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Soak Up Jakarta’S Rich Heritage With Alila Jakarta’s Three Best City Experiences

15 April 2016

Alila Jakarta is offering the best of three city experiences for guests to soak up Indonesia’s fascinating cultural heritage in modern vintage style. Guests can jump in a signature London taxi cab and visit museums, watch a traditional puppet show, learn how to play a traditional musical instrument and spend a day exploring the grounds of the oldest botanical garden in Southeast Asia


Follow the trail of Jakarta’s rich history and artistic heritage with a visit to three museums located around Taman Fatahillah square in the heart of the Old City. After spotting street art and local dance performances in the vibrant square guests will go to The Jakarta History Museum, Museum Fatahillah, which is home to over 20,000 artifacts including historic maps, paintings, ceramics, archaeological relics and Betawi-style furniture. Next stop is the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics with a magnificent display of traditional Indonesian handicrafts and art by prominent Indonesian painters such as Raden Saleh and Affandi. Visitors have the chance to create their own ceramic handicraft or continue on to the traditional Indonesian puppet theatre to view the beautiful Wayang collection and even see a performance. To end the day, jump on one of the area’s famous colorful bikes and head to Café Batavia; a beautiful colonial-style bar and restaurant, serving delicious Indonesian and international dishes.

The four-hour Heritage Trail costs £24 per person. Rates are valid for minimum booking of two people and include the tour, inter-city transfers and cold refreshments in the car.


One of Jakarta’s great cultural heritages is Keroncong folk music, which was introduced to Indonesia in the 16th century by Portuguese sailors. Music lovers can embark on a fascinating journey by black cab to a secluded area in North Jakarta, home to the Indonesian-Portuguese community and one of the oldest Keroncong orchestras in the city. Guido Quiko, the orchestra leader, will introduce visitors to the traditional musical instruments and teach them to play or sing folk songs. The tour will include visits to the old Portuguese-style Tugu Church built in 1678 and the house of legendary Si Pitung, a 19th century bandit who was known as the “Robin Hood” of Jakarta. As well as hosting martial arts and traditional dance classes guests can learn about the history of Si Pitung; a martial arts master who would steal money from the wealthy Dutch residents to give to the poor.

The six-hour Musical History Excursion costs from £50 per person. Rates are valid for minimum booking of two people and include the tour, inter-city transfers and cold refreshments in the car.


Visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of Jakarta and spend a day exploring the oldest botanical garden in Southeast Asia. The Bogor Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya Bogor) is in a small town 60 km outside of Jakarta and was founded in 1817 by the Dutch government. The gardens have thrived under the leadership of many renowned botanists including Johannes Elias Teijsmann, Rudolph Herman Christiaan Carel Scheffer and Melchior Treub. Visitors can walk around 87 hectares of tropical grounds home to over 14,000 trees, plants and flowers and catch sight of hundreds of deer that roam freely. In the heart of the grounds lies the presidential palace; the residence of Sir Stamford Raffles during the Britisih occupation. The palace itself is decorated with an extensive collection of paintings, ceramics and sculptures, including a replica of the famous Little Mermaid of Copenhagen,

Denmark, given to Indonesia as a token of good friendship between the two countries. Bogor is also famous for its culinary delights and visitors can sample delicacies such as the bean curd “Yun-Yi”, the mini breads with an assortment of fillings called “Roti Unyil”, and the fried spicy bean sprouts with preserved soybean sauce.

The six-hour Botanical Garden Tour costs from £31 per person. Rates are valid for minimum booking of two people and include the tour, inter-city transfers and cold refreshments in the car. Alila Jakarta is a modern retreat located in Central Jakarta. It is a haven of relaxation and contemporary style and a wonderful base from which to explore all that Jakarta has to offer. It was designed by the architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall and earned recognition as the first true design hotel in the city. Guests will love the spacious rooms with fabulous views, roof top swimming pool and Spa Alila with a range of treatments on offer.

Rates at Alila Jakarta start from £60 per room per night. Based on two sharing a Deluxe Room on a B&B basis.

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