The following three images is of when you first enter the market area in the early afternoon. For those that wish to witness the auctions and the selling of the 'fresh fish' it is better to go here in the early hours of the morning.... even as early as 5.00am
Sunda Kelapa is the old port of Jakarta located on the estuarine of Ciliwung River. "Sunda Kalapa" is the original name, and it was the main port of Sunda Kingdom of Pajajaran. The port is situated in North Jakarta, Indonesia. Today the old port only accommodate pinisi, a traditional two masted wooden sailing ship serving inter-island freight service in the archipelago. Although it is now only a minor port, Jakarta had its origins in Sunda Kelapa and it played a significant role in the city's development. This is where the Portuguese traded with the Hindu Kingdom of Pajajaran in the early 16th century.
The Pasar Ikan (Fish Market) sells various kinds of fish - including the dried fish as seen above - and also has a very strong commercial network.
Here, one gets to observe the working climate of Jakarta's modest, hardworking and outspoken fishermen. Although it markets primarily fresh fish, you can also find shops here selling anything from household goods to seashells and boat fittings. Many late-night revelers also come here to savor some grilled fish served up by the food stalls.
..... and for the first time - ever - I started to gag on what I was seeing and smelling. I have been deep into the old markets of Siem Reap, Saigon and Mauritius and I have never come across anything remotely like what I saw here.
But I had asked Bram - the guide - to take me here, to see it first hand for myself, and am glad I did get to see this market. Part of me wishes I had gone earlier when there were more people, but had also heard it was very unsafe for females to just 'wander around' at that time.
The fish catch of the day is auctioned in the early morning (usually before 5.00am) at the old fish market warehouse as seen in the two following images ...... it was only when when I enlarged these images on screen, that I saw the huge spiders and their webs hanging from the rooftop!
The following image is typical of the area we were walking through .... this was a pathway in front of a food stall, so one needs to be extremely careful of where one is walking.
The more adventurous might like to cruise across the Old Harbor, between Pasar Ikan and Sunda Kelapa, on a raft. Negotiate first with the abang (raftsman) for a good rate. We did not do this as the taxi boats looked 'very fragile' and I was not so keen on falling in to the Ciliwung River either!