Pulau Seribu: not really 1000

Jakarta Travel Blog

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Public boat Indonesian style

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.

You can never go wrong with a sunset shot

Total budget inclusive of food, transport, and accomodations for 2 nights and 2 days: 300,000IDR


Our experience:

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.

Took my breath away
As long as it floats and gets you there. If you are willing to squeeze and know how to swim, just keep on hopping on. Safety is usually not a priority in this country. Few lifejackets available, first come first served, with nobody getting it really.

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.

The newfound gang

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.

blurbmoi says:
Hi Daive! Thanks for reading. I forgot the name of the homestay as the contact was from my friend who organized it but can get it if you like. I would take the chartered boat instead, I heard its over IDR 100,000 (huge difference eh?) The homestay was okay, it had everything we needed but I know there are better ones around the area in terms of facility. Hope this helps.
Posted on: Apr 04, 2010
Daive says:
Thanks :) Where did you stay again, homestay? What's that? I'm planning a trip in Feb or March nxt yr... so if you were asked what would you change if you had a chance to go there again, what would it be? For example, would you rather take the luxurious boat ride or stay at a resort next time? Your answer would help me decide :) I'm up for adventure but would like to be comfortable too ;) Cheers
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010
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Public boat Indonesian style
Public boat Indonesian style
You can never go wrong with a suns…
You can never go wrong with a sun…
Took my breath away
Took my breath away
The newfound gang
The newfound gang
photo by: cicie