It’s polluted, noisy, over-crowded, the traffic is appalling and it’s sinking: is there anything to like about Jakarta? We think so!
As much as we love anchoring in the remote and white-sand bays of south east Asia’s islands, we never pass up a chance to drop in on some of the towns which make up this diverse part of the world. Being a born and bred Londoner Liz is partial to a capital city, so we berthed SY Esper in the centre of Jakarta’s waterfront at Batavia Marina.
The marina sits in the ancient port of Sunda Kelapa, home to Indonesia’s iconic Phinisi boats. Originally plying their trade in the Java Sea by sail, they were converted to engine power in the ‘70s, when their masts were removed or transformed to cranes.
Jakarta is a city of contrasts: poverty sits next to wealth, beauty and squalor share the same space and the Dutch colonial old town faces modern shops and hotels. We walked and soaked up the vibrant atmosphere, invariably met by smiles and a welcome.
In this episode we have tried to capture something of the spirit we found in Jakarta. It is a city of contrasts: poverty and wealth; beauty and squalor; history and modernity; pain and joy. We were met invariably by smiles and a welcome everywhere we went.
But big changes are coming: President Joko Widodo recently announced that Indonesia’s capital is being relocated to Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. What will happen to Jakarta then? And what impact will it have on the remaining rainforest, wild animals and people of the area?
Peace and fair winds!
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