Scotsabroad's Weblog

September 9, 2012

Red and cloudy

Filed under: Jakarta — scotsabroad @ 4:10 pm

Another trip downtown to the neighbourhood of Glodok, the traditional enclave of the Chinese, to find the oldest Chinese Buddhist temple in Jakarta – Wihara Dharma Bhakti. Planning gets as far as a mall location on Jalan Gajah Mada and walking to find Petak Sembilan street market. We arrive at the shabby mall and park in the tiny multi above. Fortunately, we are right beside the market area that holds the temple at the western end. We walk down the narrow street simply experiencing, as the rough guide says, the (very) Chinese vibe of the place. Red the dominant colour. The open sewer I can still smell.

We find the temple easily. It dates from 1755 , the main building is crowned with two dragons eating pearls. Other buildings help to house a total of 24 altar stations with dense incense and smoke from massive candles. For those wishing to pray, enormous bundles of incense, candles, flowers, food, oil and joss paper are for sale as offerings. Even caged birds. 

We return along the market street. We are amazed at the diversity of stalls and shops. One roadside chef  proudly displays his pot containing many recognisable parts of a pig. Shona buys some vegetables, an interesting cake and  an enormous root of ginger from the stalls, as the boys watch chickens and fish being prepared for other shoppers and wonder how many of the tied up crabs are still alive. Everyone is delightfully pleasant and helpful to us. Lucas spends his pocket-money on one of those waving (money) cats and Cairo picks up a statue of a dragon – the year of his birth. I don’t know if it is enough reward for another 5 hour journey there and back covering a distance of about 34 kilometers. I also think my camera might be dying on me as the pictures above are decidedly cloudy.

Bacon sandwich anyone?



  1. after five bedrooms in ten days, and one thousand and two hundred miles, I can smell that sewer but mightily impressed by description of smells and atmosphere, hope your camera picks up as the photos you include are always ace
    Ian and Linda

    Comment by Ian and Linda — September 14, 2012 @ 2:27 am | Reply

  2. Looks great and very interesting to see what you are all getting up to on your expeditions. Forbes M

    Comment by Forbes M — September 19, 2012 @ 1:53 am | Reply

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