The urban lifestyle of Jakartans continues to evolve, and now, a mall or a shopping center is no longer just a place to buy your everyday needs. But instead, it is now a center of life and activity, a meeting point to gather and socialize, as well as for young executives in between their busy schedules and a place for family recreation.
This is also true for the business lifestyle which differed very much compared to 5 to 10 years ago where formality, monotone and strict dress-codes are the order of the day. The modern business lifestyle is practical, dynamic, semi-formal and most importantly – mobile. Business can be done from wherever you want to, be it from the office, mall, cafe, restaurant, and others. This is true as well when looking for a place to stay, the trend gravitates toward emphasizing a homey atmosphere that is located near a business center.
It is to meet these evolving demands of the modern and future generation that longs for a life that is more practical and dynamic that Agung Podomoro Land undertakes the development project of super-block Kuningan City, which integrates the needs of a worker and businessman with the recreational activities and relaxation that are available to stay true to its tagline – Work, Rest and Play.
Kuningan City was built above a 2,9 hectare landmass, with a total built-up of 384,000 m2, boasting a parking space that can accommodate up to 3,000 cars. The property is divided into six floors of retail, 39 floors of residential towers, as well as 32 floors of The Oval Premium Office Tower which will be known as the AXA Tower in future.
The super-block development boasts an unparalleled portfolio with award winning DP Architects Pte Ltd from Singapore as the main Concept Architecture Consultant. They are the same brains behind various iconic architectures such as the Esplanade, the Singapore Flyer, Paragon and Dubai Mall.
For special lighting, First Concept Technologies by Chris Tju takes over the helm, while the Bennitt Design Group from USA is in charge of the Landscaping. The Kuningan City super-block will soon be a part of the business and commercial hub of International Shopping Belt Jakarta.
Various outlets such as Lotte Mart, Best Denki, Cinema XXI, PT Mitra Adi Perkasa, Trans Mahagaya, Flame Karaoke, Lollipop Playland, Eatery, Amazing Zone, Metrox Group and various other brands have signed up to ensure that the Kuningan City shopping center will be a lifestyle and entertainment destination for modern urbanites.
The urban jungle of Singapore is a brewing pot of creativity and unique shopping concepts that are hard to find anywhere else in the SE Asia region. No wonder tourists list shopping as one of the top things to do in Singapore! From high-end luxury brands to chevap knock-offs, the little red dot has it all. This time, we focus our lens on Singapore’s custom-made movement and some uniquely Singaporean products.
1. LOVE SG. This local brand represents a new approach to local souvenirs and gifts. Through designs which appeal not just to tourists but locals as well, the brand incorporates a quirky part of Singapore into each product, blending local flavors with international appeal. Instead of cheap low-quality souvenirs, go to their stockists at the Esplanade Shop as well as Trolley (88 Club Street) to hunt for great-looking products with a unique Singapore-centric twists. Their design motto says it all : fun, inspiring and slightly surprising. (www.lovesg.sg)
2. CYC The Custom Shop. Established in 1935, CYC The Custom Shop is a Singapore institution with their flagship store located at Raffles Hotel Arcade. Established by founder Chiang Yick Ching, a humble tailor from Shanghai, the fastidious workmanship, quality control and fine attention to detail have become a trademark of the CYC Brand. Through the years, CYC has built a solid reputation as Singapore’s finest shirt maker, famed for creating comfortable shirts that fit perfectly as well as being known for quality workmanship and outstanding service. For best results call ahead to schedule an appointment with their Master Tailor before heading down to the store.
3. Mother and Child Project. This is a social enterprise run by the Singapore Anglican Community Service, the first non-profit social enterprise of Get Singapore. The enterprise helps train women to sew and to create a range of products for Mother and Child Project. This allows the women to become economically self-sufficient, as well as work from home and independently. Each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind, so you can wear them with pride.
