JAKARTA: AN INFINITE PARADISE FOR SHOPPING GETAWAYS
As a vibrant metropolitan and nation’s capital, Jakarta undoubtedly offers the best shopping venues on all corners of the city. In Jakarta, there is no better time for you to indulge senses by experiencing, perhaps, one of the most exciting shopping journeys in your life, because everyday is a perfect day to shop, sightsee and spend!
To enjoy the magnificent visit of a lifetime, Jakarta is a true definition of the unlimited choices to shop. From the high-end fashion brands to the hippest local trend are available in stores. Glittering shopping malls, glamorous plazas to the friendly local bargain markets are easily found right in your fingertips. In every region of the city, there is always a place for you to spend. Here is a guide to ease and give you ideas how to make the most of your visit. A chic guide to exhaust your dancing feet by strolling to the few places we would like to recommend:
The nation’s unofficial national mall, has a lot of outlets to see inside. This shopping spree is the first air-conditioned shopping mall in Indonesia. Here, you will find all the clothings, cosmetics, jewelry, housewares, artwork and souvenirs for you to purchase and take home. A must visit is to the 4th floor where you can find selections of Batik cloths and creations (a signature cloth of Indonesia) and 5th floor where you can shop some other Indonesia’s signature artwork and souvenirs for your loved ones. It is located on the main M.H. Thamrin street right across the Bank of Indonesia and right next to the Djakarta Theatre building and Sari Pan Pacific Hotel.
A luxurious home to more than 250 stores, including international brands as well as local wares. Gucci, Hugo Boss, Louboutin, Zara and Salvatore Ferragamo, just to name a few, are housed under one roof. Being also adjacent to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, makes an easier access for business travelers to spend their spare times for a quick getaway from meetings. Plaza Indonesia Extension, open at late 2009 is the newest expansion. Here, lavish shoppers will be spoilt with even more tenants, including Louis Vuitton and several great selections of culinary fine resto. Miniapolis at the 3rd floor in which is dedicated for kids, is a perfect spot for your children to be pampered with many fun activities, including a playground and arcade, a cho-cho train ride, kids clothing store, to candies and popcorns stores. It is located on the iconic HI roundabout.
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
This gigantic shopping complex, just like the name, is truly like a small town for shoppers. Seibu department stores, a 13-auditoriums cineplex, and other high-end single and retail shops as well as children fun center and food courts are something to be seen at all premises. Try the tasty local dishes or international fare dining at the top floor’s food haven called Food Louver. Grand Indonesia Shopping Town is also adjacent to the nation’s first ever hotel being built, which is the legendary yet newly-refurbished Indonesia Kempinski Hotel. This shopping town is located right across the Plaza Indonesia, which is on HI roundabout.
Jalan Surabaya market (or Surabaya street market, located in Menteng area) has been known for selling antiques, rare finds and other quirky stuff. If you are lucky enough, you can get golden or silver plated items with a very good prices here. This market is also an ideal place for you to shop some souvenirs.
Tanah Abang Market Blok A
is a massive building for bargain hunters. There, people can shop for many kinds of textiles, clothing items, luggages, fashion accessories, and many more in bulk or retail. The center is famous for its wholesale shopping, and is the biggest in Jakarta.
Ancol Arts Market
Located inside the Ancol Bay City Recreational Park complex, Ancol Arts Market has many locally crafted souvenirs such as woodcarvings, paintings and seashell creations with a very good price selection. You can also request customized paintings, even made to your self portraits, to the artists directly.
Mangga Dua Shopping Complex
This wholesale center offers an interesting selection of wares including bargain clothing and electronics (computer shops, computer games, game consoles, audio appliances, etc). There are at least four shopping centers interlinked to each other offering endless bargain and shopping experience (ITC Mangga Dua and Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua mainly sell clothes while electronics at Mall Mangga Dua and Harco Mangga Dua). Definitely a place for gadgets and technology gadgets, also a paradise for bargain hunters.
