Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Jakarta Diaries : 4 : Taman Mini Indonesia

On my first Sunday in Jakarta, I went to visit a incredible place called Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. Taman means a park, so like the name gives you an idea about the place, this is miniature of Indonesia. Think of it, a miniature of entire country. 

This is a very well planned mega theme park occupying nearly 250 acres of land. The huge area includes a lot of museums, monuments, theaters, religious places, sculptures, and much more. And all of this together summarizes the culture, history and lifestyle of Indonesia.

As I told you in previous post, I met Rahul in the hotel lift, and we made a plan to visit Taman Mini (as this place is popularly called). So we hired a taxi in morning, it took us around 40-45 minutes to reach Taman Mini. We reached there, and the hugeness of these premises stunned us. 

The entrance has a miniature of the Monas (the monument of Indonesia, like Kutub Minar, or Statue of Liberty). We saw large groups of locals, many families coming there for a picnic. We were looking for information desk, but unfortunately nobody was there, and random people we met, didn't know much of English. We were not sure which places were most interesting, which ones were to be kept on lesser priority. 

We spotted a terminal for the mono rail, and we decided to have an overview of the entire campus. Rope way is another option for the same, but it seemed to be slower. We boarded on the train, and in around 20 minutes, the train completed the circular journey through entire park. It was just brilliant example of planning, architecture and creativity. We spotted few places that we would like to visit, and rented a bike once we were back on the starting point. We got a moped bike for 4 hours. 

The park is so huge, that it would take atleast 2-3 days to visit each and every attraction. You have to be selective if you want to spend just a day or less. 

We started riding through the park, and stopped to visit any attraction that seemed to be interesting. On the way, we saw many buildings reflecting the Indonesian style of architecture. I was glad we visited the bird sanctuary there. 

The bird sanctuary was a large area dedicated for birds, enclosed with nets. And inside, you get to see so many birds, of different kinds. Some walk free in the area, while some are caged. There are also few spots, where trainer and few trained birds allow you to take a picture with the bird for some fees.

My wife recently gifted me with a DSLR camera, and I enjoyed clicking those beautiful birds. Click here to view the google plus album of those pictures.

Next attraction we visited was a collection of sculptures of animals in marble. The sculptures were really beautiful, and very close to reality. I have named the album of these pics as Taman Rock Zoo. :D

I also did some shopping of wooden toys for kids in my family, some souvenirs. I heard that Taman Mini is the best place to find variety of souvenirs at cheaper prices than anywhere in Jakarta.

We also visited one Transport Museum, Museum Transportasi in the local language. It had a collection of vintage vehicles, ranging from old cars to buses, from rail engines to helicopters and aircraft. Here is the link to album of Museum Transportasi

The last major attraction we managed to visit was the aquarium. It was like any other aquarium, having variety of fishes, and sea animals. The only new species I saw there was the white turtle, and a very tiny breed of turtles, which were up for sell in small containers. Click here for the album of this Dunia Aquarium.

Apart from these, we saw many such buildings/ attractions/ religious places in the ride. These are the pictures taken randomly around the entire Taman Mini. 

It was a very hot n sunny day, we were sweating a lot. We didn't have the stamina to stay any longer. But whatever we visited, and saw was worth the time.