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Jakarta, as the nation’s capital, has the best shopping venues on the archipelago.
Jakarta is a great big modern metropolis and there are more malls than the
entire city's population need. There are so many attractions which
includes a planned shopping lane at Dr Prof Satrio Road, there are some
improvement made on this lane quiet recently. Spanning 2.25 km the road
isn't as wide and great as Orchard road in Singapore, with 4 malls
connected close to each other offering everything from cheap bargain hunting in
Ambassador mall to grand luxurious shopping at Ciputra World mall
offering varieties of shop and restaurant choices.
North Jakarta has several good shopping centers for your consumer needs. The Ancol Arts Market inside the Ancol Recreational Park complex has many locally crafted souvenirs such as woodcarvings, paintings, and seashell creations, while the Mangga Dua wholesale centers cater more to the locals and offers an interesting selection of wares including bargain clothing, fake designer wear, and electronics (computer shops, computer games, game consoles, audio appliances, etc). There are at least four shopping centers interlinked to eash 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). Few kilometers away, at the end strecth of the road is Mangga Dua Square, a modern shopping center with smaller shops focusing on selling stuff as those at Mangga Dua wholesale centers. Kelapa Gading Mall in the Kelapa Gading residential neighbourhood is a string of 4 malls with major department stores (including Sogo and Star), high street brands, clothing, cafes and food courts. Also a good place to get souvenirs is at Pendopo at Kelapa Gading Mall 5 (although there are 4 malls, but the last one is named '5' as number '4' is considered bad number in Chinese mythology). There is also La Piazza Food Center in the strecth of the mall (next to Kelapa Gading Mall 1). 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.
Central Jakarta, the main tourist hub, also offers a variety of great shops. Sarinah, the country’s unofficial national mall, has a dozen other outlets throughout the country. The shop at Jakarta is the nation's first air-con shopping mall. Here, you will find all the clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, housewares, artwork and souvenirs. A must visit is to level 4 where you can find batik creations and level 5 which specializes in Indonesian artwork and souvenirs. Plaza Indonesia, has 250 stores, including international brand lines as well as local wares. Gucci, Boss, and Ferragamo (to name a few) are housed under one roof. The adjacent eX (short of Entertainment Center) is Plaza Indonesia's answer for younger crowds. Bowling alley, billiards, Hard Rock Cafe, fitness center, and a cineplex open here. Plaza Indonesia Extension, open at late 2009 is the newest expansion. Here shoppers are spoilt with even more tenants. Miniapolis at level 3 is dedicated for children, from children playground, a cho cho train ride, kids clothing store, to candies and popcorns stores. At level 4 and 5, shoppers can find lots of trendy cafes and restaurants. Across the road from Plaza Indonesia is Grand Indonesia Shopping Town with Seibu department stores, a 13-auditoriums cineplex, and other high-end shops as well as children fun center and food courts at the top floors. For more specialized markets, try Pasar Baru, which specializes in mostly local-made shoes, colourful fabrics and discounted clothing. The Jalan Surabaya antique market has been known for selling antiques, rare finds, and other quirky stuff. Tanah Abang Market Block 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.
South Jakarta is home to big malls. Plaza Senayan on Jalan Asia Afrika near the Senayan stadium has 2 major department stores as well as high-end boutiques (Prada, Gucci, Zegna, and the likes). Across the street is Senayan City, another upscale complex of shopping mall, office tower, and apartments. The tenant mix is moreover the same as in Plaza Senayan (high end shops). Electronic and gadget enthusiasts do not have to go further and can find these things at Ratu Plaza shopping arcade. Further down the road, fX is a lifestyle center offering cafes, restaurants, a gym, and other specialized shop such as nail salon and DJ school. It also featured a glass-enclosed slide ride in the atrium that span for at least 4-storey high. In the SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District) area not far from Senayan, further shopping can be done at Pacific Place Mall, a new shopping mall attached to Ritz Carlton Jakarta-Pacific Place offering high end stores, dining outlets, a cineplex, and a children edutainment center Kidzania. Bargain hunter can browse arounf at least 2 factory outlets in SCBD area. Worth mentioning further south are the Pasaraya Blok M department store in Blok M, with an entire floor dedicated to batiks and handicrafts (a better destination than Sarinah in Central Jakarta, though perhaps a tad pricier) and Pondok Indah Mall, a cavernous two-mall establishment in the upmarket Pondok Indah residential neighbourhood. Cilandak Town Square (Citos) is on the southern outer ring road and offers a plethora of eating opportunities.
