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“Historical Harbor” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sunda Kelapa Harbour

Sunda Kelapa Harbour
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Private Tour: Half-Day National Museum and Old Harbour Tour from Jakarta
Ranked #38 of 262 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
Yilan, Taiwan
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Historical Harbor”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2014

I visited Jakarta by accident thus I have no plan here. Therefore, I chartered taxi for the unexpected trip.

Sunda Kelapa was suggested by the taxi driver.
As he said, Sunda Kelapa is an ancient harbor where Zheng He (鄭和) voyages in Ming Dynasty.
I was thoroughly stunned that I could walk into history. Everything is historical, from the style of ship to mottled painting. I would never visit here without driver's recommendation. What a beautiful accident.

Visited September 2013
7 Thank Peri L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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281 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Interesting old port”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014

The old port, but still working port, with traditional vessels made of wood, and loaded by hand...very interesting to see the boats and the movement, but bear in mind that this is a working port.
Nearby is the pasar ikan ( fish market ) area, with the maritime museum and the old Dutch observation tower, also worthwhile.

Visited January 2014
3 Thank Sergio F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2,001 reviews
1,774 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,622 helpful votes
“Walking the plank”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2014

Firstly it is hard to get here, there are no signposts at all. I walked along the Kali Besar canal from the Old Town Square (Fatahillah Sq). A 1km walk through some very deserted streets under a motorway and railway. Finally I reached a lookout tower and the harbour entrance. This isn't a tourist attraction - it is a working harbour and you feel a bit of a voyeur wandering amongst the harbour workers. The ships, called Phisi, move palm oil and wood between Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Sumatra. You may get approached by someone keen to show you their ship. Here's the problem - it is very interesting having a look around their boats but it involves walking along precariously high and narrow planks. Once I was on I was terrified of climbing back down. The guy charged me $10 for a short tour - a bit excessive. Seeing as a taxi back to centre of town was just $5.

Visited December 2013
10 Thank Jolyon67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
massachusetts, usa
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Piracy and Trade Revisited”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2014

The old port of Jakarta contains one of the largest collection of old Bugi schooners in existence. They are largely converted to diesel engines and the masts cut back, but they still retain the flavor (and smell) of old coastal trade history. These ships were largely built in southern Sulawesi (a great place to visit!) but are manned by the Bugi people, notorious as pirates and traders. The British used to scare their children to sleep by saying that if they did not go to bed "the Bugi man will come and get you!" Go onboard any of the ships by permission and definitely hire a local to paddle you around the harbor to see the great ships up close. Once in a lifetime experience!
Also, the old Dutch fort is a five minute walk away. It is a really interesting old place with a good exhibit. You can also buy handmade boat models there reasonably! Hard to find these days!

Visited December 2013
5 Thank deansbeans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great Falls, Virginia
Level Contributor
183 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Adventure and History”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2014

Sunda Kelapa is a very interesting place to visit. It does not draw as many tourist, which is fine with as the place is a working harbor for small traders and inter Island trading. The boats and ships are all old fashioned handmade by locals and probably not much different from the ones used 200 years ago. I did not take a boat or ship as I was alone, but it would make for a great fun day out in the ocean with a group of large friends on one of the old ships for Island hopping. I can guarantee everyone you will feel like a pirate in an instant. Aside from a array of old ships, the place is dotted with many good sea food restaurants. See another review for a sea food restaurant in Sunda Kelapa. This is a place to take it easy and learn first hand the stories of ship captains and fisherman and learn about the old ships. Locals are friendly though hard pressed for cash and might get a bit pushy. The extended area of Sunda Kelapa offers much history and walking around all day for some good pictures of locals and old buildings would make for an interesting days.

Visited February 2014
2 Thank Mirza A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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