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In Jakarta live about as many people as in the Netherlands. As a result, it is a pretty large and crowded city. Walking from your hotel to the (not as close by as it looked on the map) city centre is not a good idea. A bemo, a motorcycle with two seats in the back, is a better way to go somewhere.

National Monument

To the National Monument, for example. Easily pointed out on the map, but with a lot of entrances. So, four people in two bemo's can easily manage to loose each other. Thanks to SMS we find each other again so we can have a look at this huge phallus symbol on an enormous square. And at night there is even a flame on top!

Bemo Traffic seen from inside a bemo
Garuda Monument by night Wooden ships in the harbour
Loading cement by hand

In the old harbour Sunda Kelapa are still a lot of wooden ships (pinisi), bringing cement, wood and tea from one Indonesian island to another. Everything is brought by manpower on the ships, the labour regulations are clearly not as strict as at home.

 Nearby is the Maritime museum, situated in an old two storey warehouse of the Dutch. When the Swedes visited the museum they thought it could use another ship-model, so now there is a model of the Swedish ship The Göteborg. Hopefully a lot of countries will visit the museum, as it can still use some items to show.

Maritime Museum

Of course we also went shopping, to the Pasar Baru. You can get here beautiful cloth to make your own evening gown.

 Cloth in Pasar Baru


A bit to the west of Jakarta lies the province Banten, which was an important centre of trade in the 16th and 17th century. Here you can find the ruins of the palace of sultan Surosowan.

Ruins of Keraton Surosowan

Chinese candles Chinese dragon

This used to be an enormous complex, but now it is mainly a place to fly your kite, a popular hobby in Indonesia. Close by is the Chinese temple Wan-De Yuan, one of the oldest in Java. Strange to see real Chinese things in an Islamic country.

Lighthouse as minaret

People on the market

In Banten we also visited the Mesjid Agung, the Great Mosque. Both the layout and the appearance of the mosque are very different from the ones we had seen in for instance Istanbul or Uzbekistan. The market next to the mosque is what we had expected: a lot of hats to wear in the mosque, and fruit and other things to eat.

On the road

On the road from Jakarta to Ujong Kulon national park in the west, we see a lot of typical things. The karbau for instance, often used to plough the rice fields. And people planting young rice, weeding the fields or harvesting and drying the rice.

 Rice drying along the road

Selling sweets


Rice fields

And at traffic lights you can buy anything from sweets, prawn crackers and peanuts to water and cigarettes.

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