Exploring Jakarta

I have actually been visiting Jakarta ever since the early 1980's when I used to work there, but I never really explored the city as I should have, partly due to my time schedule and partly because I was a young surfing fanatic who preferred to visit other places like Bali. However, over the years I have discovered more and more about this beautiful city and continue to explore it's hidden gems.

These are some of the places that I have visited with some of the photos that I have taken.

Port of Sunda Kelapa (PSK)

There are some great places to visit in the old part of Jakarta and one of these is the Port of Sunda Kelapa or PSK as it is commonly known. The port is located on the Ciliwung River estuarine and only accommodates a traditional two masted wooden sailing ship called a "Pinisi" which delivers freight to and from the various islands in the Indonesian archipelago. During the day one can see these impressive ships being loaded up, cleaned, painted and repaired and one can even take trips in small boats along the river.

Don't forget you have to pay to get into the port and also have the offer of a guide to show you around. There are  2 entrances to the harbour and one from Kota Tua, the old town and the other from Ancol or just before Mangga Dua.

When I first visited the place you used to see gangs of men run up vertical wooden planks carrying cement but that's gone now and it's all cranes. But if you are lucky and brave enough you can clamber onto onto one of the ships if they let you. Then you can appreciate how big they truly are.

If you do get to the harbour then you really should aim for the large silver silos and find Batavia Marina which is an excellent outside garden restaurant, great views, ice cream and  all things sea food. Not too pricey.

Don't get a taxi to drop you off as you won't find one to pick you up but you can rent a bike in the old town and cycle to the harbour if you really need to. The traffic is frightening but the old buildings and alleys are very interesting.

But beware, many taxis do not know the name Sunda Kelapa so try Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara.

Thanks for the extra info Luke. Yes I heard about Batavia Marina....should be going there next Monday with friends for dinner....first time.

Unloading/loading one of the many ships

Part of the work gang

Hard work

Boat Maintenance

These guys will happily take you for a paid boat ride along the river and closeup to the ships and their towering bows.

Hi Hansson, nice photos. if you like to explore Jakarta and capture some moments. feel free to contact me, I do love too capture some moments while i am finished from working hour
There are many hidden places in Jakarta that have beautiful spots

A few more photos of ships at PSK taken from a small boat on the river.

Well, you should visit another city too. Let say Bandung, Surabaya, Jogjakarta and many more. Every city have their unique things to explore.

Simply amazing photos, I should go to Jakarta soon enough.

Jakarta Gems Center

The Jakarta Gems Center is a relatively new building. I can still remember visiting the original Gemstone Market on the same site back in 2006. It is actually located just across the road from Jatinegara Train Station in Jakarta.

Before they built the new Gems Center, the old gemstone market was basically open air very hot and a bit dirty, but searching for original and unique gemstones was very interesting. Nowadays the new Gems Center is a big building with several floors packed solid with gemstones, shops selling gemological equipment, minerals and everything related to gems and rock collecting equipment etc. On one side of the market is a gemstone processing areas for polishing and setting stones.

There is even a Gem Lab where you can get your stones appraised with a certificate. Gemstones without certificates are more difficult to sell and command a lower price. However, many people prefer to use an overseas Gemstone Lab to appraise stones, such as Far East Gemological Lab or Nan Yang Gemological Institute which are both located in Singapore. For those who prefer the best, you can send your stones to GIA, the Gemological Institute of America.

Most of the better stones in the Gemstone Center will already have been appraised and have an appraisal certificate from a gemstone laboratory.

In addition to gemstones, there are many stores selling silver jewelry without stones. One can find rings, pendants, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, as well as semiprecious gemstone beads for stringed jewelry.

In Indonesia, gemstones are actually something of a national hobby. One can find gemstone sellers on the side of the road with containers of water full of gemstones and semi-precious gemstones and grinding and polishing machines. Even in Bandung there are certain streets specialized for selling and setting gemstones in silver.

Indonesia has some excellent native gemstones and on the local market these highly prized stones can fetch large amounts of money.

Another popular stone is Carnelian with layering that appears as a number eight. Eight is the favourite number of the Chinese and is thought to bring good luck. Therefore any of the Quartz based stones such as Carnelian, Agate, Onyx etc that display a number eight are quite sought after. These can usually be found at the Jakarta Gems Center.

Some stones with Gemstone Identification Cards can be seen below:

Natural Opal

Natural Chrysocolla

Natural Star Ruby

Fatahillah Square

Fatahillah Square, formerly known as Batavia City Square, is the old part of Jakarta and the downtown area during the Dutch colonial days. Today we call this area Kota Tua and it is popular with local and foreign tourists who come to visit it's old buildings, museums and restaurants. The square is dominated by the Jakarta History Museum which was once the Central Bank of Dutch East Indies.

Along the sides of the square can be found lots of bicycles for hire, commonly rented by students who ride the bicycles in the square while wearing traditional style hats, as well as street performers and musicians.

The area is also a popular location for photo and movies shoots, which often take place in some of the old derelict buildings that can be found along the many streets near Fatahillah Square.

The Jakarta History Museum

Students at Fatahillah Square

Students in the Jakarta History Museum

Very nice photos..  :top: if you want to explore more about the city, I suggest you to take  Jakarta city tour bus (maybe you already hear it). It's free. And the bus stop to several spot tourism in Jakarta.

Have a good day


Yep the buses are great to ride especially if you get the front seats upstairs. My son is very happy when on the bus.

lukereg :


Yep the buses are great to ride especially if you get the front seats upstairs. My son is very happy when on the bus.

From the launching of the buses, I really want to ride it. And finally, I rode the bus last week and got the front seats upstairs :D me too, I was excited on the bus.. it's like seeing Jakarta in different way.

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