For some people, Monas is just an icon of Jakarta – the capital city of Indonesia. Just like the Eiffel of Paris, perhaps or the Pisa of Italy. I don’t know. I’ve never even been in those places before. Or maybe for some others, Monas is just an old museum or a recreation park where people can jog and have some exercises in Sunday morning. Or perhaps some people even have no idea of what it is inside Monas & they just don’t wanna know about it. They’ll say : “Why should we bother about a monument when we got a lot of malls here in Jakarta? I can’t see anything special about it”. (Well, as a matter of fact, I’m sooo sick of malls.) But for some people, Monas is much more than that. It’s a symbol of struggle. A symbol of freedom and independence.
You know, Monas was built to keep the Indonesian remember of how the struggle of Indonesian won their independence from the colonial domination long ago. There is a flame-shaped bronze layered with gold on top of the monument which symbolized the spirit of Indonesian.
When I was a kid, I was so amazed of how they actually put a big bunch of gold on top of it. I often caught myself asking : “Mom, is that a real gold up there? Why don’t people take it so that they will be damn rich?”. And my mom will definitely answer : “Yeah sure honey, and the cops will get you.”
I was so stupid back then….
I’ve been to Monas twice so far. The first one is when I was in an elementary school and then I went there again last summer. My mom took me there since I was sooo curious about my country’s national monument. No, I was curious about the gold actually. And I heard that people can actually reach the top of the monument by elevator. So I was expecting that I will be able to, you know…, touch-and-retouch the gold. Oh God, this sounds so silly.
So, to fulfill my curiosity, my mom finally took me there. It was a bright Sunday morning and it was so crowded there! There are a lot of people playing kites, football. Some are taking rides on horse, some are taking pictures. But the most crowded part is the elevator. It’s like everyone is lining up for the elevator to take them to the top of the monument. I did too, of course. That’s the main reason I came actually.
Up there, you can see the entire view of Jakarta from above. Interesting. People said, when the sky is clear enough, you can even see the coastline of the java sea. Too bad the binoculars are not working anymore. But the view up there is great. It’s like I feel like I’m not in Jakarta..
After spending like, half an hour up there, we finally get down to the history museum. And guess what, since the elevator is busy taking people to the top of Monas, we were supposed to get down by stairs! How tragic my life was..
Anyway, the history museum is located at the basement of the monument. What I remember about this museum is that it has a lot of display windows each of which contains dioramas inside of it which tell a story about the life of Indonesian people since the ancient time. It tells how Indonesian finally won their independence from the colonial. I can’t remember the details since I almost got an F in history if I didn’t cheat.
Here’s some tips if you decide to visit Monas.
1. Do it early in the morning. Trust me, the heat and crowds increase like crazy as the day goes by.
2. Bring a hat or cap or sunglasses.
3. Bring your camera! Although there are a lot of amateur photographers there, they might cost you a lot. So you better bring your own.
4. I would recommend you to bring your own mineral water. Well, just to avoid becoming dehydrated.
I can say, although this is a unique place that you might not want to visit again because you have no idea of what to do during your second visit, it is worth a try! At least once. Well, I do twice.
Admission Fee (museum)
IDR 2.500 for adults
IDR 1.000 for children
IDR 7.500 for adults
IDR 3.500 for children