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Sunda Kelapa Harbor
Jalan Maritim Raya, Jakarta North Jakarta
The picturesque old harbor of Jakarta was built in the early 17th century (reconstructed and expanded in 1817) and today still serves as the port of call for perahu pinisi (sailing cargo vessels). Navigated primarily by Bugis and Makassarese traders, these charming and colorful vessels form one of the world's few major commercial sailing fleets, transporting raw materials from Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Visitors will marvel at the amazing strength of the sailors and workers who load and unload goods manually without the help of any equipment. A conversation with them sometimes earns an invitation aboard. The name translates as Bugis Schooner Harbor, and it's home to traditional pinisi prahu, the sailing vessels that ship goods between the islands of Indonesia. An active port since the 1100s, and once a center of the spice trade, the harbor now handles raw materials like timber logged in Borneo and Sumatra and rice and kapok (cotton) from Sulawesi. Loading and unloading is purely manual: Workers carry enormous loads on their shoulders as they clamber up and down steep gangplanks. You can take a small rowboat to the Fish Market across the river for about 5,000 Rp. The harbor is within walking distance of Museum Bahari.