After spending a few days in Jakarta (AKA smog city) and as much as I love to shop till I drop, we all were ready to go anywhere else with less cars and better air quality. (and a healthier diet from eating that rich wedding meal…)
We arrived at the Ancol Marina Pier bright and early and boarded the ferry that took us to the north of the Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands), our destination was Pulau Macan (Tiger Islands village and eco resort). Almost everything about this island is organic, bungalows, huts, and furnitures are all made out of drift wood. This is an eco island, the owners installed solar cells and built their own vegetable garden. They are also very careful with water and waste management, the rain water gets filtered for everyday use. To read more about it, please visit the eco feature page on their site.
If you have ever been to Indonesia, you would know about the filthy Java sea. It really does smell like a sewer. Garbage gets stuck in engines and crew members often have to manually pull out the trash and restart the engine. Before we arrive, we all had a hard time picturing crystal clear water to snorkel in, but just ~40 miles away from the sea of garbage, we witnessed crystal clear water that are full of fishes, crabs, sea urchins and even saw some sting rays! The group managing Pulau Macan does a great job to prevent fishing around the island as well as reef protection.
|Below| the clubhouse, where we ate, played pool, and gazed at the crystal clear water daily. Reality seemed worlds away.
A family of locals who acts as the caretakers actually live on this island, and an English-speaking host is always present during your stay.
I stayed in a bungalow/hut, no concrete walls, just curtains between me and the ocean. Thankfully there was electricity and a fan in the bungalow (until the power runs out from the reserved battery, usually well after midnight anyway.) The mosquito net was a life saver. We didn’t see many mosquitos on the island, but there were lots of other critters. If you are on a budget, you can ask to stay in a tent, camping style! The staff will set up your tent prior to your arrival, completed with pillow and bedding.
Oh and don’t worry, the bathroom facilities are all modern. Just limit your shower to 3-minutes to save water.
I spent hours just sitting on the deck day dreaming…
The small island across was also owned by the same people so we could swim, snorkel, or row a boat across.
The sunset was absolutely stunning! And I got to enjoy the view from my bed!
The home-cooked meals were delicious! We had different dishes every day, some Indonesian fare, some were more Westernized. All of the guests on the island eat together at a communal table, we met people from all over the world. Beside our group of 5, there were 6 or 7 other guests staying on the island, so it was often quiet and intimate. All three meals plus afternoon snacks (fried bananas!!!) are included with your stay, as well as all use of facility and equipments. The price is all-inclusive, except for soft drinks and alcohol.
Yes, there is internet, but you will have to ask the guide to turn the signal on and it’s only available in the club house. But you really should be unplugged during your stay, it’s all about relaxation and being disconnected from the outside world. Paddle-board around the island (it takes 10 minutes to circle the island if you are slow like me), go on the daily afternoon snorkeling trip, take a nap on the swinging hammock, play a game of pool, swim or row the wooden boat to the island across, sit on the lounge chair and watch the absolutely stunning sunrise and sunset… when was the last time you were completely unplugged from your electronics and gadgets?
Best three days spent doing absolutely nothing!