It’s almost three weeks in the Ramadan, and while you might be busy spending every afternoon breaking your fast with friends and family, you might also start to plan what to do for your Idul Fitri holiday. But not everyone can go ‘mudik’, some have to stay in Jakarta. But staying in Jakarta during the end of Ramadan and Idul Fitri season has its own perks. Don’t believe us? Here are five wonderful things about Ramadan and Idul Fitri in Jakarta!
1. Tourism is still open!
Ramadan or not, Jakarta operates as usual, including its tourism spots. You can opt for Ancol, the newly opened NeoSoho Aquarium to the Kalijodo skatepark: they’re all open for your Ngabuburit.
Or if you like to spend Ramadan get closer to God, you can go on a religious historical trail, from the Chinese Mosque in the Old Town area in West Jakarta, Sunda Kelapa Mosque in Central Jakarta, or learn more about the holy book at the Al-Quran Museum in Taman Mini.
Some places are less crowded than usual during this season. And it’s even better if you have a small family! You don’t have to deal with queues, giving you more quality time together to have fun.
2. Sale, sale, sale!
Jakarta with its more than 100 malls is a perfect place for shopaholics — or anyone wanting to dress well for Idul Fitri. This year’s Ramadan coincides with the annual Jakarta Great Sale, meaning that there are a LOT of sales going on, both online and offline.
3. No shortage of options on where/what to break your fast with.
You can stay at home, cooking your favorite dishes or having them delivered by online ojek messengers. Or, you can choose one from the many choices Jakarta has — from street food to hotel buffet, Jakarta has it all. You can opt for the 20k Nasi Goreng or the awesome buffet at Kristal Hotel. And as you still have many days to break your fast (plus the Idul Fitri bonus is coming), you can have them all.
4. Having the city to yourself.
During the final days of Ramadan, Jakarta is practically empty as most residents go back to their hometowns. Commuting is so much easier and faster, the life pace is slower as everyone is on holiday mood, it’s all perfect. You’ll have more time to spend with your loved ones and to do religious activities.
You can enjoy Jakarta like never before, you can even enjoy the view from city center —something you usually dread during usual weekdays. You can wander with your family to places you can only see from your car during regular days. Your kids or little siblings would love it! You’d love it as well! We mean, now you can take pictures at Hotel Indonesia Roundabouts and Monas without the usual crowd!
While the empty Jakarta might give you a temporary bliss, there comes another problem: most domestic workers usually go back home too. But no need to worry!
Jakarta has plenty options of hotels for staycation. Have a mini vacation in your own town, but with the comfort of a vacation. Many hotels offer special rates and activities during this season. Hotel Kristal in Cilandak, for example, has ___ package that consists of ____.
And if you’re in town for a visit during the school holiday with the little ones, there’s no better time to enjoy Jakarta than this Idul Fitri season!
The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) will present more than 150 world’s leading authors, artists, and activists from 30 countries for an educating, inspiring, and empowering program in its 14th year.
Besides that many countries which include Indonesia, Iran, Canada, South Korea, Philippines, Pakistan, and other countries will participate in the program, interesting activities starting from powerful live performances promises a world of stories, ideas, and solutions, the five-day program of impassioned in conversations, and literary lunches will also on the schedule.
You can also learn a lot since numbers of leading literary luminaries including UK’s king of crime writing, Ian Rankin,Canadian literary star Madeleine Thien, Indonesian journalists and novelists Seno Gumira Ajidarma and Leila S. Chudori, Malaysian minority rights activist and author Marina Mahathir and Indonesian respected writer as well as feminist icon Nh. Dini will also join the event.
More awesome figures will also present which include world’s best-loved authors Jung Chang. Best seller Krakatoa writer Simon Winchester, prolific poet Joko Pinurbo, and Saroo Brierley whose memoir has been adapted into Lion movie, Andreas Harsono.
