. The collections are housed in nine rooms that focus on ethnography, prehistory, bronze, textiles, ceramics, historical relics, numismatics, stone sculpture, and treasure.
Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (Ancol Dream Park) is one of the most popular and visited recreational parks in the region. Covering 522 hectares, the park contains Dunai Fantasi (Fantasy World), the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia (Seaworld), and Gelanggang Samudra (Ocean Park). It also contains many resorts, a hotel, a beach, a marina, and several wonderful restaurants. Within the park are games, animals, a swimming pool, an art market, and a fishing pond.
The Port of Jakarta's Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Indonesian) (TMII), is a wonderful park where visitors can see Indonesian culture in a great tour of 30 Indonesian provinces and over 250 cultures. Featuring the Museum Indonesia and the Keong Emas IMAX theater, the park covers all aspects of daily life throughout the country in different pavilions containing architecture, dances, traditions, and clothing. There are 14 museums in TMII and about ten gardens lining the main lake.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Jakarta by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises at the Cruise Compete website.