The golden flame of Monas, Indonesia’s national shrine commemorating their fight for independence against the Dutch colonizers, is seen from afar within Jakarta. From the Museum Nasional, if you look from the garden within the museum, you can frame it within a shot. The flame is said to be wrapped in 35kg of gold foil while other stories say that it’s only a bronze flame. The obelisk is nestled on a square platform where a lift inside ferries visitors from near and far to the observation platform for a panoramic view of Jakarta’s cityscape. A friend said that a museum is at the base, showcasing Indonesia’s history in several dioramas.
Its grounds are sprawling that you work up a sweat in getting near to the entrance to the monument from the parking lot. Ride the tram if you’re in not in the mood to walk. Sit under any of the coconut trees at the Taman Monas (Monas Garden) and watch the day go by. Spread a blanket and have a picnic and read your favorite book. Buy an inflatable ball from one from vendors hawking them in various colors and designs. Cool the heat with a cup of ice cream from the man ringing his bell.
Monas is the place to go to when you want to get away, but not far away, to a place that’s spacious and wrapped with a green landscape for a few hours.
Photography by Apo Aguila