My brother dropped by for a visit 6-day visit during the Lebaran holidays in June. On the day he arrived, my best friend and I picked him up from the airport and went directly to Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK), in North Jakarta, for lunch. We had some Acehnese and Singapore-style noodles in PIK Market and had some coffee and dessert at the nearby PIK Avenue Mall. It was quite early to head home and we were thinking of a place to go to when Andreas, my buddy, suggested going to the mangrove forest. So, off we go.
The mangrove forest, formally known as Taman Wisata Alam Mangrove, is situated just behind the Yayasan Buddha Tzu Chi Indonesia (Indonesia Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation, an imposing building) complex just across PIK Avenue Mall. Entry fee is IDR 35,000 (USD2.50 / PHP 130) per head and parking fee is IDR 10,000 (USD 0.70 / PHP 37).
We had a leisurely walk in the park while the sun was setting and several airplanes (steel birds 🙂 ) flew over us. The park has bamboo and wooden walkways on stilts for park-goers to walk on, and observe and appreciate the lush mangrove forest. Mangroves are essential to the ecosystem as they function as spawning grounds for fishes, crustaceans, and other animals, as well as acting as protection of the shores against soil erosion and flooding.
There is also a not-so-high wooden tower for bird-watching. Yes, there are several species of birds that make the mangrove forest home but don’t ask me what they are because I am not good at identifying avian friends hahaha. There are lizard species there too, like monitor lizards and geckos. Monkeys, insects, and domesticated cats can also be found there.
Accommodation is available for visitors who would opt to stay overnight or a couple of days. A function hall facing the Java Sea, a canteen, and boats for hire can also be availed of. However, visitors are not allowed to bring in cameras (DSLRs, mirror-less, point-and-shoot, video) to the park or be charged IDR 1,000,000 (USD 69 / PHP 3,716). Smartphone cameras are allowed though.
Having a natural park amid an urbanscape is always a welcome breathing space. Despite the need for better maintenance of the PIK mangrove forest, it is recommended for a visit.