Jakarta: The Charman of Indonesia
Sanden J. Anadia (The Freeman) - October 20, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Indonesia is no doubt a stunning place with its many attractions. And especially for Filipino travelers, Indonesians are similarly hospitable people and so easy to get along with.

I was recently in Jakarta, Indonesia as part of the Visayas-Mindanao Media Familiarization Trip organized by Cebu Pacific and JG Summit Holdings. It was a four-hour flight from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Actually, those four hours just whished by very comfortably for us.

Regular visitors to this country at the southern part of Asia have noticed that Indonesia seems to always have something new to explore. It’s common knowledge that Indonesia has a rich cultural heritage; it abounds in old, traditional architecture. It also offers a wide variety of local cuisines. On the modernity side, Jakarta wouldn’t be left behind; it has its own share of amusement parks, safari, botanical gardens, and luxury hotels.

Our media group was taken to Pullman Ciawi Vimala Hills Resort Spa and Convention, a five-star hotel in Bogor, Indonesia. It’s the place to be for those who want to free their mind from the hustle and bustle.  It’s a sanctuary for peace.

A visit to Taman Safari was also in the itinerary. There, visitors could watch wild animals up close – tigers, lions, giraffes, hippos, zebras, elephants, crocodiles , monkeys, camel, panda and  many more. We were told that the pandas were loaned to the park by China since 2017.

Dinner at the Pesona Alam Resort was particularly delicious.  The beautiful hotel had a great location surrounded by trees. It would be presumptuous to say that the place felt like home, because you would have to be filthy rich to have a home like a hotel. But the place, really, had a comfortably familiar vibe. 

The Bogor Botanical Garden is quite an area of interest for all ages. The lush surrounding trees and plants give off a very refreshing feel. Located 60 kilometers south of central Jakarta, the Garden covers an area of 87 hectares and is managed by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences – and is near the Presidential Palace.

The tour’s last day in Jakarta was a Sunday – a “Car- Free Day!” The main roads were closed until 12 noon. The city’s bustle relented, as people mostly walked around and had their time to “smell the roses,” so to speak.  

We also did a quick check of the Taman Fatahillah Square, with all its historic colonial buildings. And then… we were on our way back home.

JAKARTA
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