A Travellerspoint blog

Port Batavia

Old Djakarta

semi-overcast 29 °C

After another Harrisly good breakfast, we took a taxi back to the museum for a bit more detail on cultural and historical matters before going on to the original Dutch port area that was known as Batavia where we found a good traffic-free square being enjoyed by people hiring old Dutch bicycles, complete with straw hats for the ladies and pith helmets for the men. We had coffee at the amazing Cafe Batavia which is an intact colonial building that housees an enormous collection of photos and prints on all of the walls as well as lots of antique furniture and general colonial opulence.

Unfortunately, many of the 16th century buildings away from the square are crumbling. We walked along a putrid canal to see a Dutch-era bridge. It is near to the sea and by this stage the waterways are a stinking black ooze. To get away from the smells we jumped on a small bus and immediately got trapped in a traffic jam in the sweltering heat. After some time, we arrived at the old port of working Sulawesi-built sailing ships.

We then took a taxi for the extended traffic jam back to Ben's workplace in Tebet. He took us to dinner at an outdoor food stall area. Service here is a captivating performance that includes a communal soliciting process (the like of which I have never seen) followed by an equally communal ordering and food-sourcing process. After an interesting and tasty meal, we wandered through an antiques expo that was setting up before returning to the Bakoel Cafe. We finished the evening with a ride in a shiny, new blue Bajaj back to the hotel.

Posted by Neil-Sonia 05:00 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bicycle

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