Visitor take a selfie in front of Kalibesar at Kota Tua (Old Town) in West Jakarta on Friday (13/07) Kali Besar is becoming a new Jakarta's tourism historical site (JG Photo / Yudha Baskoro)

Jakarta's New Old Town

JULY 14, 2018

The Kali Besar area in Kota Tua, Jakarta's old town, has been revitalized and was opened to the public on July 6. The former Dutch colonial complex is now becoming the capital city's new tourism site. 

Wide sidewalks and old buildings bring back the architectural ambiance of Batavia during the Dutch East Indies. However, it will not enter Unesco's world heritage sites list.

The revitalization project, which cost Rp 260 billion ($18 million), has been criticized by  the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the organization which nominates historical sites for the list. The council said reconstruction works should have been supervised by historians to avoid altering the buildings' original shape, at which Jakarta failed by using too much concrete.

Visitors take pictures in the Kali Besar area on (13/07). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

The Jakarta administration revitalized the Kali Besar canal ahead of the 2018 Asian Games (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A horse-drawn carriage with tourists passes by Toko Merah, one of the old town's hallmark buildings. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A child sits next to a sculpture of a reading man. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A young man is roller-skating on a renovated sidewalk. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

People take pictures in front of a heritage building. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

The Kali Besar area is open 24 hours. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

The canal was cleaned and made visitor-friendly. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)