Saturday, July 18, 2015

3 Days in Pulau Macan - Part 1

A few years ago, a friend of mine told me about Pulau Macan (Tiger Island) in the Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) just north of Jakarta. Since then, I've tried several times to go there but it never worked out until this Lebaran holiday, I finally half insisted that we went.

I sent an inquiry SMS to two of the contact persons I had, and Oche responded right away. You can contact her at +6287882341314. For Lebaran holiday, they were pretty much fully booked except for a couple of days, 2 days from the time of inquiry, and only the Red Brick East room was available.

Our trip started with a morning taxi ride to Dermaga (Pier) 17 Ancol, located inside Taman Impian Jaya Ancol. It was very easy to find. We had to be there by 7.30 am but we arrived a little early. After registering with the boat company (by phone), we sat on the waiting area of Dermaga (Pier) 16. Unfortunately, there were too many smokers there so we moved to a restaurant across from the pier. We just ordered teh poci for the two of us and water for Miss Kiki.

The Pier 17
Waiting for the boat

No picture!

Mr. Gadget

Fish pond at the restaurant

Smile, mom!

Teh Poci


Look sideways mom, it looks good like that.

The boat we took was a passenger boat that fit about 40 people, and it stops at several different islands in the Thousand Islands. The whole trip to Pulau Macan took about 2 hours, probably because the waves were a bit strong. 

Upon arrival at Pulau Macan, we were greeted by Rod, the founder of Pulau Macan Village and Eco Resort. He briefed us on what we needed to know about the Island. Then we were free to start our adventure (or just relax)!!

On the Island, there are many loungers and sofas you can lounge on. We also spotted two hammocks that Miss Kiki loved. She would spend a long time on a hammock just swinging by herself. I wonder what was going on in her mind when she did that. There were toys and games for kids, table tennis, beach volleyball, puzzles, hula hoops, and more. 

Miss Kiki and DH started with a game of ping pong. Or to be more precise, a game of fetching the ping pong ball.

Then we walked around and took some pictures... Check out the solar panels on the roof of the pier. They hope to eventually be fully powered by renewable energy instead of generators.

Can you spot the solar panels?

Miss Kiki on the Pier

Fisheye view from the Pier

We brought our hats, but didn't end up using them at all

There was another little girl on the island when we arrived, and the two quickly became friends. The other girl was a year younger than Miss Kiki but they were about the same size. They were playing together nicely and at one point Miss Kiki decided that it was a good idea for both of them to climb the hammock and swing. It was all fun at first, but soon the swinging went out of control and in a second they were both on the ground. The little girl fell gently on her tushie and Miss Kiki fell flat on her face. No one got hurt, thank God, except for a few little scratches and a sand-covered face. In the mean time, DH went to check out Pulau Macan Kecil just across from Pulau Macan on a kayak.

I think this is the compost toilet. Didn't bother checking.

In Pulau Macan Kecil

In Pulau Macan Kecil

Pulau Macan, taken from Pulau Macan Kecil
 Soon after, DH came back and decided to take Miss Kiki to Pulau Macan Kecil (Small Tiger Island) with him on a boat with a balancer. Apparently this one was much more difficult to control.

Choosing booties.

While they were away, lunch was served! So I ate first. I think they have a good selection of food every meal. This in the picture is what they had for lunch that day, buffet style. Almost all day long, they would have bread with jam, peanut butter, butter, and Nutella available.

After lunch, I checked us in to the room. I mentioned before that I had booked the Red Brick East, which is one of the rooms in the Red Brick house with one large bed and one single bed. Miss Kiki loooved the mosquito nets they had, it made her feel like a princess.

The Red Brick House
This Red Brick accommodation is one of the cheaper option on the island, just higher than the tents. After seeing all the accommodations, I think I would prefer the huts next time. I will show you more of the huts later... These are some more pictures of the island's main area.

Main area, this is where they serve breakfast and lunch.

This area is where they serve dinner, and also the lounging area.

Juices are served until midday, the others are always available. They also have a bar.

Deck seating area

That afternoon the wind was unusually strong, the trees were shaking and the currents were strong. So the snorkelling trip that day was cancelled. We all felt sorry for the guests who had to go back to Jakarta that day, because the waves were quite strong and it took them about double the time than usual... on a bumpy ride.

I was so tired that day, I fell asleep for a few hours after lunch. And DH took Miss Kiki on an adventure around the island.

 They found a nice area with calm waters in front of a hut, and the Swiss couple in the hut generously let us use their dock to get into the water and snorkelled. Only Miss Kiki and DH went, I stayed on dry land. This was just before sunset.

Deck of Driftwod Hut 1

Hungry after snorkelling, Miss Kiki had a toast with peanut butter and jam.

Dinner was served on time, and it was yummy. Very good selection of food, but somehow we did not take a picture! Geez.... 

Later on, DH walked around and saw this on a plate someone had left on the floor. Eek!

The room was not air conditioned, but it was breezy enough. Not a problem for me. I actually prefer that than some AC that doesn't get cleaned regularly. All of the accommodations on Pulau Macan do not have AC.

I got up the next morning with enough sleep and feeling energized. I got out of my room when DH and Miss Kiki was still in bed and I walked around to explore. It was a nice sunny day, some wind, but not as strong as the day before. We waited around until breakfast and then we all went to snorkel.

On the first day, we were briefed about some areas that have territorial fish that would nibble you if you don't move much. I had totally forgotten about that. So in the water I went, and silly me, I just floated to see the corals without moving. Within a few minutes I felt a quick pinch on my right leg. Gah! It hurt! So up I went and joined Miss Kiki on a small boat with glass bottom. DH just continued on swimming and snapping pictures. The same type of fish that got me kept charging to his face but turned away right before hitting him. As if challenging him on a dare. You can see a video of the fish at the end of this post.

Someone we met on our trip

DH and his new UV protection shirt

Fish bite!

Cool camouflage

To be continued...