a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Monday, May 2, 2016

Travel Wish List : Tangerang City, a Relaxing Stop after your Outdoor Adventures in Java, Indonesia

I live in the Philippines, an archipelago in Southeast Asia with lots of forests, scenic mountain views and where the sun joyfully blasts its rays almost the entire year. While I have taken the time exploring  my home (and there's still more to visit!),  I do get curious about other countries, especially our Asian neighbors. One country that has caught my interest for its outdoor destinations and the awesome fact that I don't need a visa for a visit is, Indonesia! :) Seeing photos from friends who have traveled here, its tourism tagline, Wonderful Indonesia seems like a very fitting description of what it can offer to nature lovers like me.
Screenshot from @indtravel, the official Instagram account of
 Indonesia Ministry Tourism where you can get ideas on where to go.
Since it'll be my first visit to Indonesia, an archipelago country that has over 17,000 islands (Source : CIA Fact Bookand exploring with limited time, I am carefully considering where to go. While I've come up with my initial hiking list which includes, Mt. Bromo in East Java, I am also checking out possible stops to complete my itinerary. 

Related Post : Check out my hiking adventures here.

One of the cities that came up is Tangerang City in the province of Banten. The nearest airport, also  in the same city is Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (IATA code, CGK), which serves those traveling to Greater Jakarta on the island of Java. To give you a perspective on its location, here's a map

Tangerang is known as an industrial and manufacturing hub. What got me curious about this city, you ask? It's for the simple reason that I don't know much about it nor do I know anyone who has visited the city! :P That means my eyes are not yet overly exposed to all the things I am about to see, which is refreshing. :)

Here is a list of destinations in and around Tangerang. I've only relied on the internet so please drop a comment  below if you have a recommendation. :) 

BENTENG HERITAGE MUSEUM 
Opened in 2011, the museum is in a  restored 2-storey 17th century style, Peranakan house, located at Pasar Lama Market, which I also want to check out  (exploring a market and all its stalls is an adventure on its own). It contains artifacts showcasing Chinese culture from 17th-19th century. It is also serves as a venue for Peranakan culinary festivals, wedding & fashion shows and community gatherings. 

Entrance fee  is from Rp. 25,000 to Rp. 125,000 per person, prices vary if you want to include a Peranakan meal.  To read  reviews on Trip advisor, click here.

*Peranakan refers to descendants of Chinese immigrants who settled and married  locals in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia from the 10th Century to present. (Source Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania)

AL-AZHOM MOSQUE
an imposing structure and place of worship located near the City Hall and the Balekota Mall,  about 30 minutes from the international airport. I could not find a lot of information online with an English translation so I'd probably have to inquire when I get there. :P 

PARI ISLAND 
Not popular to  travelers, Pari island is an ideal beach escape if you're after some peace and quiet. Its name, Pari means "Ray fish". Early settlers trying to escape forced labor from Dutch colonists  saw many ray fish in its waters when they first came in, thus naming the island after the sea animal. (Source : Wonderful Indonesia)

Activities in the island include swimming, diving, fishing and snorkeling. Also worth visiting is a white sand beach,Pantai Pasir Perawan (Virgin beach). Although there is electricity, there are no hotels or resorts in the area, just homestays. Its description reminds me of a similar place here in the Philippines, Palaui island. (Post here

Getting around is through a bicycle which can be rented Rp. 15,000/hr or Rp 30,000
for the day. The island can be reached via three ports. However, the shortest travel is from Muara Saban Cituis Port in Tangerang, taking 1-1.5 hours

For photos and travel information on Pari Island, visit the official tourism website of Indonesia here

DINING & SHOPPING 
For outdoor dining and live music, Summarecon Mal Serpong at Sentra Gading Serpong is a promising destination. AEON Mall also, a Japanese themed mall at Jl. BSD Raya Utama is recommended for those who crave for Japanese food, if you don't have the budget or time to go to Japan yet. :P

WHERE TO STAY IN TANGERANG? 
Find best hotel through booking site, Traveloka. Here you can also book, Novotel Tangerang, a 4-star hotel, 45 minutes from Jakarta.  Summarecon Mal Serpong, the shopping mall I mentioned above is only 5.89 Kilometers away.
Screenshot of the pool from Novotel Tangerang from booking site, Traveloka
If you have other suggestions on other places (I'm looking for more outdoor destinations!), just leave a comment below or send me a  tweet, @jovialwanderer. Please also visit my Instagram account, @Jovialwanderer, I share a lot about hiking spots and food there! :P 





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