Tuesday, 19 October 2010

my visit to the pasar ikan in Jakarta

this time last week I was wandering in and around the Pasar Ikan in Jakarta,
the fish market that is near Sunda Kelapa.

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.
 the above images are rather misleading as it looks like an 'normal market' where there is plenty of room to wander around. Not so, we are in a very dark and damp area with walkways only for one person to walk along. The walkways usually have water sloshing around, and whatever floats along with it ..... there were many photos I did not take as it was totally inappropriate to do so. .....

..... 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!
once out in the open we continued to explore the rest of the Pasar Ikan and as it was early afternoon most of the fish sellers had gone home and all that were left were the household goods being sold as seen below....

   the images above were typical of where we walked around the market area.
 the above image was taken to show the newspaper hanging from the posts, this is what he wraps the fish in and the post is tied down with a sandbag!

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!

Click HERE to see the blog post on the Syahbandar Tower, 
which was built in 1839 and stands at the entrance to the Pasar Ikan.

stay tuned for further blog posts on my trip to Jakarta
in particular my visit to

Luar Batang



cajunsis said...

All great shots Leone. Looks like you had an amazing time there.

sama-sama said...

We live in Jakarta (expats from Scotland) and many times we have gone to Sunda Kelapa, the Dutch leaning tower, the Chinese temples, China town, lunched at Cafe Batavia at Fatahila square, visited the maritime & puppet museums etc, etc. Still to go to the fish market which is a must before we leave.
All the above is the REAL Jakarta, everywhere else is just not interesting at all.
If you are in Jakarta, even for a few days these are the best places to go to get the feel of real Jakarta.