4. BagAge. This unique boutique located on the 3rd floor of Far East Plaza is the realization of two friends who believe in individuality and appreciate a bag for its design and not it’s label. The boutique allows its customers the ability to personalize clutches and handbags. Customers can choose from various ornaments to be paired with a bag of their color and style choice. The result is a one-of-a-kind custom bag that will exude your personality and individualism. (www.bag-age.com)
5. Ministry of Press. The Ministry of Press is a collective of international t-shirt designers who believe in creating the best designer t-shirts through creative collaboration and stringent designer quality control. Customers can select a fresh, original and limited design to create a t-shirt of your size and color choice from a wide variety of American Apparel styles. Each designs are limited to 100 worldwide, making each t-shirt truly unique. (www.ministryofpress.com)
Less than 10 years old, 50 Moganshan Road, or M50 as it’s often referred to, is nothing if not modern. An old warehouse district from the 1930s, the buildings at 50 Moganshan Rd. once housed factories that made silk and calico. Up until 2000, when Shanghai art legend Xue Song moved his workroom into one of the restored spaces there, 50 Moganshan was essentially dead.
Shanghai’s Art District
Now, looking toward its 10-year anniversary, 50 Moganshan is the hottest art district in Shanghai, rivaled only by Beijing’s 798 as the center of Chinese modern art. More than 130 artists, filmmakers, architects and graphic design firms now inundate the area, and a visit to this Chinese art mecca means checking out some of the most avant-garde paintings and artistic works going on in the Middle Kingdom today.
There is enough art at 50 Moganshan to keep you busy for an entire day. The whole place is a maze of workshops, galleries and studios in a series of numbered buildings and art centers along the Suzhou Creek. Some of the galleries are run by foreign expats, such as the celebrated ShanghART (Buildings 16 & 18), which is run by Swiss native Lorenz Helbling. It is one of the oldest art spaces in the district.
The pioneer gallery at 50 Moganshan is Eastlink (Building 6), which continues to play a pivotal role in the development of Shanghai’s art scene. Eastlink is run by Australian-Chinese artist Li Liang and, over the years, has housed some of the most controversial exhibitions on the scene.
Building 7 houses both the gallery and studio of elegant photographer Jin Xuanmin, as well as the main offices for BizArt, a non-profit foundation that promotes the work of young artists and supports new media and experimental installations. Art Scene Warehouse in Building 4 has a massive, white gallery space with an ultra modern feel. They present all types of events and exhibitions from both established and emerging artists and, since 2005, they have put on the Dragon Air Emerging Chinese Artist Awards to showcase rising Chinese talents.
There are far too many galleries to name in 50 Moganshan. The best way to discover them all is by exploration. A useful map in the central courtyard of the district notes the names and locations of every gallery and provides a solid jumping off point for delving into the area.
After a day of art-hunting and culture-immersion, head on towards The Cool Docks, your very first stop for a luxuriant taste of Shanghai’s soft, romantic side.
Shopping at Moganshan
Shopping is downplayed at 50 Moganshan, unless you’re intent on buying original pieces from the artists themselves. There are, however, a few shops and clothing stores, mostly owned and run by fresh young Shanghai fashion designers. Most notable are the artful designs of Shirtflag and its sister shop, Hi Panda. Shirtflag takes its inspiration from Chinese culture and history in making “revolutionary” designs that feature some of the more memorable icons from China’s history, including images of weapons, revolutionary slogans and Mao himself. Hi Panda does the same thing with China’s beloved national animal, the panda bear. Both shops produce Shanghai street wear with a focus on youth fashion that embraces jeans, t-shirts and funky accessories.
Another hidden gem at 50 Moganshan is Cinemoda, a quaint little shop tucked away near Aomen Lu. Their brightly colored dresses and sweet, feminine designs make them a favorite with Shanghai’s young female set.
Shanghai’s “new heaven and earth”, hip modern Xintiandi, is a hotspot of entertainment, shopping and nightlife that really lives up to it’s name.
Restaurants and Cafes
A few cafes and teahouses are scattered around M50, although it is neither the quaint outdoor café district of Taikang Lu nor the culinary hotbed of Xintiandi. Really, people come here for the art. That said, if you are hankering for a sit down or just need a nice bite, there are a couple of good options (after all, the artists have to eat, don’t they?).
