The narrow streets and traffic congestion don't keep expatriates away from the wealthy Kemang area, giving it the local nickname the 'kampung bule' ('the white's village'). Beautiful homes with substantial gardens are hidden behind tall walls down back roads.
Kemang is famous for its antique shops, and its two supermarkets, Kem Chicks and Hero, provide everything from imported fresh food to jewelry. Down the road are interior design shops, pet shops, designer boutiques, hair and beauty salons. The many cafes and restaurants serve a range of cuisine – from Balinese to Mexican – often to a backdrop of live music. One local landmark is the newly renovated Hotel Grand Kemang, with convenient lounges and bars for dining, drinking coffee and even clubbing through the night.
During weekdays, Kemang streets can be very congested, but are almost deserted on weekends and holidays. While the area is best enjoyed on foot, taxis from the Blue Bird Group offer the swiftest access to the rest of Jakarta. When ordering from hotels or malls, onboard radio systems enable the taxi nearest its callers’ locations to respond, reducing the time needed for drivers to reach passengers.