Jakarta is a big city. It is sufficient enough to hold ten million people. Since Jakarta is a major city in Indonesia with lots of people, it has numerous activities all around the region. It might be hard to try all of the activities, so you can categorize the activities and conquer them one by one. You can start by exploring the museums. Here is some information about museums in Jakarta.
The building was once a dilapidated church that’s no longer used. The building is then renovated and becomes what is now known as Museum Wayang. Just like what’s stated on its name, Museum Wayang (Shadow Puppet Museum) is specifically used to showcase all kinds of wayangs that are in the country. Here, you can see the wayang (shadow puppet) from the farthest region of Indonesia to the most crowded one. The wayangs are kept in a clear rectangular box that is then hanged on the wall. The display allows you to take a closer look at the precious shadow puppets without having to worry about damaging them, so you can look around at the objects as long as you want.
Once known as Museum Gajah, Museum Nasional is the place for history lovers and archaeologists. In Museum Nasional, you can find relics of the past, such as historical inscriptions and sculptures that were searched, dug, or even accidentally discovered by various people. There are explanations for each archaic discovery that won’t be confused or lost during the exploration of the collection. Once you’re done exploring the museum’s historical reliefs, you can go back to the entrance and take pictures of the famous elephant statue in front of the museum.
If you’re visiting Kota Tua, you should spend a portion of your time visiting Museum Fatahillah. Just like the town itself, it is one of the oldest buildings in Jakarta. The building was the silent witness of the Dutch East Indies’ power when they colonized the country. The building was the building for Batavia’s governor (Jakarta’s name at that time). The building is then renovated and turned into Museum Fatahillah.
At the museum, you can look at the relics of the objects used by the Dutch East Indies. If you’re brave enough, you can also check out the underground jail that is famous for being haunted.
Seni Rupa dan Keramik Museum
Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik (Fine Art and Ceramic Museum) is one of many museums in Kota Tua. The museum emphasizes its focus on arts and things related to it. You can see all kinds of fine arts from Indonesia, be it traditional or modern art. It also displays works of notable Indonesian artists such as Affandi and Henk Ngatung.
Besides fine arts, you can also see collections of ceramics from all over Indonesia. Since they’re fragile, you must be careful when you admire them. It’s best not to touch them if they’re displayed in the open.
Although Tanah Abang is known for its market, it has a hidden gem, not many people known. That gem is no other than Museum Tekstil (Textile Museum). Museum Tekstil is the place in Jakarta if you want to know more about different kinds of textiles in Indonesia. Here, you’ll also learn how to create batik, which is the most well-known textiles in the country. From the most modern batik style to the most traditional one, you’ll find them here. If you have extra time to spare, you can even learn how to create your batik. Not a terrible way to spend time at Tanah Abang, isn’t it?
Museum Katedral is the place every devout Catholic should visit. Museum Katedral is actually a church, but the unique concept makes it more well-known than the church itself. You can learn the history of Catholicism in this museum, as they have written records regarding the development of the said religion. There are also objects related to Catholicism displayed, such as the cloak worn by the Pope when he visited Indonesia. So when you go to the museum, you can attend the sermon and learn more about Catholicism at the same time.
Near Jakarta, a tiny island called Pulau Onrust stands. The island that is part of Pulau Seribu (Thousands Islands) was once a port where many merchant ships stop by. There was also a strong and mighty fortress developed during the colonial period (the fortress was used by Dutch East Indies). Now, everything becomes a ruin that can only tell the story of its glory through its appearance. There is a museum that stands on the island, and the museum tells the story of Pulau Onrust.
Since the island is separated from Java, you need to use a boat to go there. You can take a boat from Muara Kamal or Tanjung Pasir. It will take around thirty minutes to reach the isolated island.
Satria Mandala Museum
Those who are a fan of military and things related to it should visit Museum Satria Mandala. The museum was built to record all the moments Indonesian National Armed Forces went through to fight for the country. There are also all kinds of military equipment used during the war here. You can see tanks, fighters, missiles, torpedoes, cannons, mines, and many more. Don’t worry, because most of them are inactive, so you don’t need to worry about your safety. You are free to explore every nook of the museum to your heart’s content, at least until the museum closes.
Learning about Indonesia through Museum
Now that you know some museums in Jakarta, it’s time for you to pick your starting point. You can visit some of them, or you can visit them all. Visiting all of them will help you understand Indonesia and what the country went through to become how it is today.