Jalan Surabaya’s antique market dead quiet

Myriad antiques offered at Jl. Surabaya. (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)

IO, Jakarta – Jalan Surabaya, in the Menteng area, Central Jakarta, is known as Jakarta’s central antique market, and has existed since the 1970s. Various goods are sold in Jalan Surabaya, starting from antiques, wayang golek, bags, shoes, sandals, to a variety of suitcases, both new and old. If you want to find rare and hard-to-find LP records then this antique market is the right place, as the antique market in Jalan Surabaya has a large collection of old LP records. Antique goods sold in the market come from the islands of Java, Sumatra, Bali, and shipyards.

Although the area sells various goods, it is known most for its antiques. There are cups, spoons, teapots, wall lights, hanging decorative lights, classic home ornaments, and trinkets to decorate your home’s interior. Unfortunately, In the last two years, the number of customers has dropped. Independent Observer met with Nanang Suryana, Head of the Field Coordinator of the vendors in Jalan Surabaya. He admitted “Now, we are thankful to just sell one suitcase. That isn’t even every day. If there is a customer today, there might be 2-3 days without any customers at all,” he said wistfully.

Nanang added that antique goods stores were starting to close shop. “Maybe they don’t bother as there are no customers,” he continued.

According to Nanang, five or six years ago, sellers could make a revenue of Rp 5 million a day. “Now it is very difficult, even when tourists come, the most they do is browse,” he explained. If there are tourists that buy goods in Jalan Surabaya, most are from Africa. “Usually from Nigeria, they buy large suitcases to fill the goods they buy in Tanah Abang,” said Nanang.

Although their revenue has decreased, vendors still have to pay their employees and redistribution fees of Rp 100 thousand a month to the Jakarta government. “Even though it is difficult, this is our kitchen. Purchasing power hasn’t decreased, its disappeared,” he said.

Interested in visiting the antique market in Jalan Surabaya? The market opens from 08:00 to 17:00 every day.

(Dessy Aipipidely)


Merchants patiently waiting for interested passerby who might just become buyers. (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
An Arabian tourist looking over the merchandise displayed at Jl. Surabaya. (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)
Mr. Nanang, chairman of the local merchants’ association at Jl. Surabaya. (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)