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If branded fashions and exclusive factory outlets are not for you, then Bandung still has something up its shopping’s sleeves. Located just a short walk from Bandung’s Central Train Station, Pasar Baru Trade Center (PBTC) offers Bandung’s finest products and the sensation of old fashioned shopping style which involves the interactive art of Bargaining.
Initially called simply Pasar Baru or the New Market, it is actually the oldest operating marketplace in the city of Bandung. Built in 1884, the original Pasar Baru Market replaced the Ciguriang commercial area which was razed down during the Munada uprising in 1842. Munada was believed to be the central figure in the uprising that burnt the Ciguriang Market in revenge for his arrest in a certain dispute.
The market was renovated in 1906 as a modern market in line with the ambience of Chinatown. In 1926 a broader and more permanent market complex was built to accommodate the growing merchants in Bandung. In 1935 the Dutch Colonial Government named it as the cleanest and most organized market of the entire Dutch East Indies or Indonesia. A major reconstruction occurred in 1970 which transformed the complex into a multi-storeyed building, and in 2003, Pasar Baru got the look and the name Pasar Baru Trade Center as known today.
Throughout its long history, PBTC still retains its role as the market for all. A place where prices are not fixed to attached labels, but are more of an agreement determined through the process of negotiation. Many still come to buy bulks of textiles products such as t-shirts, pants, and others, to be distributed and sold in other parts of the country. The market is also known as the best place to hunt for special Muslim wear, such as hijabs, fashionable Muslims ladies clothing, and others. Visitors can also browse through the vast selection of Sundanese authentic snacks and tidbits such as dodol garut, banana sale, Tempe crackers, and others, at the many stalls lining up on the façade of the ground floor. All at reasonably low prices.
As a place where traditional shopping rituals are wrapped in the convenience of modern facilities, Pasar Baru Trade Center is the place “where price does matter”.
If you take a train ride from Jakarta, Surabaya, or Yogyakarta, Pasar Baru is just a short walk from Bandung Central Station. From the Bandung’s Husein Sastranegara Airport, the most pleasant transportation is obviously by Taxi. Do keep in mind to take reputable taxies only that use Argometers, instead of straight charges. If you wish to try the local transport or angkutan kota (angkot), you can take the green angkot with ST HALL-CIMAHI written on it and get down at the ST HALL or Bandung Central Train Station Terminal.