Fatahillah Square is the center of Jakarta's Old Town, Kota Tua. (Antara Photo/Reno Esnir)

Participate in Indonesia Heritage Walk to Explore Jakarta's Old Town


AUGUST 30, 2017

Jakarta. The Ministry of Tourism has launched a walking tour program, Indonesia Heritage Walk, in Jakarta's Old Town, or Kota Tua, on Sunday (27/08).

"Indonesia Heritage Walk is a walking tour which aims to make Kota Tua a leading historical tourist site in Jakarta," Esthy Reko Astuti, deputy for tourism development at the ministry, said on Tuesday (29/08).

In the first three months participation in the tour will be free.

The program is a collaborative work between the ministry, Kota Tua community, the Southeast Asia Tourist Guide Association (SEATGA) and Bituris Wisata Indonesia.

The tour begins at the Mandiri Museum with a movie about the Portuguese and Dutch arrival to Batavia (as Jakarta used to be known) in search for spices. The guests are then invited to see the museum building, which used to host the Netherlands Trading Society (Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij), a trading company established in 1824 by King Willem I to coordinate trade between the Netherlands and its colony, the Dutch East Indies.

The tour continues to the Kali Besar area, showing the organization of water channels connecting the city's interior to Sunda Kelapa Port.

Coffee shop Aroma Nusantara is the next destination. There the walk's participants can enjoy the taste of Indonesian coffee — from Aceh Gayo to Papua Arabica.

After coffee they will proceed to Fatahillah Square to learn more about pencak silat, Indonesian traditional martial arts, and watch gendang rampak drums performance.

The tour, which started with the historical quest for nutmeg, pepper and cinnamon, ends with a cooking demo of sayur babanci, a traditional Betawi dish containing 21 spices.