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Top Shopping Malls in Jakarta
When planning a trip to Jakarta, consider spending a day at one of the many modern shopping malls the city has to offer. You may welcome a day off from tourist and cultural sites and enjoy spending time in air-conditioned comfort, where you can relax and shop without annoying hawkers. Therefore there are choices galore for shoppers!
If you've spent much time visiting outlying provinces or rural areas, it will be quickly evident during a trip to the capital city that Jakarta showcases the wealth of Indonesia. Skyscrapers, impressive monuments, wide boulevards (albeit crowded) and large malls rival those of any major world capital.
In traditional Indonesian society, open common areas in villages and towns or the courtyard of the Sultan's palace have long been a place to gather and spend late afternoon and evening hours. Small vendors set up their wares, food carts gather and people stroll around meeting friends and sharing gossip. Jakarta's shopping malls are a modern urban equivalent of traditional meeting points – a place to shop, eat and gather with friends and have some fun on the weekends.
Shopping in Jakarta takes many forms from the most traditional pasar (markets) to glitzy world class malls with international designer shops. Most expatriates shop most comfortably in malls and grocery stores without the need to bargain or deal with curious stares. However, that is no reason to avoid the more colorful traditional markets.
High Fashion Malls
International fashion items may not be at the top of a tourist’s Jakarta shopping list, but expatriates may look at these shopping opportunities differently! If you enjoy window shopping and following fashion trends, you'll enjoy the fashion showcased at Plaza Indonesia, and Plaza Senayan, Senayan City, Grand Indonesia, Pacific Place, Mall of Indonesia, and Pondok Indah 2. Shops offer the latest collections from the fashion capitals of the world – Milan, London, Paris and New York – to titillate the fancy of well to do Indonesians and expatriates alike.
Prior to the opening of luxury malls, Indonesians had to shop in Singapore, Europe or the U.S. to buy such well-known international brands as Bvlgari, Prada, Cartier, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Bally, Aigner, Ferragamo, Hermes, Chanel, and Escada. Now, these brands, and many more, are available in Jakarta.
Amongst Indonesia's emerging middle and upper classes international brand-consciousness is strong. Discerning shoppers seek original goods, which these shops can guarantee. Often, due to special sales or discounts, international fashions may actually be cheaper in Jakarta than in other fashion centers.
If, indeed you are from a small town in your home country, you may find better shopping in Jakarta than you do back home!
While fashion malls don't offer as many recreation opportunities as the family-oriented malls, a big attraction is 'people watching' for the see-and-be-seen crowd. The elegant marble, expansive open spaces and lofty atriums offer a sense of luxury that is further enhanced by air conditioning, no-smoking policies, good housekeeping, and security. According to some social analysts, malls have replaced traditional town centers as locations for community interaction.
Several Malls feature “Indonesian Fashion Avenues”, a group of Indonesia’s designer boutique stores, such as, Iwan Tirta, Ramli, Anne Avantie, Obin, Biyan, Ghea, Sebastian, Ali Charisma, Ferry Sunarto, Herman Nuary, Kisoon Harto, Poppy Dharsono, Postour & Co, Sofie, Talisa House. Plaza Senayan, Pacific Place, Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia feature the creations of these Indonesian designers. These Indonesian designers offer beautiful traditional dress as well as modern evening wear. Don't expect to find their creations in large sizes – small sizes only, however most designers are willing to do one-of-a kind creations as well. Fashion from other Indonesian designers can be found in the mall's department stores and boutiques.
Take a dip into the world of traditional medicine at Toko Ampuh, a shop in Plaza Indonesia's basement selling traditional Indonesian medicines and potions from across Indonesia. You'll be greeted by the pungent smell of balsem, healing rubs, as you enter the store. Nearby shops sell Ginseng from Korea and delicious Oolong tea from Taiwan. Stop in for a taste test and discover the medicinal properties of these popular drinks.
If you're traveling through Indonesia during holiday periods visit the malls to see the beautiful decorations and special entertainment for Christmas, Chinese New Year, Lebaran, School holidays (June-July), Independence Day (August 17th) and the mall's anniversary.
Food Glorious Food …
… what more could you ask for! Remember the line to the song? One of the major attractions at Jakarta malls is the numerous cafés, restaurants and food courts. On some days eating seems to be the main attraction, with shopping coming in second! From trendy restaurants offering cuisine from around the world to cafés where coffee is king to fast food fixes from home… you're sure to find something to please your taste buds.
You can try Indonesian food in almost every mall. If you looking for a fast line or light snack, many mall food courts feature Indonesian fare. If you would like to enjoy a more relaxed setting, restaurants such as Bumbu Desa, Sari Ratu, Kafe Betawi, Sate Senayan, and Warung Podjok have their own outlets within a number of malls. These restaurants offer a variety of dishes from various areas of Indonesia. You can eat your way through the archipelago, even if you can't travel through more than a few islands.
