From all my research sources, there was a unanimous disapproval for venturing into Jakarta for sightseeing between flights. There was nothing to see. Traffic is bad and I would miss my flight. Jams can happen at any time and I could be stuck for hours. Nevertheless, the decision was made to head out and give it a half day's chance.
Jakarta's airport is old, although not too crappy like Manila. Signs like this give a perception things are not safe.
Despite the end of Ramadan, the drive into the city was surprisingly smooth and the taxi stopped at Old Batavia in about 40 minutes only. This colonial structure was the former town hall from the Dutch days.
Colourful bicycles are available for rent with a matching hat.
The square is surrounded by imposing colonial buildings. There weren't too many people hovering around. Perhaps the city emptied out before the imminent public holiday?
Now the Jakarta History Museum, this landmark closed early due to Ramadan.
The Chicken Market Bridge is now closed to foot or vehicle traffic and barricaded on both sides. Boats used to sail upriver through here in the 17th century, which required the drawbridge to be raised.
While I got here in a comfortable, air-conditioned Blue Bird taxi, locals would get by with the less luxurious tuk tuk.
It is not easy to walk around along the streets, but with no proper taxis in sight, walking was the last option available. Jakarta's urban planning seems a big mess, and the streets in this part of town are definitely not pedestrian-friendly.
Syahbandar Tower served as the customs office to control ships into and out of Batavia's harbour. But the great harbour is gone. What you see now is a pool of ugly, still water.
If the dirty water doesn't kill the invaders already, this cannon should finish them off.
An informal market wraps around this deserted tourist sight. Many people ride motorcycles in the city. Protect yourself and wear a helmet.
The Maritime Museum is housed in several old VOC warehouses that date back from the 17th century. They closed early for Ramadan as well but I was happy to admire the architecture from the outside.
After a few hours exploring, it was time to head back to the airport, fingers-crossed the infamous traffic jams would not materialize. The ride was smooth for the most part, and we returned to the terminal with plenty of time to prepare for the next flight.
Passengers need to clear security first before entering the check-in area.
I had checked in already on arrival from my previous flight, so it was a leisurely walk to see what airlines are operating here. Indonesia has many smaller carriers and the country is still trying to ward off the negative image from the EU flight bans which have been partially lifted.
Premium passengers get a more secluded area for check-in.
Shops and restaurants start behind the counters. No additional security exists here, and the gate areas already start afterwards. It was a bit weird to sit at a bench near the gate without going through official security.
What is this deadly cuisine doing in Indonesia?
Indonesians love fried foods.
With some time to kill, I browsed the shops to see what souvenirs are available. I presume this is some sort of fish product?
As sun set, airport staff handed out food boxes to devout Muslims to break their fast. I peeked inside and they contained bread and water.
The terminal building is designed like a resort. The central axis had a lot of seats and the actual gates are in the satellite wings. Official security takes place along the bridges to the wings.
This gutsy adventure luckily went well, as most advice indicate a 6-hour transit should be spent at the airport or a nearby mall. It seems the city cleared out for the holidays, so a short trip to Old Batavia worked out well. Hopefully, I can explore more of the newer parts of the city on my next visit!