THE NEW FACE OF KALIJODO

The new fun park in Jakarta

Bali & Beyond - - CONTENTS - By Edna Tarigan

al­i­jodo in the north­ern side of Jakarta was not only a red-light district area, but also a dense slum. Peo­ple used to say that wives would al­ways worry if they knew their hus­bands were around Kalijodo be­cause of the neg­a­tive stereo­type of the area. How­ever, on my re­cent visit to Kalijodo, I found so many changes af­ter a big trans­for­ma­tion that was done by the end of 2016.

Cov­er­ing 5,489 square me­ters of land, Kalijodo has turned into one of the fam­ily-friendly in­te­grated pub­lic spa­ces in Jakarta. The area has been re­ju­ve­nated so well that there was no trace of slum area next to the Cili­wung River, which used to be eas­ily spot­ted from the Jakarta in­ner ring toll road. The area now has be­come a big open space with some tracks and ob­sta­cles for skate­board, rollerblade or BMX bi­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts.

ALL THE FUN!

A mini soc­cer field and a play­ground for younger chil­dren wel­comed me at the front of the park. As I went fur­ther in­side, I was re­ally im­pressed by the graf­fiti painted on the play­ground walls. More than a dozen chil­dren were play­ing around the Kalijodo X Park – that is what the young­sters call this skate­board park now.

Dur­ing my visit, I met Agung, a ten-year-old boy who was show­ing off his skate­board­ing skills to some older boys. Agung re­vealed that he has just learned to ride the skate­board over the last two months, not long af­ter he heard about this new trendy place in town. Ac­cord­ing to Agung, many boys his age ride skate­boards at Kalijodo now, and they are tempted to try new tricks and push their skills

to the limit at the park. Another boy there told me he has been learn­ing to ride his skate­board for two years. Ear­lier this year, he was cu­ri­ous about this new skate­board park and de­cided to visit. Now, he rides his skate­board at Kalijodo X Park at least twice a week.

These chil­dren and teenage skate­board­ers share some tips and tricks as well as show off their skills at the area. As a new skate­board park in town, Kalijodo X Park – which is built to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards – of­fers var­i­ous ob­sta­cles for be­gin­ners and ex­pert skate­board­ers. Be­gin­ners can try mov­ing their boards on the flat area or glide at the di­ag­o­nal ramps or the quar­ter-pipe ob­sta­cles, while the ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers can try the more dif­fi­cult ob­sta­cles, such as the half­pipe or even the bowl ob­sta­cles.

Aside from skate­board­ers, the park is also full of BMX bik­ers and the roller-blade en­thu­si­asts try­ing to en­hance their skills. Kalijodo X Park is made com­plete with a skate­board and bike rental fa­cil­ity so every­one can have fun and try skate­board­ing and cy­cling even if they don’t have their own equip­ment. But for those who are not up for any of these sports, don’t worry be­cause Kalijodo X Park pro­vides a jog­ging track, an am­phithe­ater as well as a night mar­ket and food mar­ket sell­ing lo­cal del­i­ca­cies. These fa­cil­i­ties make the park even more pop­u­lar for fam­i­lies, be it on the week­days or the week­ends.

LET’S GO!

Sit­u­ated about 15 kilo­me­ters from down­town Jakarta, Kalijodo X Park is very easy to reach. For in­stance, the city’s bus op­er­a­tor Tran­sJakarta has now opened a new city tour route with dou­ble-decker buses – the route takes pas­sen­gers from Jakarta’s City Hall to the Kalijodo area in Pen­jaringan in North Jakarta via Sari­nah and Tosari bus stop be­fore the bus is fi­nally off to Kalijodo via the in­ner ring toll road.

One of the main pur­poses

of this new city tour route is to ac­com­mo­date lo­cal res­i­dents who want to visit Kalijodo. Thus, the buses are sched­uled to op­er­ate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the week­days, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Satur­days, and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sun­days.

The good news doesn’t stop there. This new route to Kalijodo by Tran­sJakarta is avail­able for free, and that’s why many fam­i­lies are us­ing the city tour bus not only on the week­ends but also on the week­days. How­ever, for those who pre­fer to get to the park us­ing your own ve­hi­cle, don’t worry as the park has a park­ing lot for cars and mo­tor­cy­cles.

Kalijodo X Park is one of the 71 chil­dren-friendly in­te­grated spa­ces built be­tween 2015 and 2016 in Jakarta. The trans­for­ma­tion of Kalijodo – and the es­tab­lish­ment of fun parks alike – raises hope for more fam­ily-friendly play­grounds in Jakarta.

What was a red district now has be­come a fam­ily fun park.

The new skate­board park soon be­comes the talk of the town.

Not only a skate­board park, Kalijodo X Park also has an area for bik­ers and a play­ground for the lit­tle ones.

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