I had previously visited the Sarinah Department Store when we first moved here. This is the first department store in Jakarta and although it is quite old, it has a decent variety of products ranging from clothes and makeup to sport gear, office supplies and DVDs. I think of this as normal now, but I don’t think there’s a store that has such a wide variety of products in the US. You can literally buy everything from soap and food to a treadmill and paper clips.
The reason I go to Sarinah however, is to shop for souvenirs. They have three floors full of Batik products and handicrafts. This is not the cheapest place to buy souvenirs, but it is very convenient, and it has AC! The best part is that it has products from all over Indonesia. You can find a lot of silver jewelery, precious stones, leather and wood products and two whole floor devoted to Batik. This is a great place if you are not in the mood to browse for hours. Don’t get me wrong, they do have tons of products, but they are all concentrated in one place. The staff is also very friendly and helpful and they will be glad to point you in the right direction.
Another advantage of this place, other than the Starbucks on the first floor, and the Chilli’s on the second floor, is the Hero grocery store in the basement. I went to Sarinah, bought paper for my printer, souvenirs for the exchange and formula for Joshua all in one trip!
Address: Jl. Thamrin, Central Jakarta Sarinah, Jl. M.H. Thamrin 11, Menteng