Walking Tour in Jakarta Around the Historical Presidential Palace Building

Passing By the “Istana Merdeka” While Joining Tour in Jakarta

If you circle around the outer part of Indonesian National Monument complex, you will find a trace of history by viewing many old buildings that has been around from hundreds of years ago. One of the most iconic and important of those is the Presidential Palace building or best known as “Istana Merdeka”. Like any other iconic colonial buildings in Jakarta, it has a roman style gate with many pillars.

Admire Colonial Architectures from afar While Walking Tour in Jakarta

The presidential palace was built around the Dutch colonial era for administrative activities of the Dutch government. In the present day after Indonesian independency, the building is now functioning as a residence for the president and for conducting national events. The location of Istana Merdeka is at the north of the National Monument Complex. There might be a chance to view it from afar while you join our Jakarta Walking Tour with us.

Taking a Stroll Around Central Jakarta Area with Jakarta Walking Tour

Since it is a restricted area, of course civilians with no importance can not enter the area. However, we can still stroll around the outside to look from afar. Besides that, there are many other historical buildings that we can see outside the complex.

Join Jakarta Walking Tour to View Historical Buildings Firsthand

Historical and iconic places are best to be viewed instead of to be read, so come to Jakarta to see them firsthand. Join our Jakarta Walking Tour to explore more about history, culture, and delicacies of Jakarta. See you around!

Explore Historical Buildings in Jakarta with Jakarta Walking Tour – Part 2

Learn History Through Iconic Buildings in Central Jakarta with Jakarta Walking Tour

If you are keen on to learn history or culture of places and countries, walking around while browsing for historical buildings might be a nice option of tour in Jakarta for you. In the previous part, we already talk about old buildings that are functioning as governmental buildings. So, in this part, we will introduce you other kinds that is used to run a business or other functions.

Walking Tour in Jakarta by Browsing Stores in the Iconic Shopping Complex

We have introduced you to the Pasar Baru shopping district, the iconic place with old buildings that was built in colonial era. If we walk deeper in the complex, we will find stores with unique foreign names that sells variety of things, mostly fabrics and textiles. Beside that, the most historical one is called “Toko Kompak”, that was originally the residence of the Major of Chinese community in the 80’s.

Zoom in to The Philately Building as A Part of the Tour in Jakarta

We have introduced you to the Pos Bloc, where it once was a post office. Later on, the name was Changed to “Gedung Filateli”, or philately building. The entrance and the name are preserved as is in the present, but the function has changed to be a creative space with a few stores inside.

Pass Through the News Agency Building While Walking Tour in Jakarta

The historical building was belonged to a Dutch’s private news agency. As time goes by, the building became the local news agency, Antara, thus the name of “Gedung Antara”. It was from the Antara radio station that the proclamation of Indonesian independency was broadcasted in the 1945.

Fulfil Your Spiritual Journey by Looking an Iconic Church as Your Tour in Jakarta

Still in Pasar Baru area, there is a another must see church beside the iconic Jakarta Cathedral, which is “Gereja Ayam” or translated as “chicken church”, since there is a weathercock on the rooftop of the church.

Finish Your Walking Tour in Jakarta with a Refreshing Ice Cream

After going around to see historical buildings, complete your walking tour by visiting an old ice cream store, also a historical place in Central Jakarta, “Ragusa Es Italia”. It was established in the 1930’s by Italian nationality that was come to Batavia.

To find and learn more about other historical places in Jakarta, come to the city and join our Jakarta Walking Tour. We will wait for your arrival, see you around!

Explore Historical Buildings in Jakarta with Jakarta Walking Tour – Part 1

Reminisce the Old Jakarta with Jakarta Walking Tour

Since in the past Indonesia was colonized for so many years in the past, the culture, lifestyle, and history had a wide spectrum. All the influences from different colonizers can be seen physically from the buildings that had erected since colonization era. Many of those had been renovated, changed ownership and functions. So, to learn more about what is happening to those buildings now, visit them if you happen to do a tour in Jakarta.

Governmental Buildings by Walking Tour in Jakarta

There are a few of buildings from the Dutch colonization that has been preserved and renovated, and many of them are functioning as governmental building through this day. These buildings can be found easily if you pass by Central Jakarta. We will break them down one by one to make you find it easier while exploring the area.

See Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta by Walking Tour in Jakarta

The Presidential Palace of Indonesia is called Istana Merdeka. It was the residence and office of the president of Republic of Indonesia. It was the residence of governor-general of the Dutch Indies in colonization era.

Court Buildings to See During Tour in Jakarta

There are two court buildings around Central Jakarta area, which are the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court. They are right at the north and west of National Monument, so you can take a quick look while passing by before or after visiting the landmark.

Take a Look of The New Paleis Van Daendels and The Old Supreme Court Buildings for Your Tour in Jakarta

Beside doing various activities in Lapangan Banteng, there are two historical buildings to see if you are in the complex. They were built in Dutch colonial era and now function as the office building of Ministry of Finance.

