The first time we visited Jakarta Evan was just 9 months old. We were still living in Bangkok at the time and joined my husband on a work trip. We “lived” in Jakarta for a bit over a month and got a sneak peek of life in the Big Durian. During that time I discovered Miniapolis in Plaza Indonesia for the first time and visited the Playground in Kemang with some new friends. One of my favorite places in Jakarta, and to tell you the truth, one of the reasons I thought life here would be great for kids was the Sea World aquarium in northern Jakarta.
If you have been to any of the Sea Worlds in the US, I must warn you not to come here expecting to see a heart-wrenching upside-down roller coaster, or a huge dolphin show or even a Shamu waiting at the door to greet the little ones. Instead come here expecting to see a beautiful and well maintained, although small aquarium.
The price to enter Ancol is Rp. 15,000 per person and the tickets to the Sea World are Rp. 50,000 per adult. Children under 3 get in free. Although a dancing Shamu is not there to greet us, a lot of smiling faces lead you inside the aquarium. As soon as we entered the premises two little boys got bright-eyed and started looking at everything surrounding them.
They have a special otter exhibition and a shark tank. Hundreds of colorful tropical fish swim in the various tanks and a very large octopus occupies one of the stellar tanks. The hands-on area is tons of fun for kids and adults as you are able to “pet” stingrays, turtles and other fish in a controlled environment.
In a separate area they have a small museum exhibition with a dissected gigantic stingray and other sea creatures. They also have a small Chinese theater that has shows a couple of times a day. My dad and I went into the “fish spa” for 20 minutes and got our feet “pedicured” by tiny little fish. I think the Rp.40,000 was worth the experience.
Our favorite part was going thru a tunnel and being surrounded by all kinds of fish and sea creatures. You can just stand on the moving walkway and enjoy the ride. Joshua particularly loved sitting on his stroller and staring at all the colors and movement. Evan thought it would be funny to run away and meet us outside the tunnel.
Overall a very fun experience for all of us. I would love to go back in a few months and see if the boys react any different to the experience.
- Beware when you are leaving the aquarium as you exit thru the souvenir shop. I had to take a few sharks and turtles out of Evan’s hands before we could leave.
- If you think your kids might get hungry consider bringing a snack. There is a food court outside the aquarium that has some Indonesian food but might not cater to picky toddler palates.
- If you are taking a taxi there and back make sure you find one who is willing to use the meter. Blue Bird taxis are not allowed inside so you have to be wise when picking the taxi you are to ride.
- Ancol is in northern Jakarta and it can be very congested at some points during the day. I would recommend you go on a weekday after 9:00 am. The tour of Sea World might take you at the most 2 hours.
- Considering that Ancol is not very easy to get to I would consider staying there for the whole day and checking out the nearby amusement parks. They have water park, a park with rides and another one that specializes on action shows.
Taman Impian Jaya Ancol
Jl. Lodan Timur No.7