Bandu Music Café is a great place to grab a cup of coffee and explore the world of Chinese folk music. They have an extensive selection of CDs by local and national artists, and usually host live performances on weekend evenings. Located in M50’s Building 11, during the day Bandu is a quiet and cozy spot.
Another enjoyable option is the ambient Traveled Coffee & Tea, located in Building 1. This chic coffeeshop uses a modern Asian design element, with interesting basket light fixtures and photographs by local artists decorating the dark wooden walls. Pebbled floors, an interior gazebo and a floor-to-ceiling glass wall give the whole place a very airy feel.
50 Moganshan is not an easy place to reach. There is no direct subway service to the area, so you have to rely on buses, taxis or your feet. Use Line 1 to Shanghai Railway Station and take Exit 5. Walk out of the station and down to Tianmu Xi Rd., go right (west), cross the bridge and go right again onto Xisuzhou Rd., which intersects with Moganshan Lu. The whole affair will probably take close to an hour, so a taxi from Shanghai Railway Station might be a better idea. Otherwise, buses 76/105 to Changhua Road or 19/68/112 to Jiangning Road will get you in the near vicinity.
If you are planning a visit to Asia, don’t forget to check out Unearthing Asia, the best Asia travel portal focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. We have got some of the best travel ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of must-try things in Hokkaido.
About the Author. Megan Eaves. Megan Eaves is a freelance travel writer and China junkie. She’s an English teacher in a small town in Zhejiang Province where her days are filled correcting grammatical mistakes, killing nuclear wasps and getting stared at by the locals. Megan has traveled everywhere from the Great Wall to the Gobi Desert and isn’t afraid to write about it. She’s also the author of a groovy book called “This is China: A Guidebook for Teachers, Backpackers and Other Lunatics”. She, of course, has a website: http://www.meganeaveswriting.com
Dive back into nature and uncover the beauty in the small little things that create your personal paradise. It’s time to get lost in amazing Asia.
In this issue
+ Leh Ladakh
+ New Zealand
+ Puerto Princesa, the Island Life
+ Hong Kong – More than Shopping
+ Singapore Shopping Hotspots
+ Kuta Beach Getaway
+ Unusual Festivals
+ Ride Like a Khan
+ A Sense of Touch
Though small in size, Singapore has so much more to offer than meets the eye. Its gregarious round-the-clock city life is a vibrant hub for endless eating, shopping and nightlife. For shopaholics in the region, Singapore is no foreign land. Orchard Road is a favorite amongst locals and foreigners alike with a plethora of shops catering to all markets. The CBD area also bustles with its mega malls, restaurants and cafes such as the Suntec City and Marina Square. Unearthing Asia uncovers the latest shopping hotspots as well as various hideouts providing a shopping experience that is uniquely Singapore.
Since opening its doors in November last year, this 8-storey mall has garnered immense popularity amongst the locals, especially with retail favorites such as Forever 21, Zara and Cotton On fronting its front door façade. Four levels of Forever 21 and three levels of Zara flagship stores have set the ladies, ballistic with their wild selection of fashion wear. Uni-Qlo from Japan and popular music store HMV has also sets up base here, alongside popular brands such as Esprit, Mango and Lacoste. Located just above the Somerset MRT station, 313@Somerset also hosts three basement levels of restaurants, snack bars and eateries, offering gourmet selections that satisfy varying palates. Right beside 313@Somerset, Orchard Central is another new addition to the line-up. The mall is Singapore’s tallest vertical mall, catering to the stylish shopper with their European branded labels, from bsc Lingerie to DZ bags. The store-front facade lights up at night, a scene unto itself that is sure to draw in the crowds.
Bursting into the scene with its vibrant architecture that added a fresh glitz and glam to Singapore’s shopping belt, Orchard ION has hit the headline with its upscale retail concept, featuring 15 flagship stores of prestigious brands such as Giorgio Armani, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Cartier. The mall has reinvented the shopping space along Orchard Road linking two other malls Wisma Atria and Wheelock Place, and thus, creating an underground shopping paradise amidst the glitz and glamour of Orchard Road. Beyond the surface, venture four levels down and the last basement is an abyss of gourmet treats, much to the delight of local foodies. The rest of the basement levels are filled with middle to high range brands with a concept stores such as Kikki K, which offers designers stationery and gifts from Sweden making their debut in Singapore.
