Whether you’re a serious spender or half-hearted shopper, there’s sure to be something for everyone in Jakarta, the country’s shopping capital. The wide variety of things that you can buy in Jakarta is mind boggling from the best of local handicrafts to haute couture labels. Jakarta has literally hundreds of malls to browse through.
To Jakartans, Shopping in Jakarta and spending the whole day in malls is entertainment. Malls are places to hang out and spend happy weekends with family and friends. For, Jakarta malls offer everything from large department stores, luxury boutiques, supermarket, gym, upmarket restaurants, food centers, cafes, bookshops, kids playground, beauty salons, to cinemas, all under one roof and in total air-conditioned comfort. And this, in often hot Jakarta, is one of the main reasons why people spend long hours in malls.
Some have become household names, and are known by their initials, like PIM (Pondok Indah Mall), CITOS (Cilandak Town Square), GANCIT (Gandaria City), SENCY (Senayan City) and more.
If you are looking for international top designer boutiques, head to Jalan Thamrin-Sudirman, where are Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia,and FX, Further South are Senayan Plaza and Senayan City and in the Kebayoran area are malls catering to the upmarket clientele, such as Gandaria City, Dharmawangsa Square, Pasaraya Grande, Pondok Indah Mall and Kemang. Then there is Pacific Place at Kuningan, another favourite haunt. But each of Jakarta’s many districts has one or more, so that finding things to buy and eat are all within easy reach.
But if you are looking for something in particular to buy, then here are some tips.
Batik today is very trendy in Indonesia. Outlets selling exclusive collections are many, but famous names are Danar Hadi, Batik Keris and Batik Semar that can be found also in malls. Indonesian Designers also have their own boutiques, mostly found around the Kemang area. But for wholesale and reasonably priced batik, head to Thamrin Plaza,for batik clothes, materials and accessories.
For textiles and dresses both produced domestically or imported, you will find these at Blok A Tanah Abang or head to Mangga Dua in North Jakarta. Pasar Baru is a traditional shopping area where you will find rows of textile shops. Indonesia is also a large producer of handbags and shoes, these can be found here and in the larger malls.
For Indonesian handicrafts, best places are Batik Keris, Pasaraya Grande, Sarinah, or Grand Indonesia Plaza. Here you will find a complete collection of batiks, ikats, silverware, wood carving and more. UKM Gallery (Small and Medium scalre enterprises Gallery) at Gatot Subroto is another handicraft center.
If you are interested in gems, both precious or semi-precious, then the Rawa Bening Market in Jatinegara is the place, where you can find rubies, agates, emeralds, amethysts by the basketful.
Other specialty markets include the Bird market at Jalan Pramuka. The Perkutut singing bird is particularly precious as these are bred for competitions. For antiques amd second hand suitcases, head to Jalan Surabaya flea market. Plants and orchids are sold around Senayan, or head to the Taman Mini orchid garden.