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Jakarta, Indonesia

The capital of Indonesia - Jakarta, has for decades attracted tourists with its exotic magnetism. The metropolitan center brings into its vast area nearly 10 million citizens, making it the twelfth largest city by population, in the world and also among the most densely populated regions throughout Southeast Asia.

Jakarta is located on the island of Java one of more than 17 000 - they are islands, constituting the largest Muslim country - Indonesia.

Jakarta was not always an impressive and huge conglomerate. Originally, the town was a small harbour, called Sunda Kelapa. In 1522, the Portuguese first set foot on the island. Then the country began to be widely attended by English and Dutch traders, who inevitably have an impact on history, culture and management of such exotic countries. In 1619, the Dutch changed the name of the city, calling it Batavia. Since then they start the colonialism in Indonesia, which lasted more than 3 centuries and a half. In 1942, the city fell into the hands of another conqueror - Japan. The independence of Indonesia - the fourth largest in population country in the world comes in 1945. Then, the Muslim country declared its freedom and determined Jakarta (which literally means "perfect victory") as its official capital.

These events affect the overall appearance of the city, dressing monuments in their history. Among the first sights that visitors can visit, is one called the National Monument, located in the center of Merdeka Square. The monument is 132 feet high, erected in the heart of Jakarta and symbolizes the independence of Indonesia. On top is sculptured a flame, covered with 35 pounds of gold foil. At the bottom of the monument itself is located a museum telling the history of the Muslim state. Visitors have access to the top of the monument, where in fine weather the cityscape of the capital is stunning.

In Jakarta is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia - Istiqlal Mosque. The religious temple is also built in honour of Indonesian independence. The mosque was built so that it can hold about 120 000 pilgrims.

Jalan Tamrin in Jakarta

Top destination in Jakarta is Ragunan Zoo. Each year it is visited by over 3 million people. Architectural design of the park allows to keep it open - where guests are in close proximity to animals. Fauna contains over 3000 animals, with 90% of them that can be found only on the territory of Indonesia.

Among the landmarks of the city is Taman Mini. The attraction is a park where you can see all the collected natural diversity, constructing the archipelago.

Another impressive attraction is the amusement park on the shore of the bay in Jakarta (Ancol Jakarta Bay City). This modern area for relaxation and entertainment is made up of many aquariums, an artificial lagoon for fishing or boating, bowling, massage parlours, restaurants and nightclubs. The complex also has a marina, golf course and hotels. In the park is a huge market (Pasar Seni), where you can find unique works of art, made by local residents. The park attracts visitors with open-air theatre, starring local actors.

Old Town in Jakarta is also interesting and busy place. There, guests of the city would feel the authentic spirit of Indonesia and its people. The old town is called "Queen of the East" and "Brilliant Asia."

The capital of Indonesia is another gateway to other popular tourist destinations such as Yogyakarta and Bali.

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