Jakarta malls and shopping centers offer a plethora coffee shops for enjoying a cup of coffee, a snack or small meal and some serious people watching ... from Starbucks to Coffee Bean, Excellso, J.Co, Kopi Luwak, Tea Addict,and Bengawan Solo. All serve numerous flavored coffees, teas, refreshing cold drink and light snacks. Business people frequently scheduled afternoon meeting over a cup of coffee and the young trendy be-and-be-seen crowds often hang out in the coffee shops scattered throughout major malls.
Most malls contact at least one major supermarket for convenience of shoppers which offer a variety of imported European, American and Australian food and beverages.
If you're not into high fashion or trendy hangouts, you could spend an enjoyable day at Taman Anggrek, Pacific Place, Mall of Indonesia or Pondok Indah Mall I, are some of the most popular family-oriented malls. The focus is on recreation and family fun in addition to a wide range of shops and services or one-stop shopping to meet the needs of the family.
Taman Anggrek is a prominent landmark on the toll road into Jakarta from the airport due to the 8 distinctive blue-topped apartment towers crowning the 7-floor shopping mall. The interior is a marvel of space, light and marble – and serious noise levels on the weekend. The indoor ice skating rink and movie theatres are a very popular attraction. Travelers will find a place to get their hair cut, buy medicine or toiletries at the drug store, get money exchanged at a bank or withdraw funds from an ATM, eat a meal, enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee and of course – shop!
Dapur Anggrek food court at Taman Anggrek offers hundreds of traditional regional specialties - pempek from Palembang, South Sumatra (fish balls), 27 kinds of sate at Aneka Sate Djitoe, and fried rice and noodle dishes galore. The truly adventurous can even try goat testicles (torpedo) at Sop Kaki Kambing.
Pondok Indah Mall is a popular family mall in suburban South Jakarta. With the addition of Pondok Indah Mall II it has doubled it's shopping area and added many new attractions to the mall. The adjacent Water Park, golf course in the near vicinity, and Climbing Wall next door make it a popular weekend destination. The mall offers a good variety of shops and services, but no handicrafts.
Pacific Place host one of the most popular kids’s attraction, Kidzania. Kidzania is a unique edutaiment center for children between 4 to 16 years old and their parents. It is a kid-sized replica of a real city, with streets, buildings, retail and different vehicles going around the City. The children play adult roles and they learn how to be a doctor, a pilot, a construction worker, a private detective, an archeologist, an F1 driver and over 100 other professions and occupations. There is a replica of the most representative buildings in a city such as Hospital, Supermarket, Beauty Salon, Theatre, Industrial sites, and many more. Kidzania is open from 9.00am until 2.00pm for the first session. The second session begins at 3.00pm until 8.00pm. Next door to Kidzania is Blitz Megaplex. Blitz Megaplex is one of the two major theatres in Jakarta which screen most major Hollywood releases as well as popular film from other neighboring Asian countries. Their state of the art theatre also screens 3D movies giving their visitors a great movies experience
If you're traveling with your children, almost all malls have some sort of activities to amuse them. Kids Fun, a small amusement park for younger children, short train ride around the mall, numerous climbing frames, video arcades are just a few activities that will keep your children occupied. For older children seeking thrills, check out the Atmosphere Slide at FX mall which spans six floors. Don’t worry about them being bored.
Best Time to Shop
The best time to shop at Jakarta malls is during the week, soon after the mall opens at 10:00am. Most daytime shoppers are housewives, who begin bringing their children as schools let out mid-day. By late afternoon the malls are bustling with the after-school teen crowd and young professionals who begin showing up after office hours.
Hanging out at malls is part of the affluent Indonesian teens' lifestyle. They have "acronym names" for their favorite malls -- tay ahh (TA) for Taman Anggrek and pay ess (PS) for Plaza Senayan, citos (pronounced cheetos) for Cilandak Town Square, Sensee for Senayan City, and Pim for Pondok Indah Mall (all reflecting the Indonesian pronunciation of the letters in the acronym).
Weekends see a literal flood of families into malls; visitors average 20,000 at Plaza Indonesia, 40,000 at Plaza Senayan, 100,000 at Taman Anggrek and 40,000 at Pondok Indah Mall.
If you’re a visitor to Jakarta, take a taxi from your hotel to the mall and you can return by taxi from the mall's taxi stand. During late afternoon rush hour it may take some time to get a taxi, depending on the day and weather conditions. Rain will always make getting a taxi difficult. Alternately, you can ask your Silver Bird or Blue Bird taxi from your hotel to wait for you while you shop.
Those traveling in private cars can call your driver from the parking garage via the Car Call near the mall's entrances. Be sure you know your driver's name or other identification to call him to the front the pick you up.
Enjoy a great shopping adventure … at one of Jakarta's premier malls.
Locations of Jakarta's Top Malls
Mal Taman Anggrek
Pondok Indah Mall
Popular Malls/Destinations in Indonesia quickly acquire an acronym which is commonly used to refer to the mall:
Plangi = Plaza Semanggi (a shopping mall in Semanggi, South Jakarta)
Last updated December 20, 2012.
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