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Learning Language by Immersion : Foreign Language Program in Jakarta, Indonesia. Description of Program Excursion : JAKARTA'S CHINATOWN.

The Markets and Temples of the Glodok and Mangga Besar

Lunch : Pantjoran Tea House.

  • Victory Market

  • Buddhist Temple of the Goddess of Devotion

  • Ting Ting Shop

  • Saint Mary of Fatima Catholic Church

  • Buddhist Temple of Glorious Obligation

  • The Black Portuguese Church

Learning Language by Immersion : Foreign Language Program in Jakarta, Indonesia. Program Excursion : JAKARTA'S CHINATOWN.
Learning Language by Immersion : Foreign Language Program in Jakarta, Indonesia. Program Excursion : JAKARTA'S CHINATOWN.

Victory Market (Pasar Petak Sembilan)


Victory Market is one of the coolest sites in the city.  Packed with shoppers from the far reaches of Jakarta, the lanes are thick with bargain hunters. There are loads of fruits and vegetables, and an array of goods including paper lanterns, traditional medicines, giant bags of brightly coloured snacks and dried goods, incense, temple offerings and the usual collection of socks, shirts and sandals.


For those who are not faint-hearted, there is a "wet market" with an unsettling array of raw food options.  Standard offerings in this area include : headless snakes, writhing eels, large turtles and fresh fish in tanks and laid out on slabs.  Skinned and splayed-out frogs line the walls of stalls, while some of their luckier brethren are still alive but bundled together around the waist. As blood and guts abound in the wet market, the squeamish should avoid the area . . . but for those who are "up to it," it is a must-see!

Buddhist Temple of the Goddess of Devotion (Vihara Jin De Yuan)


This temple was constructed in the mid-17th century and was once a sanctuary where Buddhist monks lived. It stands out, in part, because of the curvature of the large, colourful roof as well as the pearl-encrusted dragons, lotus flowers and phoenixes decorating its detailed interior. The temple also contains some interesting Taoist elements, including two 18th-century stone lions, called boa-gu shi.


In the middle of the courtyard, under a pagoda, is a giant brass incense burner which is continuously stuffed with incense stick offerings bellowing out great clouds of smoke. Passing through the temple, visitors weave among big bundles of incense, two-metre-tall red candles and 18 golden Buddhas.

Ting Ting Shop (Toko Ting Ting)


A few metres from the Temple of the Goddess of Devotion, the Ting Ting Shop sells 'paper offerings.'  These offerings are paper representations of modern-day goods. Buddhists send them to their ancestors in the afterworld by burning them in the furnaces of the temples. You can purchase a paper car, motorcycle, tuxedo, mobile phone, and even a $1,000,000,000,000,000 bill (a quadrillion dollars) which will, hopefully, have strong purchasing power in another dimension.

Saint Mary of Fatima Catholic Church (Gereja Katolic Santa Maria de Fatima)


This church (also known as the Big Chinese Church) was originally a house built in the typical Chinese architectural style of the early 19th century.  Converted to a church in 1970, the interior is a curious mixture of "temple" and "church." Beside the building, take a moment to climb the seven tiny steps of Saint Mary of Fatima Hill (Bukit Maria de Fatima). 

Buddhist Temple of Glorious Obligation (Vihara Dharma Jaya Toasebio)


This temple harkens back to the 1750s.  The entrance gates are painted with hatchet-carrying guards, and inside, lanterns and giant swirling incense hangs from the ceiling.  At the far back is the god Cheng Goan Cheng Kun, a type of war god with a penchant for alcohol . . which explains the cans of Guinness on the alter.  Notice the guard dogs below him.  They do not like booze, but people do offer them chunks of meat and cake.

The Black Portuguese Church (Gereja Portugis)


Dating from 1695, this is the oldest remaining church in Jakarta.  It was built for the so-called "black Portuguese" - slaves captured from Portuguese trading ports and brought to Jakarta (then Dutch Batavia).  Built on a foundation of 10,000 logs, the church was erected just outside the old city wall.  The building is characteristically Portuguese with its plain facade, ward-like appearance, domed windows, copper chandeliers and baroque-style ebony pulpit.  It was restored in 1920 and again in 1978, but its original pipe organ remains intact.

Pantjoran Tea House


The PANTJORAN TEA HOUSE in Old Chinatown was established to honour the legacy of Gan Djie, the highest-ranking Chinese official ever to be appointed by the Dutch during the Colonial Era.  From 1663 to 1675, Gan Djie served as Chinese Captain of the semi-autonomous Chinese community in Dutch Batavia.


History tells us that Gan Djie served tea, free-of-charge, to everyone who stopped to rest in front of his Chinatown office.  Each day, he would set out little tables with tea cups and pots of tea to be enjoyed by weary travellers and local Chinese.  As there were not many places to stop for food and drink at that time, Gan Djie's "Free Tea for the Thirsty" soon became a precious commodity for travellers visiting the busy area, as well as a popular gathering place for the subjugated Chinese.  Thus began the "Tea House Culture" in Old Chinatown.


Today, not far from where Gan Djie's office once stood, is the historic Apotek Chung Hwa building - recently restored by the Jakarta Endowment for Art and Heritage (Jeforah) and the Jakarta Old Town Revitalisation Corporation (JOTRC). 


In 2015, the newly-renovated Apotek Chung Hwa building became home to the PANTJORAN TEA HOUSE - a tea house dedicated to the memory of Gan Djie.


Situated at the traditional "Entrance to Old Chinatown," no location could be more fitting for the PANTJORAN to re-establish the tradition of the "tea house" as a local gathering place and symbol of social solidarity in Chinatown.


Our tour would not be complete without a stop at the PANTJORAN TEA HOUSE, to step back in time and take in the traditions of Jakarta's Chinese community.


After having a customary Chinese-Indonesian lunch, we will relax and enjoy tea just as it was enjoyed by the guests of Gan Djie during the Dutch colonial era.  Chinese teas on offer include jasmine, smoky green, jade oolong, tie gaun yin and phu erl.  Also available are Japanese teas such as ocha and genmaicha, English teas such as Earl Grey, and Indonesian signature teas.

LSI's 'OLD CHINATOWN' EXCURSION is one of several activities and excursions offered through

LANGUAGE STUDIES INDONESIA'S Immersion Language Programs for Bahasa Indonesia (the Indonesian language).


Throughout the year, LANGUAGE STUDIES INDONESIA offers Foreign Language Immersion Programs for learners from around the globe.

And each year, from June to September, Summer Language Immersion Programs are made available for high school and university students.


Are you looking  to get away from "the familiar" and make an unusual journey?

You might want to consider coming to Jakarta, Indonesia, to be immersed in the world's sixth most widely-spoken language.


While Language Immersion Schools are readily available for high-density European languages,  it is more difficult to find

world-class Immersion Programs in the farther reaches of the world.  LANGUAGE STUDIES INDONESIA to the rescue!


If you would like to study language abroad and truly "live the language,"

then the LSI Language Immersion Program in Jakarta, Indonesia may be for you.


Whether you are shopping for a Summer Language Immersion Program or looking a Foreign Language Immersion School

to serve you at another time of year . . . the LSI Admissions Office is ready to respond to your needs immediately.

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