Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Just another trip to : Semak Daun Island

This is my sixth post for Travelagys. I’ve got to say, blogging is pretty addictive. I was very lazy to start writing but now that I’ve written 5 posts about my previous trip, blogging after work while sipping my favorite coffee from my babe Yola at Starbucks becomes something very fun and easy I like to do. 
Anyway, I did this 2 days trip back in 2009. Me and my travel buddies ( five of us : Will, Andret, Bram, Riza and me ) just graduated from high school and were always craving to discover new places. So many beautiful beaches in Indonesia, except the only problem we didn’t have lots of money at that time to travel here and there, so yeah Pulau Seribu or Thousands Island like 3 hours by boat from North Jakarta definitely a perfect beach getaway.
Will is a free and spontaneous person. He was the craziest and always the first person in our group scream “Let’s go here…let’s go there…”. While Andret was such a cool chick, Bram could read maps better than the others, and we loved Riza for his fun personality and sense of humor, and those rumors that he bought some spirits from Ebay, Will spread this gossip and I didn’t know the exact truth but anyway I loved them and our adventures.
It was Friday afternoon, Will told us his idea about spending our weekend at Thousand Island. We were like yeaaah let’s do it. We’ve never planned our trip, just pack our stuff – get in the car – and go ! So Saturday early morning like 4 am we drove down to Muara Angke, a fish market in North Jakarta where the port to go to Thousand Island was in there. It was Ramadhan, four of us were fasting. I remember I only brought chocolates and water with me, Riza had some snacks and that was it, they must sell some food in island. The first boat to Pramuka Island left at 7 am. The fisherman's wooden boat was packed with local people, some tourists including us, fresh fish and fishermen. We only had to pay Rp 30.000 ( $ 3 ) for one way trip to Pramuka Island, the journey took at least 3 hours. If 3 hours sitting at the boat sounds too long, you can take CitraJet boat ( Rp 100.000 / one way ) from the new harbor at Muara Angke, leaving every 8 am, with AC and comfy seats plus it's only 1 hour and a half to get to Pulau Tidung or Pulau Pramuka, we found it very convenient. Check out my new blog post about Pulau Seribu / Thousand Island Pulau Tidung & Pulau Semak Daun 2013.
Andret didn't look so happy there :(

We arrived at Pramuka Island at 11 am, that’s where most of the local people lived. The boys rent snorkeling equipment for Rp 25.000 then we rent a boat for Rp 120.000 to go to Semak Daun Island. We didn’t book any hostel in Pramuka Island since we were planning to spend a night at Semak Daun Island. There was no hotel there obviously, it was just a small island, practically no one lived there except two or three guys. We didn’t bring any sleeping bags or blankets, so yeah we knew we would end up sleeping on the beach. The man dropped us to Semak Daun island and pick us up the next morning before 11 am because the boat from Pramuka Island scheduled leave back to Jakarta around 12 –ish.
Semak Daun Island was sooooo beautiful. I was so surprised there was a nice island with a white crystal beach just 3 hours from Jakarta. Me and Andret  had our fun photo shoot sessh under the sun, while Riza and Will went snorkeling. I could hear them screaming very excited “You girls gotta stop taking pictures and get your ass in the water. Check the corals !”  Done with photo session, we got in the water. Those sea urchins underwater scared me to death, I was so panic trying my best to swim back to the jetty, asked for Will’s help but I guess he was just watching me, ohh correction, he was giving some instructions how to kick and swim back to the jetty, which wasn’t help much. But anyway, I got out of the water and decided to soak up the sun just lying in the jetty, watching my boys snorkeling.

At 6 pm we sat in the jetty, watch the sun went down. Forget about building and the hustle bustle of Jakarta, we had our lovely weekend at Semak Daun Island, except…we realized we didn’t have food for dinner, not even enough water, so we struggled to survive til tomorrow. The boys set up a bonfire and they jammin’ under the stars. It’s like the night sky was celebrating life and love with us, the sounds of wave while watching shooting stars and you know - just like small kids, each of us had our wishes. Even tho it was very hard to sleep after, we found many small animals in the sands and it was getting colder, still it was one of our best nights.
Our 'hotel room' !

The next morning we got up early. The boys went snorkeling again, me and Andret just enjoying our Sunday morning in the jetty, capturing some pictures before the boat pick us up. Leaving Semak Daun at 11 am and waiting for another hour in Pramuka Island til the boat arrive and bring us back to Jakarta. Seriously if you guys ever happen to visit Jakarta, or some of you live here and thinking to do weekend getaway, we really recommend you to visit Pulau 1000 or thousand island. It was a very cheap trip, we spent less than Rp 200.000 ( $ 20 ). 3 hours boat from Jakarta to Pramuka Island wasn’t a big deal if you got great companion with you. Even if you don’t want to spend a night in Semak Daun Island and prefer to book a room in Pramuka Island, you would still enjoy the islands. Go rent a snorkeling equipment and boat in Pramuka Island, then do island hoping, don’t forget to bargain. I guess the price is around Rp 100.000 – Rp 150.000 ( $ 10 – 15 ).
From some news I’ve read these days, lots of people do island hoping to Tidung Island then Semak Daun. Tiger Island or Pulau Macau is also recommended, you can check www.pulaumacau.com .It’s a bit more expensive but they offer you many activities and the resorts is great, so I guess the price’s worth it. The girls and I are planning to go to Thousand Island next week, I really hope things are still the same, can’t wait to soak up the sun. Promise will keep you guys updated. In the mean time, my last confession would be : I miss my travel buddies so much. We’re all just very busy doing our own things. Bram and Riza are working in banks, Will been living in Bali since couple of month ago, I haven’t heard any news about Andret but definitely wish all of them the very best in the world.  

Please feel free to check the new blog post about Thousand islands Pulau Tidung & Pulau Semak Daun , more photos and info :)

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