I am a dedicated beach fan. But first, let me qualify here: my kind of beach is the one with white smooth sand, crystal clear blue water with gentle waves, plus the water has to be fresh enough without getting my tits pokey and frozen. Somehow this kind of place makes me feel like home and the sound of the waves hit the shore soothes my soul (do you think I might be some kind of a crab in my previous life? Because that would also explain my allergic to crab wouldn’t? I just can’t eat my own kind).
After my spontaneous immigration to Quebec a few years back, I became more and more of a sucker for sunshine. I assume this is because the drastic environment change has fucked up my system. You see, back in Indonesia, I used to have a sufficient supply of summer sunshine all year long, then BAMM!! That supply ended once I reached Quebec. Quebec summer only lasts a week longer than most Hollywood artists’ marriage (yep, it is that short). Now I jump on every chance to get
charred, solar powered, tanned anytime I can, and visiting a beach at least once a year has become more and more of an obligation than a vacation for me.
Indonesia is the biggest archipelago in the world, and possi, bly has the longest coastline. The choice of beaches available is vast, yet I chose a beach closest to home in Jakarta this time. In North of Jakarta, there is a chain of small Islands called Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands). This island chain consists of inhabited islands and resorts. I have visited most of the inhabited islands in my younger year, couch surfed at locals’ home.
The rest of the islands are either inhabited or have become resorts for families. The kind you find in the Carribean; all-in, fully services kind of resorts, but without the free-flowing booze nor crazy night life, it is mostly intended for family vacation.
Nico says resort travel is not really a travel. He finds it too easy and lame, but sometimes we all need a quick break from our routine that doesn’t require a lot of planning, don’t we? So, I went resort-ing with my sister from another parents, El. I only get to visit her once a year and this year we decided to get an easy beach escape 45 minutes boat ride away from Jakarta; the Pelangi Resort island.
Pulau Pelangi Resort / Pelangi Resort Island
Pulau Pelangi is the latest island on the Pulau Seribu island chain that was opened as a private resort, and it is the furthest from the rest too. The water is so pristine around the island and it's perfectly fresh. The resort is humble and very clean, plus the service is over the top. They even remove the sea urchin around the perimeter so you can swim without worrying you might step on one.
How to get there?
There is speedboat shuttle service from Marina Anchor Pier that leaves at 8 AM sharp, once a day. Seats are limited so making a reservation beforehand is important. The cost of a return trip range between 20$ (to the nearest island) to 25$ (to the furthest island, e.g.: Pelangi resort). We were super-pumped. We arrived at the Marina at around 5.30 AM for our 8 AM jetty shuttle. It was a bit early but look at this view that I traded my sleep for! totally worth it!
The speedboat we took has two decks and it was rapidly full of passengers. The seats in the boat are never assigned because the boat crew has to keep the balance of the boat by assigning big-bootied passengers to seat equally on each side of the boat. Nothing personal though, he does this just so that our excessive weight does not tilt the boat.
I loved it on the upper, open-air deck. The breeze of the sea swiped my face like a lullaby and made my flabby cheek flaps. The view was amazing, I couldn’t help but zoning out, developing an
irresponsible illogical situation in my mind; a mix of scenes from Cast Away, Robinson Crusoe, and the Blue Lagoon. A survival drama on a desert island with a lot of lewd scenes and young Pierce Brosnan’s naked butt.
When to get there?
Anytime during the weekdays on hot season are the best where there are no families with kids screaming around and disturb your Zen.
What about the accomodation?
The island consists of villas and decent room. It caters a range of clients; from a lone traveler, honeymooners, to a big family.
What about the food?
As any other all-included resort, you have unlimited food buffet, 3 times a day. The taste was not the best though. I believed they used a same batch of soya sauce for every dish because it’s all tasted the same.
What about the booze and nightlife?
NONE EXISTENCE. Boo!
What to bring?
At first, I thought bringing a book and a deck of cards would be fun while relaxing by the beach, but I was being delusional, I forgot I was not one of those beach bitches who do fun things and looking effortlessly fab in bikinis while drinking mojitos from what seeming to be a magic cocktail glass that never runs out of mojito no matter how much those bitches drink from it by the beach.
I fell asleep 5 second after I lay my beluga shaped body on one of those beach lounges, snoring and drooling, because sleeping in the nature without worrying to get mauled by animals (or human) is simply the best kind of sleep. Good thing I brought nothing but the beach day Holy Trinity: sun-glasses, sun lotion with high SPF, and a bestie to watch over me while I sleep.
What are the activities available?
Although the main idea for the resort is to have an ultimate, unplugged, relaxing day by the beach, there are quite a lot of things to do in this resort. Most activities are obviously about enjoying the pristine beach and the awesome marine life around the island; snorkeling at any time of the day at the perimeter of the island, glass-bottom boat trip, scuba diving, canoe, kayak, banana boat, and beach volley ball.
My highlight of our escape was when we rent a motor boat to take us to major snorkeling spots in the middle of the ocean. The underwater life and ecosystem around this island chains are increeeeeedibly beautiful!!
The resort management told us that there is also a tiny tropical forest to explore in the heart of the island. They even claim that it is the perfect place to do yoga; peaceful and close to the nature. Do not believe them. Have you ever been to a tropical forest, especially during the day? It’s wet, hot, and humid. And that is not even the best part of it; it’s full of biting bugs and hungry mosquitoes. Unless you are looking for doing bikram yoga to test not only your endurance to stings and tiny bits, but also the efficacy of your yellow fever vaccine and your immunity to dengue, then this forest is the place to be.
- Make your reservation beforehand for both the resort and the speedboat shuttle,
- Bring cash, a lot of cash,
- Bring sun lotion and bug repellent,
- Keep away from the forest so you won’t end up as an open buffet for the bugs,
- Bring your Go-Pro camera or any underwater camera if you are going snorkeling, the underwater ecosystem is awesome!
- Wi-Fi and 3G reception is limited in this island, but that's okay, there are plenty of activities to do in the island to keep you busy.
So, if you need an instant quick fix of beach and coconuts, or an easy escape from your routine in Jakarta, or a cool place to hangout with your favorite people not too far from Jakarta, Pulau Pelangi Resort definitely is a good choice!
Silly pictures make the best memories. Thanks El for the fun time we had and for the lovely pics! See you soon!