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Setu Babakan

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Setu Babakan, Srengseng Sawah, Jagakarsa, South Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Verry
Local tour guide
"Visit Setu Babakan in the late afternoon to avoid the day’s heat and to catch locals engaging in traditional fishing—you might even get the chance to join in and learn their techniques. Also, check around the neighborhood for small, home-run eateries to try Betawi dishes that are seldom found anywhere else in Jakarta."

### What is Setu Babakan? Setu Babakan stands as a serene testament to Jakarta's cultural tapestry, nestled in the bustling heart of South Jakarta, Indonesia. It's not just a scenic lake - it's the epicenter of the Betawi culture, which is the indigenous ethnic group of Jakarta. This attraction is the tangible representation of local life, encapsulating traditional Betawi houses, cultural performances, and culinary experiences right next to its tranquil lake. As someone who has watched Setu Babakan grow and evolve, I can tell you about the authenticity that emanates from every corner of this locale. The name "Setu" means a small lake in Sundanese, which underlines the feature that is at the heart of this area. It’s a place where modernity brushes up against tradition, a locale that has become a cultural preserve amidst the urban sprawl of the city. The lake itself is also a source of livelihood as a fish farming site, which reflects the harmonious relationship between the local people and their environment. ### History of Setu Babakan The history of Setu Babakan is intrinsically tied to the Betawi culture, dating back to when Jakarta was still known as Batavia during the Dutch colonial era. This area was established formally as a cultural village under the governorship of Sutiyoso, who served from 1997 to 2007. Aimed at preserving Betawi culture, which was at risk of being lost amidst rapid urbanization, Setu Babakan was designated as a cultural heritage site to keep the traditional way of life alive for future generations.


As the years progressed, Setu Babakan made its mark not only as a cultural repository but as a lynchpin for education and tourism. Preservation efforts include the documentation and performance of traditional arts and dances, as well as the promotion of Betawi architecture through the construction of traditional wooden houses. The local government continues to spearhead programs designed to maintain and promote the area's unique identity. ### Why is Setu Babakan Important? Setu Babakan is a vital heartbeat of Jakarta for several reasons. It is one of the last remaining strongholds of Betawi culture, serving as a living museum where traditions flourish, from ancestral dances to cuisines like Kerak Telor and Gado-Gado Betawi. By providing a dedicated space for these traditions to continue, it prevents the homogenization of Jakarta's cultural landscape and protects the distinctiveness of the Betawi identity.


Moreover, Setu Babakan's existence as a cultural conservation area is a reflection of Jakarta's commitment to safeguarding diversity. For locals, it's a place of pride, representing a history and heritage that is uniquely their own. For visitors, it is an eye-opening experience, showcasing the harmonic coexistence of traditional and modern lifestyles. This makes Setu Babakan not just a local gem but also a national emblem of cultural conservation. ### Things to Do & See at Setu Babakan Setu Babakan offers a smorgasbord of activities that allow you to immerse yourself in Betawi culture. Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Explore the Betawi Cultural Village: Stroll through the village to see the traditional architecture. The wooden houses, known as "rumah panggung," are a delightful sight, built on stilts to protect from flooding.
  • Culinary Adventures: Indulge your taste buds with authentic Betawi cuisine, such as Soto Betawi, a creamy and hearty beef soup, or the sweet and savory Martabak Manis.
  • Enjoy Cultural Performances: On weekends, the village comes alive with performances of traditional Betawi arts such as Ondel-Ondel (giant puppets), Lenong (theatrical performances), and Tanjidor (a form of Betawi music).
  • Relax by the Lake: The lake, or "Setu," is ideal for picnicking, fishing, or simply enjoying the serenity away from the urban hustle.
  • Participate in Cultural Workshops: Engage with the local culture by partaking in workshops where you can learn about Betawi crafts and arts firsthand.

For a more personal touch, I always recommend spending some time chatting with the local artisans or fishermen. Their stories breathe life into the history and traditions of Setu Babakan, giving you a unique and intimate perspective on this special place.

Frequently asked questions

What is Setu Babakan?

Setu Babakan is a lake located in Jakarta known for being the center of the Betawi cultural preservation area, where visitors can learn about and experience the traditional Betawi culture.

How can I experience the Betawi culture at Setu Babakan?

Visitors can experience the Betawi culture at Setu Babakan by watching traditional performances, tasting local Betawi cuisine, and visiting the cultural houses and museums within the area.

What kind of activities can I do at Setu Babakan?

Activities at Setu Babakan include boating on the lake, cultural tours, watching Betawi artistic performances, and participating in traditional workshops or classes.

Is there an entry fee for Setu Babakan?

Typically, there is no entry fee for Setu Babakan, but some events or attractions within the area may charge a small fee.

What are the operating hours for Setu Babakan?

Setu Babakan is usually open daily from morning until evening, although the hours may vary for different attractions within the site. It's advisable to check in advance if you plan to attend specific events or activities.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Setu Babakan, Srengseng Sawah, Jagakarsa, South Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps