Jakarta Famous Street
Muara karang is a residential area situated in northern part of Jakarta. This area connects Pluit area to Pantai Indak Kapuk Residence. Many Chinese descendants, migrated from Medan (northern Sumatera), are residing in this area. The busiest street in this area is Muara Karang Raya. Along this strait of street, one will find food paradise.
Numerous restaurants and cafes serving Singaporean food, Medanese food, Japanese Food, Fast Food, Chinese Food, Steamboat Restaurants, Bali Seafood, and so on, can be found here. Aside from the restaurants, one can also find many stores selling Buddhist/Taoist-related items such as fragrance incense; Buddha and other gods statues; red candles; paper-made apparel, vehicles, money and houses (the Taoist believes that by burning the paper made items, the deceased in heaven will receive the same items. Small items such as shoes, watches, apparels, and money are put together in a paper luggage. To ensure that the intended receiver will receive the stuffs sent, every item sent must be attached with a long yellow paper with the deceased's name and his/her date of birth written on it.)
The closest mall from this area is Megamall. Located 5 minutes from Muara Karang Raya, this mall serves as one of the main entertainment spots for the residents. Megamal houses a French owned Supermarket- Carrefour, which can fulfill the daily household needs of the residents. However, for the people who want to buy the daily needs at lower price, they can to go to the Muara Karang Traditional Market. Located at the middle part of Muara Karang Raya, this traditional wet market is inseparable from the life of the Muara Karangs.
Another interesting place around this area is Muara Baru Fish Market. This is a market where many fishermen will bring their fresh catch to sell. You will see many vendors selling fresh shrimp, crabs, clams, squids, fishes and all other seafood products. And close by, you will see numerous tents. These tent owners offer cooked seafood, so you just need to sit and order, just like in regular restaurants. However, if you want to taste the experience of having to choose your fresh seafood, you may do so by selecting and purchasing the seafood at the market, and then tell the seafood seller to send it to certain tents. If you are feeling adventurous, try the local way: roasted plainly with salt and dipping them in the mouth watering sambal (spicy condiment). The tent owner will charge you for the cooking service. Either way, you will find that the price of the food is not as cheap as it was first offered. It is well known that most of the sellers tamper the weighing scale. The actual weight of the seafood will be less than what the weighing scale shows. However, despite the mediocre-taste cooking, the questionable hygiene, and the weight deceptive scheme, many customers from all over Jakarta are coming back to this place to for the freshness of the seafood with price less than in the restaurants.
Pluit is a residential area in located in Northern Jakarta. Similar to Muara Karang, Pluit also housed many Chinese descendants from Medan (Northern Sumatera). In the past, Pluit area was merely a quiet residential area. But recent development has made Pluit as one of the most crowded hangout place for the young and trendy in Northern Jakarta. Many houses (especially around Megamal Pluit) have been renovated and turned into cafes, restaurants, bakeries and pool place. The local government aims the area as the next target, after the Kelapa Gading area, to realize the concept of an ‘ideal' neighborhood in the Northern Part of Jakarta. ‘Ideal' equals facilities and infrastructures, and some of them are already visible and ready to enjoy.
Currently the only mall in the neighborhood that is up and running is Pluit Megamall, a large shopping center sporting the Carrefour, the renowned hypermarket, a cinema and of course tons of other shops and entertainment facilities inside. A sport center concentrating on Futsal Football called the Sports Planet, a branch of the Malaysia Sport Planet, was opened in 2005. The center offers three decoflex pitches with artificial turf and other facilities such as a lounge and a spectator area. However, in the near future the pluitans will be able to enjoy the new CBD Pluit mall. The CBD will feature commercial and business centers, basic facilities such as a hospital, swimming pool, restaurants and health centers. Its housing options include town houses, exclusive apartments and condominiums.
In 2001, during the once-every-five-year-huge-flood that hit Jakarta, Pluit was one of the worst areas hit by the flood along with Kelapa Gading. It was reported that luxurious houses in this area were flooded up to 1 meter high for over two weeks. The rescue teams had to evacuate the residents from their own homes due to the lack of food in the houses. And since regular cars or large-wheeled truck were not able to pass through the road due to the high flood, rubber boats were used. However unlike other areas, who quickly forgot about the flood once it ends, Pluit people invested their money on buying water pumps and fixing their sewer system to prepare themselves for the next flood. In early 2007, when the rain fell endlessly in Bogor and Jakarta area, many areas of Jakarta (Kelapa Gading, Cengkareng, Jatinegara, Cawang, Cileduk, and so on) were flooded. Unlike those areas, during those times, the street of Pluit were dry. No signs of flood were seen.
