Pulau Seribu (thousand Island)

Pulau Seribu (Thousand Island)

Thousand Isles near Jakarta has been a favorite destination for ages. Paradiso, containing four island’s Kahyangan (formerly known as Cipir), Bidadari (used to be called Sakit), Onrust and Kelor offer spectacular views of the forest and the sea. The name Paradiso indeed comes from Paradise, for ‘Kahyangan’ in Indonesian means ‘Heaven’ in English, and ‘Bidadari’ means ‘Angel’. Dotted throughout Jakarta Bay are 120 tropical islands and coral atolls known, rather misleadingly, as the Thousand Islands. This group of islands in the Jakarta Bay offers a heaven away from the bustle of city life. There are golden beaches fringed with coconut palms. The surrounding waters are a paradise for skin divers. They are filled with a myriad of tropical fish, which live among the multicolored corals. The islands can be reached from Tanjung Priok or Pasar Ikan (Sunda Kelapa) by ferry or by chartered boat. Some of the islands in this group developed for tourism are Pulau Bidadari, Pulau Anyer, Pulau Laki and Pulau Putri. Pulau Tanjung near Putri has an airstrip. There are cabins for hire, having fresh water on Pulau Air and Pulau Bidadari only. The Pulau Putri Paradise Co. has developed Pulau Putri, Pulau Melintang, Pulau Petondan and Pulau Papa Theo as a holiday resort with cottages, restaurants, diving and sailing facilities. With a total population of only 13,000 people, the bay contains a sprinkling of the ‘virgin islands’, although the majorities are inhabited. Many are privately owned. The departure point to this cluster of individual paradises is the Ancol Marina, where further information on travel arrangements can be found. Daliy boats to most islands, departing at 08.00 and 09.00.

This chain of several dozen islets immediately north of the city is administratively part of Jakarta and usually an oasis of quiet. Speedboats take visitors to basic but comfortable hotels an hour or so from the city, where one can snorkel, dive or just lie on a white sand beach with a friendly turtle.

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