Jakarta is a multi-faced city that holds many secrets of everyone's history and cultural influences including Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, Indigenous Indonesian and so much more. If you look around Jakarta's historical neighborhoods, you will see the traces of what was and will always be imbedded in the fabric of modern day Indonesia. I was lucky enough to take a guided-tour with local and expat teachers around some of the most dynamic parts of Jakarta.
We started the walk in the trading area of Pasar Baru. Established in 1820, Pasar Baru of Central Jakarta is one of the oldest shopping districts in the city. The streets are lined with plenty of shops, restaurants and classic and modern shopping centers. Most of shops here sell textiles, shoes, clothes and other fashion products, such as; sportswear, watch and jewelries. As I walked the main strip, I could only imagine how this district served many of the people that migrated from China and India. The colorful scenery will give your eyes a marveling daze as there is so much to see.
As we kept walking through the bustling streets, we came upon a temple tucked away in Yayasan Wihara Dharma Jaya. If you don't know the neighborhood, it would not be easy to find. Luckily, we had a few wonderful tour guides that kept us on the right path. This Buddhist temple was not only a wondrous and welcoming, it was a place to adore regardless of your personal faith. The temple was about 3 floors high and each room and thousands of glowing candles with purpose and significance. The energy of the temple was alluring. I could have stayed there all day. We walked all around and worked up an appetite. One of the best things about the teacher outings is the free food that is provided! We ate at a traditional Chinese restaurant had enough variety and spice to fill us all up and keep us going.
EF Indonesia teacher events, such as the Heritage Walk, is a great way to meet new and local teachers from centers other than your own! After all, making great memories with teachers from all of the world is what expat life is all about.