The port town of Jakarta has a rich and long history as a trading port dating as far as back as the 5th century. It is located on Java, the world’s 13th largest island which is part of the Republic of Indonesia. Jakarta is without a doubt one of Indonesia’s most picturesque travel destinations and given its rich history, visitors are all but awed by the celebrated art and colourful culture that still resonates even amidst the modern luxuries within this teeming metropolis that is the capital.
This extraordinary region enjoys the status of a province and consists of Greater Jakarta which covers an approximate 600km square area. Jakarta is located on the northern coast of West Java; it is the axis of government, commerce and industry and has an extensive communications network with the rest of the country and the outside world. Positioned strategically in the archipelago, the city is also the principal gateway to the rest of Indonesia.
Outside of Jakarta, one can visit many exciting places, one of which is the garden city of Bandung, which the Dutch colonialists referred to as the "Paris of the East," it is only a beautiful four-hour train journey from Jakarta. More adventurous locations include Pelabuhan Ratu on the south coast, with surfing beaches, and the Mount Halimun nature reserve, well-known for its white-water rafting.
Jakarta has a population of nine million residents while Indonesia has an impressive overall population of more than 230 million people occupying its thousands of islands. The country is a vibrant multi-cultural blend of more than 350 ethnic groups, the most common being of Malay ancestry: Javanese, Sundanese and Madurese. Parallel with the general feature of Indonesia, the majority of the residents in Jakarta are Muslim, i.e. (85.50%), and making up the rest of the religious believers are Protestants (5.20%), Roman Catholics (4.77%), Hindus (0.97%), and Buddhists (3.56%).
The city of Jakarta is a vibrant embodiment of contrasts; the old and the new, the rich and the poor, the long-established traditional and the newly-erected modern structures often stand side by side in this lively capital. The city is the perfect reflection of the diversity of the population, the culture, beliefs and lifestyles are superimposed and infused into one another and are a constant reminder of the national motto: Unity in Diversity.