Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Thousands Islands: Jewel of Indonesia  

FAMTRIP 2019 team visited Thousands Island

Compiled by Ansar Mahmood Bhatti in Jakarta

JAKARTA, OCT 17 (DNA) -On Thursday October 17, 2019 the FAMTRIP team visited Thousands Islands located a few kilometers away from Jakarta.

Kepulauan Seribu” literally meaning: the Thousand Islands is the name given to the many tropical islands scattered in the Bay of Jakarta. But only very few people know, that there are exactly 110 islands only, that together form a District, encompassing the Pulau Seribu National Marine Park in the province of Jakarta. This cluster of islands forms a splendid nautical getaway that ranges from a mere half-hour to a three hours’ boat ride from the north coast of the capital city.

Here, around 20,000 people live on 11 islands only, while all others are either uninhabited, are privately owned or a restricted nature sanctuary. The islands are a snorkeling haven and water sports playground in particular for the inhabitants of the metropolitan city. During holidays, domestic tourists throng to the islands to have fun under the sun on these many recreation islands.

Most islands are reached by speed boats that leave from Marina Ancol. Ancol, an integrated amusement area with elaborate facilities such as the Dufan Theme Park, Atlantis Waterboom, exhilarating rides, an eco-park, and much more.

Ancol in itself is an attractive place to visit. It may be called mini Disney land. The area is beautifully decorated and well-maintained. Clean and green pathways further add to the grandeur of the place.

Pulau Kelor

After we embarked on our journey with PREDATOR 2 boat, our first destination was Pulau Kelor. In this island, you can see a rounded red fortress. Such a gorgeous place with white beach, condition is clean. It’s a very suitable place to take pictures as they have various unique angles. A Thousand Islands Regency offers many tourist spots. If you look for a reference, there is a recommended choice like Kelor Island. From Ancol Beach, the distance is only 1.9 km. Common thing to do is photography. Kelor Island becomes a suitable location for a pre-wedding photo session. The best backgrounds are the Dutch’s Ruins.

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A small wooden pier welcomes visitors to this lonely island, a white sand beach and transparent color water, very clean island. A picturesque mix between a large tree, and old red fort and the sea is usually photographers favorite.

An interesting old red brick fort, arguable as a Dutch or Portuguese built fort, is the center of the island. History buff and ruins photographers would explore the fort, a rare architecture left during earlier era of colonialism before everything was renewed with 19th century technology.

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Pulau Onrust

Our second destination was Pulau Onrust. It is a small island that hides a historic Dutch fortress and other remains from the Dutch colonial times and now functions as the islands’ museum. The name ‘Onrust’ comes from the Dutch word meaning ‘Unrest’. Nonetheless, other sources mention an alternative possibility, that it may be derived from a Dutch aristocrat named Baas Onrust Cornelis van der Walck. The island’s history dates back to the 1800s. In the time it changed function several times, from being an important shipyard of the Dutch East India Company, VOC, to becoming a weather station, a sanatorium, a Hajj quarantine, and even as a prison for notorious criminals. Therefore the island holds many traces following its long history.

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Pulau Bidadari

Our last destination was Pulau Bidadari which is the nearest island to Marina Ancol ferry port and is only 30 minutes away by boat, where you can instantly enjoy the photogenic site of Fort Martello, that was built in the 17th century. The island has a marvelous collection of rare trees growing naturally on its fertile soil. There are the Peace Trees Sentigi Trees Black Wood Trees), fruit trees and mangrove trees that are superb resources to study. Floating cottages are favorite places to spend your holiday on the island. Unwind and sink your feet in the sand. Do not miss to get a taste of the local scrumptious seafood dishes that come fresh from the blue water.

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It was a great experience to have lunch on this beautiful island. This island, as compared with the other two, was full of life. Because of its being close to the harbor many people come here and enjoy traditional local food. Guests are usually welcomed by young girls clad in traditional dresses. We too were given a very warm welcome by these young girls with their benign smiles and elegant folk dance. A welcome drink made up of local fruits proved refreshing indeed.

Those coming to Jakarta must explore the beauty of these islands. It is not very expensive to get there. Environment is just awesome and people extremely friendly. It all contributed greatly towards a successful and enjoyable trip to Thousands Islands.