Located in the Kelapa Gading residential neighbourhood in North Jakarta, there is a string of four giant shopping malls of Kelapa Gading Mall with major department stores (including Sogo and Star), high street brands, clothing, cafes and food courts. Pendopo located in Kelapa Gading Mall 5 is also a great place for you to hunt for local souvenirs. Still located in the shopping complex, the food haven La Piazza is in the strecth of the mall (next to Kelapa Gading Mall 1). Meanwhile, the newest addition is Mall of Indonesia with tenants mix of a department store, gym, cineplex, and a children theme park that fills the center atrium, as well as a complex of luxurious apartments and condominium.
Located in Jalan Asia Afrika near the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex, Plaza Senayan has two major department stores, Sogo and Metro, as well as upscale fashion outlets, such as Prada, Gucci, Ermenegildo Zegna, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Diane von Furstenberg and the likes. Plaza Senayan might be one of the oldest, but still has been remained one of the most luxurious shopping plazas in Indonesia due to its prime location nearby high-end housing residences and business districts. Cineplex and food courts are also available inside.
Another upscale complex of shopping mall, office tower, and apartments. The tenant mix is moreover the same as in Plaza Senayan (high end shops). Newer and bigger building with tons of food galore selections are there to be enjoyed by yourself or with family. Fitness First gym center and UK’s Debenhams department store are definitely two of the most favorite tenants of the mall.
fX Lifestyle X-nter
fX Lifestyle X-nter is a lifestyle center offering a new concept of shopping center. Cafes, restaurants, a gym, and other specialized shops are the highlight of this swanky entertainment center. It also features an exciting mixture of unique business centers (fPod) with a playful arcade of ‘Atmosfear’, a glass-enclosed slide ride in the atrium that span for at least 4-storey high. fX is also adjacent to Harris Hotel and Apartment, Sudirman. The hotel can be accessed through the mall’s main lobby.
Pacific Place Mall
A high-end giant shopping spree attached to Ritz Carlton Jakarta-Pacific Place offering upscale brands and stores, dining outlets, a cineplex, and an indoor edutainment center for children, Kidzania, of which is the biggest in Southeast Asia. The building is located in the SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District) area.
Pondok Indah Mall,
A cavernous two-mall establishment in the upmarket Pondok Indah residential neighbourhood. With the further developed area, Pondok Indah Mall also will be offering a new plethora of eating and shopping opportunities.
Tebet Area is located in between South and East Jakarta. This unique place is mainly a residence area where you can find quite a number of establishments mushrooming the road, from modest cafes to independent clothing stores (called distro). A favourite hang-out place for youngsters.
Most shopping malls have opening hours from 10AM to 10PM. Cafes and eateries inside the mall might have slightly different opening hours and open longer in the weekend. Wholesale centers (such as Tanah Abang and Mangga Dua) open from as early as 9AM and close in the early evening (around 4PM).
The history of the performing arts in Jakarta is as varied and fascinating as the city itself. Roving street entertainers sang, danced, performed feats of magic and daring, and acted out stories. This tradition continues today in pasar and residential areas. Cikini especially is a center of performing arts in Jakarta.
In 17th century, more formal performance were held for VOC administrators and personnel in the Pasar Ikan area. In Heeren Logement (Gentlemen’s Lodgings), performers from Europe as well as local dancers and musicians entertained the Dutch. The Dutch also held their own shows, including raucous parodies, but Government-General J.P.Coen eventually banned this entertainment. Performances in Pasar Ikan continued to be held until the early 1800s, when theater was built in the new area of Weltevreden.
In modern times, Jakarta has seen the growth of several centers for the performing arts, each with distinctive character. Among these are Gedung Kesenian, Taman Ismail Marzuki, Institut Kesenian Jakarta, Bharata Theater, Salihara, and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.
