The Jakarta fair is all about fun! There is great traditional food, cultural events, and music festivals – both modern and traditional – to go along with the various marketing promotions and exhibitions.
Being held this year from 10 June to 11 July, the Jakarta Fair is part of Jakarta’s anniversary (June 22) celebrations. Jakarta is 483 years old this year.
Products from all over Indonesia are on display. The electronics pavilion has excellent deals on phones and computers.
Difficult to find these days, a Batavian delicacy called Kerak Telor is in abundance. Kerak Telor is an omelet made from duck eggs and glutinous rice, and topped off with dried shrimp and coconut – delicious.
Ancol Dreamland is a huge recreation park located on Jakarta Bay, on the far north side of the city. It has just about everything you can imagine to make for a fun day, or night out.
Ancol Dreamland is open 24-hours. During the day, there are beaches, a marina, an amusement park, water park, aquarium – even a ropes course where you can fly through the jungle – if you can hang on to the handle. Otherwise, you’ll be going for a swim.
At night, there are concerts, restaurants, and bars to enjoy.
The entrance fee at the main gate is Rp. 13,000 per person, then you have to pay more for each individual activity.
The day I was there was bright and sunny, and not too hot – it was a really nice day.
I started off at Carnival Beach – there is a bike rental place that offers the first hour for free. It’s fun to get a bike and have a ride around for an hour.
Sea World is just a short walk from Carnival Beach. It’s a small, but very nice aquarium that has a wide array of sea life. There are two main attractions within Sea World: the tunnel passing through the main aquarium, and the shark aquarium. If you’re there at feeding time, you’ll witness the shark feeding frenzy. Admission is Rp. 60,000, and it will take about two hours to see it.
Sea World Main Entrance
Sea World – Walk Through Tunnel
Atlantis Water Park
Stage at Festival Beach
Stage at Carnival Beach
Fantasy World (Dunia Fantasi) Hysteria
Next to Sea World, Gelanggang Samudra offers dolphin shows, and other live performances. All the jokes and commentary from the host is in Bahasa Indonesian, so you probably won’t understand much, but the performance is fun to see none the less. They also have a 4D theater and some kids rides.
Across from Sea World and Gelanggang Samudra, is the entrance to the cable cars that will take you over Atlantis Water Park on the way to Festival Beach. It costs Rp. 40,000, takes about 15 minutes, and gives a good aerial view.
Festival Beach, like Carnival Beach, has a variety places to sit, relax, and get something to eat or drink. The marina is near Festival beach – you can rent a jet ski, charter a boat for a Jakarta Bay tour, or rent some fishing equipment. It’s also where the biggest stage is, where they often have concerts on weekends. If you’re interested in going to Thousand Islands, there is a travel agent office that houses numerous travel agencies who can arrange the trip.
Fantasy World (Dunia Fantasi) is right next to Festivel Beach. It’s the most popular attraction in Ancol, so expect big crowds on weekends. Their most recent addition is a free-fall ride called Hysteria. Admission is Rp.150,000, and you should allow about six hours to enjoy it.
If you like indigenous art. there is the Art Market, and there is an excellent golf course as well.
Getting to Ancol by taxi will cost between Rp. 40,000 – Rp. 60,000 from Central Jakarta, depending on traffic.
Helpful Web Resources
Complete information about Ancol Dreamland can be found on the following sites.
I arrived at the Yogyakarta (Jogjakarta) pavilion at Taman Mini Park in Jakarta, for the special Yogykarta dinner and classical dance performance not expecting too much. I had been invited, during my previous visit, to attend by Mr. (pak) Muhiddin Syachruddin, who works in the information office at Taman Mini. Often times these kinds of random invitations don’t turn out too well.
This time was different! Pak Muhiddin had promised me VIP seats, and he delivered way beyond expectations. It turned out that this was a special performance that several ambassadors would be attending. I was seated in the diplomatic section right behind the Ambassador of Pakistan. I was a little embarrassed for a couple of reasons. First, I’m not a diplomat – I was very happy nobody from the U.S. embassy was there! Second, I was called up on stage as an honored guest from the USA, right along with all the diplomats; I was wearing jeans and trainers, because my host had told me it was a causal event – everyone else was in more formal clothing.
Oh well, that aside, the evening was spectacular. After a very nice dinner that featured specialties from Jogjakarta such as Nasi Gudeg (rice served with boiled egg, chicken, tofu, and tempe cooked in a thick, sweet coconut sauce), and Kipo Kotagede (bite-size morsel made from coconut inside a tapioca dough), some very talented dancers performed three dances.
The Retno Asri Dance is a short introductory dance that is adopted from a variety of different movements from Yogyakarta classical dance. It tells the story of young girls growing up in a dynamic, high-spirited way.
