Exploring Air Island, one of 342 islands in the Thousand Islands mini archipelago north of Jakarta. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A Patch of Green North of Jakarta: Thousand Islands
BY : YUDHA BASKORO
AUGUST 05, 2019
A hidden paradise covered by a mangrove forest, beautiful underwater scenery, conservation areas for sea turtles and sea birds, clean air. It might be hard to believe, but you can find all of the above on a mini archipelago just a 60-minute boat ride from one of the most polluted cities in the world, Jakarta.
The Thousand Islands is formally a district of Jakarta that comprises 342 islands. Thirty-six of them have been popular weekend getaways for tourists from Jakarta for years, 13 are tiny but fully developed towns with their own lively communities, 11 have been converted into resorts and two are fully-fledged national parks.
The rest of the islands are privately owned, either uninhabited or designated as a conservation area, including the islands of West Panjaliran and East Panjaliran, which now function as conservation areas for sea turtles.
Take a boat from Jakarta's Ancol Port to go to the Thousand Islands. The trip from Ancol to Tidung Island or Pramuka Island, two of the largest islands in the archipelago, takes approximately 60 minutes by speedboat. The boats are available all day, from morning until early evening.
Both islands are central to tourism in the area. Tidung Island has many guest houses and a couple of small resorts. It serves as a base camp for many tourists as they explore the rest of the archipelago.
Pramuka Island is the administrative center of the area, where you can find the district administration office, a community health center and the only high school in the archipelago.
Jakarta Globe photographer Yudha Baskoro visited Tidung Island, Pramuka Island, Air Island, Onrust Island, Pari Island, Kelor Island and Rambut Island last week on the invitation of the Thousand Islands' Tourism Office.
Almost each island in the archipelago is unique. Pramuka Island has a mangrove conservation area, a plastic waste processing site and a conservation area for sea turtles. Pulau Air has a beautiful snorkeling spot. Kelor Island and Onrust Island host the remains of Dutch fortresses built in the early 19th century.