Central Jakarta (Indonesian: Jakarta Pusat) acts as the commercial and business district of Jakarta. By day the many office buildings are filled with workers; by night, people stream into the shopping malls. Therefore, traffic is heavy all the time! The area encompasses Tanah Abang, Monas, Senen, Menteng, Jalan Jaksa, Senayan, and the road corridors along the Hotel Indonesia roundabout.
The core of Central Jakarta is the Jendral Sudirman Avenue and the M.H. Thamrin Avenue, where the high rises were erected at its backbone, followed by commercial centers and hotels at its branch roads. To the north, it continues to the west side of Monas, to the south it ends at Senayan Roundabout. The area was alive primarily thanks to the founding father Soekarno. The Gelora Bung Karno stadium, the Semanggi interchange, and the Selamat Datang statue was erected to welcome travelers to the 1962 Asian Games. Its success, followed by the booming Indonesian economy, leads big construction companies to pick land and build skyscrapers, even up to this day. The people watching scene here is fabulous. You can see a white collar worker get down to the bus stop and roam the sidewalks to his office on the 20th floor, while a socialite mother was dropped by her car at the mall lobby and a handful of peaceful demonstrators walk around the roundabout to voice their aspiration. In the evening (or a short time for lunch): the crowd shifts to the cosmopolitan shopping centers for a dine and (window) shopping to wrap up their day. At Sunday morning, the road closes for you to walk on the asphalt, or even better, blend in to watch, and even join the various performances from the locals.
Pockets of commercial area to look out include the Tanah Abang wholesale market, the upscale Hotel Indonesia roundabout, the historical Monas, the artsy Cikini, the busy Senen, and the posh Senayan. The Menteng area is an upscale neighborhood, while the Jalan Jaksa is a friendly area for foreigners as a backpacker and budget party area.