After the recent jaunt in the jungles of Marvelous Mulu, we decide to visit the 11th most populous city on planet Earth – Jakarta. With 9mil souls in the city (at 12,000 people for every square km) and 23mil when the whole metro area is included, that’s like putting all Malaysians in one tight spot! I’d go crazy.
Today 23/2/2007, and our transport to CGK is Flight AK956, with A320 reg. 9M-AFH.
Coordinates of the parking spot for pilot’s reference.
Awesome CFM56-5 engine.
Soon we are above the Straits of Malacca heading southeasterly …
… with a glorious sunset accompanying us.
We arrive Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng (whence ‘CGK’), about 15min late, which is okay lah.
The next morning we find ourselves in Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, a major amusement park in northern Jakarta, facing Jakarta Bay. View from our hotel room.
Nearby a marina for rich kids with big houses and big boats.
We’ve heard so much of this Mangga 2 shopping area, and being virtually next to Ancol, we decide to check it out.
Mangga 2 is actually a cluster of huge shopping malls catering for the various businesses.
The IT block seems to be running a fair.
But the shop-lots are so narrow and cramped, that vendors are assembling PCs along the walkways.
Chinese New Year festivity still in full swing. Jakarta has a sizeable Chinese presence, mainly the business folks.
A typical shopping mall – narrow aisles chock-a-block with stuff. As the crowd builds up, it’s quite an ordeal doing your shopping here. Hot and stuffy too.
We end up our Mangga 2 walkabout with a lunch of tasty local bakso .
After a short rest, we decide to explore Ancol itself, and this well-regarded Seaworld is an obvious top choice.
A well-tended square at the entrance.
And yeah, the lobby.
A replica mural from Borobodur greets visitors upon passing the turnstiles.
The whole mural in full glory, showing the ‘outrigger boat’.
Inside, it reminds me of the darkened cave chambers in Mulu, but the sides are lit with colourful aquaria …
… filled with all manners of sea critters, some obviously edible …
… while others less so. Huge Arapaimas from the Amazon. Ugly dudes.
Some you can pat and stroke …
… while others are best avoided. Riverine crocs.
A huge aquarium …
… of gorgeous black-tipped sharks. There’s an area, next to the turtles above, where you can touch and handle little black-tipped sharks, whose skin feels rough and tough, leatherlike.
And of course more cissy colourful stuff. That reminds me, I should go snorkelling again this summer.
There’s even a small aquarium with cute, little jellyfish darting around. First time ever I see such graceful critters up close, and this poor photo does them no justice at all.
But the flagship show must be this tunnel through a mini sea teeming with its worthy denizens.
Huge fish making this their home … as if they have any choice.
Surreal view looking upwards.
Water gushes in very strongly near where the light is, and this adult turtle tries to swim against it, with little success.
A gigantic manta ray swoops past.
They say this oceanarium is the biggest in Southeast Asia, which is apt since Indonesia is a huge nation of diverse maritime biodiversity. And this sea world is reputed to be the best in Southeast Asia, beating even the one in Sentosa Island, Singapore.
There is an observation deck above the huge tank …
… plus a bit of briefing.
We decide to leave as a noisy show for shrieking kids begins.
Past the exit, there is a delightful souvenir shop.
Colourful fluffy soft toys everywhere …
… which makes even the nastiest sea creatures very cuddleable.
As we leave Seaworld, the Year of the Pig wishes us well. Thanks!
We decide to return to our hotel, via the Gondola, a cable-car service spanning Seaworld and the Marina I mentioned earlier. We reckon from the Marina it’d be a short stroll back home.
The queue for the cars.
Made by Doppelmayr, the world-renowned Austrian cable-car specialist, which also did the awesome (read: scary) Langkawi cable-car system. How reassuring.
This couple did not alight but decide to go for another round, which is perfectly okay. With one ticket you can ride for as long as possible, I guess.
Soon we are on our way …
… and passes by water-park Atlantis to the left.
The cable-car skirts the beach …
… with polluted Jakarta Bay to the right.
A popular spot for anglers and loving couples.
On the beachfront, commercial activities.
Weekend beachgoers, though the water does not look too clean.
We reach our destination …
… and take a stroll past the Marina back to our hotel, but that darkish water looks foreboding.
Rich folks’ stately homes and rich folks’ toys, but the water stinks, with fresh sewage adding to the misery. And no thanks to the low tide too.
Back to our comfy Raddin Ancol room …
… with our Seaworld and Gondola passes still intact. Should be good for another Seaworld visit and Gondola ride, as long as they are legible.
The sun finally sets, and enough fun for the day. We retire …
TO BE CONTINUED …
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