The Beksan Menak Putri Dance
The inspiration for the movement for this dance came from Wayang Golek Menak Puppet Theater. It was created by Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX. It’s a story of romance and power – a fight to the death in which Dewi (goddess) Adaninggar attempts and fails to kill her rival Dewi Kelaswara.
The Kumborokarno Leno (The Death of Kumbokarno)
The third episode of the four episode Ramayana Epic that tells the tale of a war between the leaders of two kingdoms – Rama and Rahwana. It ends with the tragic death of the exiled patriot and hero – Kumbakarna .
There are many special performances during the year at the various pavilions of Taman Mini. Their website has the current schedules. I really enjoyed this event and heartily recommend attending similar events – even without the VIP seating.
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park), or just Taman Mini, is designed as a mini-Indonesia.
It is meant to show the incredible ethnic, cultural, religious, and biodiversity of Indonesia, as well as highlight Indonesia’s economic, technological, and scientific strengths – all the while being a fun place to go and hang out.
To accomplish all that for a country the size of Indonesia – about the size of Japan, U.K., Germany, Spain, Italy, and Greece combined – is quite a feat, and something I feel they accomplished quite well.
Even a miniature version of a country this size is huge. For a visit to Taman Mini, you’ll need your walking shoes, sun block, and a lot of energy. There’s a lot to see and do. I just spent one day there, but to see everything, in detail, one would need three or four days.
Getting around the park is fairly easy. There is a cable car that crosses the park, a monorail, a small train, and several ojeks (motorbike taxis) that you can use when you get tired of walking.
A good place to begin is at the information office near the front gate. Mr. (pak) Muhiddin Syachruddin is a wealth of information, and always happy to talk about Indonesia. You can reach him on 085 692 182242 if you would like to make arrangements ahead of time. He is especially happy to facilitate group tours. He took time out to take me around on his motorbike while I was there, and gave me passes to a special dance performance on Saturday. His English is quite good.
In the center of Taman Mini is a lake that has scale models of Indonesia’s main islands. It’s best viewed from the air, while riding the cable car that goes from one end of the park to the other. Around the lake are the 26 pavilions that feature the home building styles of 26 of Indonesia’s 33 provinces. Only 26 provinces are represented because, at the time Taman Mini was built, Indonesia had just 26. The houses are furnished with traditional furniture and appliances, giving visitors a good sense of the lifestyles in that province.
The park also includes two churches (Catholic & Protestant), three temples (Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian), and two mosques, to emphasize religious diversity and tolerance. Indonesia has five official religions (Islam, Catholicism, Protestant, Buddhism, and Hinduism), and has national holidays to honor each.
The gardens and parks represent biodiversity. There is the Bird Park, Orchid Garden, Herb Garden, Jasmine Garden, Flower Park, as well as several others. Some of the parks have stages where music performances are held. On the day I was there, I enjoyed relaxing in the shade with a fresh coconut, while listening to local musicians play traditional music in an impromptu concert in a grassy area near the Science and Technology center.
The Oil and Gas Museum, Stamp Museum, and Sport Museum are among the several museums in Taman Mini.
For recreation, the Snow Bay Water Park, Imax Theater,4D theater, fishing pond, and the children’s castle are the main attractions, but there are a few others scattered about as well.
You’re going to get hungry and thirsty – don’t worry; there is a wide variety of traditional foods as well as fresh tropical fruit juices available.
Of course it’s far better to travel Indonesia to get the first hand experience, but some people don’t have to time or money to do that. For those folks, a visit to Taman Mini will let them experience some of what traveling Indonesia would be like.
I throughly enjoyed the day I spent there – it’s a place certainly worth a day of your time when passing through Jakarta.
Taman Mini is located in East Jakarta. It’s easiest to get there by taxi. It will cost roughly Rp. 70,000 in a Blue Bird taxi or about Rp. 50,000 in an Express taxi, if you’re going from Central Jakarta. The driver will ask if you want to use the toll road, which will cost an additional Rp. 8,500 in tolls but it’s well worth the time savings.
Operating hours – The park is open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Admission fees – At the main gate (built in the traditional style of a Javanese split gate), visitors are charged Rp. 9,000. There is no charge for those attending religious services. With the exception of the pavilions, most of the attractions charge extra.
The museums charge from Rp. 1000 to Rp.7,500.
Snow Bay Water Park charges Rp. 120,000 weekends, Rp. 100,000 weekdays.
The Imax Theater is Rp. 30,000 for standard seating, and Rp. 50,000 for VIP.
The cable car is Rp. 20,000, monorail is Rp. 10,000.
Indonesians are friendly and eager to make new friends.
Taman Mini Lake – Scale model of Indonesia in the center.