11 January 2008

Old Batavia (Kota) - Pt 1

One not so fine Sunday morning, I was feeling terribly bored. I ran out of things to do at home.

Floors mopped. Bathrooms sparkling clean. Laundry done. Garbage taken out. Plants watered. Nasal hair trimmed. White hair plucked out.

Wasn't in the mood to go to the gym. Wasn't in the mood to meet anyone either. I needed time to do things alone.

Then I remembered a fortnight ago a friend of mine had asked me to follow him to Kota for a photo shoot. I politely turned down his offer because the shoot was at 6am on a Sunday morning. Gila ke hapa nak suruh aku bangun pagi buta hari Ahad...

I took out Jakarta's map to give me a rough idea of Kota's location. This is important because I could confidently instruct the taxi driver which route to take. The key is to sound confident and look as though you've been there thousand of times. Otherwise there might be a chance of you being taken on a longer route.

I was all dressed up. With shades and a small sling bag stuffed with Ipod and the all important camera.

Called a Bluebird taxi. 10 minutes later I was in a taxi. Damn!! Just what I needed. A talkative cab driver!! He was trying to engage in a conversation. Aku tak nak borak le!!! Aku nak menikmati pemandangan Jakarta di pagi Ahad!!

After a 25-minute journey filled with one sided conversation (the cab driver did most of the talking), the taxi pulled over by the side of an old building.

"Udah nyampei Pak. Musium nya ada di depan sana" while pointing toward the direction of a deserted street. Well, after all, it's only 8.00 am.

I got off the cab and walked towards the direction of the museum.

I reached what seemed like a town square. The most prominent building at this square is the Museum Sejarah Jakarta.

Since I was a bit too early, the museum hasn't opened its' doors yet. I decided to explore the whole of Kota on foot.

If you're expecting to see something like the Malacca historical site, then you're in for a great disappointment.

Old buildings are aplenty. A few buildings, mainly those fronting the square, have been wondefully restored. However, beyond this square, most of the old buildings are in a sorry state. It's really a shame.

I simply could not understand why the authorities could not develop Kota into a more decent tourist attraction.If the whole area had been carefully restored to its' glorious days, I'm sure tourists would come in droves.

There weren't any proper footpaths/sidewalks so getting around was a bit treacherous.

Majestic old buildings being left to the harsh elements of nature. Dilapidated. As if waiting to crumble.

I noticed a lot of eyes were on me. I was the only one happily snapping pictures of everything around me. Including the mail box!

Ignore them! Ignore them! You're a very, very tanned British bloke on a holiday in Jakarta - I kept telling myself.

I wandered around Kota for a good one and a half hour. I would come again for the museums one day.

Would I recommend others to visit Kota?

Well, if you're a history buff and love the charm of old buildings, then Kota is a definate yes.

If you're a history buff and love the charm of better looking old buildings carefully restored to its' former glory, then go to Malacca or Penang.

I'll post more photos in my next entry.


peanutbutter said...

Nice picturas!!

Bangga meq ada bff yg suka photography jugew. Nanti boleh le kita ke hulu ke hilior bawak camera ke mana2. Ada le gang. Idak le aku sorang2 je mcm org gila bwk camera.

gadhogadho said...

tu le... nak ambil gambor ni muka kena tebal.. tambah2 kalo gi jalan sorang2 mcm aku ari tu..

org keliling dok pandang aku head to toe... pas tu dok offer beli barang le... yang mintak sedekah nya lagi.. aiyooo!!! stress aku!!

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