One of the gems of Jakarta is the National Museum, located in Central Jakarta, opposite the MONAS (National Monument) in Merdeka Square.
The museum is focused on what is important in Indonesian culture and history. The inner courtyard is full, too full, of stone sculptures with a Hindu/Buddhist origin, from the largely Javanese and Balinese temples – better to be seen in-situ, go and visit Borobudur or Prambanan – but the large hall at the far end of the courtyard is where a sample of the huge collection of ethnographic pieces of art from all over the archipelago is shown, the part that has most of my attention. Sculptures and masks, ancestor figures and totems, head decorations and penis gourds from Papua, Maluku, the Nusa Tenggera islands, Kalimantan and every other corner of the country are displayed, in most instances quite nicely, including English language explanations, although the occasional burnt lamp may locally cast a shadow over a part of the exhibition. Outside, beyond the Hindu/Buddhist courtyard, is another collection of stone sculptures, almost hidden from view, until you go to the toilet. One of the sculptures here reminded us of Sumba, where we saw something like this is a village.
A four-floor new wing was mostly being remodeled when we were there, but is supposed to show the history of mankind in Indonesia, including humanoid fossils including (a replica of) Flores man, as well as the way of living in various Indonesian societies, complete with an impressive miniature collection of tribal houses and a fabulous sample of Indonesian textiles.
If you are in Jakarta, it is worth half a day of your time. Be prepared, though, the museum is popular, and it does get busy at times, not in the least because of groups of school children.