Horrendous traffic. Gray sky. Choking air.
It is not a surprise why Lonely Planet says Jakarta is a city many find it hard to love. With more than 10 million people sprawling over narrow streets, dense neighborhoods and filthy riverbanks, many struggle for a quality living in this city. But looking back to its history, one would comprehend why Jakarta has grown into such a megacity. Founded in the 4th century as Sunda Kelapa, it has always been an important port for spice trading even before the arrival of the European explorers. In the early 16th century, the Portuguese was the first European nation to arrive at the port, en route for the source of the spices. Their expeditions opened up a direct access for the Europeans to the once-as-precious-as-gold spices – instead of buying them from the Arab traders.
However, it also started a new chapter of centuries…
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