Image by Olobaho - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

There is a cultural village in Srengseng Sawah, Jagakarsa subdistrict, South Jakarta. It is still in its original state and there are a lot of things for people who would like to learn more about Betawi culture.

While you’re in this location, you can see a number of traditional houses. There’re two artificial lakes on the left and right of this Betawi cultural village. It was officially launched by governor Sutiyoso on August 18, 2000.

Setu Babakan is a man-made lake and it is 1.5 meters deep. The water that comes from Ciliwung River is very clean and cool. It is something like an oasis in the Sahara desert where trees grow around and give shades to the visitors as well as cooling the air in a sunny day.

Setu Babakan is also the cultural oasis as it is considered the last castle of Betawi culture in its own land. Although the culture and traditions are fading away in a heavy industrial area, cultural preservation is important and shouldn’t be overlooked.

There’re various kinds of trees in the park such as mango, palm, gnetum, rambutan, guava, jackfruit, jengkol bean, etc.

Different Betawi traditional foods can be bought in this place such as, egg crust, fried bean sprouts, duck salad, Betawi meat soup, durian ice, pletok beer and so on.

The community in this cultural village displays traditional arts and culture of Betawi, including cuisine, folklores, self defense technique, dances and costumes.

In Zone A, there’re the main building, open area, Betawi textile and architectural museum. The visitors gather around this spot and they are quite enthusiastic to see the mask dance performance.

The Betawi arts and culture display is routinely performed on every Saturday and Sunday each month. It’s a great time to visit and we’re able to learn and know more about Betawi culture.

Besides mask dance, the Betawi orchestra and comedy are shown from 14.00 to 18.00. It’s quite enjoyable to go and see the performance as we have plenty of time to spend on Saturday and Sunday.

The art studio on stage is changed every week, giving opportunity to all the art studios from different places and regions to show themselves to the public.

You can see the daily activities of Betawi people, such as farming, trading, fishing, etc. It’s really worth visiting and it is a good place for recreation.

If you like lake fishing, you can catch fish with fishing pole. You don’t need to pay and you may take the fish home and cook them for dinner. Some say that the fish in this cultural village are tastier because the lake water hasn’t been polluted by plastic bags and chemical substances.

You can go by train from Pasar Minggu and get down at the station in front of Pancasila University. Afterwards, you can hire motorcycle taxi or continue your way by minibus.

If you start from Jakarta, go by train and get down at Lenteng station. And then wait for the number 28 blue Angkot or Kopaja S616 for Cipedak. It’s very convenient and you can get down at Lake Babakan.

It’s advisable to take a map with you, so that you won’t lose your way. Whenever you feel hesitate, don’t be shy to ask for directions. Unfortunately, most people you meet on the road don’t speak English fluently.


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