Market Feature # 7: Ayo Ke Mangga Dua Square

mangga dua square
View from Mangga Dua Square

Ask locals about The Best Markets of Jakarta and it’s likely they will list off the same destinations: Pasar Mayestik & Pasar Tanah Abang for fabrics, Pasar Modern for fresh produce and Pasar Asemka for art & craft supplies. Another market that is well known is Mangga Dua – but as Liz and I recently discovered, Mangga Dua is in fact a district and not the name of an actual market. We realised this as we drove to North Jakarta just a couple of weeks ago.

Traffic around Mangga Dua
Traffic in- and around the Mangga Dua district is often congested. Factor this in your travel time

As we approached our destination, my driver Pak Asep asked us which pasar in Mangga Dua we wanted to visit. I replied, ‘Pasar Mangga Dua’, to which he responded, ‘Tapi ada banyak pasar di daerah Mangga Dua’ (there are lots of markets in Mangga Dua area). It suddenly dawned on us that Mangga Dua wasn’t the name of one single destination. Hence, a quick decision had to be made as to which market we would visit. We settled on Mangga Dua Square, based on my driver’s recommendations (ie, it is clean, quiet during mid-week trading and has a good selection of most things that all the markets in Mangga Dua offer). Decision made! So *Ayo Ke Mangga Dua Square we went!

Liz and Jo at Mangga Dua Square
Shopping Ready! – and the obligatory selfie before we start our exploring 🙂

Examples of Products for Sale at Mangga Dua Square

Sports Uniforms, Trophies and Embroidery Services

Mangga Dua Square sports uniform shop
The shop signage advertises their products: Caps, jackets, sports tops, flags – all your sporting uniform and memorabilia needs
trophy shop mangga dua square
There are many shops at Mangga Dua Square that sell trophies, medals, plaques and shields
shoes for sale at mangga dua square
Sports shoes as well as a variety of other shoes are available for sale at Mangga Dua Square

Uniforms and Hi-Vis Wear

Hi Vis clothing mangga dua square
On Level 2 (Block B), we found protective clothing including Hi-Vis items

Electronics and Photography Equipment

camera shop mangga dua square
On Level One (Block B) of Mangga Dua Square, you will find cameras, lenses, tripods & flash equipment as well as electronics, headphones, computers and printers. Needing service of an electronic device? This just might be the place!

Fabrics and Tailoring

Tailors of Mangga Dua Square
At his tailoring shop on the Lower Ground floor of Mangga Dua Square we met Pak Tri Sumba Direja
Pak Feri Mangga Dua Square
Pak Feri was enjoying his lunch when we visited. The shop he shares with Pak Tri stocks a good selection of fabric for men’s suits and shirts as well as an array of ties
seamstress Mangga Dua Square
On the Ground Floor of Mangga Dua Square the vision of Ibu Juju carefully sewing brocade detailing onto a beautiful dress caught our eye
seamstress
Seamstress Ibu Juju

Pre-Made Clothing

tuxedos of mangga dua
Looking for an an affordable tux? Look no further!
mens clothing Mangga Dua
A large selection of men’s clothing

Optical

optical frames Mangga Dua Square
Fashionable and affordable optical frames

Traditional Chinese Clothing and Accessories

Chinese shop Mangga Dua Square
All matter of traditional Chinese merchandise can be found at Mangga Dua Square. This shop we frequented was meticulously presented with all the vibrant colour luring us in for a closer look
Chinese clothing Mangga Dua Square
Traditional Chinese clothing for all ages

Christian Faith Merchandise

Gethsemane Mangga Dua Square
Looking for something for that special Christian occasion you are about to attend? Gethsemane is located on the Ground Floor of Mangga Dua Square
Christian merchandise
Plaques and wall hangings for sale at Gethsemane
Gethsemane Mangga Dua Squre
Figurines for sale at Gethsemane

Kids Clothing and Costumes

children's clothing Mangga Dua Square
There exists numerous discount children’s clothing outlets at Mangga Dua Squre, selling general apparel as well as fancy dress costumes

Gaharu – Aromatherapy

Gaharu Mangga Dua Square
Pak Sunardi (AKA Pak Ali to his Arabic clients) generously explained the origins of Gaharu and how it is harvested throughout the Indonesian archipelago
Gaharu Mangga Dua Square
Tubs of wood chips sold for their aromatherapeutic benefits.
different coloured gaharu
The different coloured chips indicate the varying amount of mould within the timber. It is this mould that gives the timber its distinctive smell when burnt. The deeper the colour, the more fragrant the timber

Perhaps our most unexpected and curious find at Mangga Dua Square was ‘Gaharu’. We had noticed numerous streets in Jakarta with this name but did not understand its meaning until we chatted to Pak Sunardi at his showroom, ‘Central Gaharu’, on Upper Ground level of Mangga Dua Square.

Pak Sunardi explained that Gaharu (commonly known as Agarwood) is formed when the heartwood of the Aquaria tree becomes infected with a special type of mould. As the infection develops, the tree produces a dark resin in response to this attack. The greater the infection, the more resin that is produced. This resin called ‘gaharu’, is aromatic and is valued in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance. Chips of this wood are used for incense and also for perfume.

Advice when shopping at Mangga Dua Square

– The best time to go shopping in Mangga Dua is in the morning and during the weekdays, as the crowds are not too overwhelming.

– Bring only your basics eg: wallet and phone in a secure, zip up bag.
– The local malls of Mangga Dua offer little or no AC so dress accordingly whilst still keeping modesty in mind.
– Practical shoes such as closed-toe shoes are also a good idea for comfort.
– Ideally bring cash as not all shops have card facility.

– In most instances it is acceptable to bargain with the vendor.

footwear for market shopping
Practical footwear. We’re ready to explore and shop!

What’s in a name? The name, ‘Mangga Dua’ means two mangoes.

Mangga Dua Square
Jl. Gunung Sahari Raya No.1, RT.11/RW.6
West Pademangan, North Jakarta City

Open 7 days: 10am – 9pm

Multilevel Mangga Dua Square
All the pasars in the Mangga Dua precinct are considered ‘local’ malls and are a stark contrast to other gleaming and glamorous malls of Jakarta such as Plaza Indonesia and Pacific Place. But don’t let this put you off – local malls such as Mangga Dua Square have a charm all of their own.

Stay tuned for future posts as we visit more pasars in the Mangga Dua district including:
ITC Mangga Dua (known for its women’s fashion and accessories), Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua and WTC Mangga Dua.

 

Keen to explore some of our other recommended pasars in Jakarta? Here are a few for you to check out:

Pasar Mayestik – Batik and Fabric specialists
Pasar Modern – Fresh Produce in Bintaro
Pasar Tanah Abang – South East Asia’s largest Fabric Market
Pasar Bunga Rawa Belong – Indonesia’s largest Wholesale Flower Market

 

*Ayo Ke Mangga Dua Square – Let’s go to Mangga Dua Square
* Pasar – market

 

Words: Jo Stevens    Photography: a Journey Bespoke

Leave a Reply