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Indonesia Information

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Indonesia is a shoppers paradise whether you are one for market bargaining or expensive name brands Indonesia can offer it to you. All major cities in Indonesia have local markets at which you can bargain for items, the products for sale vary depending on the market type and the region. Craft markets often sell batik, beautifully carved wooden ornaments and furniture, and paintings (especially in Bali).

The capital city Jakarta is a good place to shop because it has a wide variety of goods that have originate from various islands in the archipelago, that are good quality. Blok M Kebayoran Baru Jakarta has a variety of shops all under one roof you can find just about anything here you want and more. Jalan Surabaya in Menteng, Jakarta has a wonderfully colourful antique market, that is worth a visit even if you are not planning to buy anything, because it is a feast for the eyes and mind to see all the hand crafted goods. Jakarta also has a good selection of markets Pasar Kembang is a flower market, if that does not suit your needs or tastes there is Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua selling clothes, shoes, bags and many other goods, Pasar Benhil a traditional market, and Pasar Cikini a food market, to name only a few of the markets in Jakarta.

With its giddy variety of insular environments, Indonesia has many beautiful traditional crafts which have been made for thousands of years. Superb craftsmanship and longest traditions are best seen in the simplest crafts: the palm weaving of Bali, the flute making of the Torajans, the basketry of the Rotinese, the Lizard motifs on Batak magic wands and houses, and infinite other examples of traditional domestic and cultural art.

Indonesian arts and crafts lend themselves especially to attractive decorative items and furnishings for contemporary Western homes. Batik, king of Indonesian art forms, can be fashioned into upholstery, and the superb ikat textiles make unique wall-hangings. Shopping in Indonesia is a real hit or miss treasure hunt; you must doggedly search every corner of a shop to find what you are looking for.

Many villages or city kampung specialize in their own crafts. If you want to know what crafts an area or city specializes in, just ask the locals what gifts they take to out-of-town relatives when they visit. This way, you find out what is cheap, unique or rare about that place. If the plastic arts interest you, head for ASRI (School of Fine Arts) art centres in the largers cities where painting, drawing, graphics, sculpture and the decorative arts are taught.

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Information provided by Department of Tourism. Government of Indonesia.


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