Pipe Dream - The Opium Dens of Old Batavia in Rare Pictures

In the early 19th century, Opium was traded like gold. Sold under a government monopoly, Java was only one of the many Dutch colonies where Chinese merchant’s yielded great sums of revenue from China's opium trade.

Usually run by Chinese, opium dens were frequented by all levels of society. A place where one could buy and smoke opium, patrons would recline in order to hold the long opium pipes over oil lamps, heating the drug until vaporized then inhaling the smoke.


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