Southeast Asian leading journalists, writers and activists such as Andreas Harsono (Indonesia for Human Rights Watch), Putu Oka Sukanta (Herb Feith Foundation Human Rights Education Awardee), Likia Zhang (Georgetown Literature Festival’s Founder, Bernice Chauly, Michael Vatikiotis, and Nisid Hajaria will also ready to address the most pressing concerns in the region.
Meanwhile, political divisions and climate change will be tacked by climatologist Tim Flannery (Head of the Climate Change Unit at the British Embassy Jakarta), Tom Owen Edmunds, and design for sustainability researcher Robert Crocker.
Latin American authors, poets and playwrights will also reveal their insights, including Hector Abad, Carmen Boullosa, Sergio Chejfec, Victoria Stigger, and Victor Heringer.
Simon Armitage (English poet, playwright, and novelist), Kadek Sonia Piscayanti (Balinese poet and theater director), Ana Luisa Amaral (Portugal’s contemporary writer), Leza Lowitz (award-winning American writer and poet based in Japan), Marc Nair (Singaporean poet and photographer), Miles Merrit (credited as the catalyst for Australia’s poetry slam movement), and Arriele Cottingham (2016 Australian Poetry Slam Champion) will also share the power of poetry in public discourse.
Iranian literature will be presented by Irainian rising star Shokoofeh Azar and award-winning poet, playwright and literary translator Sholeh Wolpe.
UWRF will also welcome ‘the wild child of the South Korean experimental literary scene' Han Yujoo, the first English language anthology of Tibetan fiction’s editor Tenzin Dickie, and Philippines’ first sole-author collection of lesbian-themed stories writer Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz.
Sonny Liew (Singapore Literature Prize for fiction’s first graphic novel winner), Rachel Ang (comic artist), Riziqi R. Mosmarth (Pencilled In’s Art Director), and Ary Wicahyana (Head of the Indonesian Comic Society) will explore the alternative forms of storytelling.
Voice of Baceprot, an all-girl Indonesian Muslim metal band will also give the best performance to present their unique perspective.
Travel writer who walked for 12,000 km through eight countries Paula Constant, Indonesian travel writer Trinity, and Swedish author Per Andersson will also help you to understand more about travel writing.
How about food? Don’t worry! They have food traveler Joanna Savill, British leading expert on Chinese cuisine Fuschia Dunlop, and Guardian Australia senior writer Brigid Delaney who are ready to share their insights.
One of Indonesia’s most controversial writers and filmmakers Djenar Maesa Ayu, as well as Istirahatlah Kata-Kata movie directors Yosep Anggi Noen and hUSh will also present to celebrate the country’s burgeoning film industry.
Founder & Director Janet DeNeefe, recalling the statement of last year’s UWRF speaker Dr Anita Heiss, stated that this event is ‘the most cultural, political, and diverse event on the literary calendar’ as number of nations join at this year’s festival.
“At a time when the severity of regional and global events leaves us feeling disempowered, it is vital to hear as many different perspective as possible, and to share with the world Indonesia’s national motto - unity in diversity.” DeNefee added.
The amazing 14th annual Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will rock Ubud from October 25 to 29.
More information and tickets are now available on www.ubudwriterfestival.com.
“God was smiling when He created Indonesia,” the proverb said — and we believe that it might be right.
Indonesia has places with incomparable wonderful view and one of them is in Widi Island, South Halmahera, North Maluku.
Here are ten proof of the beauty of Widi Islands:
1. A hut in the middle of beautiful sea
2. Peaceful and quiet atmosphere
3. Stunning look of white sand and blue sea combined
Image: Samuel Stonehill
4. Daga Kecil Island in Widi Islands
5. Sunset in Widi Islands is not something you want to miss
6. Snorkeling? You can do it there too!
7. Lying down on white sand while enjoying the blue sea might relieve you from daily stress
8. Seafood? Choose as much as you want!
Image: Facebook/Apri Eko Prasetyo
9. If you are lucky, you might witness dolphins jumping on the water
10. What are you waiting for? Plan your trip now!
by Kurnia Putri Utomo
East Java has a lot of interesting natural spots starting from mountains, beaches and lakes. However, not all people know East Java also has wonderful islands you'll want to spend your next holiday at.
