Jakarta: Capital of Islamic Culture in the Asian Region for the Year 2011

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Jakarta, the capital and largest city of Indonesia, is located on the northwest coast of Java. It has always been a gateway to Indonesia. This important city was a modest port town. The spice trade and exquisite handicraft has made Jakarta popular and placed it on the world map as a developed city. Jakarta is sprawling with numerous malls, shopping centres, and traditional markets. It also has several old historical mosques and wonderful tourist attractions.

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Istiqlal Mosque or Masjid Istiqlal (Independence Mosque)

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The Istiqlal Mosque, situated in the northeast corner of Medan Merdeka (Merdeka Square), is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. This architectural masterpiece attracts people from all over the country who come to it for prayer.

National Monument or Monumen Nasional (MONAS)

The National Monument (MONAS), a 137-meter tall marble obelisk topped with a flame coated with 35 kilograms of gold, was built during the Sukarno era to honour Indonesia’s struggle for independence from 1945 to 1949.

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Jalan Surabaya Antique Market

Jalan Surabaya, one of Indonesia’s main attractions for tourists and Indonesians alike, is a popular antique open-air market that is lined with several stalls selling all sorts of souvenirs, artefacts, real and fake, wooden and stone statues, and countless other timeless pieces of antiques that reflect the popular heritage of the Indonesian people. It is as popular as the bazaar district of Khan El-Khalili in Egypt.

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Sunda Kelapa

Sunda Kelapa is one of the main and oldest harbour areas of Jakarta that is used for transport of goods to all Indonesia’s islands. Today, a popular tourist destination in the world, the port accommodates many traditional wooden sailing ships, as a link between past and present. The Maritime Museum (Museum Bahari), located in the old Sunda Kelapa seaport, focuses on the maritime history of Indonesia

Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu)

Pulau Seribu means a “Thousand Island” consisting of a large string of small islands located in the Bay of Jakarta. The fresh air, surrounding waters and golden beaches make Pulau Seribu an ideal spot for recreation away from the pressures of city life in Jakarta. Several restaurants serving genuine seafood in many of these islands are also popular among tourists and Indonesians.

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A panoramic view of Jakarta