Situated in Southern part of Jakarta, Kemang was originally designed to be a serene residential area. The name “Kemang” was taken from Mangifera Kemanga Caecea, mango tree species abundantly found around this area around 1950s.
As the times passed, Kemang has been developed into a strategic commercial area targeting the expatriates and the high-income Jakartans. Along Kemang Raya, you will be able to find restaurants serving local and international food (Turkish, American, Arabian, Indian, French, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, etc), cafes, bookstores, wine lounges, hobby shops, art galleries, furniture stores, high-end boutiques, antiques stores, duty-free shop, day spa, yoga place, and supermarkets that carries organic produces and imported products.
What differentiates Kemang from the other commercial areas in Jakarta is its resemblance to Bali's atmosphere. Somehow, this area has a laid back and peaceful atmosphere compared to other parts of Jakarta. Time seems to move a little bit slower in this area. You can see the small shops on the side of the street, people drinking coffee while reading their books, foreigners walking down the street, the teenagers hanging out with their buddies, people drinking wine while listening to the live jazz music, young moms shopping with the babies sleeping in the cart, and so on.
However, the atmosphere changed dramatically into a festive mood when the most anticipated event in kemang happened, the annual Kemang Festival. Tents are constructed along the street of Kemang Raya. Hundreds of vendor renting the tents display their products; handicraft, fashion and ethnic jewelry, vintage clothing, art products, trendy clothing, food and beverage, etc. The street will temporarily be closed to all kind of vehicles, making Kemang Raya a temporary pedestrian street. During this festival, thousands of people from all over Jakarta pour onto the street of Kemang Raya.
These new developments brought direct impact on the local residents. Not only the flourishing of new restaurants, cafés and all other business ventures drives up the price of land significantly, it also creates additional job opportunities for the local people. However, some of the stores fail to provide adequate parking for their customers. This forces the customers to park on the street, taking the space of the already narrow street of Kemang and creating more congestion than ever. The best time to explore this interesting neighborhood is during weekends and holidays, where the traffic is less congested.
For better or worse, today Kemang has become one of the most favorite and trendiest hangout place for the Jakartans and the expatriates alike.
Jalan Jaksa(= Attorney Street) is a one-way, single lane, approximately 400-meters-long street located in Central Jakarta. This street is located near the most famous landmark of Jakarta, the National Monument, and within walking distance of Gambir Train Station.
Back in the Dutch occupation of Jakarta, this area housed students of the Rechts Hogeschool Batavia (The Law Academy of Jakarta). Because of the large numbers of the attorney-to-be staying in this street, people started referring to this street as the Attorney Street/Jalan Jaksa.
Jalan Jaksa was first recognized in the 60`s for providing cheap staying places. The man responsible for making the street famous was a traveller called Lawalata. He was the first person to stay at a resident's house that was turned into a hotel. At first he was disappointed because the facilities were not like any other hotels, but then he realized that all needed was a place to sleep. Later, he was impressed by the hospitality of the locals and the cheap living expenses. Then he spread the information to other backpackers, causing many backpackers and budget tourist starts pouring into the area. This caused Jalan Jaksa to become an imperative transit point for the tourists before exploring the rest of Indonesia. To satisfy the growing demand, subsequently many hotels and restaurants were being built on this street.
The first Jaksa Street Festival was held on August 1994. This festival aimed to increase the popularity of Jaksa Street, while celebrating the Betawi culture. During the festival, the street is decorated with colorful decorations and food vendors, kiosks, and temporary shops crowd the street's sidewalk.
Nowadays, on Jalan Jaksa, you can find a selection of shops and services such as : Inexpensive hotels and hostels with daily, weekly or even monthly rate; surfing shop; Internet cafes; restaurants that serve affordable-yet-edible food; laundry services; money changers; travel agents; bars with patio; pool hall; mini markets; and all other services. Sadly, the few bombings in Indonesia and the travel warnings issued by other countries have some impact on Jalan Jaksa. The atmosphere at Jalan Jaksa in the last few years is now different from the atmosphere in the late 90s. Back then, the street was full of backpackers. And sight, such as backpackers sleeping on the pavement cause of the fully booked hotel, was not uncommon.
While it is not as developed or as modern as its counterpart in Kuta Bali, hanging out in this place will reveal you another side of Jakarta.