Vivocity came to life as Singapore’s largest retail mall offering a holistic lifestyle experience. Armed with the largest cinema multiplex, a roof top amphitheatre, a water feature and the gateway into Sentosa Island, Vivocity is a melting pot of lifestyle entertainment, retail and international gourmet. The first Gap store in Southeast Asia opened doors at Vivocity, alongside other European brands such as Club Marc and River Island. Families with young children spend their weekends on the rooftop of the mall splashing away at the water feature, while the mono-railway station Sentosa Express is packed with beach-lovers heading to spend the day out in the sun.
Moving away from the limelight of Orchard Road, Haji Lane draws you away from the frenzy of cosmopolitan shopping into a secluded little haven where local hipsters and fashionistas gather. Homegrown designer brands and artworks are strewn along a one-way lane with linear shophouses facing each other, all of which, houses designs unique to start-up designers. Very often, this is the place of inspiration for non-conformists and the ideal shopping strip for those looking for individuality and style. With more than 20 shops for you to browse and explore, you’ll be sure to find some treasures at this favorite haunt of local art students and young creative types. Haji Lane brings you back in time to olden days Singapore, offering a quaint shopping experience with its nostalgic set up. Many wedding couples find this spot perfect for their wedding shoots too.
Ann Siang Rd & Club St
If you’re keen on the latest trends in fashion, don’t miss out on Ann Siang Road and Club Street. This little haunt tucked away deep inside the Chinatown area is host to various local brands, such as Asylum and Style:Nordic. From the outside, you’ll note the exotic pre-war shop-houses preserved to retain the oriental charm of old. But take a step into the shops and you’ll find yourself in boutiques offering the best of local creations and designs. The shopping experience here is chic and adventurous, blending traditional Chinese heritage with contemporary offerings.
Bugis is known for massive human flow and endless traffic jostling through the vicinity. Adding to the buzz and vivacity is Bugis Village, a bargaining haven for both local and tourists alike. With hundreds of stalls laced along the shophouses selling clothes, CDs, watches, bags and accessories, Bugis Village is Singapore’s number one shopping bazzar where you can find cheap and affordable products. The stalls are narrowly placed apart, bringing you a squishy, yet enlivening shopping experience. This is the essence of Bugis Village – a noisy, bustling environment for shoppers to haggle for the best prices. Not far away from Bugis Village is Iluma, a newly opened 10-storey shopping mall that focuses on not just retail shopping experience, but also the performing arts and entertainment.
Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best travel ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of divers paradise in Indonesia.
Believe it or not, the Cambodian Capital of Phnom Penh is a shopper’s paradise. From amazingly good quality housewares to cheap clothing, tourists can get good deals and mingle with the locals at the same time. The markets in the city are slightly less touristic than those in the temple town of Siem Reap, meaning big bargains and a more authentic experience for those travelers willing to brave the aisles.
A Word about Currency
Cambodia uses the US Dollar as its main currency (unofficially), with the local currency Riel used for amounts under one dollar. Most vendors will have change if you need it, although I would suggest not bringing huge bills, especially when some stalls might not have seen many sales that day.
What to Buy
It will be quickly obvious what items are the hot sellers, but in case you want to do some pre-planning, add these items to your shopping list:
The scarves, tablecloths, and other silk products you can buy in Cambodia are hand-loomed and of unbeatable quality. With colorful patterns and many shapes/sizes, you will be spoilt for choice and certainly not disappointed with any purchase.
You can find stalls overflowing with beautiful mugs, tea sets, plates, glasses, and other odds and ends perfect for your Asian-themed dining set.
From elephants to roosters, you can find all sorts of silver goods. Be sure to inspect closely for craftsmanship, as the quality can vary.
Surprisingly, Phnom Penhhas a burgeoning arts scene, with several galleries located throughout town. The markets have a few stalls but it is best to head straight for the studios, such as Two Fish Gallery or any of the boutiques on Street 178, dubbed ‘Art Street’.
