Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. It’s full of traffics, crowds, and many unpleasant things about metropolitan city. But, a lil’ bit far away, still under the governance of Jakarta province, there is a place called Thousand Islands Regency (Kabupaten Kepulauan Seribu). Like its name, the regency consist of many islands, all serves calmer vibe than noisy Jakarta.
Thousand Islands is a string of 110 islands, stretching 45 km north into the Java Sea at West Jakarta Bay and also, north of Banten province. About 36 islands may be used for recreation. Of these, only 13 islands are fully developed: 11 islands are homes to resorts and 2 islands are historic parks. About 23 are privately owned and are not open to the public. The rest of the islands are either uninhabited or support a fishing village. (source : government official website)
Some popular islands for tourism are :
- Kahyangan/Cipir island
- Onrust island
- Kelor island
- Harapan island, near with Kelapa island, Bira island (both are snorkeling spot)
- Bidadari island
- Puteri island
- Pari island
- Pramuka island
- Pabelokan, Edam, Rambut, Ayer, Matahari, Sepa, Pantara, Kotok, Pelangi, Pamagaran, Laki, Papa Theo, Sabira, Saktu, Penike, and… many more!
How to get there?
You can get to Thousand Islands from Jakarta through 2 ports :
1.) Muara Angke 2.) Muara Kamal
These 2 places are familiar for open trip community. They usually make these places as meeting point. If you’re interested, just googling… you’ll find a lot of open trip groups to go there. From the harbour, you need to take a boat… the journey time is different depends on the distance of the island you want to visit. Rent the boat with group will cost you less, of course. If you’re travelling solo, just join the open trip.
Here are some Thousand Islands area we have visited!
1. Kahyangan/Cipir island
In the past, this island was used as hospital to quarantine patient with infectious disease on Dutch colonialism era in Indonesia. After that, on Japan colonialism era, even worse, this place was used as execution place. Those kind of histories make people believe the island is a horror place at night.
2. Onrust island
Onrust island is the nearest from Muara Angke harbour. Here lays the archaeological park, area for historical tour. There are a lot of ruins of Dutch’s building on the past, museum, graveyard, well, etc. People says this place is horror too at night.
3. Kelor/Kerkhof island
Though it’s only a small island, smaller than Onrust, the beach is great. I like the piece of beach on the opposite side of the fort. It’s so beautiful and quiet.
This island has some kind of histories too. Here stands ruins of Dutch’s fort on the past named Martello Fort. The ancient vibe it gives makes the island often used as reception place for wedding by Indonesian artists.
4. Harapan/Hope Island
It’s far away from the port, take around 3,5 hours long on the sea. There are many snorkeling spots around the island, even labeled as the most exotic snorkeling spot in Thousand island area. A lot of uninhabited island spread around Harapan island, with the very white sand and virgin beach and underwater life. It can be visited on your trip to Harapan island! If you join the open trip, mostly they already include hoping in those uninhabited islands on the package.
If the 3 earlier islands can be visited in one day, i recommend to stay a night or two in Harapan island. A lot of amazing things you can do here.
- Do snorkeling.
- Hunt for beautiful sunset on your way hoping around uninhabited islands.
- Stargaze while barbecue-ing at night. There are no light pollution here, so the stars view at night is the best!
- Hunt for sunrise. It’s unbeliavably amazing.
- Visiting yellow turtle conservation. It’s extinct!