Monday, November 15, 2010

Indie Guide to Shopping: Best Vintage in Jakarta and Your Life

Vintage Shopping Mecca in Jakarta + There's a Goat in My Alley?

I have not been able to stop yipping about how legendary Pasar Senen is. If you have only one day to shop, in Jakarta, DO NOT WASTE IT IN THE BILLION MALLS HERE. Period. If you take anything away from this blog on vintage and indie shopping, please choose the path to greatness and visit this one market.

Imagine all your favourite vintage stores, now group them into one giant building, add intense, sweating Asian style chaos and you have Pasar Senen. This is everything a poor intern/student's heart could wish for; great clothes from Japan and Korea, cheap prices, authentic experience, not many tourists (known as Bulé). In my last post about Travel Junkie Graduate Settling in Jakarta, I only had shopped at malls and had spent way too much, blast. Check out SOME of the stuff you can get for the price of a metro ticket here.

This will def not be the last post on this place. Here is some stuff I bought plus an update to what's going on in my cute alley, poor intern set up in Jakarta aka RAT ALLEY by night.

 Yup. Appropriate name for a shades store

If you've been keeping up on Twitter and Facebook, you saw that I was going Gaga for some Indonesian Police Boots. At Pasar Senen, not only is there vintage, but where these bros get their uniforms.  They had little babeh versions too...

...which I somehow fit into. These guys wanted over 140K RP (14 Euros) for it, I said hellll naw and threw down. Not really, but I did just walk away to see how cheap I could get it for, using my uber useful bargaining techniques.  Note: Flower Vest I bought for 1.50 euros, ho putain! guys saw my alley, right? All cute and green and pretty yet scary by night with Jurassic Rats and roaches. Well as if that noize wasn't enough, look who the hell moved into the neighbourhood.

A cussin' GOAT bromie. It all started a week ago when I woke up for my internship one sunny morning and heard the most wretched screaming outside my door.

I thought someone with severe illness was being wrestled to the ground and having pencils shoved up their nose. But seriously guys, apparently I live in the heart of Nigerian drug land, so if sounded like a human was writhing in pain, I wouldn't dismiss it as ludachristmas.

Showdown. Cautiously, I walked around the corner and peered down an even smaller alley sliver, feeling scared to look. Instead I encounter this dude. Actually, there were several of them, just mad chillin'.

Somehow I wasn't that shocked. I mean, I do live in Central Jakarta and a mall across the street, so yes to see a goat chillin' in your hood is not normal..but overall: whateves. However, there is actually a reason they moved into town. There is a Muslim holiday coming up where they slaughter goats, called Idul Ad-ha. Everyone collects these goats, and on Wednesday morning (this week!) they kill them at the Mosque.

We used to be friends, attack. I'm not going to lie, I've gotten pretty used to their calls, their scent, their cuteness in my alley before and after I come home from the office. I'm going to be sad to see them go..  Maybe I'll attend the slaughter on Wednesday morning in my badass new boots.

The boots I ended up buying for 100K (10 Euros). My wings and guns I got separate and added them on. I love cheap shopping, you can do whatever you want with impunity. 

Flower leggings: 1.20 euros (12K Rp)
Jeans Shirt: 1 euro (10 rp)
Flower headpiece: Somewhere in Finland (borrowed off Anna, thx)

Can even find vintage clothing at Pasar Senen for the Office!
High wasted Green Skirt: 1.50 Euros (15K Rp)
Shoes: Top Shop Kuala Lumpur
Jacket: Pasar Baru

Lastly, the marinière I have in every picture, I got at Pasar Senen for, wait for it... ONE EURO. It fits well and it is easily one of the most key things. Kickin' it with Kiki, who runs awesome Blackout Parties 

Tuque: Some French thing..

  • Don't go hungover. The place is a labyrinth of identical looking stalls. If you want to find the exit quickly because you need some air you'll find yourself in a bad situation. 
  • Wear clothes that you are prepared to sweat in. It gets busy and it's hot. This is not the time to be king hipster.
Don't Pay More Than...
You can get shirts and skirts from 5-15k RP. They will tell you 40 or 50 but I didn't spend more than 15 for anything. If you want blazers and jeans it may be more expensive. Bargain hard and be ready to walk away. They'll come after you and ask your price. No matter what, don't look too interested!

The stuff in the piles you can usually get for cheaper.

Getting to Pasar Senen:
You can take the Trans Jakarta (the busway) to the stop called Senen. Or take a taxi and ask for either Pasar Senen or Atrium. 

Hours of Operation, Best time to go
Open all week till about 6 pm
Best time to go is on Saturday. They get new shipments in that day
Sundays it is open but a lot of the stores are closed.

Ooh la, I'm falling asleep. Long day at work ahead of me. Trying to convince Indonesians that protecting maids is a good thing for them.. sorry for mistakes..will fix later..

See Also

Coup de Coeur: MUSIC
This may be a ladies sort of song..or something you may want to make amour to. Slow, sexy, mysterious and POLISH. Honestly, you just want to wear a black long sexy dress with gloves and dance around in candle light (and there's red suede furniture around too).


  1. Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog. Pasar Senen is indeed great... you should also check out Jalan Surabaya in Menteng... it's a big old antiques market... there aren't so many clothes, but definitely accessories and cool things to decorate your kos room with. Also, head to Kemang and Senopati... Lots of dive bars filled with youthful sorts listening to indie tunes. Bremer was one of my favs, this chilled beer garden style place.

  2. ashlee, your blog is super cool. thanks for the advice on more shopping places (my bank account will probably curse you in the long run though. THe ribs you described were indeed as awesome as you said ps!

  3. Hi there, chanced upon your blog today through Jakarta 100 Bars! You've been entertaining me for the past hour or so.... I pretty much laughed out loud by the time I saw the little goatie picture. I can totally understand how that could have happened in a typical SEA alley. I lived in The Philippines for almost. 3 weeks and could have seen a cow or goat in every imaginable place! Cheers ;)

  4. Thanks! I'm in Jakarta....with Nouvelle Vague and your blog is helpful! bisous

  5. Hi! I'm from Yogyakarta. Thank you for sharing. I also saw your post in Yogya. I was pretty amazed because usually other people from other country knows more interesting places in Indonesia than Indonesia's people(like me).Hahaha. But I want to ask, do you know where secondhand store, or a old store that sells shoes / boots vintage in Yogyakarta?