Sunda Kelapa Harbour
Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia
Sunda Kelapa Harbour Jakarta Reviews
The Saga of Fish and Men Jan 10, 2014
Jakarta is no different than any other old city. The old sections are interesting places to see history, at the present time. Jakarta has the old Sunda Kelapa Port which tells the story of today and remnants of the past, all mixed together into a blend of the years. Sunda Kelapa was built in the early 17th century, has lived 400 plus years to become a historical landmark.
Today, the Sunda Kelapa Port is a working harbour for traditional, Indonesian, wooden schooners carrying merchandise to the islands of Indonesia. These hand-made, wooden schooners still look old fashioned. These wooden schooners have changed very little over centuries of plying their trade. Even the addition of a small diesel engine to compliment the sails, radio communication equipment and electric lighting has had little impact on the grace and beauty of these traditional sailing ships. They have two main masts usually carrying up to seven sails. These wooden schooners anchored offer a picturesque scene. They belong to one of the last fleets of sailboats in the world and yet, there are still many in Indonesia. With most of the country being surrounded by water, it is not surprising that Indonesians have a strong membership in the seafaring population.
I walked along the extremely hot dock to see and absorb the port activities. It is entertainment to walk and see just how many ships are docked. One gets glimpses of the fisherman’s lifestyle and the realities of port life.
Some ships are busy undergoing repairs and maintenance. This is the sort of common sight that is fast disappearing in modern life. Here we can still observe fishermen with the skills to navigate the seas via the heavens. This is a place to learn and appreciate the history of traditional, Indonesian wooden schooners.
Some workers unload cargos from simply stunning wooden schooners. It's amazing to observe the strength of the sailors and workers who load and unload goods manually without the help of some equipment. Workers bend over as they carry enormous loads on their backs; scurrying up and down planks between the wooden schooners and the wharf. Many fishermen offer to rent an old canoe to enjoy the waterside scenery. Vendors sell snacks and drinks to the sailors, and tare attract tourists. They will happily smile and pose for a photograph if asked.
Across the port you will see the houses of the fishermen and their families, they live in many shades and flavors, but share poverty.
This place is not actually friendly to pedestrians, as the wharf is active very early in the day. Later, when most of the action has ceased, the sun will be very hot. It is a busy port, and one needs to be careful. I found myself dodging cranes and heavy cargo swinging onto some of the larger wooden schooners. The fisherman was not going to change their work habits, nor were they going to watch out for us.
I tried to capture the face of people, the heart and the soul. I wonder what it must be like to live and work year round under those conditions. Very hard indeed..I imagine. Whatever the neighborhood, whatever the place,the daily grind of locals is most interesting for me. It is real life on part of Jakarta. These people are the real heart and soul of Jakarta.
9 / 9 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!