Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Indonesia Trip '08 – Day 02 : Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta

Woke up fairly early for breakfast that was provided by the hotel which was included in the price of the room. Given the price of the room, the breakfast of nasi goreng and eggs was also not much to talk about but it was still filling. After breakfast, we left the hotel heading towards Taman Mini Indonesia (TMII) in a taxi that we charter for the whole day. We found that taxi fare was still relatively cheaper in Jakarta than in KL. We were able to charter metered taxis by the day from the Bluebird company for a lot less here especially since they do not let the meter running when we stop at a place.

TMII was located slightly more than an hour from our hotel. Traffic on that day was fairly packed as we pass through Central Jakarta but it got thinner once we hit the highway. We reached TMII only to find the place packed with local tourist. What we didn’t know was that the park was celebrating their 33rd anniversary of their opening and a lot of the roads within the park was filled with cars ferrying other visitors. It also didn’t help that some of the roads were closed off for vehicles with invitations only and no clear signs were posted to inform the visitors. Suffice to say that getting around in the park was a nightmare in really hot weather.

TMII was a sprawling 100 hectare park that showcased real size replicas of the type of houses found all over Indonesia. Given that we were only focusing our visit to Java, this was a chance for us to see the other types of architecture from other parts of Indonesia. I had initially thought of having the taxi drop us off at the entrance of park then walk around the park by ourselves. While it was certainly doable, doing it in the kind of hot day that we were in that day definitely won’t be the smartest thing to do. Plus the other people in the group were already giving me strange looks when I suggested it. So we decided to make one circuit of the park in the taxi to figure out which house/attractions that we wanted to visit on our own before going to one of the park’s cable car station to get on the cable car.

(Aerial views of some of the buildings and park grounds)

The cable car was a practical way to cover as much as we could of the park without actually half way killing ourselves in the heat. It gave us fairly good aerial views of the surrounding structure and was not going too fast that we could not get good pictures of the buildings that we saw. We took the cable car for one end to the other of that particular line which travel high above the buildings that we had earlier passed by on ground level. At the end of the trip, there was a station where the 2 separate cable car lines converged. I had thought that we could have gotten out of out cable car and switch to the other line to see the other side of the park but it seems that we can only stay on the same line for a round trip ticket.

(L: Mini Disney-like castle on the grounds for the kids. R: The park's monorail in action)

(A carnival affair filled the park for it's 33rd aniversary of operation)

After the aerial view of the park, we decided to go around the park again by taxi and stop at several of the houses for a closer look at what was available there. We decided to stop at the Jambi, Minangkabau and Batak houses since they were very conveniently located and had some activities happening on their grounds. We also visited the Riau house, which me being who I am must visit, where we remarked on how similar it was to houses that we found in Johor. They also had a mini concert there while we were touring the place and it was very eye revealing how familiar their songs were to us from Malaysia. We ended out TMII visit after taking pictures of the buildings at the Bali house which just inspired me more to make a visit to Bali in the near future.

(Examples of Batak houses from Sumatera)

(Minangkabau houses also from Sumatera)

(Riau Malay houses from Riau Islands - so similar to the ones found in Johor down to the color schemes)

(Examples of Balinese archways and courtyard - hope to see the real things soon)


sbanboy said...

Nice pictures ... I should go there someday...thanks for sharing the pictures.

Chen said...

hi. were there many other tourists around?