web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Elly Enquiry
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Elly Enquiry

i'm going to jakarta this saturday to get some wedding stuff for my sis...am wondering if you know any good place there to get special souvenirs for the groom's family members?

your kind feedback is truly appreciated


Dear Elly,
Unfortunately, I haven't been doing a lot of shopping lately and can't really offer suggestions that is beyond run-of-the-mill. I am going to assume you want the cheap stuff, because no one in their right mind will ever ask me advice about buying say, Lalique crystal. So here goes :

Pusat Grosir Batik Cempaka Mas
ITC Mega Grosir Cempaka Mas
Lantai 3, Plaza Barat, Blok D

Most people buy batik in Tanah Abang, which you can also do (Kompleks Mega Grosir Tanah Abang), but I like this place because the batik here is of better quality and there is a wider range you can choose from. Prices are reasonable, but do shop around before you settle on something because the price for similar items might differ wildly from shop to shop. Always bargain for 40 percent less than the asking price. You may buy silk batik sets (kain dan selendang) for the ladies for Rp 120 thousand (about RM50) and buy the gentlemen short sleeved cotton batik shirts for Rp 50 thousand (about RM20). Some shops also sell home items, like table cloth and cushion covers.

If you have taken the trouble to go all the way to Cempaka Mas, I suggest you spend time to also browse around this huge, huge mall where you can buy telekung, sejadah, beaded shoes, fake handbags, bedlinens, cheap toys, a wedding dress, and the cheapest hangers in the whole of Jakarta. Now, you may not want to give away hangers as a present, but if you're a diligent shopper, there's no telling what you may find at ITC Cempaka Mas. It is easy to be overwhelmed by this place, so try to visit on a weekday morning when there are less shoppers. If you get carried away, don't worry, you will be able to perform solat at a masjid in the complex compund.

And don't forget to make a small donation to the resident drag queens, whom you will undoubtedly meet at the traffic lights, on your way home.

Gedung Tedja Buana, Jl. Menteng Raya No.29,
Ground floor, Central Jakarta
Phone : (021) 390-5277/76
Fax : (021) 390-5278
(Call to find out the location of other outlets)

Bored housewives in Jakarta visit Kedaung like we Malaysians visit IKEA. Kedaung Group makes and sells dinner sets, glass tumblers, scented candles, coffee machines, pots and pans, cookie jars, cookie tins, silverware, Queen Anne, enamel roasters, brass fondue thingies, napkins, white porcelain measuring cups with the measure inside not outside, dainty coffee mugs with pretty pink roses, and anything else you might need to successfully entertain in your home. You may see their range of products on their website. (Click on "products", and click also on "domestic", where they have more products). Their prices are very, very reasonable. So reasonable, in fact, that I have pledged to pay homage to this shrine of graceful living at least once a month. (This is made easier as I have not one, but two Kedaung outlets within a one mile radius from my house).

I like their batik porcelain -- traditional batik design printed on coffee cups, mugs and dessert plates, which might make an interesting buah tangan. However, I would buy their Street Children Care range, which feature mugs and dessert plates printed with paintings of children at play. Each purchase goes towards charity, and would help thousands of kids who currently work as pengamen (beggars and street musicians) in the city, to get some kind of education and daily nutrition.

Kedaung has several outlets throughout Jakarta, but I go to the one in Jalan Raden Saleh and this one in Menteng Raya. There is also a tiny Kedaung shop in Kemang that seems to be perpetually on sale.

ITC Kuningan / Mal Ambassador
Jalan Prof Dr Satrio (if by taxi say Jl Casablanca)

When spending money in Jakarta, it is best to visit only malls that has ITC or WTC or Mega Grosir in their names because this would almost guarantee a crazy shopping experience : a mindboggling array of small shops, accessible only through tiny corridors, cacophony, and a crowd of about a million people. (I'm not joking about the million). The most accessible of these are probably ITC Kuningan and Mal Ambassador, two buildings connected by walkway, where there are retailers selling almost any kind of everything except your parents. There are several stores here selling "pernak pernik" : arts and crafts, knick knacks and stuff, but I can't say where they are exactly.

