Travelling has become a way of life. Besides the valuable experiences you gain from travelling, it is always fascinating to see the other part of the world. You get to see different culture, different environment, and different mindset and people. Travelling will both make you be open and respect differences.
When it is time to go home and you start longing the presence of your family, friends and significant other, you just wish they were beside you experiencing the good times in a foreign place together.
Don’t worry. You still be able to share them the priceless experience you get by buying them souvenirs. Indonesia is very rich in heritage and culture. It will not be a hassle to find souvenirs which are authentic and cheap, but most importantly representing Indonesia.
Before you go shopping and hunting, it is better for you to have some preparations. Here are some few pro tips in shopping souvenirs effectively and efficiently.
Figure Out What Kind of Souvenirs You Want to Buy
You might want to make list of souvenirs you want to buy. You can also find reference from Google. It will save your time. Decide what kind of gift you want to buy for certain people. The souvenirs could be something to wear, something to use, something to eat, or simply something to look at. Consider the size of the souvenirs so they all will fit in your baggage.
Learn How to Bargain
There are certain places to buy cheap souvenirs in Jakarta where you can make a bargain. If you want cheaper stuff you need to find out the right place. Then, you also need to understand the art of bargaining. After you learn it, you can apply the knowledge when you are shopping for souvenirs. If you succeed, you can get the souvenirs for cheaper price and save some money.
Ask for Help from Local Indonesian Friends
What is the point of travelling when you do not make friends with native people? If you already make friends, that will be great. You can ask for their help to take you to cheap souvenirs spots around Jakarta. They might know underrated souvenirs and hidden gems, too! You can also ask for advice in what to buy for your loved ones.
Don’t Forget to Buy Something for Yourself!
You are busy thinking about what to buy for others until you forget yourself. Don’t forget to buy one for yourself, too. Buy something from the street vendor you meet in the landmark you visit. Buy something because they look cool or cute. Buy everything which attracts or interests you. You can reminisce the sweet moments you experience in a foreign place by looking at the stuffs you buy for yourself.
After reading some pro tips in shopping, here is the list of authentic and cheap souvenirs in you can find around Jakarta.
1. Batik Cloth
If you consider giving your loved ones something to wear, Batik Cloth might be the answer. Batik is also one of the best souvenirs which represent Indonesia very well. People who see Batik will immediately think of Indonesia. Batik will be the perfect choice if you want something authentic to give as souvenir.
Batik comes in many pattern and colors. But if you want something more traditional, you can choose Batik with brown colored.
Where to Find:
Vary from Rp100.000 to Rp600.000 (around USD 7 to USD 43)
2. Wayang Puppet
Wayang puppet is a valuable heritage of Indonesia which is closely related to the history of the spreading of Hinduism. It also holds high culture value of Indonesia. It is usually used to perform puppet theater based on Javanese mythologies.
Wayang puppet is something you can play with or simply use as decoration. You can find various types and characters of wayang puppet. The size is around 25 cm to 75 cm. Some places also sell hand-sized wayang puppet so it will be easy to carry on back home. It will be such a unique gift for your loved ones.
Where to Find:
Vary from Rp50.000 up to Rp500.000 (around USD 3.5 to USD 35)
3. Rattan Bag
Rattan craft has been very popular in Indonesia for a long time. In the past, rattan is commonly used only for furniture, now many Indonesian crafters make a bag out of rattan which can be used daily. It does not need a long for rattan bag to become fashion trend.
This will be the perfect gift for your mom, sister, or girlfriend. Rattan bag comes in various size, model, and color. It is perfect for almost all occasions. Even there are some models which are suitable to bring for formal occasion.
Where to Find:
Vary from Rp150.000 up to Rp500.000 (around USD 11 to USD 35)
4. Local Carvings
If you want to give something cute for display and decoration, you might want to consider buying local carvings as souvenirs. Local carvings are made of various materials, such as wood, stone, or bone.
They also come in various size, model, and color although mostly you will find the carvings in small size. Commonly, they have the carvings in shape of masks, landmark miniature of Indonesia, characters from local myth, and so on.
Where to Find:
Sarinah Department Store, Central Jakarta (5th floor, 10.00-22.00 WIB)
Antique Market, Surabaya street, Menteng, Central Jakarta
Vary from Rp15.000 up to Rp100.000 (around USD 1 to USD 8)
5. Local Coffee Beans
Indonesia is one of the best producers of coffee beans in the world. Bringing some local coffee beans for your family or friends might be a great idea, especially for the coffee addict.
Indonesia has various types of coffee beans in terms of taste and hint. The variation of the taste depend on which area the coffee beans come from and how they are processed.
If you like fruity hint on your coffee, you might try to buy the beans which come from West Java. Coffee beans from Sulawesi will give floral and fruity hint on your coffee. If you prefer nutty and earthy hint, you could go and try coffee beans which come from Central Java, East Java, and NTB.
Where to Find:
Supplier and Distributor Coffee ULIN, East Jakarta (A few kilometers to Green Pramuka City)
Vary from Rp100.000 up to Rp300.000 (around USD 8 to USD 22)
Finally, we hope that the tips and suggestions to find authentic and cheap souvenirs in Jakarta we give are useful. Remember, buying souvenirs for your loved ones is a thoughtful gesture in showing that you love and always remember them wherever part of the world you go to. But of course, the best souvenir you can give to your loved ones is you coming back home safely.