We started of at the Sunda Kelapa Harbour in Ancol, North Jakarta. Docked up along the 1.5km stretch of harbourside, were hundreds of boats awaiting departure or in line to be loaded with concrete destined for Sumatra.
We were invited onto one of the boats that was almost ready for its 3 day trip to Sumatra – a vast improvement from the month long trip of old. We crossed the thin walking plank – we balanced across it but were amazed to see the locals loading concrete onto the boats – sometimes loaded up with 3 or 4 bags – via the plank also. We were shown the sleeping quarters, kitchen and toilet areas shared by the many employees and I’m sure they are happy the trip doesn’t take too long!
After a look around the boat, we boarded a taxi boat and took a short trip into the main harbour. When we disembarked, we were on the other side of the river, in a local kampu
ng – the oldest in Jakarta. The residents were more than happy for us to pass through and the children were absolutely delightful. They squealed with excitement when we asked if we could take photos, and were delighted when they saw themselves on the screen.
We passed through a local school where we disrupted the 2 classes as the children ran out to say hello and again pose for photos. The school gets some funding from the local Australian and New Zealand Association and we got to see their latest project which was to fix up the rooftop so the children can play ball sports.
We continued on through the small village and back across
the river through an area which has been recently cleared by local government who are trying to restore the harbour back to what it used to be. Unfortunately this has meant hundreds, if not thousands of people have lost their homes. Some have chosen to remain here however and have set up make shift housing.
We made a quick stop at the maritime museum which has some interesting artifacts and information about the harbour, and then jumped into bajajs back to the markets in Old Town. The markets were full of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, turtles and textiles. It was bustling with locals stocking up for their daily cook up. I will be heading back for another look at this market as we didn’t spend much time here.
One last trip in a mikrolet to the lunch destination and our day was done. There is lots to see that you wouldn’t normally be confident in accessing without a local guide. I would definitely recommend a tour around this area of Jakarta.