Jul 14, 2014

Free Activities in Indonesia: To the Parks!

A loose top and a legging is a comfy combination for a park time. 

When you’re on a long trip, sometimes you just need to look for activities that don’t require spending money. Yeah, been there done that, even for shorter trips. Even if Indonesia in general is cheaper than your country, I bet it’s relieving for you to find some free activities in Indonesia. Am I right or am I right?

The first thing that comes to my mind when asked, “What are the free activities in Indonesia that you’d recommend a traveler?” would be, “Go to the parks!” Parks (or “taman” in Indonesian) are obviously free – I’m not talking about amusement parks, but you can still be amused with the various activities you can do in the parks.

So I’ve picked 6 of my favorite parks in Jakarta and Bandung, each with its own uniqueness.


1. Taman Surapati

"Who, me? What, you like my knit top and my batik shoes? Yeah I know they're awesome, I got them from belowcepek.com!" 

Okay, okay, I’ve written a bit about this park in my last post on how to enjoy Jakarta. But can you blame a girl for liking an awesome park so much? Taman Surapati is great for jogging in the morning when the air is still fresh, and on weekends, people practice yoga and (if I’m not mistaken) taichi there. Not only sport-related activities, you’ll also see musicians play in the park. Not just the regular acoustic guitar, but an orchestra! And, of course, what are parks without mobile food stalls? 

Reaching my wallet inside the classic Ayam Jago tote bag to pay for that "tahu gejrot".

2. Taman Situ Lembang
Located in Menteng area, not far from Taman Surapati, Taman Situ Lembang is a bit enclosed within a cluster of big and elite houses. Yup, Menteng is one of the most expensive areas in Jakarta, being in the very central part of the city. But I heart the fact that this park belongs to anyone. I enjoyed my time there reading while others jog, bike, hang out, fish, and the kids play in the swings and climb up the dinosaur. Situ means lake, denoting the artificial lake made in the middle. Lembang is actually a highland up in West Java, but it became the name of the park because it’s located on Lembang Street.

Not even the mobile coffee vendor can distract me from reading the reviews of Tintin.
Well, I brought my own water in my Belowcepek double-sided batik bag! haha..

The park seems to be well-maintained. That is a great thing, but isn’t my most favorite thing about it. My most favorite thing about Taman Situ Lembang would be.. the octopuses and jellyfishes in the lake!

So many free activities you can do in a park!

3. Taman Honda Tebet

Although I live quite close to Tebet area, in South Jakarta, I rarely go there unless to have dinner once a while because a certain area of Tebet is lined with so many kinds of restaurants.

I came to know about Taman Honda – which is perhaps funded by Honda the motor company – when Hidden Park was held there. It’s a movement to activate parks in cities. I asked my sister to bring her kids there. Though I had to get my shoes dirty from the wet ground when playing ball with my niece and nephew, I’m a happy aunt seeing them leave iPad for a while and be in touch with the nature.

Cute birdie houses above where Hello Kitty and Spongebob are having a picnic. 

The park is vast, it’s got bridges that kids would love to go back and forth, and a path for anyone to jog. It’s great to know that such park exists in the middle of a housing complex. Should get kids stay out of trouble and whatnot.

It always makes me happy seeing parents interact positively with their children in the parks :)


1. Taman Pasupati

Maximizing the use of outdoor space beneath the Pasupati highway in Bandung, the mayor Ridwan Kamil initiated a park called Taman Pasupati or also known as Taman Jomlo. Jomlo in Sundanese slang means ‘single’ as in relationship-wise. The park consists a skateboard ramp and single cubic stools, hence the name ‘jomlo’.

Free wifi is provided in the park, but my phone couldn’t seem to catch the connection at the time of my visit. But I don’t think visitors there should use wifi so much. I think they should mingle with other visitors. Who knows, they might hit it on and not be ‘jomlo’ anymore ;)

Top: Sk8er boys of Bandung. Bottom: the jomlo's.
OMG, it would be perfect to go to this park wearing the Jomblo pullover!

2. Taman Pustaka Bunga

It’s a botanical library, really, and it’s awesome! Okay, honestly, I am not a fan of plants, I’m more of an animal-loving person because they move, they can look and do silly things that amuse me. But still I find it brilliant to have a public park where so many kinds of flowers and trees planted, some (unfortunately not all) with name panels (both Indonesian and Latin names of the plants).

Free wifi is also provided here, because who can live without wifi nowadays, except our parents and grandparents? Well, maybe the farmers and fishermen can, but anyway.. I saw some students with working on their laptops in Taman Pustaka Bunga. And I think it’s great because apparently not everyone in Indonesia can afford having good Internet connection in their homes, yet. So, Taman Pustaka Bunga is really a place to learn while freshening your sights and respiratory system a little bit.

Learn your plants. The matching outfit here would be this flowery top and flowery shoes

3. Taman Cempaka 

How often do you see an outdoor photography exhibition? In Taman Cempaka, you’ll be seeing it everyday. This park consists of a playground and standing photo frames. There’s a photography community that’s in charge of the exhibition, but I’m not sure about the procedure. Although the grass doesn’t grow lavishly, it’s still a great idea to channel a form of creativity in an outdoor space, which somewhat stimulates the creative cells in your brain. So it’s like a never-ending creative process, I love it!

A park and a photo gallery in one go. Look at that playground in left bottom photo. It's in a shape of a camera!
A matching t-shirt would be this vintage camera t-shirt!


  1. Menarik sekali, saat melihat ulasan di "Taman Honda Tebet" ada Birdfeeder. Sebagai anggota komunitas pengamat burung migran (Birdwathcer). Ada beberapa rencana akan kami lakukan di Surabaya, dengan mempergunakan Taman Kota dan Hutan Kota di Surabaya. Terima kasih kakak. :)

    1. Wah, keren dong! Sebenarnya saya juga suka taman2 di Surabaya. Tapi karena nggak punya foto yang bagus, jadi nggak dimasukkan ke daftar ini deh.. hehehe.. Semoga sukses yaaa aktivitasnya dgn kota2 di Surabaya..!