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Setu Babakan Cultural Village in Jakarta

Old Batavian Heritage and Culture in Jakarta

Setu Babakan (or Situ Babakan), is a Batavian village in South Jakarta that is best known for its preserved heritage. Although popular with tourists, Setu Babakan is an actual village, but one that has decided to hold onto many traditional ways of life. Here, visitors will enjoy a good break from the hectic Jakarta traffic and the modern bustle of the capital city. It is a 19km journey south from the city centre, in the sub-district of Jagaraksa, which offers landscapes dominated by manmade lakes and plantations.

The village is named after one such lake that is fed by the Ciliwung River, of which much of the rustic village life is centred because of local fishing and farming. Surrounding the lake are several tropical plantations that produce tropical fruits and spices. The people add to the delicate human touch of visits to Setu Babakan with their warm Batavian hospitality. Villagers are known to openly welcome guests and offer their harvests to sample.

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Traditional snacks also feature greatly. You can taste some local dishes from the many ‘warung’ or roadside food stalls that sell heritage Batavian favourites, the likes of ketoprak mixed tofu and veggie dish, kerak telor egg crepe topped with rice and other condiments, bakso meatball soup, laksa, arum manis candyfloss, and the aromatic soto betawi soup. When in Setu Babakan, try bir pletok, a refreshing drink made from a fine blend of spices, such as ginger, aromatic pandan leaves and lemongrass.

Srengseng Sawah is also known for its basketry and woven mat crafts, made from a type of broad pandan leaves that are grown here. You can also grab a woven hat or other souvenir at the workshops around Setu Babakan. The overall atmosphere is laidback and quiet, with the only occasional din being from the regular traditional art and music performances that you may stumble upon during your visit. Local dance conservatories or sanggar seni tari holding rehearsals with their young and petite dancers are great to watch.

Setu Babakan Cultural Village

  • Opening Hours: Jalan Muhammad Kahfi II, Srengseng Sawah, Jagakarsa, South Jakarta
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