Glodok is considered to be the biggest Chinatown in Indonesia and I decided to take the off peak commuter to Kota. From here its a short walk to Glodok.
I was looking at the largest local market in Jakarta ,Pasar Kemenangan, located right next to Pasar Glodok. This ‘wet market’ is partially covered and you can purchase all kinds of things, from fish and meat, to vegetables, spices and sweets. Live fish, chickens and turtles line the streets, ready to be slaughtered and boned on request.
Through the maze of narrow streets where numerous traders displayed their produce either at stands or on pieces of cloth, I enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere of the place, watching people walking around or living there, traders, animals and of course the inevitable scooters passing in all directions. Most people there were very friendly, willing to explain what they were selling and happy to take photos.
After leaving the market, I walked to the oldest temple in Jakarta, Vihara Dharma Bhakti. Built in 1650, the temple soon became the centre for religious activity in the Chinese community. Inside, candles were burning in every room as a sign of worship. In front of the main gate stood cages of little birds, I was told they were to be released as an offering to the gods and to ensure prosperity and well-being.
After visiting the temple, I headed towards St. Maria de Fatima Catholic Church. This church is housed in an old Chinese mansion, which was bought by the Catholic Church from a wealthy Chinese family in the mid 20th century. The church is a unique combination of Christian and Chinese elements and architecture. In its forecourt there are effigies of the Virgin Mary (or St. Maria de Fatima) and Jesus Christ, standing high above the little square.
After a short stop at another Chinese Temple – Vihara Dharma Jaya – I continued walking through the narrow streets and concluded the tour at Fatahilla Square.