imagesThe lively capital of Indonesia, Jakarta is a city that boasts a rich heritage and is full of old world charm as well as modern development. There is much to see and do in this energetic city and as you explore the streets of the metropolis you will come across a fascinating array of museums, ancient buildings, historical sites and old churches that bare testament to the city’s culture and colourful history. Not to be missed while on your journey of exploration is a chance to visit the Wayang Museum.

At this unique museum, one has a chance to learn more about the art of traditional Javanese shadow puppetry. Situated near Fatahillah Square, this attraction is within easy reach of the Jakarta History Museum which also offers an interesting insight into the city’s heritage.

Dating back to the 17th century, the building that houses the Wayang Museum was once the Old Dutch Church. A practice that was prevalent during the Royal Court, shadow puppetry or ‘wayang’ was initially used as a way in which past ancestors could be worshipped. However, after the introduction of Hinduism, shadow puppetry was utilised to tell tales from the epics known as the Mahabarata and the Ramayana as well as from local folklore.

As you explore the Wayang Museum you will come across a wide range of wayang puppets, each with their own unique character. Wayang golek, topeng wayang and wayang kulit are among the different types that can be seen here along with a traditional instrument set known as the gamelan. Such form of puppetry is used in other cultures as well, as can be seen from the exhibits from such countries as Cambodia, France, Malaysia, India and China.

To truly appreciate and experience this form of storytelling, you should visit the museum on Sunday when you get a chance to actually witness a wayang puppet show.

Travellers heading to the city and looking for centrally located Jakarta serviced apartments from which to explore the capital can stay at Ascott Jakarta. Ideal for those in search of short stay accommodation Jakarta has to offer, these apartments make an ideal base for business or leisure.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.