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Jakarta, Indonesia — October 2007

October 9th, 2007

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I’ve been to Jakarta three times on business, all three times it was fly in in the morning, have a meeting and then fly out. This time the meeting was on Friday afternoon so I decided to stay a night and see about some photos.

First off; there is nothing in Jakarta to photograph if you want typical Southeast Asian travel photos. No great ancient temples, no colorful Chinatown (there is a Chinatown but it’s not much different than any other part of town. The closest thing to interesting sites is old Batavia where the Dutch built their capital. Unfortunately for me it seemed to be under renovation — the whole damn city square!

Jakarta is a sprawling stinking polluted mess of a city. Dotted with ‘heroes of the revolution’ type statues and monuments that would not be out of place in Stalins Moscow. The constant haze and pollution means getting decent photos of these monument is hard.

I guess there must be little back alleys and hidden places that would be interesting to photograph, places that would be fun or exciting to visit but even the Lonely Planet only devotes two pages of it’s Southeast Asia on a Shoestring book to Jakarta.

It’s just not that interesting.

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