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A Colorful Saturday at Monas!

Yesterday was probably the most amazing and precious Saturday during my almost-two year stay in Jakarta. Instead of obeying to Jakartans' weekend ritual (read: visiting shopping centers. FYI, there are more than 70 shopping centers in Jakarta), I chose to visit the National Monument, widely known as Monas, located in the heart of the capital city. It is just 20 - 30 minutes by riding my motorcycle from my boarding house. I went there after a friend of mine told me that there would be several festivals being held at Monas. 



Well, for your information, I rarely went to Monas. First, I usually avoid open space area during the day. The heat in Jakarta is unbearable. Second, it is rainy season. Lately, there has been no day without rain here in Jakarta.

But, it turned out that my trip to Monas was quite wonderful. Below are some pictures of my visit to the monument. Pictures tell a thousand words right? 

Entering Monas . . . 

Shady and breezy: The 80-acre park homes so many trees. Visitors usually rent mats to sit in the shady areas. This path will lead you to Monas Tower.
Artwork along the way: You probably want to get a temporary tattoo along the path...


The Golden Guardian: "Take a picture with me. I don't bite." 

Daily Patriarchy: The Monas Tower's design is inspired by Hinduism's Lingga - Yoni structure that signifies fertility and male power.

Watching kites soaring in the sky . . .

Last year, when I was a reporter, I made a story of the 2012 Jakarta International Kites Festival in Ancol beach, North Jakarta. You can read my story entitled "Flying kites for unity in Jakarta fest" in the Jakarta Post's website here. I still remember how fun it was to make the story. Therefore, when I knew that the same festival was held in Monas, I was very eager to watch it. 

Here are some kites that I managed to capture at the Jakarta International Kites Festival 2013. 

Welcome: The 2013 Jakarta International Kites Festival
I love Jakarta:  if it has no traffic congestion and if it has more trees

Fly me up: Kites in various colors and shapes brightened Monas' sky on Saturday (collage by www.benfunky.com)
I believe i  can fly: I heard the fishes chanting R. Kelly's massive hit 

The devil tamer: This male participant from USA (if i am not mistaken) tried to fly this unique kite. 
Dark figures approaching: The kites flew over Monas ground ... wait, weren't those dementors??? They did look like those happiness-sucking creatures in this photo... (no camera /application effect is applied in this photo. It's just a trick my uncle ever taught me)
Wait for me:pparently, the horse also wanted to join the fishes above dancing in the sky

Peeking into Indonesia's diverse culture ... 

Done enjoying the kites (and the breeze that made me sleepy), I went to another festival in the Monas park. The festival was called Gebyar Budaya Nusantara (The Cultural Festival Across Archipelago) in which I can take a glimpse into some cultures of various areas in Indonesia. I finally can taste the famous 'Es Pisang Ijo' from Makassar!
At last: I finally tried the ubiquitous Es Pisang Ijo from Makassar. Well, it is OK for me. Do not want another try though.  
Diversity is beauty: the festival showcased various arts including Reog from Ponorogo, Palang Pintu  from Betawi and various dances from across the archipelago. 


A late afternoon at Monas ... 
The third festival started at 7 p.m., meaning that I would have to spend sometimes at the park. There are so many activities that you can do to kill the times at Monas! 

From ball to book: Some choose to play basketballs or soccer. Some choose to fly kites (yeah, you can actually fly kites in jakarta). Some, or just me, choose to read books while listening to musics. You may just wander around the park!  
Waiting for the dusk: when you are lucky, you may get a beautiful sunset scenery. Alas, I was unlucky yesterday. It was cloudy!  


And the darkness falls ... 
Is Monas quieter after sunset? hell no ... more people showed up at the park to enjoy their Saturday evening. Some spots of the park also instantly transformed into night markets.

Giant gold candle: The gold-cloaked peak of Monas started to glow after the night falls 

Festivity overload: The darkness does not stop people from flocking to Monas


Rainbow boxes: these glowing in the dark digital clocks are sold at IDR 35,000 each



Enjoying the dance ... 
And the last spot I visited in Monas last evening was the International Folk Dance Festival which featured 9 countries including South Korea, Russia, Poland, Austria and Bangladesh. 

However, I could not take good quality pictures with my phone (too bad). Nevertheless, here are some of them. 

Graciously moving: The ladies from South Korea move really graciously. Their slow paced movement reminded me of Javanese style dance. Their costumes were really amazing. It was like watching historical Korean movies. 

Russian fairy princess: These girls were really amazing! They danced as if they had wheels on their feet. They were like flying. It was the best dance for the night, in my opinion. 

And that's a wrap. I really enjoyed my Monas trip yesterday! Even if without those festivals, you can still find some interesting things to do there. It is a cheap way to hang out in the capital.  


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All pictures are taken by myself with Lumia 520. Finishing touch for some pictures are done at Photobucket and Benfunky

Comments

  1. see.. you don't have to follow the majority to enjoy life (read: visiting shopping centers.) and it's really surprising to know that this activity was the most amazing and precious Saturday during your almost-two year stay in Jakarta. so where were you during that period? haha

    seriously, i like reading this post. just glad to know that you enjoy your life as the world becomes busy and ignorant than before.
    anyway, the rainbow boxes photo is beautiful. i like that. :D

    p.s. too bad, i didn't get any chance to visit Monas. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was busy visiting malls pon hahaha XD ... The Rainbow Boxes picture is also my favorite :)

      Visit Monas in Sunday morning. That is also a good time. Or visit Museum Taman Prasasti which I made a post about last year. Worth a shot!

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