See The Similarities of the Buildings While You Explore with Walking Tour in Jakarta

If you are quite attentive, you might find similarities between the buildings that we mention above, which is the Roman style pillar in the entrance. Join our Jakarta Walking Tour to find if there are more similarities on the tour. See you around!

RODE WINKEL Café, Once Known as “Toko Merah”

If you walk around Old Batavia or Old Town Jakarta, you will encounter a red two stories building that is quite catchy because of the wall color that is quite standout. With a vibrant red from the brick color, this building once called “Toko Merah”, or literally means a red store in English.

Before transformed into a café, this building is always closed, and people can only see the outer side of the building that is faces the street. This building that is built from 1730, is once a residence of former governor general during Dutch colonization, General Gustaaf Willem baron van Imhoff.

The owner and residence of the building has changed a few times throughout Batavia Jakarta’s history. In the 18th Century, it became a government office, function halls, and even a trading bureau. And in the 19th Century, it was inaugurated to be a cultural heritage.

However, this year, Toko Merah has been through some changes. The once closed building is open to the public now. Some parts of the building have been renovated to a mini café, called RODE WINKEL café. The café serves signature drinks, coffee, tea, snacks, desserts, also some regular meals with rice that is suitable for Indonesian flavors. Some of the drinks came with a piece of traditional snack or cake that is influenced by Dutch.

It is a nice place to relax after walking around Old Town Jakarta on a sunny day. You can cool yourself by drinking while enjoying the café vibes. Though one part has been transformed into a café, the other parts are still undergoing renovations. Inside the building outside the café door, there is a staircase on the left. It has become a new tourist attraction and people can take photos there.

Curious about the inside of this historical building? Or what kind of delicacies you can try at the café? You can only find out if you visit Batavia Jakarta firsthand. So, come to Jakarta, and join our Jakarta Walking Tour to look into the town’s history closer with us. See you around!

Take A Glance of Jakarta Old Town’s History from A Historical Water Fountain

Fatahillah Museum is an iconic view of Old Batavia. There is a lot to see in the Jakarta Old Town complex that might catch your attention. One of them is a little fountain that quite stands out in the middle of the square, in front of the museum.

It is shaped like a small monument, designed with a little dome on the top of it. It was built as a replica of a water supply in the 1970s era, whereas water around the city is contaminated, and there is a scarcity for clean water, causing illnesses and deaths. So, the government-built pipes and provided supplies for the Old Batavia area from other areas.

The fountain is a product of a reconstruction from the authentic water fountain that is built in colonial era of VOC. The references are from Johannes Rach’s painting, a famous painter from VOC. So, it is not functioning as a “real” water supply for the city, but only a monument to commemorate the history of Old Batavia.

Although it does not have a functioning water supply, it has become a spot of tourist attractions inside the Old Batavia complex. Many people from inside or outside the city keep visiting the the complex to spend their weekends with their families.

The placement of the fountain adds a nice touch for a view if you look at Fatahillah Museum from a distance. Aside from the fountain, there are also a lot of different spots that will attract tourists to take a picture of. So, it is a nice place to hunt and take artistic photos. A few people are also taking their pre-wedding pictures inside or around the complex.

If you are curious about the real appearance and history of this water fountain, come visit Jakarta and take a walk around the Old Town complex. You can also look and get an in-depth insight into Jakarta’s history and culture by joining a Jakarta Old Tour with Jakarta Walking Tour. So, what are you waiting for? See you in Jakarta!

A Cannon with Unusual Shape and Stories, Meriam Si Jagur

Jakarta Old Town is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jakarta. There are many things that you can see and explore there. Beside museums, there are also monuments and historical heritage, one of them is Meriam Si Jagur.

It is a big cannon that is placed across the Fatahillah Museum or Jakarta History Museum in the Old Batavia complex. The rear side of the cannon has the shape of a palm, with thumb tucked out between the index and middle finger. For some people, the shape seems a bit vulgar, but for some others, it is said that it is a symbol of luck.

In the past, it was believed that sitting on the cannon will grant fertility, so, many people who want children will sit on the cannon. This phenomenon makes the government decide to build a fence around the cannon to prevent people sitting on it.

Another unique thing about this cannon is the name, Si Jagur, it is from where it is located back then, in St. Jago de Barra, a Portuguese Fort in Macau, where the cannon was created. The cannon was made by Manoel Tovarres Bocarro and placed in Macau, before finally moved to Old Batavia by Dutch colonial empire in 16th Century. 

There is also a legend that the cannon is incarnation of a governor that was ordered to find a powerful weapon by Pajajaran King. From other source, a book by Ludovic Marquis de Beauvoir, titled Voyage Autour do Monde, the cannon was brought to the position by a great tidal wave.

If you want to know more about Si Jagur and want to see firsthand the unique and historical cannon, join us on our Jakarta Old Town tour, and we will take you to see and explore in depth the history of Jakarta and Old Batavia. So, see you around!


keris collection

The keris is a distinctive dagger indigenous to Indonesia. Nearly all regions in the Indonesian archipelago have their own distinct from of keris. Most Javanese families own a keris that has been passed down through generations.

