Jakarta Old Town

There’s something about old heritage structures, whether spruced up or decrepit, that makes me admire a city. I guess, for me, that’s the ‘character’ of the city.

I was convinced that Jakarta was soulless, but after reading about the old Dutch quarters of Kota, there was some hope. Convinced Souvik to wake up early morning today, and head out to Taman Fatahillah and the port of Sunda Kelapa. Early morning on a weekend is definitely the best time to drive around Jakarta; the less traffic there is, the more you can admire leafy lanes and colonial-style villas. We reached Kota in no time, and imagine my delight at finding this:

Yes, a big wide open square, with bikes for hire! Of course, this being the early hour, we were among the first to wander around, but this could be my favorite hangout place!

So we hired a couple of these rickety bikes (most of them had dysfunctional brakes!) minus the pretty hats, and set off to Sunda Kelapa just a km away. The route is not pretty, but the port is interesting. Apparently nothing has changed here in a hundred years! Nice 🙂


We cycled a little through the old quarters to spot my favorite kind of old buildings.

Just that we’ll have to get out there much earlier, to avoid all the unpleasant traffic.

We ended our little excursion at the very colonial Cafe Batavia, full of old world charm and excellent music.






Categories: Island-hopping in Indonesia, TravelTags: , , , , ,


  1. Beautiful. Reminds me of Pondicherry,


  2. never knew Jakarta had a pretty side to it. Show it takes an ‘aarti’ to figure it out for some of us 🙂


  3. Lovely..I can see you going here every weekend


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