February 5, 2012

Cikini Basket Market

I'm on a mission to tidy up my room and thought of buying rattan baskets for storage. But these baskets are quite pricey as I found out browsing through a shop located in one of Jakarta's well-known malls. I then decided to go to Cikini's Basket Market to try my luck there.

This market lies under Cikini train station. It is well-known for selling all kinds of baskets and boxes to be used for gift hampers. 
In Indonesia, gift hampers are especially sought after during the Ramadhan since it is customary to give gift hampers to your business relations. This practice has been discouraged though in recent years by the government amongst government officials, as it can be misused to bribe officials.

Because I went to Cikini outside the Ramadhan period, the market wasn't too busy. Still there were customers because people also search for hampers to be used for seserahan - a tradition where the groom gives a wedding gift for his bride before the wedding. 

Even though I know Cikini is well-known for its hamper collection, I was still surprised seeing the range of baskets and boxes: there were round-shaped ones, rectangular-shaped ones; made from rattan, carton, wood, bamboo; in natural color and bright colors. 

I spent a nice 1 1/2 hour just browsing through the "shops" to get a feel of the price and looking at the selection. Eventually, I bought 2 small rattan basket and 1 large one. I may have tried harder at bargaining but I was already satisfied since even the initial asking price was 50% cheaper from the ones in the malls I saw earlier :)

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