Monday in Annapolis, Maryland for me is a day full of meetings and a day that focuses on organizing my tasks for the week. Monday in Jakarta, Indonesia (I learned last month), is often a day to take a break, when many of the important museums and monuments in the city are closed.
So while our guide took a very nice photograph of us ( my husband Peter, daughter Alex, and myself) in front of the National Musem, we could not get inside.
The day was hot, over 100 degrees, and after walking around the National Monument we followed our guide’s suggestion to make a visit to the “Indonesia in Miniature Park” aka Taman Mini located to the east of the city.
The park was not on the list that Justin put together for us to visit, while he went into work for the day. His colleagues and friends evidently do not think highly of it as a tourist attraction, but I would highly recommend it to any tourist paying a visit to Jakarta, particularly if you do not have time to visit the five major islands in this nation comprised of over 17000 islands. That’s right…over 17,000 islands with a diverse number of languages and cultures.
The park is so large, you need an entire day (which we did not have by the time we arrived there at noon) and while you can drive around in a car, it is better to walk or rent a bicycle. We rented bicycles.
Each pavillion represents a different province, complete with architectural examples, native, costumes, temples, and even live performances at various times throughout the day. Although Borneo was not on our list, of places to visit this time around, we did get to see examples of thatched roof huts and observe a tribesman in native attire carving wood that would eventually be for sale in their gift shop.
While we did not have time to visit all the pavillions, we were able to enter a few of the buildilngs including various houses that represented the architecture of the different islands and cultures. We climbed the ladders to enter a traditional, or adat-style, Batak houses– the type built in parts of northern Samatra. These homes can be large enough to house as many as a dozen families. They have distinctive saddle-backed, twin-peaked roof made from a special palm fibre and they are commonly anchored by long poles.
In the center of the park is a large lake. The park also has
its own orchid garden in which hundreds of Indonesian orchid varieties are grown along with a bird park with a walk-in aviary, a fauna museum.
Due to the extreme heat and our limited time, we couldn’t see everything but we were happy that Miniature Indonesia is open on Mondays.