Above: The outdoor pool at The Dharmawangsa Jakarta

Unlike Southeast Asian capitals such as Bangkok and Singapore, Jakarta attracts relatively few foreign visitors. A sprawling metropolis, with an expanding population of more than 10 million people, it is primarily a political and business center. Rapid growth has led to urban problems that range from traffic gridlock to air pollution. The city’s appeal is also not enhanced by its tropical monsoon climate, which results in an extended rainy season from October to May. However, Jakarta is a gateway to Bali, Lombok and the other islands of the archipelago, as well as to Yogyakarta, the city in central Java close to the stupendous ninth-century Buddhist temple complex of Borobudur, the country’s most famous and popular attraction.

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