Walking Tour in Jakarta: Cikini Area

Last Sunday, on January 17, I participated in a walking tour conducted by Jakarta Good Guide (@JKTgoodguide). It’s a “pay-as-you-like” tour. They have various routes, and the one they held last week was to Cikini area. I’ve been interested in this tour weeks ago when Tyas (@icblues) joined the tour in Kota Tua (Old Town). But I was also worried that I might be too tired to wake up in early morning, because I would’ve just arrived at home late on Saturday night after a business trip to Singapore. Turned out I could wake up quite early the next day! So let’s go for a walk 😀

Arrived exactly at 9 AM at the meeting point, Gedung Joang 45, I was excited to see lots of people had already gathered there. I was registered to the tour by oom Pitra (@pitra) who then introduced me to Pino (@pinonyuu) and Milly (@millyshafiq). Yay, new friends! After confirming my attendance and receiving a free postcard, I joined the English group together with the three, out of curiosity XD The group was guided by Farid (@faridArdian). Turned out I enjoyed being in the group so much! Maybe for the next tour I’ll also join the English one.

We started from the meeting point itself, Gedung Joang 45. I’ve never thought that the European-style building is actually a tourist spot, so I was kinda surprise when I saw the ticket booth XD. We paid IDR 5,000 and received a book about Jakarta and its tourist attractions.

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Farid explained the history and historical events happened in that building, took us around to see stuff from pre-independence era, from wardrobes of the youth army to Japan’s propaganda posters. What’s more interesting was the car collection at the back of the building. We got to see the cars used by our first president & vice president, with unique twists such as one was stolen and another was once turned into an oplet (a public transportation car).

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The back part of Gedung Joang 45

We then walked to Cikini Post Office Building, but we couldn’t send the postcards because it’s Sunday. So we proceeded to our next spot, Tan Ek Tjoan Bakery. Anyway the paving blocks were beautifully painted with murals done by IKJ art students (CMIIW) in cooperation with Korea(‘s university?).

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Let’s play?

To my surprise (again), the Tan Ek Tjoan Bakery in Cikini (established in 1921) has been closed down 😮 There gone another historical shop in Jakarta… However, the business is still running, not through the shop but carts. The factory in Ciputat still sends the breads every night, at 11 PM to be exact. Some of the tour participants bought the breads, quite fulfilling as a breakfast.

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The next stop was the famous Taman Ismail Marzuki, which was then a zoo owned by Raden Saleh, an Indonesian legendary painter. We went inside, not to the planetarium, but to Jakarta provincial library. I didn’t know the library was there all along =_= The library is air-conditioned, so it’s good to visit and take a break from intense sunshine outside. We just walked around & got some explanation on old photos of Jakarta. Maybe someday I’ll visit it again to read books there. Btw, you’ll need a Jakarta citizen ID (KTP) to enter and read books there.

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Inside the library

Just across the TIM, there’s an alley where a legendary ice cream shop, Tjanang, stands. Too bad that now the ice cream isn’t the main product, but the pempek (fried fish cake). We bought ice cream there (a cup is sold at IDR 12,000) and hey, it’s delicious! It’s rather like sorbet than ice cream. I bought the coconut one and it had coconut crumbs!

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Strolling the pavement, we passed Perguruan Cikini School. I just knew from this tour that President Soekarno’s children attended this school, and there was a b0mbing incident when one day he brought them to school. Actually there is another destination in the tour: PGI Cikini Hospital, where Raden Saleh’s house is located inside. Too bad we couldn’t go there in group and too awkward to go one by one XD so yeah, we just skipped that destination.

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The Perguruan Cikini School

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Ice cream saved our lives!

We turned right and arrived at our last stop: Flea Market at Jl. Surabaya. The market sells antique stuff, from traditional Indonesian, Chinese, Arabian, to western-themed stuff. It’s really a nice place to find unique decoration, but I think a pricing skill is needed.

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The tour ended there. I could tell that the participants were happy, especially foreign tourists who kept asking questions and didn’t bother to take many photos. It turned out that our group was the group with the least group-photos, LOL.

Bonus pic: One particular house, a huge one, at Cikini which intrigued me so much XD But the history of this house was rather unknown, other than the info that it’s owned by Hasjim Ning…

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One suggestion for this tour route: Include Bubur Cikini (BurCik) across KFC in tour explanation. Its porridge is hella good! XD

Check out Jakarta Good Guide’s walking tour schedule here.

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