Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fashionista Escapades: Pontianak, Indonesia

As I am thinking of what to pack and wear for my upcoming Bali vacation next week, I had the thought of sharing my shopping escapades and travel adventures. Who knows, I can even recommend a shop or two that one must drop by when one is in the area.

Grand Kartika Hotel, Pontianak, Indonesia.

So, first stop, let's talk about Pontianak, Indonesia. As I am a born and bred true Borneo Island gal, Pontianak is a mere 10 hours drive away from Kuching City or by plane it should be about 40 minutes of travel. The main city in Kalimantan, this is where most people go to when shopping when one is in the Kalimantan turf.

The happy faces in the photo is a clear indication of satisfied shoppers posing in front of Kartika Hotel on our last day in Pontianak.

I had the opportunity of visiting Pontianak last July and I discovered that it hasn't changed much since I last visited, which was 10 years ago. Although there were nice additions of new shopping complexes that I was delighted to explore.

What to expect? An array of small shopping malls with one huge shopping mall which is also nicknamed as the Mall (which is fitting, in my opinion). Shopping experience? Not much if one was only browsing at the shopping complexes. Although I totally LOVE browsing around Jalan Soedirman (if I manage to spell it correctly) for the numerous stalls displaying huge array of fabrics and hordes of shoes as well as clothes for all ages. The small lanes can be quite cramped and messy when it rains, the opportunity to bargain is a joy to experience. One can bargain up to 50% of the initial selling price if one is GOOD, but please take note that bargaining CANNOT be done in shopping malls. It is simply INAPPROPRIATE.

Visited the Pontianak Sultanate residence. 

The interior of the Sultan's palace.

Had dinner at one of the best ayam penyet restaurant in town *yummeh*. Thanks Bg Iwan for bringing us there! =).

Hotel Kartika is located right next to Kapuas River, so the patio is a nice place to chill and relax after a hard day of shopping =)

We stayed at Hotel Kartika, which is right next to the river (which I totally recommend for the wonderful staff and excellent location).

This photo shows the view from the balcony of the hotel rooms facing the river. At night there are even hawkers displaying their wares at the pier right next to the hotel where one can buy things that one does not need or just chill on the grass next to the pier sipping Es Jeruk (which means iced fruit juice).

A note of caution to those travelers, be mindful of pickpockets and snatch thieves, they seem to be attracted to heedless travelers.

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo

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