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“How to skip Sunda Kelapa Port?” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa

Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa
Jalan Baruna Raya No.2, Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara, Jakarta, Indonesia (Penjaringan)
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Ranked #51 of 163 things to do in Jakarta
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Once known as Pasar Ikan (Fish Market), Sunda Kelapa was the early 16th-century trading post from which the Dutch domination of Indonesia began and flourished.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Top Contributor
584 reviews 584 reviews
301 attraction reviews
Reviews in 135 cities Reviews in 135 cities
474 helpful votes 474 helpful votes
“How to skip Sunda Kelapa Port?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

Impossible to skip! All guides will take you around Old Batavia (with the remains of the Dutch colonial city) and suddenly you'll be in Sunda Kelapa: the old port of Jakarta. Sunda Kelap has played a significant role in the development of the Indonesian archipelago (with over 18.000 islands). Nowadays it is only a minor port, accomodating dozens of "pinisi", the traditional two masted wooden sailing ship servicing the islands. Although its historical importance, the area is filthy and dusty. I had a guide, but it didn't add much to the visit. So, if you have the chance, just drive around and it's done.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
22 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“impressive historical place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

very good thing to say that this harbor functioned just the way it is since hundreds of years ago, you could grab a boat there to maritime musseum too!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“A Disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

We only had one day to see the sights and were taken to the Old port of Jakarta called Sunda Kelapa, not much to see other then a few old type vessels been loaded , little atmosphere to really be a tourist attraction, a drive by would have been more then sufficient. Don’t waste your time! From what we saw skip Jakarta entirely and head directly to the airport for an additional day of your holidays some where else.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Loving The Old Maritime”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

You can see traditional boats here preparing to transport goods all over Indonesia. Coming to this place you can understand why Indonesian song writer wrote the song "my great grandfather is a sailor - nenek moyang ku orang pelaut". Unfortunately, the surrounding here is not well-developed to make it become a great tourist attraction.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parramatta, Australia
Top Contributor
435 reviews 435 reviews
235 attraction reviews
Reviews in 188 cities Reviews in 188 cities
1,494 helpful votes 1,494 helpful votes
“The gritty life of a sea mariner”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

Sunda Kelapa is pretty much the type of place upper-middle class tourists are afraid of. It is a gritty dirty place without any refined café’s, bright lights or cute young shop assistants around, where the work is tough & the people rough.

Sunda Kelapa isn’t a tourist attraction but a rewarding destination. It’s a working port for its transport fleet of pinissei ships from Sulawesi. These double-masted ships still use canvass sails to catch wind as their main source of power. Today they are used to transport goods cheaply between the islands of the republic as they have been doing for almost 500 years. The Indonesians here work cheaply, transporting 10 tons of cheap toilet paper from Sumatran jungles can actually earn you a nice profit. Much activity surrounds these ships as their cargo is loaded & unloaded mostly by labour & off the backs of workers who are paid peanuts. Guys walking impossibly narrow gangplanks in between ships & across the filthy water to dry land is cool to watch, there’s always hope that you’ll see some skinny guy carrying 50kgs of rice on his head slip off the edge with a shriek & a splash. Most modern people lack such skill & balance, eating & drinking too much does that to you. The life of a pirate is pretty cool.

Guides & skiff owners will try & sell you a ride on the water. The beauty of this leisurely skiff ride is getting down onto the water below the pinissei ships which tower above the waterline. Here you can see more of the life of a sea mariner. Some ships are undergoing repairs, hulls are being replaced, engines are reconditioned & decks are hosed down. This is the sort of common sight fast disappearing in our modern world, the skills to navigate the seas via the heavens is also fast disappearing as a skill & being replaced by GPS & satellite phones.

There is an option to go back to the dock or get off at the shanty fishing village nearby. The stilt-house village is your typical slum type area full of narrow passageways stacked with goods, hole-in-the-wall snack stores, drying fish & children running around a concoction of chaos. Many many great photo opportunities here, it’s a gritty place, a humble place that was probably very much like what the clan houses in Penang used to look like. The passages all lead out to dry land near the maritime museum & old watch tower. You wont encounter any guys with hook arms drinking rum here, its fairly safe so take your time & explore someone else’s world.

Sunda Kelapa was also once the port of the Hindu Kingdom of Sunda in the 4th century when London was still a fishing village. The Kingdom of Sunda’s eventually became a part of the Majapahit Empire whose decline coincided with the rise of Islam in Java after the famous Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng He established Chinese & Arab Muslim communities on the north coast of Java planting the seeds of decline to the great Majapahit Empire which at its height was larger than modern Indonesia & included parts of southern Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Papua New Guinea & the Southern Philippines.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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