Endless traffic, shiny malls and urban sprawl – think you know Jakarta? You’ve just scratched the surface. Indonesia’s capital, lovingly known as the Big Durian, is one of the most dynamic cities in Southeast Asia and home to more than 28 million people.
If anyone knows how to navigate the beautiful chaos of our city it’s Uber. Data allows the ride-hailing app to identify patterns and trends in travel behavior. Data is also how Uber discovered that the places with the least drop-offs in Jakarta had a lot of hidden potential. Uber then teamed up with Canon (because who else could accept the photographic challenge?) and some of the region’s most exciting Instagrammers to document the out-of-the-ordinary beauty for Hidden Cities. Together they are giving the concept of hidden gem a whole new meaning. It’s not about places that tourists haven’t discovered (yet!), it’s about finding the places that even locals don’t go.
For Jakarta, Instagrammers Tino Renato, a self-taught travel, food, portrait and still-life photographer with an EOSM5; Fen Soong, a dynamic storyteller who conveys beauty and emotions in her images captured on an EOSM6; and Mutiara Dewi, a member of girl group Cherrybelle known for documenting her interesting adventures with an EOSM100, have trained their Canon lenses on three little-known places and captured their own unique takes.
For people looking to take a quick break from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta, the following “hidden” places will provide inspiration and much-needed sanctuary.
Taman Wisata Alam Mangrove
The Taman Wisata Alam Mangrove is located off the Pantai Indah Kapuk toll exit in North Jakarta. This natural feature doubles as a national park (A national park in Jakarta? We were as surprised as you are!) and helps protect Jakarta’s coastline and prevents erosion.
Taman Wisata is worlds away from the concrete jungle that people imagine when they think of Jakarta, and is home to exotic birds, sea life and even cheeky monkeys! Mangroves can be found where freshwater and saltwater mix. The hearty trees found in mangroves have roots that collect sediment and slow the water’s flow, an important component for shoreline protection. If you think Jakarta’s rainy season and flood situation is turbulent now, imagine if we didn’t have this natural defense.
There are a number of options here for photographers hoping to snap that surreal Jakarta shot. Stroll along the wooden walkways through the ethereal trees and wooden-plank bridges that extend over stretches of water; or take a boat tour for a different view and to get photos of fellow passengers; or head out on your own with a kayak to find truly one-of-a-kind angles and points of view. Speaking of vantage points, make sure to climb the watchtower for 360-degree views.
Kampung 99 Pepohonan
Take a break from Jakarta’s chaos without having to leave the city with a visit to Kampung 99 Pepohonan, located 14 kilometers from the Fatmawati Toll Road, one of the busiest in the country. Take a break from the ordinary too, if you’re looking for undercover photo spots.
With the Indonesian word for trees, pepohonan, in its title, it’s no surprise that the property has a huge variety of trees, and this sprawling farm is always changing thanks to daily tree plantings so you’ll never take the same picture twice. But greenery isn’t the only attraction, Kampung 99 Pepohonan is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including deer, goats, cows, and birds.
After exploring the grounds, enjoy a snack or meal at Kampung 99 Pepohonan’s café. The menu extensively features produce and meat grown on onsite and cooked using firewood from the property as well. If you love your visit to Kampung 99 Pepohonan, there are a number of food products that you can take home, including fresh fruits (think oranges, strawberries, grapes and more), yogurt, and fresh meat from the property’s onsite butchery.
Arthayasa Stables & Country Club
We’re not horsing around (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) when we tell you that you can get your equine fix in the suburb of Depok. The Arthayasa Stables & Country Club specializes in English dressage, cross-country, jumping and leisure riding and has been the elite equestrian training and competition center in Indonesia for years.
In a city full of gyms, yoga studios, and futsal courses, Arthayasa’s stables are truly a unique destination and one of Jakarta’s few outdoor activity destinations.
When it comes photos, blow everyone away with this undiscovered spot. Get a photo of yourself on one of Arthayasa’s resident horses, an action shot from the bleachers around the main arenas or capture a quiet moment of the horses in their stables.
Memberships, one-off lessons, and rides are available, but appointments need to be arranged ahead of time and you’ll have to pony up. (Pun intended!) After all, the club needs to prepare for you and the horses need their lunch break from noon to 2pm every day. We have a feeling interrupting the horses’ break might just stirrup trouble. (Last one, we swear!)
What are you waiting for?
Jakarta has something and somewhere to surprise and delight everyone from visitors to the born-and-bred. Learn more about Jakarta’s hidden finds at Uber’s microsite, then check out Canon’s page for special photography tips and the chance to submit your own photos of hidden Jakarta. Then, Uber over, capture your best photos and share them on Instagram using #HiddenCities, #WhereTo and #CanonxUber.
Header photo: @tinorenato