Javanese dance evolved from the sacred court dances of the sultanates of Yogyakarta and Solo. Classical dance can be divided into the court dances and traditional regional dances. Many newer dances are adaptations of classical variations. Control over all movement is essential for a good Javanese dancer. Fingers, hands, arms, feet, knees, and thighs are all moved and held at extreme angles, while the torso remains still. Stories are told through minute changes in these movements.
Many styles of music compete for listeners in Jakarta. Of the more traditional, gamelan and keroncong music merit special mention. The word gamelan comes from gamel (mallet). The gamelan orchestra is composed almost exclusively of bronze percussion instruments, which are struck with a mallet to produce sound. The instruments are tuned to a specific scale. The most sophisticated gamelan orchestra consists of hanging, horizontal, and knobbed gongs; kettles; cymbals; xylophones; a zither; a flute; a rebab (string and bow instrument); drums; and voices.
The keroncong looks like a small guitar with five strings and comes in three sizes and pitches. The music combines Javanese characteristics, including gamelan-like rhythms, with Portuguese melodies and harmonies. Research suggests that a form of keroncong music may have originated in North Africa and later been playedin Portugal when the Moors conquered Spain and Portugal. The Portuguese, in turn, took keroncong to Goa and Malacca. After the fall of the Malacca in 1641, captive Portuguese introduced the music to the island of Java. The most popular style today is called Keroncong Morisko.
Two other Indonesian musical instruments and forms of music performed frequently in Jakarta are the Sundaneseangklung, made of varying lengths and thicknesses of bamboo suspended in a wooden frame, and the kolintangfrom North Sulawesi, a table-height wooden xylophone.
Local theater with performances by actors instead of puppets can be divided into wayangtopeng, which is performed by actors wearing masks, and wayang orang. Each region has distinctive masks; Javanese masks tend to be somewhat life-like, while Balinese masks are more unusual. In wayang orang performances, actors and classical Javanese dancers portray the characters found in the great Hindu epics. Gamelan music and the dalanghave roles in this type of theater, but the dialogue between the actors, spoken in the high Javanese language, is more important. Spectacular action in the dance sequences is also very important. A full play may require 100 performers and may last from six hours to three days. In Jakarta, various types of wayang performances are held in Museum Wayang, Gedung Kesenian, Bharata Theater, and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.
Seventy three shopping centers across the city have signed up to participate in the annual Jakarta Great Sale Festival from June 1 until July 14, to celebrate the capital’s 485th anniversary.
The festival is an annual event organized jointly by the Jakarta branch of the Indonesian Shopping Center Association (APPBI) and the Jakarta administration. This year, the festival will be longer than its usual 30 days, hoping to record more transactions.
“This year, we aim to reach total transactions of Rp 10 trillion (US$1.08 billion),” organizing committee secretary Darwin A. Roni said at the Senayan City shopping center in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.
He said that last year, the festival rang up sales of Rp 8 trillion in 68 participating shopping centers. “As the length of the festival and the number of participating shopping centers have increased, the transactions will increase as well,” he said.
An official from the Jakarta Economic Agency, Hasan Basri, said that the festival was expected to help the city’s economy grow. “More than 20 percent of the city’s revenue comes from the trading and tourism sectors,” he said, adding that lucrative discounts offered by participating shopping centers could attract both domestic and foreign shoppers.
Besides offering discounts of up to 70 percent, this year’s festival was also going to feature social and cultural activities, said Hasan. “We, for example, will hold blood donations in the 73 participating shopping centers,” Hasan said, adding that the committee was also preparing for a carnival displaying decorated carriages and giant ondel-ondel Betawi effigies.
According to the chairman of the organizing committee, Handaka Santosa, the Jakarta Great Sale is a unique festival because the participants will not offer discounted goods of old stock. “Shoppers will be provided with new goods produced specifically for the festival but sold at lower prices,” said Handaka, who is also the chairman of the APPBI.
The Jakarta Great Sale Festival has a long history, dating back to the 1980s.