Six places to reminisce about Indonesia’s first Asian Games

News Desk

The Jakarta Post


Jakarta   /  Sun, August 26, 2018  /  11:36 am

Sarinah department store (right) and Djakarta Theater (left) on Friday, September 22, 2017. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

Indonesia is currently hosting the 18th Asian Games, which will end on Sept. 2, but some people may be unaware that the country held the multisport event the first time back in 1962.

At the time, the country's first president, Sukarno, initiated several construction projects especially for the event.

As compiled by, below are six buildings related to the 1962 Asian Games that you can visit today:


Although the department store Sarinah was not yet built at that time, the plans were already in store alongside other projects to modernize Jakarta. Sukarno planned Sarinah and Jl. MH Thamrin  to be the center of economy and business. Named after the first president’s helper, Sarinah has been managed by the state ever since.

‘Selamat Datang’ Monument

The bronze monument, which was sculpted by Edhi Sunarso and designed by architect Frederich Silaban, was built especially to welcome the athletes. It overlooks the old Kemayoran Airport, where international athletes and other state guests would land.

'Selamat Datang' Monument with Hotel Indonesia in the background. (Shutterstock/Andreas H)

Hotel Indonesia

Known as the first five-star hotel in Southeast Asia, Hotel Indonesia was also built for the athletes. Inaugurated a week before the sports event began, the hotel, which had the first elevator in the country, had room rates starting from Rp 2,500 (17 US cents) at that time.

Read also: Six Indonesian destinations featured in Asian Games images

Semanggi Interchange

Borrowing its philosophy from the four-leaf clover, Semanggi Interchange was constructed to anticipate traffic jams leading to the multisport event. It was later developed by former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama in 2016 to prepare for the 2018 Asian Games. 

The Semanggi Interchange project on March 14, 2017. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Gelora Bung Karno (GBK)

Set as the venue of the 2018 Asian Games, the multipurpose stadium was declared the largest in Southeast Asia. Inspired by one of the stadiums in Russia, Sukarno is said to have received a loan from former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to build it.


State-owned television station TVRI was established near the 1962 Asian Games. Its broadcast debut was on Aug. 24, 1962, which was the day the multisport event began. The station later developed its programs, which includes Dunia dalam Berita (World within the News) as one of its most renowned. (wir/kes)