Mangga Dua – literally translated meaning: the Two Mangoes – is Jakarta’s hotspot for bulk and bargain shopping. Located on the border between the Old and Modern Jakarta, Yahoo Travel has named Mangga Dua: the largest Shopping Area in Asia. This is indeed a shopping paradise, favorite destination, not only for domestic tourists but also those from neigbouring Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, where the gamut of imported and domestic products are available.
Located along Jalan Mangga Dua, an array of shops stretch all the way from Jakarta Kota or Old Batavia, to Jalan Gunung Sahari by the Canal, on the border between North and West Jakarta. Largest shopping complexes here are the Harco Mangga Dua, Mangga Dua Square, WTC Mangga Dua, ITC Mangga Dua, Pasar Pagi and the Mangga Dua Mall,and in between are many smaller shops, hotels and restaurants.
Mangga Dua offers everything and anything. The Harco Mangga Dua Jakarta is the center for electronics where you will find the latest LED TV’s, fridges, air conditionings to the latest range of mobile phones, while in the other malls you will find anything you many need from imported winter clothes, boots, to flimsy underwear, fashion wear, perfumes, baby’s outfits to fridge magnets and other small souvenirs in bulk that you may want to give out to weddings guests. When you decide to visit Mangga Dua, better have ready your whole shopping list, preferably buy in bulk as this is in fact a wholesale area. You can also find Jakarta souvenirs here from T-shirts to fridge magnets.
Since the street is always crowded, parking is a headache. So unless you have a driver to park your car, your best alternative will be to get here by public transport either by taxi or by TransJakarta bus. Your problem, however, will of course be how to haul your heavy shopping bags home after wandering around for one whole day.
To quench your thirst and appease your rumbling stomach after a day of serious shopping, there are a galore of food and drinks outlets.
In the evening, Mangga Dua food courts come alive. Most favorite spot is the Pagoda Food City at Mangga Dua Square by Jalan Gunung Sahari that offers a wide variety of freshly prepared seafood dishes from sumptuous chilli crab to steamed fish, prawns and oysters. And while waiting for your meal, you should try the many local favorite tidbits, among which are kue Lopis, Klepon, arem-arem and plenty more.
Pagoda Food City is immediately recognizable by its red and gold decorated street food stalls that you cannot miss.
When you drive to Mangga Dua, best have a driver to park your car or else you will waste a lot of time just looking for parking space. Do come early, since the later it gets the crowdier the place. Getting there by taxi may be an alternative, but you may have to wait a long time going home before you can get a taxi. When you take the TransJakarta or Busway, look for the Kampung Melayu-Ancol route and get off in front of Mangga Dua Square or WTC Mangga Dua.