Located in the charming Menteng precinct of central Jakarta, the Jalan Surabaya Antique and Flea Market is a local institution. This place, which dates dates back to 1974, is in itself a little slice of Jakartan history – many of the vendors today are descendants of the city’s early antiques traders who sold their wares from travelling stalls.
The Jalan Surabaya Antique and Flea Market is the place to find a weird and wonderful range of Eastern and Western goods, antique treasures, unique curios and delightful trinkets that make the best souvenirs and gifts.
Look out for hand-carved wooden sculptures, authentic silver and brass dishes, original artworks, colourful ceramic wares, semiprecious gemstones, collectable coins, traditional Balinese masks, historic puppets and accessories, and old-fashioned everything from rare ornaments and fabrics to marine equipment and vintage weaponry.
Don’t be surprised to find archaic electronics sitting alongside stacks of decades-old books. This is definitely a place to take your time and search for something special. Records and record players are something of a specialty at this market, so music lovers should definitely include some time here on their itinerary.
Unless stalls display a ‘fixed price’ sign, they are open to bargaining, so get set to haggle your way to a good price. As a rule of thumb, you should expect to pay around 50 to 60 per cent of the starting price.
This place is worth a visit even if shopping isn’t really your thing. Stretching for around 500 metres along Jalan Surabaya (Surabaya Road), the Antique and Flea Market is loved as much for its atmosphere as its wares.
This is a particularly pretty part of Jakarta, with its shady residential streets playing host to the mansions of Indonesia’s political elite. Spend a lazy morning wandering the length of the market, taking in a little of the area’s local charm and doing some people watching. Be sure to capture the experience with you camera.