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Hot, smoggy and smelly, what's to like about Jakarta? Actually quite a bit but to fully appreciate Indonesia's sprawling capital, you'll need to have pluck, a sense of adventure and be willing to overlook the qualities in the sentence above. Some 9 million people call Jakarta home, a city that shares a dubious reputation with other Asian megalopolises like Manila and which could use a press agent. Given that the actual population may be much higher, surely there is someone well-qualified for the job there already. Spread messily over a huge plain on the north coast of Java, Jakarta is the magnet for ambitious Indonesians from across the ...

Hot, smoggy and smelly, what's to like about Jakarta? Actually quite a bit but to fully appreciate Indonesia's sprawling capital, you'll need to have pluck, a sense of adventure and be willing to overlook the qualities in the sentence above. Some 9 million people call Jakarta home, a city that shares a dubious reputation with other Asian megalopolises like Manila and which could use a press agent. Given that the actual population may be much higher, surely there is someone well-qualified for the job there already. Spread messily over a huge plain on the north coast of Java, Jakarta is the magnet for ambitious Indonesians from across the archipelago. This is where they come to chase their dreams, and while they might live in the capital's notorious slums, they shop in one of the hemisphere's greatest collections of malls and markets — where you can see every facet of Indonesia's rich culture. Nightlife and culture are the best in the country and provide diversions from dusk to dawn and beyond.

Ryan Ver Berkmoes
About the Expert

Ryan Ver Berkmoes has written many books for Lonely Planet, including Bali & Lombok and the Southeastern Alaska and Western Canada sections for LP's Canada guide.

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Ryan Ver Berkmoes for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located on the northwest coast of the Java Island, Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia.
  • Language: Indonesian, Betawi, Javanese, Sundanese
  • Currency: Rupiah
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    It can rain anytime in Jakarta, but does so more often October to April. It is steamy year-round.