This post is dedicated to Pasar Klandasan, a fresh market here in Balikpapan that I frequent about once a week.
Balikpapan is flush with large fresh markets (called “pasar” in Bahasa Indonesian), especially in the old town area of Kampung Baru and Kebun Sayur, where Blue Sky Hotel stands prominent, or along the ocean-front drive of Jalan Jendral Sudirman.
Lucky for us, we are about a fifteen minute walk from the latter area … and Pasar Klandasan, one of Balikpapan’s biggest and best fresh markets!
From the parking lot (pictured above), this place may not look like much, but once you step under that white sign and venture inside, a new world exploding with color, smells and sounds assails you. You may also notice special needs children and adults sitting in the center of the main walkway inside. A little change given is very much appreciated.
Pasar Klandasan: What to Expect
Pasar Klandasan is a destination onto itself, just to walk through the narrow lanes crammed with stalls selling everything from freshly caught squid and slurpy, newly-slaughtered (and quease-inducing) chicken , to cookware and household items to basil , pineapple and tomatoes. And then there are the little shops and stalls lining the outside, selling fresh coconuts, random housewares, papaya and bananas … you get the picture.
All of this leads to the (not-so-picturesque) ocean front where fishermen bring in their catch and a wooden pier lined with barbecue fish stalls hovers on stilts over the tidal mash-up of sandy beach, plastic bags and a lot of other stuff you probably just don’t want to know about. Coming here is, in my opinion, a Balikpapan highlight. It’s a great way to interact with the locals (who should win the Friendliest-People-on-the-Planet award) and, short of growing your own produce, you won’t find fresher ingredients! But this place is meant for photo’s, so here’s a photo tour of my favorite Balikpapan grocery-stop:
Warning! A few graphic photos of poultry, beef and seafood…
And now, winding our way around the parking lot outside to the back of the pasar…
Best time to go to Pasar Klandasan
Mornings are usually best for fresh produce; afternoons (3-ish) for freshly hauled fish.
Where it is
Just off Jalan Jendral Sudirman (the main road hugging coast), across from the main mosque (the one that is lit up at night with different colors). Nearby shops include Diamond Photo, Toko Anda and Toko Mickey. Across the street and down away is the well-known Toko Susanna. The large malls of Balkipapan Plaza and Hypermart are within easy walking distance, as are the Novotel and Grand Sudirman hotels and Ocean Restaurant.
Can you bargain at Pasar Klandasan?
t it’s not as flexible as other places. I can usually bargain down a little from the stated price … except for the regular vendors whom I frequent and the price is already established.