Chief Concierge at Keraton at The Plaza, Jakarta
Jl. MH. Thamrin Kav. 15 Jakarta, Jakarta, 10350 Indonesia Phone: (62)(21) 5068 0000
«A trip to Kampung Betawi is a journey into the real heart and soul of indigenous Indonesian culture.»
From a young age, I was always fascinated by the colorful ondel-ondel, a 3-meter-tall puppet dressed in brightly colored traditional Indonesian Betawi costume and used in ondel-ondel folk performances. Ondel-ondel is performed regularly at Kampung Betawi, a 66-hectare village surrounded by two stunning lakes. The entire region of Kampung Betawi is devoted to preserving the indigenous Betawi culture, and a visit is the ideal way to experience authentic Indonesian traditions.
The people of Betawi, natives of Jakarta city, are passionate about preserving their culture, which represents a treasure trove of color, tradition, song, dance, costumes, cuisine and language.
Visitors to Kampung Betawi are treated to dazzling performances such as the lenong, a traditional comedy play, topeng, which is a mask dance, and the iconic ondel-ondel. There are also myriad outdoor activities to delight in, such as fishing or canoeing on the lakes or exploring traditional Betawi homes built in the 1920s.
And you cannot forget to sample the exquisite local street cuisine. There are kiosks that sell authentic Betawi dishes such as kerak telor, a glutinous rice cake cooked with egg and served with shredded coconut and a dried shrimp topping, and roti buaya, a pair of crocodile-shaped loaves of bread that symbolize loyalty and monogamy.
A trip to Kampung Betawi is a journey into the real heart and soul of indigenous Indonesian culture.