The Jakarta Post
A restaurant on the corner of Jl. Pancoran, Glodok, West Jakarta. (Shutterstock/File)
Glodok in West Jakarta is recognized as the capital’s Chinatown. The area dates back to colonial times when in November 1740, the East Indies Company (VOC) designated Glodok as a residential area for ethnic Chinese.
Glodok covers three main areas, namely Gang Gloria (Gloria alley), Jl. Pancoran and Petak Sembilan.
Once a trading center, Glodok is now a spot to buy Chinese food, traditional Chinese medicine and cheap electronic goods.
Here are recommended activities for those wanting to visit the area.
It is easy to reach Glodok as it is located in the heart of the city. To visit Glodok, one can take either the Transjakarta bus or a train.
For those coming from South Jakarta, the best option is to take a Blok M-Kota Transjakarta bus and get off at the Glodok bus stop.
Meanwhile, those coming from East Jakarta can take a Tanjung Priok-Penjaringan Transjakarta bus and alight at the Kota bus stop. From there, take a Kota-Blok M Transjakarta bus.
Those opting for a train can take a one heading to Kota Station and continue on a Kota-Blok M Transjakarta bus.
What to wear
Casual wear such as a T-shirt, pants and sandals are recommended for waking through the alleys and traditional market.
Read also: Jakpost guide to Pasar Baru
What to see
Established in 1650, Dharma Bhakti temple is the oldest temple in Jakarta. (Shutterstock/File)
With Glodok being home to many ethnic Chinese, three temples can be found in Petak Sembilan, namely Dharma Bhakti Temple, Dharma Sakti Temple and Hui Tek Bio temple.
Established in 1650, Dharma Bhakti is the oldest temple in Jakarta. The temple was previously known as Koan-Im Teng as it houses the Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) altar. Dharma Bhakti temple caught on fire in 2015, and at the time of Jakpost's visit, had yet to be fully restored. However, the temple still welcomes people for prayers.
Dharma Sakti Temple is located next to Dharma Bhakti Temple. Here, visitors can find the Tee Jong Ong Po Sat and Han Tan Kong altars.
Hui Tek Bio temple can be found in a corner of Jl. Kemurnian III. It was established in 1964. Here visitors can find the Hui Tek Cun Ong altar. In addition to the prayer room, the temple also offers traditional therapy every Thursday evening and Sunday morning. Open to the public, those wanting to join the internal energy power healing treatment need to register prior to a scheduled session.
In another corner of Jl. Kemurnian III, visitors can find the Santa de Fatima Catholic Church. The church is known for its Chinese architecture.
What to do
Shopping and sampling Chinese food are the recommended activities for visitors to Glodok.
However, in addition to the two activities, Glodok is a popular area for those looking for traditional Chinese medicine.
Tay Seng Hoo and Mutiara are said to be the most popular, as the two stores offer the services of traditional Chinese healers as well as medicine.
A Mutiara staff member weighs traditional Chinese medicine ingredients. (JP/I Gede Dharma JS)
Mutiara is known as the go-to place for those wanting fertility therapy. Traditional Chinese medicine, which includes imported roots, seeds and insects, is available with prices starting from Rp 80,000 (US$6).
What to eat
Glodok, specifically Gang Gloria, is a food haven.
The entrance to Gang Gloria, Glodok. (JP/Leo)
Inside Gang Gloria, food enthusiasts can find a wide array of dishes, including gado-gado (mixed vegetables served with peanut sauce), soto betawi (beef cooked in coconut milk), ketupat sayur (rice cakes served with coconut milk and vegetables), sek ba (pork offal stewed in soy sauce) and more.
Coffee lovers can try the legendary Kopi Es Tak Kie. Established in 1927, the coffee shop specializes in iced coffee.
Since its establishment in 1927, Kopi Es Tak Kie, as the name suggests, serves iced coffee with one mission: fighting thirst and sleepiness at the same time.(Qraved/File)
In Gang Gloria food court, food enthusiasts will find gado-gado direksi (directors mixed vegetables), which was established in 1967. Priced at Rp 32,000, the gado-gado is said to have been popular among the directors of Export-Import Bank (now Bank Mandiri) and where its name came from.
Those wanting to get away from the hectic Gang Gloria may want to consider Siauw A Tjiap.
Situated on Jl. Pancoran, the eatery offers a wide array of Chinese cuisine, including ayam rebus siram minyak (boiled chicken served with oil), lindung cah fumak (eel and vegetables) and mun tahu (braised tofu and meat).
Meanwhile, on Jl. Pancoran 6, a small eatery selling mie kangkung (noodles and water spinach soup) and asinan sayur (pickled vegetables) can be found.
What to buy
Glodok offers a lot of goods, such as cheap electronic goods from China, fresh produce and snacks.
Electronic goods are mainly found in Glodok City building, while those looking for Chinese books may want to check bookshops located on Jl. Pancoran.
Meanwhile, those looking for baking and kitchen utensils may want to drop by Tan Liong. Established in 1935, Tan Liong is one of the oldest shops in Glodok.
In regards to food, Toko Kawi in Gang Gloria is a go-to place for those wanting Bali pork.
Chinese snacks, such as candied fruit, are also available in shops located on Jl. Pancoran.
A candied fruit store on Jl. Pancoran. (JP/I Gede Dharma JS)
As for fresh produce, sellers are mostly located in the traditional market near the Chinese temples. Here, aspiring cooks can find fresh vegetables as well as exotic ingredients.
- Bargain when purchasing electronic goods in Glodok City.
- Check the schedule for traditional healers before visiting a drugstore.
- Most food vendors close at 4 p.m., so those wanting to have a culinary adventure should visit in the morning.
- The area is quite packed, so keep an eye on your belongings. (asw)