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Capital of the Republic of Indonesia , Jakarta is a huge, sprawling metropolis, home to 9 million people. During the day the number increases with another 2 million as commuters make their way to work in the city, and flock out again in the evenings.
Located on the northern coast of Java, the province of Jakarta has rapidly expanded through the years, absorbing many villages in the process. In fact Jakarta is a conglomeration of villages known as kampungs, now crossed by main roads and super highways. It is small wonder therefore, that you may drive down one wide avenue one minute then suddenly find yourself squeezed into a small street together with scores of cars and motorbikes. The names of these former villages can be detected from their main streets, such as Tanah Abang, Kebon Kacang, Kebon Jeruk, Kampung Melayu, and many more. Together with its many suburbs Jakarta has become a megapolitan city. Therefore, when you visit Jakarta it is best to invest in a good map, or rely on GPS.
Jakarta itself is built on a wide flat delta, intersected by no less than 13 rivers. Fronting the city in the Bay of Jakarta are a large number of tiny islands, known as the Thousand Islands or Pulau Seribu, a tourist resort for snorkeling and swimming. To its south are the majestic volcanoes of Gede and Pangrango, where are cool mountain resorts like Bogor, Puncak, Sukabumi and Bandung.
Capital city of a country with 240 million population, Jakarta is not only the seat of the national government and the provincial government, this city is also Indonesia’s political center. Moreover, Jakarta is also the center and hub of Indonesia’s national finance and trade. It is no wonder, therefore that you will find Jakarta an ever dynamic city, a city that never sleeps.
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The best way to travel around Jakarta is by hired car, taxi or by package tour, Be prepared, though, to meet traffic jams, especially when travelling during peak hours and into business districts, including the area to the Old Batavia.
It is advisable therefore to choose a hotel near the location where you will have your meeting or business appointments or to the attraction or destination you wish to visit. Distances in Jakarta are far and there are frequent traffic snarls.
Jakarta has two international airports, one is the larger Soekarno-Hatta international airport, located in Tangerang, now in the neighbouring province of Banten. The other is the smaller Halim Perdanakusumah airport, which is reserved to receive visiting Heads of State.
Many international airlines from Europe, Asia and Australia make the Soekarno-Hatta their turnaround airport, while a number do continue on to Bali and Australia. This airport is also the hub of Indonesia’s own Garuda Indonesia as well as home for most of Indonesia’s regular domestic airlines and low-cost carriers (LCC). Taxis can be hired at the airport to get into the city. There are options to take from regular taxis to limousines. Make sure that you get your taxi from the counter, rather than hail taxis from the kerb. There are buses going into town, but these are infrequent.