I recently visited Jakarta’s China Town, aka as Glodok. The sights, smells and sounds are still embedded on my mind. I have visited many China Towns around the globe but this one in particular was very unique. I would describe it as traditional beyond compare but modern in their mercantile practices. This is a place you definitely need to see but be warned that you might not like everything you catch a glimpse of.
Here are a few sights of Glodok. I hope you can experience a bit of what I did on that day.
Here are some tips if you decide to visit Glodok.
1. I would recommend you do it early in the morning. The heat and the scents do nothing but increase as the day goes by. A friend described the smell as what cities in the middle ages probably used to smell like.
2. Bring some money, not too much. You never know what you will be able to find in Glodok. Bring enough money to indulge in some pork dishes if you are interested and to buy nuts and fresh produce at good prices. Don’t bring too much money just to avoid risking being robbed.
3. Bargain. I’m terrible at that but you can always find a better price than their first offer. Have fun doing it!
4. Take it all in. Although this is a unique place that you might not want to visit again, it is worth savoring all the sights, smells and flavors, at least once.
5. Bring your visitors. This is a sight worth seeing and something you probably won’t see anywhere else, except for China, I guess. I’m already planning on taking my dad there. I know he will love it.
6. Be warned. I saw a cobra getting killed and someone drinking its blood. I also saw a cart full of ashes which I later got told were human ashes that were on their way to a temple. Just be aware of this things and don’t freak out if an eel or frog tries to jump at you.