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National Museum

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Indonesia’s National Museum is an excellent introduction to this diverse nation with an absorbing collection of fine artefacts that span the archipelago. If you are passing through Jakarta, consider this a must see as it presents an ideal opportunity to gain some context and history to the places and things you may encounter on your Indonesian travels.

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Unfortunately at the time of our research much of the museum was closed for renovation due to reopen at the end of August 2018 (although there is still plenty to see). The museum is known locally as “Museum Gajah” or the elephant museum (which is what you should tell your taxi driver), named for the bronze elephant in the forecourt, a gift from the King of Siam (Thailand) Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1871.

Postcards were a real breakthrough. Photo taken in or around National Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Postcards were a real breakthrough. Photo: Sally Arnold

The museum’s exhibition galleries expand over two wings, the original wing officially opened in 1868 (temporarily closed) with the modern wing added in 2007. The comprehensive collection predates the building by some 80 years and ranges from Indonesia’s pre-history through to pieces from the Dutch colonial period along with a large ethnographic collection and many marvellous classical Hindu-Buddhist artefacts from ancient Java ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)


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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Jakarta? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.


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