Jakarta is one of the most congested cities in the world with a limited number of parks and green areas. Yet there is a ray of hope with the introduction of car free days. The result has been clear and quick in coming. The sun has broken through the grey clouds that are too often a signature of the city and the streets are now filled with runners, families, mini football teams and cyclists.
If you want to experience the freedom and space jakarta can offer then wake up early grab your bicycle, football, running shoes and whoever else may want to follow you.
Jalan Sudirman and Jalan Thamrin are free of any form of motor vehicle from : 6 am to 12 (noon) on the last Sunday and the second Sunday of every month.
Car free day was an idea taken up and implemented by Jakarta’s governors. This simple yet fantastic idea has released pressure and given rise to a fitter, greener, more loving Jakartan. The side effects are surprisingly clear with Jakarta now being the home to races such as the Jakarta Race Series, Jakarta Red Run and the Jakarta Race.
For tourists, this is a great place to take that early morning walk or run but much more than that it is a wonderful moment to see a nation rest and play. Jakarta turns from a city full of honking horns and exhaust fumes into a city of laughing families, community groups out holding fun events beside the national monuments and most importantly a city of smiles. Yes, smiles. Capital cities around the world have sadly turned into faceless, heartless, soulless shopping malls. Yet here, Jakarta fights back for a greener, healthier, happier city.
The car free day really is a wonderful opportunity to stretch those legs and explore parts of this city that would otherwise be overlooked. A recommended detour from the Sudirman / Thamrin route would be to check out Bung Karno National Stadium. Here you will find hundreds of Jakarta’s citizens enjoying the opportunity to relax, picnic, play football and just generally socialise. You can even get your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar checked by local medical students offering their services.
Pack your breakfast, take plenty of water and enjoy so much of what Jakarta has to offer.
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