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The Jakarta Explorer:

Cultural Tours In and Around the City

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Jakarta ExplorerWe are very excited to announce the arrival of the new edition of The Jakarta Explorer, the essential guide to Jakarta for everyone from the one-time visitor to the long term resident. With updated maps and full of photographs, this is a "must have."

For more than a decade, Explorers has been one of the Indonesian Heritage Society's most popular activities, especially among newcomers to the city. Participants meet in small groups one morning a week to visit places of historic and cultural interest in Jakarta and surrounding areas. As a result of Explorer's activities, the Indonesian Heritage Society has now published four editions of The Jakarta Explorer. Due to the many changes occurring in the city over the last few years all the locations were revisited prior to the latest printing to ensure that the information is as current as possible. Extra information was also added, new photographs incorporated, layout altered, and an index included.

As one of the world's largest cities, Jakarta poses quite a challenge to those wanting to discover its often hidden riches. The Jakarta Explorer provides the reader with information and guidelines that make it possible for anyone to “explore” Jakarta and gain a far greater understanding of the city and its surrounding areas than they could possibly achieve by restricting themselves to the more frequently visited tourist sites.

Knowing the history of an area, the significance of different buildings and the importance of a particular landmark open a window of understanding to the country's culture and its people. The Jakarta Explorer will help readers learn how places made history, how people made places, and how Jakarta grew, developed and changed. Besides detailed information about locations, which are organized by neighborhoods and regions, the 345-page book also includes a number of short essays that provide additional historical and cultural information.

Perennially popular sites for Explorer excursions have included Jakarta's many museums as well as notable mosques, churches and temples, arts centers, traditional markets, historical cemeteries, botanical gardens and home-based industries such as jamu making and production of tempe and tahu. In recent years, Explorers also have expanded their destinations to include sites of interest outside of Jakarta, such as in Puncak, Bogor, Banten, Ciampea and Plered.

Approximately, 190 members of the Heritage Society are active in the Explorers program. Participants organize into groups of about 30 people. Each week or every other week a team of two members is responsible for researching a site, compiling background information and arranging a tour for fellow Explorers. The information is later placed on file at the Society's library for the benefit of future Explorer groups and other members.


The Indonesian Heritage Society, founded in 1970, is a multinational organization of volunteers who support and assist Museum Nasional and other museums in Jakarta and promote public appreciation for Indonesia's cultural heritage. Among the group's many activities, members help catalogue museum artifacts, translate archival records, give museum tours, teach English and other languages to museum staff, present cultural programs at local schools, organize a bi-annual evening lecture series, hold study groups on selected topics and sponsor study tours to various regions of Indonesia. Volunteers also run an extensive reference library in South Jakarta that is open to members of the Heritage Society.


The Jakarta Explorer: Cultural Tours In and Around the City is available at the Indonesian Heritage Society library, on the 17th floor, Sentral Senayan 1, (adjacent to Plaza Senayan) Jl Asia Afrika 8, Jakarta Pusat 10270. As Library hours vary throughout the week, it's best to call in advance to make sure the library is open (572-5870). The book can also be purchased from the organisation's office at the National Museum, Jl. Merdeka Barat 12, Jakarta Pusat (9:30-13:00 Tuesday through Friday, phone 381-1551, ext. 46). Again, call first to be sure the offices are open. The book is also available at most expat community bazaars, gift shops and Heritage Society events.

5th edition 2015, Paperback

For information on other Indonesian Heritage Society Publications.

For more information, contact: the Indonesian Heritage Society Library on 572-5870 (see hours above).

Last updated November 24, 2015

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