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Jakarta Attractions and Things to See

Jakarta, formerly Batavia, is the official Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, and the biggest city and capital of Indonesia, that is situated on the northwest coast of Java, that is the nation's political, cultural and economic hub, the most populated city in Indonesia and southeast Asia, and the tenth biggest city in the world. It was founded in the fourth century, and would grow to become a significant trading port for the kingdom of Sunda, and grow as the capital of the colonial Dutch East Indies, becoming the capital of Indonesia when it would become independent after WWII.
The city has a marvelous transportation system that includes the Soekamo-Hatta International Airport, Tanjung Priok Harbor and the Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, along with numerous intercity and commuter railways, that link to the airports and harbor, as well as many bus lines.
The city has a long and interesting history, albeit somewhat bloody, with as many as 5000 Chinese immigrants being massacred by the Dutch, who had taken control of the port during the 17th century. The Europeans didn't arrive until 1513, when four Portuguese ships came, because they were looking for a route to the spice kingdoms of the Far East. They were driven out by the Javanese, as the port and harbor continued to grow in importance and trade center. It would be occupied by Allied forces after WWII, until the Indonesian independence had been secured, and the founding president, Sukarno, would envision the city as a great international city port, at once beginning large construction projects, a new highway, monuments, new parliament building, major boulevard and a shopping center. In 1965, a coup was attempted, that instigated over half a million people being slaughtered, and a new order installed. In 1966, the city would become a special capital city district, almost like making it a province or state of its own, and Lt. Gen. Ali Sakikin would become the governor and begin a reconstruction of the area, with rehabilitated roads and bridges, more new schools, encouragement of the arts and construction of numerous new hospitals. He tried to stem the influx of immigrants that were creating poverty and overcrowding, when foreign investors helped bring in a new age of real estate, that would change the face of the city, and cause a boom.
Because it is the political and economic capital of the country, it still attracts large amounts of domestic immigrants that bring their traditions, customs, foods, languages and dialects, that have created a melting pot of southeast Asia, which has also contributed to the culture, history, traditions, cuisine and many attractions.
Some of the most well known landmarks include the Istiqial Mosque and the National Monument; with the numerous museums located in the central part of the city, the old town and the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. The old town area of Jakarta contains the former institutional structures of colonial Batavia (Jakarta), and include the Jakarta History Museum, the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Wayang Museum, Bank Indonesia, Bank Mandiri Museum, and others. In the central area, there are the Jakarta Cathedral museum, the National Monument, the National Museum of Indonesia, the Textile Museum and the Taman Prasasti Museum.
The city has a wide spectrum of cuisine, with hundreds of eating complexes, as well as modest food stalls and traveling vendors, and high class expensive restaurants. Besides the Indonesian foods, there are regional specialties from across the nation, as well as international cuisine that include; American, French, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Korean, Thai, Indian, Japanese and fusion foods. One of the more popular dishes is soto betawi, that is cow mild or coconut milk broth that includes beef tendons, tripe and intestines, as well as other favorites like kue cucur, sate, gado-gado and kerak telor.  Kerak telor is a Betawi traditional spicy omelet dish that is made from chicken or duck egg, fried into an omelet mixed with spice, rice and served with coconut granule, and is more a snack than main dish. Gado-gado is a vegetable salad served with peanut sauce dressing, with the main ingredients varying, but mostly comprise of shredded, chopped or slice green veggies, like cabbage, bean sprouts, young boiled jack fruit, string bean, bitter melon and corn, uncooked sliced cucumber and lettuce, fried tofu and tempeh, sliced boiled potatoes and peeled and sliced boiled eggs.