Pasar Tanah Abang that is located at Kebun Kacang is the biggest textile market in Southeast Asia. Pasar Tanah Abang has a long old history since its establishment around 1700. Pasar Tanah Abang consists of 6 blocks which are Block A, B, C, D, E and F and has 10 floors. The total numbers of the shops are around 10, 000. You will feel that you are in a maze with loss of way is inevitable. The operating hours for this place are 9.00 am to 4.00 pm.
Each floor consist of shops that sell different items and the classification of the floors are as follow:
At Level B2, you may find wholesale textile shops that is full with wide selection of fabric, especially for women. You will stuck here for the longest time. Haha. You may find bank and ATM as well.
At Level B1, the shops mainly selling wholesale textile, house interior needs such as curtains, bedsheet and pillow cover, jeans, Muslims apparel and accessories, banks, ATM and Musholah. If you are looking for a new curtain for your new house, this is the right place.
At Level SLG, you may find shops selling clothes for teenagers, female attire, office attire, headscarves, telekung (for prayer) and pashmina. You may find bank, ATM and Musholah as well. This is totally heaven for ladies.
At Level LG, the shops mainly selling clothes for the teenager, children and babies, accessories and ATM. You may find costume for many characters and cute clothes for the children and babies.
At Level G, you may find shops selling adult and children apparel, polo shirt, shoes, bags and Musholah. You may just countless of bags and shoes here, particularly for women.
At Level 1, the shops mainly selling men’s apparel and clothes for children.
You may find women’s apparel and Batik clothes at this level. Last time, I stuck almost 4 hours just on this floor, had a difficult time to choose the Batik as all of the design is beautiful. I ended up bought 15 batik shirt just for myself as the price is very cheap.
Level 3 is definitely for women. You may find shops selling bags, earrings, pendant, bracelet, shoes, belts, accessories. I bet ladies will spend hours of time here. Don’t worry, there is Musholah at this level if you don’t have much time.
You may find imitation, accessories, shoes on this floor. There are many shops that sell accessories and I bet you will spend much time here. Haha.
This floor is mix with men, women and children apparel. You may find Muslim apparel and needs here.
Shops on this floor mostly sell clothes for teenagers.
You may find bags and shoes on this floor. The wide selection would make you find it difficult to choose. Haha.
This is the floor that you can get a rest and enjoy the variety of food especially the local and traditional food. Tenabang Foodcourt offers various type of food from fast food to traditional food. The most important thing is you may take the breather after walking hours around the mall.
Floor 9 is for Security Office, Post Office and Parking.
Floor 10 is for parking.
Floor 11 is for parking.
Floor 12 is for Management Office and Parking
Floor 12A is for office of PD Pasar Jaya and Parking
There are many ways to get to Pasar Tanah Abang such as use KOPAJA bus, TransJakarta, KRL train, local taxi or use e-hailing service such as GOJEK and GRAB. If you are a solo traveler or travel in a small group, I recommend for you to use motorcycle through GOJEK or GRAB as the area is heavily congested every day and it will take quite some time for you to get out from the area by car or us.
There are several tips to shop at Pasar Tanah Abang. The tips are as below:
List down the product to purchase
The area is very big and it is important for you to list all the items that you wanted to buy as the list will guide you throughout the day in the Pasar. Without the list, you may take more time and will burst your budget as you don’t have any specific target and direction. You would end up coming home with dissatisfaction and have waste your time, money and energy.
You must come as early as 9.00 am as the area will be congested approaching midday. You will get more time and not in hurry and this will enable you to make a good purchase.
This area is well known for its wholesale purchase. Hence, it is better if you buy more than one for each item that you intend to buy as the price would be much different.
Haggle for a reasonable price
You may haggle for a reasonable price as they usually will offer to you a good price but for me, do not ask for a price that is ridiculously low as some of them just make a meagre profit or none as a result of your extensive haggling.
Buy at Block A and B
It is recommended to shop at Block A and B as the price is lower compared to other Blocks. I am not really sure about this but many people said the same thing.
Ask for business cards
It is vital to create a good relationship with the seller as you might need to change the products if necessary and you might purchase again the products for yourself or for business. It is good if you request for business car and if you have one, exchange it with the seller.
As I mentioned earlier, it is recommended to take a motorcycle through GOJEK and GRAB to go and get out of the area due to traffic congestion. If possible, do not take from any local motorcycle randomly as they will charge you ridiculously. It is better to take through GOJEK or GRAB.
Hotel in the vicinity
Shopping there will make you spend the entire day and you will easily finish your shopping until the end of the operating hour. It is recommended to stay at the hotel nearby so as you can quickly get a good rest.
If you buy quite a large number of products and you end up could not handle it, there are many porters that you may hire to help you manage the purchased items. Hence, you are no longer to hold everything by yourselves.
Please bring extra bags to put the products that you purchased. They do provide plastic but too many plastics will make it difficult to manage. If you end up forget to bring extra beg, there are people who sell extra begs at the Ground Floor.
Dress light and appropriate
The area could be highly dense with people and due to that, please dress lightly and appropriately. It also will ease you if you want to try for fitting as they don’t provide any fitting room. You must try o the spot at the shops.
Remember the shops
Strolling around here is like walking in the maze. You will end up lost in the building. Some people love to recce first and will come again to the shops that he/she have decided. Unfortunately, most of the time, you would find it difficult to find the shop again.
You might bring a notebook and pen, and jog down the location of the shops that you will possibly come again. A sketch will further help you.
Bring mineral water and light food
Shopping here will drain your energy as the area is so big. Please bring adequate mineral water and light food so that you may consume while shopping. The food court is located at level 8 and you may get there for lunch.
Bring sufficient cash as most of the shops do not offer credit card facility. In addition, searching for money changer will be troublesome for such place and the rate would be high.
Help from local to purchase
You may bring your local friend, tour guide or driver along with you during your shopping and ask them to buy for you as the seller usually will give more discount to local compared to tourist.
When you strolling the entire day at the mall, your phone surely drains the battery and if you don’t have any power bank, you may go to the food court at Level 8 where there are many power points for you to charge your phone.
Not on Sunday
Unlike in Malaysia, Sunday is really a day off for the seller as well. Partial of the shops are not open on Sunday and your choice will be limited. Hence, it is not recommended to go on Sunday.
This is shopping heaven particularly for women because the selection is wide and the price is way way way way way much cheaper than other places. If you have a plan to start a business, you may find your first product here. By large, it is worth to visit here every time you go to Jakarta.