A new sight greets those cruising through the Gold Island area at PIK. Indeed, the five-story-tall pagoda is hard to miss, imposing its shadow on the sun-beaten landscape as it boldly announces Pantjoran’s newly-added expansion.
First opened in 2020, Pantjoran extends its outdoor space to cover a whopping total of 13,141 square metres of area. The new addition follows a straight pathway that leads up to the pagoda, dotted with murals by local artists depicting scenes of Chinese legends and beliefs, as well as strikingly colourful buildings inspired by structures found in the city of Zhangzhou of the Fujian province.
Red lanterns criss-cross through the path between lamp posts, feeding the imagination with an enchanting image of how the area would look like at night; but in the unrelenting sun, visitors find ways to adapt by seeking sanctuaries under shaded canopies, enjoying treats on pastel-hued tables.
Customary to Pantjoran, old meets new here. Time-honoured establishments like Belitung-hailed Kong Djie Coffee and Jakarta-based Maison Weiner Bakery & Café—both of which have planted their roots since before the country’s independence—meet up-and-coming ones like PÒ Noodle Bar. Culinary forms only part of Pantjoran’s extended area, however; stores selling daily necessities like stationeries, skincare, decor and even quirky t-shirts (courtesy of local brand POLONIAN) abound, features customary of a Chinatown destination.
Adding to that, cultural events like calligraphy workshops, traditional dances and fortune telling are also on offer. To wit, the second floor of its multi-purpose hall (the pink marbled building with green window frames) currently holds an art exhibition titled ‘A Tribute to Heritage’. Done in collaboration with Asosiasi Galeri Senirupa Indonesia (AGSI), it is a month-long event that combines collections from four local galleries, curated to represent the many aspects of Chinese culture.
In essence, Pantjoran has always been about celebrating the spirit of the Chinese Indonesian community, and the expansion materialises it further with bustling attractions to supplement its culinary mainstays. Be it to enjoy delicacies from legendary eateries, consult a fortune teller about love troubles or simply to run errands for the people at home, there is even more to explore from the area.