The best keris are made by master blade smiths called ‘empu’ who are highly respected craftsmen and also learned in the arts, history and occult sciences. The process of making keris is often secretive and mystical.

keris body part

Keris blades are generally narrow with a wide, asymmetrical base. A keris aesthetic value comprise of the dhapur (the form and design of the blade), the pamor (the pattern of decoration on the blade), and tangguh (its age and origin). In high quality keris, the blades are created by folding in layers of different metals hundreds of times with utmost precision. The Javanese keris can have either a straight or wavy blade with an odd number of curves.

Both weapon and spiritual object, the keris is considered to possess spiritual powers or kesaktian to which special titles are conferred. Today, this magnificent dagger are still used for display purposes, as talismans, weapons, sacred heirlooms, auxiliary equipment for court soldiers and accessories for ceremonial dress which is an indicator of social status and a symbol of heroism. Cleansing rituals in keris­-bathing ceremonies on the first of the Javanese Sura month ensures the kesaktian of the sacred keris.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Disclaimer click here         


An unique musical instrument from West Java, the angklung is made up of two to four bamboo tubes suspended vertically on a bamboo frame. The lower part of the tubes us unattached, enabling them to produce sound were shaken. Each piece of angklung is made using bamboo of a particular diameter, corresponding to the different chords its intended to produce. Therefore, the smaller the angklung, the higher note it produces.

To play the angklung, the left hand lightly holds the upper left edge of the frame while the right hand shakes the lower right edge of the instrument. The angklung can be played in an ensemble of 15 players with 15 pieces of angklung or in combination with other musical instruments. Watch wonderful angklung group play on Bandung bamboo musical instruments workshop below:

However, you could also play it solo. Couple weeks ago, we saw street musician who play angklung in a very comfy way – sit on the low chair, cross the leg, and effortless play this instrument: 

The angklung’s present day diatonic chromatic scale, developed in 1938 by Daeng Sutigna of Kuningan, West Java, enables players to broaden their repertoire and go beyond traditional songs. The exotic sound of the angklung has attracted many contemporary Western musicians to incorporate the humble angklung into their ensembles.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Disclaimer click here  
Featured image credit: www.tempo.co      

Do you want to experience angklung group orchestra just like people on the video? Read more about Bandung tour tips and trick here or drop us message here



Batik is highly refined Javanese art of decorating cloth. More than just an adornment, batik embodies the soul and mysticism of the Javanese. Batik can be traditionally hand-drawn (batik tulis) using a canting (copper wax pen) or stamped using finely shaped copper blocks (batik cap). Batik tulis is generally more highly-praised as it requires more time, concentration and skill to produce. A single hand-painted batik cloth may take up to 2-3 months to complete. Stamped batiks are a more modern invention and require less time to produce. Traditional motifs include kawung, ceplok, and parang.

The styles of batik vary according to the region, each having an unique set of motifs, color preferences and symbolism. Coastal Batik show influences of foreign cultures. They are brighter and more colorful, dominated by yellows, mauves, ochre, greens and pale blue. Batik Pekalongan is characterized by its Dutch-influenced flower (buketan) motifs, while Cirebon has its signature mega mendung or stylized cloud motif of Chinese influence. Court Batik comes primarily from Solo and Yogyakarta and is colored using dyes of earthy tones. In batik design, the color blue traditionally symbolizes the earth; brown symbolized fire, and white for water and air.

Batik is highly versatile, used in both formal and informal occasions, by people from all walks of life.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Disclaimer click here         

Do you want to learn more about batik? We will bring you to the batik workshop to learn how to make batik and get to know more about batik cultural background on the right place with the expert. Contact us here



Gamelan is the traditional musical ensembles of Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java. The ensembles features a variety of instruments such as sets of tuned bronze gongs, gong-chimes, metallophones, drums, bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked string instruments. A gamelan orchestra can sometimes include singers. Gamelan music, weather played live or the recorded version, usually accompanies important events such as weddings, rituals and ceremonies, traditional dance and wayang performances.

Gamelan comprises two scales; the slendro (minor) and pelog (major). Each instrument has its functions. Gongs maintain the basic structure of the music; the metallophones carry the theme, while the kendang leads the orchestra by controlling the tempo of the musical piece.

Gamelan Jawa

Javanese Gamelan

There are generally three distinct types of gamelan, the Javanese, Balinese and Sundanese styles, each with its own distinctive musical scale, dynamics and mood. In Central Java, the gamelan is an essential element in many kraton (palace) ceremonies. In Bali, almost all religious rituals are accompanied by the gamelan.

Gamelan Bali

Balinese Gamelan

Certain pieces of the ensemble are believed to possess supernatural powers and would be played to ward off evil spirits or even manipulate the weather. Such special pieces are given titles and treated with utmost respect.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Disclaimer click here