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How I lost my heart and mind in Indonesia

Indonesian markets in The Netherlands, Pasar!

Since we are a big fan of Indonesian food we like to go to Indonesian markets. When it’s an Indonesian market you can be sure there will be a lot of food. I will tell you my experience about three great pasars (markets in Indonesian language) so you can decide if you want to visit them. Each of the markets has is own atmosphere, audience and pro’s.

Tong Tong Fair

The Tong Tong Fair is the biggest and most complete Pasar in The Netherlands. It already started in 1959 as Pasar Malam Tong-Tong. In the 70’s the name changed to Pasar Malam Besar, and since 2009 it is named the Tong Tong Fair. There are international performances by singers, writers, dancers and other artists. This is the biggest asian festival in Europe. Also there is a big market where you can find everything you could want from Indonesia. And then off course there is a lot of…. FOOD!

becak picture with family

becak picture with family

The Tong Tong is held in The Hague on the malieveld in big event tents. In the middle area there is a big stage with performances. You can walk around the middle area through other big event tents where there are a lot of food stalls. And my favorite on was the Martabak Telor food stall. Martabak Telor is dough with inside meat with curry, spring onions, and other spices. It is very delicious. I also make it sometime myself, so keep following and reading my blog and I will give you my best recipe later 😉

Martabak Telur with family

Martabak Telor with family

You can take a smal break from the eating and go shopping or enjoy the performances on the stage. When I was there two years ago I was lucky to catch the Dutch singer I like that sang one of my favorite Dutch Indonesian songs. The song Rumah Saya (di mana?) is about the question where do you belong? In Indonesia or in The Netherlands. You can check the song here below, although this clip was not recorded at Tong Tong.

I would say Tong-Tong is overall the best option if you want to have a full day out for a whole family or with a friend or partner. Check out more about Tong Tong on the website of Tong-Tong http://tongtongfair.nl/english/

Pasar Raya

The Pasar Raya is a celebration fo the Indonesian cultural and culinary diversity. This Pasar is not as commercial as the Tong-Tong and is perfect to visit for just a few hours.

Pasar Raya Entrance

Pasar Raya Entrance

Sekolah Indonesia Nederland

This pasar is held at the school of Indonesia (Sekolah Indonesia Nederland) in Wassenaar near The Hague.  Before we went to this pasar I did not know about this school. I noticed the beautiful building. I found at that this school is for Indonesian children in the Netherlands. At the school they can follow the normal program and in addition they will learn about the Indonesian culture and language. But also adults can follow language courses and the school. So I’m now thinking about maybe following a language course here. Or maybe in the future when I have children I can take them there. On their website is more information about what they do and have to offer.  http://www.sekolahindonesia.nl/

Sekolah Indonesia

Sekolah Indonesia

Back to the Pasar

At the pasar I could see this pasar was organized by and organized for the Indonesian community since almost all the people there were Indonesian. At the back of the school there was a stage were singers performed and a doorprizes were awarded to the lucky winners. The nr. 1 doorprize was a return ticket to Jakarta from Garuda Indonesia.

In the front of the school there was a large area with more than 30 foodstalls. Eevrything we wanted to eat was available for us. We first walked around a bit and then started. We ate the martabak telor, saté kambing, rendang and more. All the food was very good! After that Dessy had the es Durian, but I don’t like Durian so I skipped that one.

Rendang at Pasar Raya

Rendang at Pasar Raya

Saté Kambing at Pasar Raya

Saté Kambing at Pasar Raya

We were both full and satisfied so ready to go home again. But not before a picture with our friends from Papua 😀

friends from Papua

friends from Papua

Read more about Pasar Raya on http://www.pasarraya.indonesia.nl/

Pasar Malam Burgers Zoo

Burgers Zoo is as the name says so obviously a Zoo. Within the Zoo there are special area’s in domes where other area’s in the world are recreated. There is also a special Bush area with a tropical climate. This is the area where the Pasar Malam is organized. Me and my sister really liked this idea so we decided to go here with family!

Selamat Datang Pasar Malam

Selamat Datang Pasar Malam

Family with Ondel-Ondel

Family with Ondel-Ondel

Since it is in the winter it is very nice come inside the bush area with a better and warmer climate. Most stalls inside the bush were products from Indonesia that you can buy, sambal or spekkoek. Also there were two foodstalls with real Indonesian snacks sold by Indonesians.

Sambal pasar malam

Sambal pasar malam

However it was a bit surprising that there were no foodstalls with dinner dishes like daging semor of rendang. For dinner you needed to go to the burgers zoo restaurant. They had the “Indonesian” buffet, however this was not prepared by Indonesians and it didn’t really taste Indonesian. So after a quick bite there we decided to go for some snacks that were really good. We had the pisang goreng, pangsit and more.

One of the best stings of this Pasar is that is inside the Zoo, so after we were finished eating we could still check out the Zoo. We saw the giraffes, gnoe’s and even sharks! My nephew made this nice video that will give you a good impression about the pasar


I would recommend the pasar malam if you would also like to go to the zoo. If you are looking forward to good eating then there are better options to go to then the pasar malam in Burgers Zoo.

Hopefully you now know more about the pasars and have a good impression about them and the differences betweens the pasars. If you have visited one of them I am curious about your opinion. Or maybe you know about another pasar that is worth to check out?

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  1. Dessy December 29, 2016

    As an Indonesian who’s living in Holland.. I am really happy with the pasar concept here..I often miss Indonesian snacks and the ones from toko here are not the best.But at the pasar events, I could really find good snacks! This article is very useful to the people that love indonesian food?

  2. Renske Kuipers-Homminga December 29, 2016

    I love to go to the pasar malams with my family. Lovely food and a nice things to buy ! ?

  3. Sonja December 29, 2016

    My mouth is watering for some Indonesian food right now!

    • jeltehomminga December 29, 2016 — Post Author

      ah that’s good to hear! But you’ll have to wait a bit longer. We can get some Indonesian food when you are here in Amsterdam 😉

  4. helterskelter January 8, 2017

    why don’t like you durian, why? lol!
    thank you for the information, I never thought that Asian Festival would be this wonderful in Holland. 🙂

    • jeltehomminga January 8, 2017

      aaaah already the smell is awful! I only tried it once but almost had to throw up hahaha. But there must be something I’m missing here if so many people like it. I will try it once more.

  5. Tineke January 17, 2017

    I liked the Tong Tong Fair in The Hague very much. Lots of food stands. I tried Tjendol for the first time and bought “spekkoek” and a beutiful book by Marion Bloem.

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