West Jakarta is home to Mal Taman Anggrek, another gargantuan edifice with department stores (Metro and Matahari), high street brands, food outlets, and an indoor ice skating rink. Central Park Mall next door is the newest addition. Open on the late 2009, one can find Sogo department store, Carrefour hypermarket, and few other shops. Mall Ciputra on the other stretch of the road offers affordable and mid-priced shopping. Matahari, local department store has good fashion items at affordable price. Futher near the border between Jakarta and Tangerang, there is Puri Indah Mall, a community mall for Puri Indah housing neigborhood. Expect to find Ace Hardware, Keris department store, and Index furniture shop.
East Jakarta are mostly a mixed of low-rise residential and some commercial centers. People can expect to find several community malls in the neighbourhood. Worth mentioning area is Tebet where quite a number of establishments mushrooming the road, from modest cafes to independent clothing stores (called distro). A favourite hang-out place for youngsters.
Factory outlets are all about shopping fake stuff of branded labels. The T-shirt might say "Moschino", the formal shirt might have "Kenzo" label, the handbag might have the "Bally" stripes, or the belt might have "Versace" logo on it... But, are these real? NO! They're just imitation. Apparently, aside from Mangga Dua and Tanah Abang wholesale centers as described above, visitor to Jakarta can also shop for similar stuff at Factory Outlets which has much more convenient setting and atmosphere (airconditioned space, large alley just like department store, clothing are folded neatly, and plenty of seating and fitting rooms).
In north Jakarta, one can visit Raja Factory Outlet at Mangga Dua Square. Those staying in Central Jakarta, you can consider exploring Heritage at Sudirman Citywalk. Not far from there, head to Mall Ambassador/ITC Kuningan, 2 interconnected shopping malls housing few FOs, quirky clothing stores, and also some electronic stores. More FOs can be found at SCBD area, just behind Pacific Place Mall complex (e.g. Fashion Warehouse, Blossoms). For those staying in South Jakarta, you can consider exploring the suburban area of Bintaro and Serpong, there are a bigger Heritage FO at Bintaro Junction, Premium FO and Parade FO at Serpong area.
Foreign visitors might think in the first place that they can get discounted off-the-rack genuine stuff at Factory Outlets. In case for Indonesia: you cannot get it there! So, where's the best place to shop for discounted branded labels?
Department stores regularly offering big sale few times a year, this is the best time to hunt for original item at discounted prices. Year end, mid year, and the weeks leading to public holidays (such as Eid Ul-Fitr, Chinese New Year, etc) are some of the predicted moments where big sales are usually held. But other than that, these department stores and independent clothing stores can also having a sales event in the vacant space of "emptier" shopping malls. The space is usually rented for weeks or months and only temporary, hence you'll never can check their whereabouts on the official mall directory. So always keep an eye whenever you're exploring any malls in Jakarta...
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).
FAQ: Does it really essential to visit different shopping malls in Jakarta to get different shopping experience?
The answer to above question is NO. The key element to arrange your visit to Jakarta is to cover the shopping malls that are located in the area of your hotel. Basically, most shopping malls in Jakarta has moreover the same tenant mix: department store, supermarket, electronic superstore, clothing store, etc. As for food choices, there might be different choice; but basically all type of cuisine that is commonly found at shopping malls are well represented (ie. Indonesian, western, Japanese, Chinese, fast food chain, yoghurt place, etc).