Sunda Kelapa Harbor, North Jakarta

Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa Jakarta or Sunda Kelapa Harbor in North Jakarta is a place where you can find large traditional Bugis Makassar ships, widely known as Pinisi, which are leaning back, loading and unloading various trading goods, using the cheapest equipment that has been around for thousands of years old, the backs of humans.

After tens of years living in Jakarta, this was my first visit to Sunda Kelapa Harbor in North Jakarta. The port is one of the oldest in the archipelago and is still actively operating. Sunda Kelapa is an old name for the city of Jakarta, which existed long before the colonial looters from Europe found it.

After visiting Maritime Museum and Syahbandar Tower we headed east on Jalan Pakin, turned left onto Jl Krapu and went straight into Sunda Kelapa Harbor by passing a guard post. A row of pinisi ships were seen on the left pier stretched about 1 km before the dock turns to the right.

sunda kelapa harbor
A pinisi ship was lowering its cargo load onto an open truck at Sunda Kelapa harbor in North Jakarta that afternoon using a crane. A burlap or a rayon sack is a favorite choice for merchants who use this port, probably because it is so easy to load onto a human back.

The Port of Sunda Kelapa Jakarta has been a very busy port since the 12th century when it was still part of the Sunda Pajajaran Kingdom. Its highly strategic location in the western region of Java made it a target of occupation and seizure for other kingdoms in the archipelago of Nusantara and European colonialists.

sunda kelapa harbor
Other Pinisi ships are loading goods into their stomachs, with port laborers. Only a very strong man can survive with a job at like the one in Sunda Kelapa Port of Jakarta, as it is so hard, carrying heavy loads on his back from a truck into a ship, under scorching sun.

In the Port of Sunda Kelapa there is a remnant of Klein Boom Rail Station. Nederlandsche-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij (NIS), the Dutch Indies Railway Company, in 1871 built the first railway line in Batavia Noord (North Batavia), from Klein Boom Railway Station in Sunda Kelapa to Gambir Railway Station (Koningsplein).

sunda kelapa harbor
Three porters walked across a simple board bridge with a load of sacks of goods on their backs to be loaded onto the Pinisi ship with prow of the ship was beautifully visible. The Port of Sunda Kelapa Jakarta witnessed the harsh effort of men to make a living in the harbor, from the era of "horse bites iron" until today.

The Sunda Kelapa Port Jakarta has 760 hectares of land with 16,470 hectares of water, comprising two main ports and Kalibaru Port. The main port of 1 km length can accommodate about 70 large traditional pinisi ships. While the pier on the right looks shorter.

sunda kelapa harbor
The loading and unloading of goods was seen on a number of ships under the very hot environment with only a few trees to the right of Jl Maritim Raya. Place a dock yard is in a 50-meter wide canal, with a curve of 150 meters. In colonial times, these channels were known as Havenkanaal or port canals.

Inside the complex is Harbormaster Office and Port Authorities of Sunda Kelapa Port of Jakarta, as well as the Al Bahrain Mosque adjacent to Sunda Kelapa Cultural Heritage Tourism Information Center. At the southern end of the canal is Sunda Kelapa Dam adjacent to TPI Pasar Ikan, and a little further south there is Sunda Kelapa Reservoir.

What is lacking in Jakarta's Sunda Kelapa Harbor is a convenient place for visitors to simply sit back and re-hydrated throat while observing the busyness of harbor life. However, Sunda Kelapa Harbor remains an interesting place to visit, a landmark that life has not changed for many centuries.

Sunda Kelapa Harbor

Address : Kecamatan Penjaringan, North Jakarta. GPS Location : -6.116382, 106.808331, Waze ( smartphone Android and iOS ). Open : all the time. Entrance ticket : Rp.4.000 per car. Reference : Map of Jakarta . Destinations in Jakarta . Hotel in North Jakarta.
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