Located in the middle of West Jakarta, this could be the best getaway place from the city and relax in a very natural environment. Here you can hear sound of birds and crickets and breathe fresh air.
Walking in this 15ha urban forest feels like being in a real forest. Trees surrounding the forest are tall and thick enough to cover the entire area that you can’t see buildings or hear noises from the city. Being my first time visiting Srengseng Urban Forest, I felt like I was in Dago forest minus the cold temperature. The temperature was warm but it’s not as hot as being in the middle of the traffic (of course). According to Jakarta.go.id, this place once was a landfill, which slowly transformed into a forest in a similar way to how World Cup Park in Seoul was built.
Srengseng Urban Forest (Hutan Kota Srengseng) can be reached within 900m walk from Kelapa Dua Sasak Transjakarta Bus Shelter (Corridor 8). From Kelapa Dua Sasak Shelter, you could also take a Mikrolet M24 which goes through Haji Kelik street and passes by the forest. Just make sure that you take the one on the left side of the road when you go out of the bus shelter.
The entrance fee to Srengseng Urban Forest is Rp. 1,000 per person (around 10¢). If you bring a vehicle, an extra amount is charged, which is Rp. 2,000 (20¢) for a car or Rp. 1,000 (10¢) for a motorcycle. Parking lots are available inside so you don’t have to park on street.
One of the main attraction in the forest is the artificial lake which functions as a reservoir for the nearby Pesangrahan river. The lake’s size is about one third of the forest’s area so you wouldn’t miss it. There is a land in the middle of the lake, which is not accessible by public. In my opinion, the best place to sit and relax is on the western side of the lake where trees cover the place from sunlight and you occasionally get cool breeze coming from the lake. The north-eastern side is also good if you want to enjoy a wider view of the lake with the forest in background.
On the west side, the forest is quite swampy. While in the lake area the sound of birds is more dominant, here you could hear sounds of creek and frogs more clearly. Going farther to the side is not so beautiful because you would reach the end of the forest, so you see walls, buildings behind the wall, and car noises. It’s not that natural anymore.
The areas in the northwest and northeast side of the forest, near the offices, are used for seedling and growing new plants. Those seedlings and young plants are for sale.
During weekend, there are quite a lot of people coming. Teens, families, and fishing hobbyists. When I came to Srengseng urban forest, there was a gathering of dog lovers community too.
The forest also contains some facilities, though many of them are unmaintained and even abandoned. There are children playground, an outdoor performing stage, and an abandoned climbing wall. There is also a jogging track all around the forest, so you need not to worry on how to enter and walk through the forest. In fact, most of, if not all, recreational forests have tracks and pavements for people to easily walk by.