Here are some of them:
1. Gili Ketapang Island, Probolinggo’s hidden heaven
Probolinggo has a little island with beautiful beach and to get there, you only need to cross from Probolinggo Deck using small boat that only costs less than Rp 15,000 per person.
That's all you need to pay because everything else is free! If you are lucky, you can meet friendly locals who offer you to stay at their houses so you can stay longer in Gili Ketapang Island.
2. Kangean Island
Kangean Island is located not far away from Sumenep Regency. Not all people know about this island with blue water beach.
It takes eight hours for you to go using Ferry from Sumenep Port or for a shorter trip, you can use a motorboat to reach the island in four hours.
3. Kambing Island
Still around Madura, there is an island with clear water and green hills surrounding the island.
The place is located only 1.5 hours from Sampang sub-district. And no, Pulau Kambing is not populated by kambing (goat). It is just the name.
4. Gili Labak
One of the best islands you can find in Madura is Gili Labak which you can travel from Kalianget Port for only 1.5 hours. Gili Labak is good for those who love snorkeling and enjoying undersea view.
5. Nusa Barong Island
This island also has amazing natural beauty.
It is located in Desa Puger Wetan, Jember and you can come to this place just by using boat for around 2.5 hours. Emerge yourself with the virgin island and blue water. Your holiday will be unforgettable!
Not every bakery can turn soto into a pastry, but that’s exactly what Talita Setyadi’s BEAU has done.
Traditional favorites such as kue lapis legit and soto are being transformed into textual, innovative versions of their former self on a daily basis. Testing the waters and pushing the limits of pastry creation is what Setyadi and her team do best.
Featuring mostly neutral colors and clean lines, the bakery’s interior places all emphasis on the pastries and cakes themselves. “I want the products to shine,” Setyadi says. Glass windows separate the chefs from the customers, providing a glimpse into the world of éclair decorating and bread baking. Setyadi’s strong vision for the space is what sets BEAU apart. “We found a way to tie everything together. It’s an experience, the interior design, the food, the uniforms. Everything is coherent, everything makes sense.”
Aside from pastries and an extensive brunch menu, BEAU also serves Smørrebrød, Danish open-faced sandwiches. Standouts include the Gravad Laks sandwich with house-cured salmon, dill, yogurt, beet and radish, and Prosciutto with ricotta, caramelized cashews, arugula and honey.
Talita Setyadi, a musician-turned-pastry-chef-turned-creative director, grew up in Auckland, making school holiday visits to Jogja to help out in her Grandmother’s bakery. While studying music and playing gigs as part of a three-piece folk trio, Setyadi started making her own macarons and selling them on the side. “We would sell my baked cupcakes, cookies and macarons at the door, so people could buy a cupcake and pay for the ticket,” she says. “I found that I could affect people the same way through food as I could through music.”
After deciding not to pursue music, Talita instead moved to France to study as a pastry chef. Ironically, “I found out, during my internship there, that I wasn’t actually a good working pastry chef. I would get bored doing the same thing,” she says. From there, she moved to New York to study restaurant management and bread baking. When asked what eventually made her come back and open a business in Jakarta, she answered: the ingredients. “Coming back to Indonesia I saw a plethora of food ingredients that I was not able to play with in France. Like coconut sugar, it’s so simple but I use it in almost everything. It’s like if you want to hit five birds with one stone,” Setyadi says.
Proudly preservative and food coloring free, even the colored powder sprinkled over their éclairs is made from dehydrated strawberries and potatoes. Perhaps it’s BEAU’s innovative use of traditional ingredients and modern interior that draws hordes of young Indonesians to the bakery each day. “From the beginning I knew I wanted to do something new. I wanted to be a pioneer of some sort, a trailblazer. I want to create Indonesian products that I can bring overseas” Setyadi says.
