a tip for a great shopping mall experience!
Just like any metropolis, Jakarta is more than just a business hub, with over 70,000 square meters of retail space added during the last year alone, Jakarta is also a major shopping hub. You certainly cannot say you've been to Jakarta unless you've gone shopping in one of its dizzying malls.
Shopping malls in Jakarta ranges from upscale, air-conditioned shopping malls to a more traditional, non-air-conditioned malls. From the latest Louis Vuitton handbags to the traditional batik or wayang kulit, Jakarta has it all. The key to a fulfilling shopping in Jakarta is to be patient in hunting for the object of your heart's desire.
The best time to shop in Jakarta malls is during the week, as weekend the malls are always packed. Most of the malls open promptly at 10 AM and close at 10 PM sharp. Most early morning shoppers are housewives, with teenagers replacing them by mid-day. By the end of the office hours, young professionals begin to swarm the mall to unwind after a long day's work.
With this in mind, have fun shopping. Just don't go overboard or you'll have to pay those hefty excess baggage charge :)
Smiles, laughers and optimism of the Ibu jamu
Jamu is traditional medicine, and the ibu jamu are the women selling medicine. These women are everywhere in the popular districts of Jakarta, and whatever your health problem is they have a solution, or almost. . . . Many people still rely on traditional medication, and these women have a great importance in local social life.
The ladies usually carry a basket with a number of bottles containing different beverages and some go on the markets like here (picture 1), at Pasar Ikan; judging from her smile, she has very good medicine, for the morale at least! On picture 2, you see one en route for a place where she will sell her medicines. I met a few of these ladies in the gangs of Karang Anyar district, and they had a rest at a tea shop (picture 3) and laughed a lot when I asked what they were selling (picture 4). . . . They looked very energetic and optimistic, that is probably very good to convince the patients/customers.
Traditional medication is based on herbs mainly, a few minerals, and chemicals, but nothing “violent”, and if jamu is used for relieving diseases, people also drink from time to time this medicine, just to feel better, like we in western countries drink a glass of milk. . . I did not feel the need to drink Jamu. . . :)
Most of the ibu jamu walk in the areas where they sell their medicines, but there are also some who cover bigger distances and go by bike; they even fit out their bike for transportation of their bottles (picture 5).
A visit to the Istiqlal Mosque is certainly worth time and money.
Being just before the entrance of the Mosque, I was looking around a bit uncertain to see if it was okay to enter the mosque just for having a look inside. One of the guard saw me and approached me asking, whether I would be interested in visiting the mosque. There is no entrance fee, only you are required to register yourself and to to take off your shoes.
The name of the Mosque means independence. It is quite a modern building, very unlike the traditional mosques, I am used to see. It was designed by a non-Muslim. Maybe, that why the mosque is different. I actually cannot directly recommend it because of its beauty.
The reason for recommending a visit to the mosque is, that by showing interest in the religion and culture, the people in the mosque get curious about you. People are happy you are open-minded enough to come in and have a look inside. This of course is probably especially true for people from the western half of the world. But for me, I met some nice people, who normally would not directly approach me to talk to me.
And do not forget to give a small donation at the end of your visit.
Fancy Dept Store
Just like another mall, where we can find some fancy boutique, Sogo & Debenhams dept store, Hard Rock Cafe, fitness centre, some cozy cafe & restaurant.
At the basement there are some bookstore and food court.
Pool side and live cello performance
This is a gallery and restaurant. You can pick lesehan in one of the bale-bale around the pool, or on the couch, or just the dining table. On Friday & Saturday night there is a live classical performance on the stage above the pool.