Living Like An Islander – Well, For A Day!

Once home to over 18,000 islands, Indonesia is a stunning country as diverse in cultures and landscape as few others in the world. The country has been home to the Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and other cultures since the last few centuries and the remnants of these can still be seen across the island nation.

Located in a strategic trade route, it has attracted colonization from the Portuguese, French, British, Japanese and the Dutch. The country has a rich lineage, diverse cultures and stunningly beautiful landscape. So when my trip to Jakarta was booked I obviously looked up the history of this amazing country.

Located 50 km outside of mainland Jakarta, lies a group of islands, over a hundred, that is known as the Thousand Islands. They are known for an array of activities to enjoy including snorkelling, diving, water sports, beach volleyball and a spot of fishing off of the jetties.

If you have limited time in Indonesia, there are still quite a few things you can do while you are there. I took a 3-day trip to this island nation, flying with Malindo Air as I landed in Jakarta early morning. My aim was to explore Jakarta and one of the islands close-by.

Tiger Island, just a 90-minute ferry ride from the city, seemed like the best choice. Taking the cruise from the Marina, I embarked on an adventurous ride through the bumpy ocean waters. With no land in sight, all I could see is the murky waters getting clear and migratory birds returning home in their formations. The sweet sound of nothing was echoing all throughout my head as I left behind the maddening sounds of India behind.

An anchored yatch
PC: Vidur Pandit

Indonesia has many beautiful islands that you can visit. Each has its own charm and offers a vast array of fun and exciting things to see and do. You will find a number of small private islands with enchanting luxury resorts that offer more than just comfortable accommodation. And one of the most fabulous holiday destinations is Tiger Island. The cosy, little island can be covered in just a 10-minute walk. But there is so much you can do around here.

As I stepped off the boat and onto the wooden walkway, I couldn’t help but notice how green and clear the water was! Teeming with aquatic life and great for scuba diving, this island charms you as soon as you step foot on it. The islands are located in the largest archipelago in the world, off the North West coast of Java, Indonesia and houses a luxury resort, Pulau Macan.

With 6 sea facing huts, 3 cabins and 5 tents the resort has plenty to offer for every kind of traveller. The island is owned by an American, who took over it in the late 1970s and converted it into an eco-resort.

A hut on the pier of Pulau Macan (Tiger Island)
PC: Vidur Pandit

The 80% self-sufficient island is organic – bungalows, huts, and furniture are all made out of driftwood. The owners installed solar cells and built their own vegetable garden. They are also very careful with water and waste management; the rainwater gets filtered for everyday use.

I was spending just the day there so sadly couldn’t stay in these stunning sea facing open huts! Most of the rooms don’t have doors and have direct access to the ocean. You can literally wake up every morning and jump into the water right from your bed! Finding a quiet spot on the tiny island, I spent a couple of hours relaxing on the patio looking into the ocean, trying to spot as many fish as I could.

Man on the deck of Pulau Macan (Tiger Island)
PC: Vidur Pandit

Lunch was an exorbitant spread of literally everything I could have imagined. The resort sources organic fruits and vegetables and the seafood is freshly sourced as well. Surprisingly much of the produce is grown in their in-house organic garden. Everything looked scrumptious and I binged on the creamy fish, sausages, rice and tomato curry!

A plate of food
PC: Vidur Pandit

Lunch was served in their restaurant but I chose to sit by the water on a private deck. In front of me were stunningly azure waters with a view of the adjoining islands. What a way to have a meal!

The heavy meal was followed by a short nap on another patio that extended into the water. A calm breeze blowing gently put me to sleep as I could hear the lazy waves crash into the wooden pillars below me. I woke up, a short while later, not believing I was witnessing a sunset in this heavenly location. Everything was just so perfect around me; it almost looked too good to be true!

3 people on the beach
PC: Vidur Pandit

An hour later, my cruise boat was being rocked gently by the waves as I was on my way back to Jakarta. It had been a good day and I was looking forward to exploring Jakarta City next! 


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