As for yet another possible career change, Talita seems pretty happy where she is at the moment. “I get to be the conductor, oversee the whole thing. It’s the dream,” she says. Plans to expand globally aren’t out of the question yet and word on the grapevine is that BEAU is opening in Bali next year.
South Jakarta’s latest haunt is proof that healthy doesn’t necessarily mean boring.
Abbreviated from the word sanctuary, SNCTRY is a café with a strong set of morals. Produce is sourced from their very own organic farm that supports local farmers and their communities. Built from recycled and re-purposed local products, the café takes ethical and sustainable living seriously.
Located in a building that also hosts vendors Taco Local, But First Coffee and Homemate Ice Bar, SNCTRY’s space is small but bubbly. Their menu features a range of smoothie bowls, granola, in-house raw cakes, cold pressed juice and vibrant salads.
SNCTRY’s poke bowl is its shining light. Almost like eating deconstructed sushi, sesame mayo is drizzled atop marinated tuna sashimi, avocado, edamame, seaweed, rainbow greens and brown rice in a perfect combination of salad and spice. Staff recommend pairing the bowl with their vanilla coconut chai tea, a spiced drink to warm the insides.
Be sure to check out the colorful mural beyond SNCTRY’s wooden doors, a favorite amongst those with good cameras and an active Instagram account. It’s this artsy vibe that transforms the small space into a charming hideaway.
The best part about the café’s location is that once you’re done, you can pop next door to But First Coffee. We recommend their chicken curry puff and silky smooth lattes.
Jl. Darmawangsa Raya No.4 (Next to Plataran)
It’s not every day that you get the chance to ride a rainbow bicycle around a place that has seen centuries of colonization, protests, riots and change. Kota Tua, which translates to ‘Old Town’, stands as a relic of Indonesia’s history and Jakarta’s colonial past. With something for everyone, Kota Tua is a place worth battling the traffic for. Here is a list of 4 must-do activities:
History seeps from each building in Kota Tua, the most famous of which is the Jakarta History Museum, or more popular as Museum Fatahillah. Built in 1710 as the Batavia city hall, the museum exhibits paintings, furniture, objects from the Dutch East Indies Company and ancient archaeological remains. It includes the richest collection of Betawi style furniture from the 17th to the 19th century. A good place to get your bearings, the Museum’s second floor provides a view of the square and surrounding buildings from above.
The museum is open on Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..
Named after an Jakarta's own hero, Taman Fatahillah is the centre point of all activities in Kota Tua. Street vendors offer pimped up bicycles for two, an ideal mode of transport for exploring the square and capturing those winning Instagram photos. You can rent one only for Rp 20,000-30,000 per 30 minutes.
Museum Wayang offers free Wayang performances every Sunday at 10 a.m.. If you can’t make it on the weekend, the collection of over 4,000 puppets from territories all across Indonesia is still worth a visit. Open since 1975, the museum provides visitors with a unique glimpse of Javanese cultural heritage over the years.
The museum is open on Tuesday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..
Sipping on a cocktail and listening to live Jazz is the perfect way to end a day spent exploring Kota Tua.
Constructed in the 1830s, the interior of Café Batavia was refurbished to give guests a taste of what it was like to live and dine during the colonial era. Vintage photographs of 1930s celebrities and royals deck the upper floor or ‘Grand Salon’. Constructed mainly of wood, the café is blessed with an abundance of natural light thanks to large shuttered windows that look out over Taman Fatahillah and the colonial buildings surrounding it.
Quick tip: the Dim Sum set is perfect for a quick bite.
Well folks, there you have it. 4 things to do in Kota Tua in one day. It’ll be hot and crowded so be sure to bring a bottle of water while you’re taking in the sights and venturing from one Dutch building to the next.