Not to forget, enjoy the beach too

Thousand Islands, A Perfect Getaway From Jakarta

Idbackpacker.com (Indonesia Backpacker) – Visiting Jakarta? Then, you must visit The Thousand Islands. Perhaps, you tired from busines trip in Jakarta, or event you want to have an island vacation, but you dont have many time. Well, living in Jakarta, you don’t have to travel far for great island vacation. Just near the city bay of Jakarta, lies the Thousand Islands or most local known as Kepulauan Seribu.

It is only about two hours by boat to one of nearest island. Yep, not for long time, you can spend all day enjoying ocean or just laying down by the beach, and run from polluted Jakarta. For some island, you can enjoy the coral reef too. You can enjoy it by either snorkeling or diving.

Perhaps you want to step a bit out of your comfort zone, and get to know the fishermen as they give you a glimpse of their daily lives. Or, you can mingle with local people of the Thousand Islands to get some new insight and inspiration.

Blend with local people
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Blend with local people

The Thousands Islands is managed within a national park. Maybe this is on of nearest Indonesian national park that you can reach from Jakarta. It is offering its visitor the beauty of coastal view and its underwater heaven. Here, you can explore more than 19 different diving spots that scattered throughout Thousands Island. Including Semak Daun Island, Gosong Pramuka, Karang Lebar, Kotok Island, Balik Layar reef, and many mor diving spot.

This islands is divided inti several zones. The habitation zone, the recreational zone and the conservation zone. It also have many biota that live inside it. Included, about 242 species of fish, with some of them is an endemic. A wealth of other sea creature s also thrives here. Including giant clams, sand clams, abalones, seahorses, and many more.

Especially for those of you who come with a thirst for adventure, the park gives you the opportunity to go drift diving during certain seasons, as well as wreck diving and night diving. Photographers can also express their artistic souls by taking pictures or videos of the striking scenery.

Typical fishermen boat for transporting people and goods from and to Thousand Islands
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Typical fishermen boat for transporting people and goods from and to Thousand Islands

In addition to the park’s underwater beauty, you can also get to know the island’s locals, their traditional values and ways of life. Ther are sights to see her that you wont find anywhere else. There are so many things todo, from attending the occasional sea celebration, to observing fishermen as they unload their catch, to learning how to make fishnets and even seeing the children playing freely in the sea, unafraid of being caught in the current.

And that’s not all! The Thousand Islands coastal ecosystems is also home to an equally interesting biodiversity. As a tourism conservation area, visitors are also invited to participate in eco-friendly activities such as planting mangrove, lamun, and learning how to make reek grafts.

One particularly exciting activity is to meet the exceedingly adorable hawksbill sea turtle. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can even assist in releasing hawksbill hatclings into the sea. Yep, many activities that you can do in the Thousand Island right? Moreover, it is quite easy to reach this beutiful place that located not too far from Jakarta.

Try new exciting experience
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Try new exciting experience

To reach Thousand Islands, you can depart from various port. You can depart from Muara Angke Harbor using wooden boat that fishermen usually used. Or, you can also travel by speedboat from Marina Ancol Bay. The trip would take around 1 or 4 hours, depend on what island you visit, and the speed of the boat.

About the accomodation in Thousand Islands, you can take either a home stay or luxury resort. It is depend on your budget.  Several comfortable resorts like Patri, Pelangi, Sepa, Kotok and Pantara is available in various island. Alternatively, you can stays with local in a home stays. It is easy to find a homestay there.

Recomended Island To Visit :

Not to forget, enjoy the beach too
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Not to forget, enjoy the beach too

You might want to visit Pulau Bidadari, it is the closest island to Jakarta. It takes about 20 minutes by boat (the boat holds about 50 people and leaves Marina Ancol, dock 17, at 11am, back at 6pm. It is purely a resort island, consisting of the hotel lobby and around 30-40 rooms/cottages, of which 6 are located out in the water, connected by a boardwalk. Other than hotel staff, there are a few squid fishermen working, and squid appears to be the only seafood available in the restaurant, although it is of variable quality.

There are 2 or 3 very small beach areas, and it is possible to walk around the circumference of the island in under 10 minutes. You can also rent an old bicycle for 15,000Rp/hour. Some attention has been paid to the entrance to the island with a big sign showing the name of the island and a couple of cannons from the 1800-1810 British-Dutch conflict.

The highlights of this island are late in the evening when many of the day-trippers have gone home, and you can sit on the beach looking at the Jakarta skyline. Similarly, early morning can also be magical. It is also popular with wedding photographers.

During perfect weather, you can enjoy blue sky here
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During perfect weather, you can enjoy blue sky here

Staying overnight on this island will cost you as much as a 5-star hotel in Jakarta, especially if you eschew their spartan one-room offerings in favour of the 3-room traditional houses or prefabricated floating cottages. However the resort itself is of only a 2-star standard. There is limited entertainment (a few pool tables, swimming pool for babies, band playing at weekends).

A trip in a fishing boat to the 3 neighbouring islands is offered, costing IDR 250,000. There are some items of historical interest there (old Hajj quarantine buildings and Dutch ruins), but two of the islands are even more badly polluted (Pulau Onrust and Pulau Kahyangan) and the third (Pulau Kelor), which contains a large circular brick building, 3 trees and a small beach, cannot be visited as the dock was recently washed away.

Pulau Tidung Despite being one of the most popular sites for locals to attend, this place is highly not recommended. The place itself is beautiful. Amazing waters and a cool wooden ‘love’ bridge. However, the disgusting amount of plastic bags and trash makes it a completely disagreeable place to go to. Pulau Macan Managed by foreigners, it’s often the place to go for a guaranteed manicured beach. Expensive though, so be prepared

Enjoy adventurous small islands near Jakarta
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Enjoy adventurous small islands near Jakarta

Do’s And Don’ts In Thousand Islands

  • Keep from littering during your visit.
  • March trough May is the best time to visit Thousand Islands. Beaware when you are visiting the islands from November trough February, the tides and waves tend to be high. Not good season to visit, but still okay.
  • Some of the islands don’t have any electricity, bringing your own powered lights and power bank would be more convenience.
  • If you don’t bring your own diving or snorkeling equipment, you can rent it there.

Thousand Islands National Park Office Address

9th Salemba Raya Street, Central Jakarta 10440; Phone: (021) 3915773; Fax: (021) 3103574; Email: [email protected]

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