Shopping In Java
Java offers enough to keep compulsive shoppers on their toes. Swanky shopping malls and department stores coexist peacefully with street stalls here leaving customers gasping for choice. Be it Indonesia's traditional artifacts or trendy western dresses - you get everything in this island. The range of products is wide and diverse, providing both locals and tourists a lot of options to choose from. Prices in most modern shopping malls are fixed.
The main cities of the island often visited by tourists, namely Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Yogyakarta, are the best places for shoppers where they can purchase a wide variety of Indonesian handicrafts and arts, albeit at high prices. For interested customers who find the prices prohibitive, the best way out is to visit the actual birthplaces of these exquisite articles. Batik, Java's most famous craft, has centers in Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Cirebon and Pekalongan. If you want to take home some beautiful silverware, the best place to visit is Yogyakarta. And you can find woodcarvings, paintings and local fabrics everywhere in Java.
In the capital city of Jakarta, you can go for retail shopping to your heart's content. There are a number of markets that specialize in selling small crafts where you can have souvenirs and mementos for refreshing your memory back home. Several shopping centers are located in north Jakarta, which include the Ancol Arts Market in the Ancol Dreamland complex. In this market, you can get paintings, woodcarvings, and other handcrafted items. If you have a local companion, you can also visit the Mangga Dua Plaza, where communicating in English is rather difficult.
As central Jakarta attracts most number of tourists, it has a wide variety of shops to cater to their needs. Sarinah, recognized as Indonesia's unofficial national mall, is located in this part of the city. Stores in central Jakarta offer you everything including bare necessities and luxury items. Be it clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, artwork, or souvenirs - you name it and they have it. The comparatively newer Plaza Indonesia also offers an impressive collection of establishments. The 250 stores include a number of international brand outlets such as Versace, Nine West, Guess and Swarovski. Many markets for special goods are also located in central Jakarta. For instance, Jalan Surabaya specializes in antiques. You can get everything from old instruments to textiles here. Bargaining is not only acceptable, but rather expected by vendors doing business in this market.
Yogyakarta also offers tourists an excellent opportunity for shopping. It is an ideal place if you are looking for souvenirs, woodcarvings, arts and crafts, hand-woven fabrics, batik cloths, local and traditional jewelry, basketry, leather puppets, trinkets, tortoise-shell accessories, various types of brassware, antiques and other decorative items. Bandung, another big city in Java, also offers you excellent shopping opportunities. Since the city is the capital of western Java there are both traditional as well as imported goods that can be found there. Another place which is worth a visit especially by shoppers is the village of Mataram in Lombok. Mataram specializes in exquisite pottery and to watch the artisans at work is simply fascinating.
The extensive range of items found in the markets of Java makes shopping a pleasurable activity while on a trip to the island.