Sometimes heat hurts. It’s like the heat that slaps your face when you remove a pizza from the oven. But there’s no door to close. And it pushes down on you.

You could fault the sun, but it’s more than that. It’s humid. There is little wind. And there are mosquitoes. It’s a blind date where Kailua-Kona meets a Houston summer. The result is Southeast Asia. And in Central Jakarta, the buildings block the ocean breeze that might otherwise prevail.

Most travelers skip Jakarta in favor of Bali and Sumatra. I’m happy I didn’t. I want to see a place with my own biases. Here’s a glimpse of the Jakarta I visited:

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Public area where protesters gather.
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Monas: iconic tower constructed to commemorate the struggle for independence. In the foreground there is barbed wire to, presumably, keep protesters at bay.
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Istiqlal Mosque: largest mosque in Southeast Asia. On the left is Vera, my wonderful guide.
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Another view of the Istiqlal Mosque.
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In other parts of the world, this might seem strange.
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Kopi Luwak: this coffee comes from the fecal matter of civet cats in Indonesia. It is referenced in Jack Nicholson’s “As Good As It Gets,” and outside of Indonesia it can cost $100-600 per pound.
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Fatahillah Square: local square where people gather to eat, chat, and relax.
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A glimpse of gridlock redefined.
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Public bus transportation gets a bit intense during rush hour. What’s different, though, is that the front of the bus is reserved for female passengers.
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Another view from the inside of the Istiqlal Mosque.

Details:

City Tour: Jakarta Walking Tour (ask for Vera)

Hotels: Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Pluit Citygate and Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasyim

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