I visit ITC Kuningan about once a week, because I do my grocery shopping at the Carrefour downstairs, but to be honest, I usually enter this place with blinders on because it is so evil and seductive. I swear as I walk past the tunics and the handbags and the shoes and the bracelets on sale, they whisper to the money in my purse. Like, come out, come out, where ever you are. So, sadly I cannot provide you with a definitive guide on where to go, all I can say is just go.

Pasar Festival
Jalan HR Rasuna Said

Pasar Festival is a small shopping complex and seems to cater mainly for university students who frequent the nearby gelanggang olahraga and swimming pool. There is only one level of shopping and the place is rarely crowded. There are about three or four retailers here selling homeware, like lamps, vases, wooden boxes and the like. There is one shop selling scented candles, aromatherapy oils and handpacked lulur, which may also make lovely gifts. On Friday evenings, at about 5.30 pm there is a free jazz performance at the Food Court, and you may also want to pop into a bookstore here which sells old magazines and second hand books.

Pasaraya Grande
Jl. Iskandarsyah II/2 Blok M, Jakarta 12160 Indonesia
Phone. 62-21-7260170 Fax. 62-21-7250582

If all efforts fail and you just can't find that something special, visit Pasaraya Grande, where you can find all the souvenirs of Indonesia under one roof. It is a tourist trap and the prices are fixed, so tak dapek nak menolong. They have good stuff though, and you may end up buying a very nice baju for yourself. Pasaraya has a website.

Tempat tempat yang sunat dikunjungi :

Uluwatu Handmade Balinese Lace
Metro, Pondok Indah Mall and Metro, Plaza Senayan

If money is no object, or you want to impress the groom's family, take a look at what's in store at Uluwatu. Their white cotton lace kebayas are a perennial, and I own three! I love them to bits, and you can wear them traditional with all sorts of kain batik, or you can wear them dressy with black pants and onyx jewellery, or you can pair them with blue
jeans. The girls (okay, old girls) in my family wore these kebayas during my sister's wedding. Uluwatu also sells linens and other accessories. Check out their lingerie, too. Has mileage, proven. Uluwatu's website is here.

Jalan Kemang Timur

Jalan Kemang Timur is a long street that is filled with furniture stores, and some of these also sell suitable gifts. I can't guarantee you will find them all affordable, but you may be pleasantly surprised. If you're staying in Jakarta for more than three days, do make time for Jalan Kemang Timur. I'm certain at the end of the visit you'd be calculating freight costs.

Jalan Surabaya, Menteng

If you're going to be in Jalan Raden Saleh or Menteng Raya for the Kedaung shopping trip, swing by Jalan Surabaya on your way back to the hotel. Jalan Surabaya is located next to a really smelly longkang, but if you're a collector, you may find the stuff they sell rather fascinating. Not all of them are genuine antiques, so it is best to always look skeptical and ask for a lower price. There are crystal chandeliers, outdated survey equipment, brassware, musical equipments, old vinyls and all the stuff your grandparents used to own. My father swears by this place.

Stasiun Kereta Api Cikini
Jalan Cikini Raya, Menteng

My friend Iza and I are bakul-mad people and the kolong beneath Cikini Train Station is one of our most favourite places in the world. There are baskets and woven boxes and racks and trays of every imaginable kind. You may want to have a look, as some of the boxes make elegant hantaran cases to give the groom. Stasiun Cikini is within walking distance of Jalan Surabaya, but if you don't like traffic, dust and smelly longkangs, it is better to drive. (Or hop on an orange bajaj. Ask the bajaj man how much before getting on. Argue if he says more than Rp5,000)

Tempat tempat yang hukumnya diharuskan :

Plaza Senayan, Senayan City, Sudirman Place, Plaza Indonesia, Pondok Indah Mall, Cilandak Town Square. (the last two are in the far south, macet lagi)

Go here only for the possibility of bumping into Adjie Masaid or Darius or that cute Evan.


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