The Russian Market, just outside the center of town, is a tourist hot-spot and even though definitely on the beaten path it is still a must-see. The market is named for the many Russian migrants who live here during the 80s. The market is massive and is the best place in the city for souvenir shopping. It also has the most housewares stalls if that is at the top of your shopping list.
Closer to Sisowath Quay and the heart of the city, the Central Market is a sprawling complex filled with row after row of merchandise. You’ll feel a bit of sensory overload as you work out where you’ve already been and which direction to go next. This market caters more to locals, as you’ll find kitchen utensils and appliances, lots of clothes, and bathroom products. Underneath the central, domed structure is a bustling jewelry area. Even if you’re not interested in the shopping, go just for the atmosphere.
A Word about Haggling
Just so you know, be prepared to haggle in Phnom Penh – the locals will expect it, and as in places like Hong Kong, they even enjoy it. You might feel a bit foolish – after all the prices here are earth-shatteringly low – but just go with the flow and play along.
Don’t engage in haggling unless you are really interested in the item. Have a final price in mind before you start, and work your way up. Although the Cambodians speak quite good English in most cases, some will haggle via calculator – if you don’t like their price, clear the number and type in a response.
For purchasing items like antiques with higher price tags, you can still expect a pretty big discount. Souvenirs and clothes are “dirt cheap”, as they say, but be sure to get something knocked off – that’s all part of the experience.
If you are visiting, you should also check out this article on where to stay in Phnom Penh.
Los Angeles has the Rodeo Drive, New York has Madison Avenue and Milan has Via Montenopoleone. When it comes to shopping in Bali however, there is only one place for fashionable trendsetting locals who knows not to judge a book by its cover – Seminyak.
If you can get past the gaping holes in the sidewalk, and there really is no alternative, you can unearth some fashionable treasures along this street.
Many of the designers sell their wares for much higher prices in fashionable cities around the world. In between, along the disabled footpaths, you may also find some rough diamonds that may just be the perfect gift you’ve been looking for that special someone. All part of the fun and games here in Seminyak.
Here are but a taste of the few highlights you can find along Seminyak:
Across is Biasa, a chapel of cool in floaty Indian cottons, the emporium sells classics for grown ups and a few flirty styles for the younger crowd too. A beautiful collection of sarongs and carefully chosen accessories complete the picture.
Switching from Indian to Italian styling, this little retailer has some of the best Italian shoes on the island – Bruno Magli, Bally, Marc Jacobs and more. Limited sizes but if you can find something you like, expect to pay a fraction of the recommended retail price.
Keep going and you will find Innuendo, their beautifully crafted designs are among the best you will find in Bali. The locally-based French designer uses the best fabrics and impeccable tailoring to create designs that are wearable and hang perfectly.
The Best of the Rest
Papillion – this designer has been making shoes in Bali for over ten years and has some great styles. In this strip you will also find Kerry Grima and Funky Princess who stock their own labels as well as some of the leading Australian designers like Bettina Liano and lots more. Beware not to overspend on those plastics!
Flamingo in this strip is very popular with the young and hip things who shop here. Expect to find designer t-shirts, flirty dresses and pants and shirts for the boys. It’s a little bit surf mixed with a little rock and roll. They have another shop further up the strip just past Dhyanna Pura.
Body and Soul Boutique
One of the biggest retailers on this strip,, fashionable with girls and women, from three months old to whatever, provided you don’t need more than about size ten. The skinny jeans here are a must have and the girl’s fashion from tots to teens is fashionable and fun. Body and Soul outlet, across the street, is a good place to search for bargains.
A little further after Bintang Supermarket you will come across the Paul Ropp shop beside the Biasa 50% store. Paul is one of Bali’s most flamboyant designers, and boys, don’t let the loud colours put you off. Plenty of fashionable men are wearing Paul.
About the Author. Nikolas Tjhin. Nikolas Tjhin is the editor for Unearthing Asia, a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Check out our latest offering, a travel magazine that visitors can browse online and even download.