Jakarta is the capital of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, but Hinduism, Christianity, and Confucianism also thrive.Tolerance rules, exemplified by lively restaurants serving spicy meals washed down with cold beer, and an on-the-pulse clubbing scene that pounds until the wee hours.Get a taste of this era with its trappings of imperial power by starting in the Taman Fatahillah square (2) flanked by stately structures such as the Jakarta History Musuem (3) in the old Stag Huis (town hall), built by the Dutch in 1710.Follow the Kasar Besar Canal (4) bordered by crumbling European-style mansions, up to the photogenic 16th-century wooden Kota Intan drawbridge (5).Life should not stop being fun just because you don't have a significant other.When you're 33 or really any age older than 30, some people just have certain assumptions.Rules, dating-book laws, or funnels of date acquisition (or the conversion rate from the number of people you meet on Tinder to first dates) are not solely going to be that helpful in finding love. Life/love/work: they're all not that predictable anyway… By all means, we should aspire to meet amazing girls and guys.But seriously, if you have non-subjective criteria that say things like "must have a master's degree" or "must go to the gym five times a week," you're not helping yourself.
More exotically, Jalan Pancoran street (7) specialises in Rujak Shanghai Encim, a concoction of cuttlefish, spinach and peanuts drenched in tangy red sambal sauce.
Lunch on the run The northern edge of Kota district spills into a warren of cobbled alleys where burning incense wafts from Taoist temples and markets buzz with busy food stalls.
This is “Glodok”, traditionally the enclave of the Chinese community and the place to graze a bewildering array of street treats.
A direct flight between London and Jakarta on Garuda Indonesia has made south-east Asia’s most culturally-diverse capital accessible from the UK as never before.
Some 10 million people live here, but almost all have roots elsewhere, resulting in an exuberant blend of Javanese, Balinese, Chinese, European and numerous other cultures.