Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and its largest city. It lies on the northern coast of Java, close to its western end. The urban area of Jakarta is huge, extending over 25 x 30km. Jakarta has been settled since at least the 4th century and has been ruled by several kingdoms prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the 16th century. The colonial period started with the establishment of trading posts in the 17th century and ended after WW II, when Indonesia achieved independence from the Dutch.
Despite its long history Jakarta nowadays doesn't have much in terms of cultural and historic heritage, mainly because many old buildings have been torn down in the past decades to make place for new developments. Jakarta nowadays is pretty much a modern city. It has a very large number of malls, some of them are very large. The traffic in Jakarta is very intense. Because there is no public transportation system, loads of cars are on the streets and there are lots of traffic jams. Many people need two hours in the morning to get into the office.
Jakarta (at least the central parts I visited in 2012) made a good impression for what concerns cleanliness and security. The (few) tourist attractions are concentrated around Merdeka square and the colonial centre around the Stadhuis. However the main reason to visit Jakarta should be its vibrant nightlife and the multitude of shopping malls.
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