Full of activity, life and colour, Glodok is a beautiful and cultural village of Taman Sari in Indonesia, and although it is famous for being the largest and most impressive Chinatown in the country, it also has much more to offer. Located in the city of West Jakarta, it acts as a significant cultural hub of the city, symbolising the city’s heritage and celebrating its international culture, with most traders being Chinese. It is also renowned for being a centre of electronics in the district and, very close to the Old Town centre of the city, acts as a major tourist attraction, providing visitors with an insight into the diverse nature of Indonesia.
The entire area of Glodok and its surrounding streets is one of the largest shopping districts in Southeast Asia, home to an abundance of modern shopping centres, as well as traditional marketplaces. Between Gunung Sahari and Pancoran Street, there are 500,000 metres squared worth of shopping centres for visitors to explore, where traditional, local items are for sale in their millions. Visitors can also discover the many Chinese Temples of Glodok, which are full of Buddhist shrines, peaceful candlelit rooms, and unique and impressive architecture and artwork, especially the ceiling of the Vihara Dharma Bhakti Temple. By exploring the small, old streets that make up Glodok, visitors can find an abundance of fantastic places to eat, as the area is full of small and independent Chinese restaurants, offering traditional dishes in their most authentic form.
As Glodok is a central area of the city, it is easily accessed by public transport, especially as it is very close the Jakarta Kota Station, which has available taxis and local buses running throughout the city. There are also Bajaj rides, the TransJakarta buses and ojek taxis that navigate the area and connect to the greater nearby areas of Indonesia. Visitors can also embrace the local culture through travelling by bicycle.
The city, once known at Batavia, invited immigrants to its streets in its early history through various commercial and financial opportunities, resulting in an improved economy and intercultural society, including a prominent Chinese community. Although this diversity caused conflict in the city, revolts led to the creation of Glodok, as a protected area for its Chinese community, and the development of a central hub of its culture, which became known as Chinatown.