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Jakarta for Weekenders
15 Aug 2017IDEASBY SweetEscape

A vast cosmopolitan city and the Capital of Indonesia, Jakarta is a city that never sleeps. It is abundant in shopping malls and restaurants for its citizens who come from all over the country to work. However, Jakarta offers a whole lot more than that because the city has hidden gems worth exploring.

The Thousand Islands

by Ariel for SweetEscape in Jakarta

Not many people are aware that Jakarta is also blessed with romantic tropical islands getaway, just a short boat ride from Ancol Marina. You can enjoy the fresh sea breeze, walk barefoot on the white sand, or take part in water sports. The closer islands like Bidadari, Ayer, and Kahyangan offer some floating cottages and beach sports. Those further away such as Pramuka, Tidung, and Harapan are ideal for snorkeling and diving.

Special Markets

If you love shopping for antiques or something unique and special, Jakarta is sprawling with markets for what you are looking for. Surabaya Street in Menteng area sells artifacts: Dutch kerosene lamps, Balinese statues, Kalimantan machetes, the list is endless. You can visit an 1800s market called Pasar Baru, which specializes in textiles and leather goods. Flowers both local and imported – rose, jasmine, orchid, tulip, frangipani, can be found in Rawa Belong Flower Market.

Museums

A historical city, Jakarta preserves its heritage in many places. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah is a huge complex with many attractions within: real life replica of Indonesian traditional houses, Hokkien Museum – about the history of Chinese people in Indonesia, Transportation Museum, IMAX Theatre, and many more. You can go to Monas to climb to the top of the tower and visit a small museum at the ground floor. Other museums in the city are Museum of Indonesia, Old Town, Puppet Museums, etc.

Historic Restaurants and Cafes

If you love trying out new culinary experiences, many restaurants and cafes in Jakarta established from a long time ago can transport you back in time while tickling your taste buds. Old Town has Café Batavia, Historia, and Keukenhof Bistro that give you the Old Dutch colonial era. For a more peranakan feel, dine in Shanghai Blue 1920 in Kebon Sirih. For a more tradional Javanese atmosphere, go to Harum Manis in Pavillion Apartment.

As you can see, weekends in Jakarta can be a whole lot of fun!

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Sidney and Etha Mohede: Christmas Tradition in Our Family
12 Dec 2019STORIESBY SweetEscape

Among the Indonesian Christian community, Sidney and Etha Mohede are extremely popular. Sidney is best known as an award-winning gospel singer-songwriter and one of the pastors of a Jakarta-based megachurch, while Etha is a social media influencer. This Christmas season, we had the opportunity to talk with The Mohedes about their Christmas tradition, how they're going to spend this year's Christmas, and the importance of photography for their family.

by Priscilla for SweetEscape in Amsterdam
by Priscilla for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

1. Tell us about Christmas in your family!

We think our family's Christmas is just like any other family's. When we're in Jakarta, on Christmas morning we'd wake up and open our Christmas presents. But, since these couple of years we spent our Christmases traveling overseas, we'd open the presents before we fly off.

Also, we like to think that the trip itself is the present for the entire family, and we are happy to enjoy the trip together, just us and our three children.

2. Any particular Christmas dinner tradition?

Our family's Christmas dinner usually happens on the Christmas Eve, with simple dishes and no special table decorations. We always like to finish up all the hassle before Christmas Day itself. On Christmas Day we'd usually just eat simple take outs and just enjoy our time together.

However, we think that our family's dinners–be it Christmas or not–is a tradition in itself. We want to make sure that every family member sit around the table at dinner time. We see nowadays in modern families, at dinner time everybody's still busy with their own things; the kids watching videos on their tables, the parents still busy with their gadgets... We don't want that in our family. We make sure that everyone sits around the table and really enjoy our time together, including on Christmas dinners.

by Donny for SweetEscape in Bali

3. Where will you be spending Christmas this year?

This year we'll be going to Europe, namely Italy and the Netherlands. This would be our first time in Italy, and it's a 3-families trip. We're flying off to Dusseldorf, then we'll travel to Milan and meet the other 2 families there. Then we'd spend 7 days in Italy and 7 days in Netherlands, so in total it would be a 14 days trip.

by Dennis + Dewi for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

As for the detailed itinerary, we honestly have no clue, but we've already booked a car to drive around. We want to try a road trip-style holiday this time around, and we think it would be fun! It's going to be an adventure!

4. We know you travel a lot, especially Sidney. Do you take photos of your trip?

Of course! For me (Sidney) personally, I love photography because it is a way I can express my passion easily. I was an art major in university, and my first passion was drawing and painting. But drawing something takes a lot of time. With a camera, I can capture the beauty of what I was seeing wherever I go with a single snap. I can still use my brain and eye for the compositions and colours, and I can express my visual arts passion in an easy way, without having to spend more than 30 minutes to draw one picture.

by Dennis + Dewi for SweetEscape in Amsterdam
by Dennis + Dewi for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

Which is why, we also love SweetEscape very much, because the idea of not being the one who takes the photographs and actually being photographed once in a while is really fun! Honestly, I'm (Sidney) not a big fan of being photographed, like most guys, I believe. But for a family photo, it's always nice to have, since most of the times we'd have to take turns taking pictures with the kids, or resort to selfies. With SweetEscape, we don't have to worry about this, and all five of us can be in the picture together!

by Dennis + Dewi for SweetEscape in Amsterdam

SweetEscape connects you to thousands of local professional photographers in more than 500 cities around the world, so you can capture every moment and get beautiful photos directly to your devices in just 48 hours after your session. This holiday season, capture more with SweetEscape's JINGLE DEALS, where you can get sessions starting as low as USD 50! Download our app, book your session today and let's #MakeLifeMemorable!