Jakarta on MonDAY is NOT for HoliDAY

Accompanied by a Japanese friend named Hiro and a never-too-old uncle, the couple was once again traveling through 'the Big Durian' Jakarta. We now visited two most iconic places in the capital city; Monumen Nasional or Monas and Kota Tua. Starting from Gambir Train Station, our trip first destination was to Lapangan Merdeka, reachable by a short walk. This is where Monas stands. Constructed in 1961 and opened to public in 1975, the 132-meter-height monument is topped by a flame covered with gold foil. It is open daily from 08.00 to 15.00 except for the last Monday of each month.

We did not come on the last Monday of the month, yet the elevator which should have brought us to the top was unfortunately just out of service. So, we could only buy tickets to enter the diorama and the 'cawan' (cup part of Monas). The entrance fee was IDR 5,000 for adults and IDR 3,000 for students. Though, we're not students anymore, we still showed our university card at the counter to get student price. Extra fee would be charged for going to the top. Most first timers will have no idea where to enter Monas as there is no sign board telling that the entrance is actually located around 100 meters away to the northern side of the monument. There are stairs down to a tunnel which leads back towards the base of the Monas.

The couple with Monas as a background.
Our travel companions in front of reliefs of Indonesian history.
Monas is obviously a must-visit attraction especially for those who have only few hours in Jakarta before leaving to other places either by train or plane. Gambir Train Station is right aside and frequent DAMRI Airport Bus are also there. Short-time visitors can also buy some souvenirs before leaving Jakarta as around Monas there are many people selling very cheap goods such as keychains (only Rp 10,000 for 3 pcs) and T-Shirts (only IDR 50,000 for 3 pcs). Unfortunately, walking around Monas is sometimes a little bit confusing. Lack of direction boards is one factor, but what really annoying is the fact that only few gates let to be open. So even the next place you want to visit is pretty near, you have to go around to reach it. Like what we did when we proceed to Museum Nasional. Actually, there was a gate just across the museum but since it's locked we had to turn around. The worst thing was we came all the way there just to find out that the museum was closed.
One of the locked gates of Lapangan Merdeka. If this gate is unlocked, it would strategically open a straight link to the Transjakarta Bus shelter and Museum Nasional.
In front of the National Museum
Kota Tua was our next destination. It could be simply accessed by Transjakarta bus, but four of us agreed to take a taxi for a more comfortable trip. Kota Tua, is an old area of Jakarta which was well-known as Batavia in the 17th century. The buildings there  are influenced by the Dutch and Chinese architecture style. As a heritage site, it hosts many museums like the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum and Fatahillah Museum. Although the museums are closed on Mondays, people could still enjoy many outdoor attractions.

Colorful Onthel Bicycle for Rent
The Couple on the Ride
Taking pictures near the cannon with black and white Indonesian soldiers

Fatahillah Museum under revitalization
Jakarta traditional snack: Kerak Telor.
Outdoor attraction at Kota Tua.
Street Artists at Kota Tua. Watching their performance is basically free of charge but donation highly expected
Under-age street musicians like this boy is common in Jakarta.
The motto "I hate Mondays" is very relevant in Jakarta even for tourists. Mondays are not meant for holiday. Most of the museums are closed. The traffic is as bad as ever. Our initial plan was failed because the Planetarium & Observatorium Jakarta in Cikini is also closed every Monday. So, please visit Jakarta in any day other than Mondays.

Anyway, on previous day both of us had visited other places in Jakarta like Pasar Baroe. There Kristin bought two pairs of shoes for only IDR 50,000! In contrary, my auntie was just given clothes worth IDR 700,000 bought by her son in one of the shopping malls in the city center. It affirmed what many people say that one can find the most luxurious things but can also find dirt cheap goods in Jakarta.

Gate to Pasar Baru
Dirty Ciliwung River
The rule breakers
This kind of ferocious traffic that makes some people think Jakarta is not for holiday even if it's not Monday

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OUR TRIPS (Based on Places)