Photo: History on the water.

Sunda Kelapa

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Jakarta’s historic port, Sunda Kelapa has been in operation shipping spices to major trading partners across the region since probably even long before the Sunda Kingdom named it for a bunch of coconut trees growing near the Ciliwung River estuary sometime between the seventh and 16th centuries.

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Over the course of its history, the port has been conquered and reconquered numerous times by powers wishing to control the lucrative spice trade. A small settlement was established here and in fact today the metropolis of Jakarta exists because of it. Nowadays a modern industrial harbour several kilometres further along the coast, Tanjung Priok, does most of the big ship trade, but Sunda Kelapa still sees the majestic tall-masted wooden Bugis pinisi ships sailing into dock. These transport goods bound for the archipelago’s outer islands much as they have done for centuries—except these days most use engines and some have removed their sails ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)


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