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Pulau Tidung, Thousand Islands, Jakarta

April 28, 2012

The only way to get to Pulau Tidung (Tidung Island) is by a three hour boat ride. This was my first weekend getaway after living in Jakarta for two weeks.  I was craving a getaway from traffic jams, honking horns and the dizzying pace of Jakarta. I got a text from one of my colleagues to be by his house (only a block away) at 6am because we were going to one of Thousand islands in the Java Sea.

Names are called for boat boarding.

The next morning we were at the pier by 7am.  The sun was already up and he air stunk of rotting fish.  We purchased our tickets Rp30,000 (US $3.00) and waited to board.  By 8am, there was no boarding and if had eaten breakfast, I would surely have hurled out my stomach contents.  The air was nauseating.  Boarding was a strange event.There were two roll calls for the boats lined up for Pulau Tidung.  Our names were not called on either list.  It was 9am when we boarded the last boat destined for the island.

Three hours of sitting on leather seats in poor air conditioning later we were in paradise. The water sparkled and it was calling my name! Lodging in the island is primarily homestays. Locals add a room onto their house with basic amenities and rent them out to tourists. We found lodging at a homestay for Rp 300,000 (US $30) a night which included snorkeling gear. A quick change and we were lounging near turquoise waters sipping on fresh coconut water and munching on soto ayam, a chicken soup with rice, avocado and tomatoes

On the bridge walking to a smaller island.

Me sipping on some sweet coconut water.

I had a great time snorkeling, floating on gentle waves while looking down at the corals. The ocean’s temperature kept changing quickly from cool to almost sauna-like.  At times the Java Sea’s temperature was unbearable. The coral was lovely, but not impressive. I had a better time just floating on the ocean.  I stayed out there for hours and got a sun burn on my shoulders and upper back. Note to self: Black people do get sunburn.

Pulau Tidung has a certain charm that makes me want to return as soon as possible. The streets are narrow and at night they are lighted by a passing motorbike or someone’s flashlight.

Narrow streets of Pulau Tidung.

Boats are available to rent to go island hopping or snorkeling.

Kids navigating the bridge to the smaller island adjoining to Pulau Tidung.

The locals serve mostly seafood dishes and the best mode of transport is a bicycle. I can only go back for one night, two nights tops. The homestays there have air conditioning, TV’s and western beds, however their plumbing is strictly Indonesian.  That means squat toilets, no toilet paper (luckily I brought my own) and no shower. Just a stand-pipe and a bucket in the bathroom to wash up your bits. The beach and water activities are well worth me overlooking the plumbing situation, but a girl can squat so many times.

 

Grilling up some ayam bakar- grilled chicken at sunset.

 

 

Getting There:

In Jakarta: Take a taxi to Maura Angke Marina.  Boats depart at 7am.  Tickets cost Rp30,000 (US$3.00)  Note: You may get an air conditioned boat or you may get a refugee boat where you sit in the floor in the sweltering heat.

This was our boat back to Jakarta. We sat on prayer mats with no air conditioning.

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2012 7:50 AM

    Diana, you have inspired me! The Thousand Islands have been on ‘my list’ for months now and having seen your stunning photos and stumbled upon your wonderful blog, I absolutely have to go! Thank you for such a great post!

    • April 28, 2012 12:49 PM

      Then my job is done Lottie. Definitely go, you won’t regret it.

    • August 21, 2014 1:01 AM

      thank you for your appreciation for the tidung on thousands island

  2. SUSAN D permalink
    April 28, 2012 9:30 AM

    Wow, that water looks beautiful. What keeps changing the tempeture of the water? You’re a lucky lady. Getting all these new memories and meeting new people. Thanks for the blog. I enjoyed it. HUGS

    • April 28, 2012 12:51 PM

      Thanks Susan! The Java Sea is just known to be hot. Dunno why. Hugs back!

  3. t.on.air permalink
    April 29, 2012 2:28 AM

    Thanks for the post. I have been there once. Loved it. The waste that comes from the city was horrible though.

    • April 29, 2012 9:47 AM

      Thanks T. I heard there may have been a chance of that, but I didn’t see any. Beaches were clean. Guess they cleaned up their act.

  4. Cal B permalink
    May 3, 2012 11:05 PM

    It’s GREAT to see that you are traveling and continuously enjoying the copious wonders of this Earth! Keep it irie!

    • May 4, 2012 6:54 AM

      Thanks Cal!

  5. January 19, 2013 11:08 AM

    Thanks for the post. I have been there once. Loved it

  6. February 28, 2013 9:35 PM

    is it easy to get a boat to tidung from angkel??

    • March 2, 2013 7:39 AM

      Yes it is.

  7. March 23, 2013 9:43 PM

    Hi Diana I’m Indonesian live in Jakarta but never been to Pulau Tidung, I know, what a shame. I planned to go there next week, and already book a homestay. And then do some googling and stumble on your blog. Now I’m exicited to be there, thank You. I heard about the garbage, and you’re lucky you were there when it’s clean. I think it depends on the wind (season). One season make all the garbage from Jakarta to “travel” to the Island.

    • March 26, 2013 4:35 AM

      Hi Sinta! It’s ok, I lived in New York for 17 years and I never went to the Empire State building. Enjoy Pulau Tidung.

  8. May 23, 2013 7:05 PM

    Highly descriptive blog, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a part 2?

  9. June 6, 2013 10:39 AM

    Hi Diana… thank you for writing an article about Pulau Tidung, I am as Indonesian people are very proud of you because you are directly promote our tour to the world. If you want to visit Pulau Tidung or maybe your friend please contact us at http://www.pulautidungwisata.com. we will serve you with pleasure. Very nice review, sorry if my english bad. Thank you so much diana.

  10. November 9, 2013 9:27 AM

    Pulau Tidung its Amazing.. Thanks for visit pulau tidung, Diana

  11. December 14, 2013 8:24 PM

    i like your post, nice post. thaks
    visit me in the tidung island

  12. March 2, 2014 1:35 AM

    Pulau Tidung its Amazing.. Thanks for visit pulau tidung, Diana

  13. Elias permalink
    April 10, 2014 4:38 AM

    Hi Diana,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I have a simple question to ask you. Any idea if we want to spend one day there how can we come back? is there any ferry afternoon/night time?
    Planing to go on Saturday for only one day trip.

    Thanks!

    • April 10, 2014 6:59 AM

      Hi, the last ferry leaves around 2pm. So you can make it a day trip and leave Jakarta at 7am and just hang out on the beach or warungs until the afternoon. Have fun!

  14. October 12, 2013 10:19 PM

    Thank you, Diana

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