Pulau Seribu: not really 1000
Jakarta Travel Blog› entry 15 of 23 › view all entries
How to get there: Go to Mora Angke port in Jakarta and get the boat. Cost: 30,000IDR. Boat departs just twice a day: 7:00am, 1:00pm.
Where to stay: Homestays are all around the island of Pramuka, try Pak Tobing. Cost: 350,000IDR up per night.
What to bring: Sunblock, light clothes for hot and humid weather. Mosquito repellant. Swimwear, snorkelling or diving gear depending on your choice of activity.
What to do: Mainly swimming, fishing, snorkelling, and diving, apart from partying and drinking if you prefer. Renting a boat for a day to go island hopping is a top thing to enjoy, you can negotiate as low as 350,000 per day for as many people as possible.
Total budget inclusive of food, transport, and accomodations for 2 nights and 2 days: 300,000IDR
As this is my first time to take water transport in Indonesia I wouldn't say it was not a culture shock. Taking shoestring trips really help you learn the culture of a place faster than comfortable travelling. What is sad here is the huge gap of the transportation prices from the luxurious to the adventurous traveller.
The boats have 2 levels, the top may or may not have tent roofing. Either level do not have any wooden seats which means you have to adapt to the 3 hrs of sitting cross legged, lying down or whatever position you can afford, on mats scattered around if you're at the bottom level of the boat.
The capacity of the boat is undetermined.
Getting on and off the boat requires wit and strength, with the gap between the boat and platform and without a plank to connect or someone to assist you most of the time.
This mode of transport is not for the faint of heart.
The homestay did not have electricity the first night which cost us tons of nyamuk (mosquito) bites and sweat. We found out that some of the homestays alternately share electricity on different nights. We enjoyed the comfort of being out of the stone age on our second night with air conditioning.
The group's komposisi (composition): 6 people who travelled together for the first time, 5 of which, including myself have just met, and joined by a colorful couple for the most part of our trip.
We spent our 1 full day island hopping and discovered a nice island, SaMacdahon (sorry for lambasting the spelling) which used to be a resort island, closed down in 2004 and is now serving a great purpose as a bird sanctuary.
The corals of Pulau Seribu was rich in aqua life, I finally got to hold a starfish and watch a bulobabi (sea urchin) walking up close outside of its natural habitat. It scarily looks like a being from outer space with its head flashing different colors. The sands of the pristine islands are generally fine and powdery white.
The islands are mostly owned by the affluent class of Indonesia but with almost (since several have sunk due to global warming!) a 1000 of them, you have tons of choices for the public ones.
A nice seafood dinner was enjoyed on our last night at a floating restaurant around 10 min by boat from our island of residence. Around the restaurant you can enjoy not only karaoke, but lying peacefully on the docks as you watch the night sky.
This trip allowed me to discover that there are definitely universal languages on romanticism that people appreciate such as just being able to breath in the night sky, watching the celestial bodies, and enjoying the calmness of the sea.