Monday, December 16, 2013

Sarinah Shopping Mall: Jakarta, Indonesia Series 14

Sarinah Shopping Mall 
Jakarta’s One Stop Souvenir Mall 
(Jakarta Indonesia Series 14) 

We have never considered Jakarta as one of 
 Asia’s Shopping Mecca like Hong Kong and Singapore
 but what my family found out really surprised us.

This city is filled with hundreds beautiful upscale malls
in every corner and in every nook and cranny of the city.

We have been to only two of their upscale malls like multi- level
the Ritz Carlton's Pacific Place Mall, when we visited Kidzania,

…it had a very chic ambiance and filled with popular
upscale brands but we really did not explore the Mall
as went there not to shop but to visit a theme park.

Just across our hotel ia also a spanking 
brand new mall called Kuningan City,

...and just like Pacific Place it also had a very upscale 
ambiance and lots and lots of fabulous popular
 American and European brands.


We were able to explore the mall but for ordinary
tourists traveling on a budget, like my family,
shopping in an upscale store is way beyond our means.


Aside from the sunglasses that my daughter bought,
we have not purchased anything then as we were
looking  for souvenir shops and they have none.


The Jakarta based tour operator who arranged our
city tours recommended Sarinah Shopping Mall.

Sarinah Shopping Mall   is an old seven story mall
built in the 1970’s and the name Sarinah was given by
former Indonesian President Sukarno during his term.

The basement is occupied by Hero Supermarket ,
one of the country’s biggest supermarket chain,

...which came in handy as we needed to shop
for cookies and ready  to eat snacks as we had
to stock up in our hotel room pantry for the kids,

Just in front of the supermarket is a food court
that offers various homegrown eateries and
popular international franchised restaurants.


We decided to dine though at KFC at the
ground level as we wanted to take a break
from the all- Indonesian food feasting for a while.

Aside from the original KFC Fired Chicken,

KFC Indonesia offers a home grown recipe
where the fried chicken was spiced with curry
and I actually enjoyed the delicious novelty.

I got a little bit nostalgic as just like in the 
Philippines, KFC Indonesia do not serve the usual 
dinner rolls but offers cup- balled white rice instead.

The mall does not have the high end tenants that are found 
in the newer malls in Jakarta, but still offers affordable 
branded clothing, toys, appliances, and home accessories
at bargain prices from the first to the sixth floor.

 Since we came here in to hunt for souvenirs,
we directly went up to the 7th floor,
and what we saw amazed all of us

The whole floor was a delightful cacophony of
souvenir items  coming from all parts of Indonesia.

From life like sculptures,

…cultural icons and statues,

...colorful  traditional Indonesians puppets,

…hand made indigenous musical instruments 
that amused the kids to no end,

...jewelries, home decors, paintings,

...recreated ancient toys, name it, they will surely have it-
as  Sarinah is a one stop souvenir paradise.


They may not have Versace’s, Furla’s and YSL’s,
but  who cares?  We cannot afford them anyway.
We could just drool on these upscale brands
somewhere  else as they are found all over
the world  wherever you go, wherever  you are.

Sarinah is a microcosm of native cultural, home-grown and
traditional products created in by talented  local artisans
that symbolizes the heart and soul of Indonesia,

Sarinah souvenirs would remind tourists like us of this
culturally diverse  country once we return back home.

Jakarta is now a part of our vast collection of souvenirs
that we acquired on our past travels all around the world,

...and these are the little things that would perpetually
remind us of our wonderful adventure in this beautiful city.

That is something that the new spanking
malls in the city could not offer.


  1. Hi Doc, i think you just being down to earth with the "i cant afford thing" because i am sure that you will afford it :) Anyway, yeah Jakarta is filled with modern malls which i think reflects the globalisation nowadays, kids dont play with their friend anymore instead they choose to play ps4 or ipad. Glad that you found Sarinah, i forgot to tell you about that place. btw, my father and mother are also doctor like you, but they specialising in Obgyn. Anyway Good read! I will forward this blog to all my friend overseas. Saraming Salamat Doc! David-80 skyscrapercity.

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog David.

      Indeed, Sarinah is a treasure trove of goodies. It made me realize that Indonesia and the Philippines shares a lot of cultural similarities. It is the place I found the long lost toys that I played in my childhood. They also have rare indigenous musical instruments made from bamboo, coconut shells and even rocks and stones.

      I can’t find the right word to describe the souvenir section of the mall- it is like a museum where you can own what is on display at a very affordable price.

      Again, thank you for visiting my blog and please do watch out the last installment for my Indonesia Series blogs.

  2. Hmm!! This blog is really cool, I’m so lucky that I have reached here and got this awesome information.scarborough town centre hours

    1. Thank you for the compliment and thank you for visiting my blog.

  3. That looks an awesome place. I'm gonna try to visit it. I'm pretty sure me and my friends are going to love it. Try visiting Museums in Manila, you'll love it too. Anyway, Thanks for sharing!