This weekend was our mini vacation to Pulau Macan (Tiger Island), a small island in the area known as the Thousand Islands just off Jakarta. (Note to Ontario residents: we think having the Thousand Islands here is funny too.) We started early on Saturday morning, heading out at sunrise to the Ancol Marina. On the way out of town, we stopped to pick up our friend who was coming along to the island. It was a beautiful, sunny morning.
We arrived early at the marina, giving us time to watch the boats coming and going. I don’t know a lot about boats, but the majority were large speedboats, perhaps even yachts? It looked like many were privately owned vessels, lent out to the marina for ferrying tourists to the islands. I was excited to spend the hour and half trip watching the activity at sea and enjoying the ocean air. Unfortunately, when our boat arrived, it was a bit underwhelming. It was large, but the windows were blacked out and the interior very hot and smelly. There was a small seating area outside at the back, but it filled up quickly, so we spent the trip inside. It was… a challenge for the kids. Despite this, we made it safely to the island on smooth waters.
Once we arrived, we were set free to explore. It was a small island with a main eating/living building and sleeping huts dotted around the edges. Ours was the ‘Island Hut’ – and it was perfect: a few beds under a simple driftwood structure, with a private deck overlooking the ocean.
After getting settled, we put on our swimming gear and paddled some boats over to a neighbouring island. And by boats, I actually mean a sailboard with no sail and a rotten wooden dinghy several decades past its prime. But we made it, and it was worth it. This was the tropical paradise we were looking for: warm blue water, white sand beach, palm trees and coral reefs. We played away the morning and headed back for lunch.
Unfortunately, it being rainy season, there was a jellyfish bloom around the island. Paddling through it was unpleasant. At least they were relatively tiny and only fairly stingy instead of killing stingy. It wasn’t too bad the first day, but they were everywhere on the second day, preventing us from doing as much snorkeling as we wanted.
We spent Saturday afternoon relaxing in our hut, stealing snacks from the main house, swimming off our private dock, and watching the sun set. That night, we ate dinner under the stars and watched some huge thunderstorms cross the horizon. It was an absolutely perfect day.
On Sunday, we woke up with the tide and the sun. We headed back to the other island for some more swimming and beach time, despite the jellyfish and rougher waters. Later, we spent a lazy afternoon swinging in hammocks, playing games and enjoying the view.
Our boat ride home was fast and much more pleasant than on the way in. We grabbed some seats on the back deck and watched the ships and islands go by. M even saw some dolphins. It was an absolutely perfect weekend!