The pasar ikan, or fish market in Muara Angke is a haven for foodies, photographers and market lovers. It offers a wide range of fresh seafood and fish, many opportunities to capture great shots of fishermen at work and the best of authentic market life.
Muara Angke is a fishing port located in Pluit, North Jakarta. But it is not just any port; it is one with foodie ambitions.
Visitors can buy their fresh fish on the spot as the port is directly connected to the market area, and take it to the nearby restaurants where they grill it or fry it for you according to your preferences.
Every day, fishermen bring an impressive variety of fish and seafood from their daily catch. These include, but are not limited to, snapper, catfish, tuna, clams, green mussels, tiger prawns, lobsters, squids, crabs and sometimes even sharks.
There are fish stalls along the street but the main market area is in the big building behind it. Don't forget to always bargain. These delicious treats are certainly worth the detour to North Jakarta.
But Muara Angke is not only popular among food lovers who come for tasty, fresh and relatively inexpensive seafood and fish. It is also home to fishermen who come to settle down with their families in fishing settlements on the southern and western parts.
In addition to being an authentic fishing village, the area is home to a lesser known wildlife reserve, where around 90 different species of beautiful birds inhabit Jakarta's last mangrove forests.
For travel and street photographers, the fish market is heaven on earth. Most of the time, local fishermen are happy to be photographed, and sometimes they are even the ones asking for their portraits to be taken.
There are also numerous pictures of daily market life and port activities to be taken in the area.
It is best to visit the market at dawn or early morning when you can see the hustle and bustle of the marketplace. At dawn, it is also when the fishing boats return to the port so you can be sure that the fish sold at that time have literally just been caught by the fishermen.
One thing to remember though is that no matter what, this place remains a fish market, and fish markets can be very, very smelly, and their floors wet and also dirty at times.
However, a little psychological preparation and rubber boots are usually enough to overcome the bad smells, the wet floors and the occasional rats running around. You can also bring a handkerchief or a small towel if you are really sensitive to smells.
Muara Angke's port also has regular slow boats departing daily for the Thousand Islands.
If you happen to be heading there for the weekend, it is definitely worth it to start your journey a little in advance to have the time to pass by the market first.
A visit to Muara Angke's fish market is so fascinating that it will leave lasting memories of delicious and fresh fish and seafood, beautiful and welcoming people with very big smiles, lots of movement, colours and smells.
For a true sense of fishing life in Jakarta, the fish market at Muara Angke is the best place to head to. No luxury, just a traditional and authentic experience of market life.