The Rough Guide to Jakarta (2): Recreational/fun parks

On Jakarta's North coast lies Ancol Dreamland, a huge marine recreational resort, which kids, especially, will love. There is a 40-lane bowling alley; an 18-hole golf course; an amusement park with fearsome rides like the big dipper; and a huge swimming pool complex called Atlanta which used to be great but is now rather decrepit and rundown.

If you go to Ancol, don’t miss the chance to witness the diversity of Indonesia’s marine life at Seaworld, home to one of the largest aquariums in all of South East Asia.

Seaworld Indonesia

Teenagers like to come to Ancol - especially at the weekends when there is often live outdoor music. This also explains why you can often see parked cars "moving" whilst parked by the side of the road in the evening.

On the other side of town in South Jakarta, Taman Mini Indonesia Recreation Park should be on every tourist’s agenda. Here, full sized replica traditional houses from all of Indonesia’s provinces have been constructed to show off the incredible diversity of this vast nation.

Taman Mini Indonesia

Each house acts as a mini-museum, with many fascinating artifacts on show inside. The park is also home to many other attractions, including the Keong Mas Theatre which shows IMAX films focusing on Indonesian culture and nature; the huge bird park; and the wildlife and natural history museums.

Like Ancol, Taman Mini also has a water park, the rather incongruously named Snowbay. Avoid the crowds and go during the week. Unless you enjoy standing for hours in queues that is!

By far the best water park in Jakarta is the aptly named Waterbom in Pantai Indah Kapuk, North Jakarta. It’s a touch on the pricey side, but not so crowed and has the best slides.

Monas or the National Monument is one of those phallic type structures that lies smack bang in the center of Jakarta. The monument is located on a huge plot of land which could be considered the nearest thing that Jakarta has to a real park. Even so, the few deer who used to roam around here weren’t so impressed – they all fell sick and had to be taken to the nearby hillside town of Bogor!


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