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» Pulau Bidadari
Pulau Bidadari
by: Galuh Wulandarie

Pulau Sakit (Sick Island) was once a leper colony during the 1600s. Deserted several years later, Dutch colonizers felt that the island (along with Onrust, Kelor, and Cipir islands) would be the first line of defense of its settlement in Batavia (now modern-day Jakarta) against marauders. To give the island a more positive vibe, the name was changed to its current moniker, Pulau Bidadari (Angel Island), during the ‘70s.  If you are interested in getting to know more of Indonesia’s history, then the scenic Bidadari Island will be of interest.

One has to take a 15-minute ride on a 35-seater ferryboat from port 17 of Marina Port, Ancol, to reach Bidadari Island. Because of its proximity to Jakarta, rubbish from the city inevitably float along the coast. Forget this for a moment however, and marvel at the view of Jakarta from the island.

With only six hectares, Bidadari is considered as a small island.  Its lone resort is managed by the Jaya Ancol, Jakarta and has recreational facilities that include a restaurant, volleyball courts, ping pong tables, water sports equipment, swings, a basketball court, pool tables (Rp.5000/hour) and many more. I prefer renting a bike (Rp.15.000/hour and Rp.5000 for each succeeding hour thereafter) to tour the island, which might take approximately 20 minutes or longer, as it’s hard to pedal on sand. If you’re in the mood for water sports, the resort has a jet ski (Rp.175.000/15 minutes), canoes (singles at Rp.50.000/30 minutes or doubles at Rp.30.000/30 minutes), and a banana boat (Rp.175.000 for 5 persons). Unfortunately, you can only swim on one side of the island; there’s also no swimming pool.

For a unique experience, I recommend that you book one of the floating cottages, which take inspiration from the concept of a traditional fisherman village. The cottages are built on water, supported by sturdy poles. You can also go for a more conventional route and stay in one of the cottages on the island. All cottages are equipped with air conditioning, TV, and can accommodate up to four persons each. In general, the resort is in need of upkeep, and has yet to reach its full potential.

I had the chance to talk to Mr. Indra, the island’s Manager. Together with his assistant, Mr. Indra gave me a guided tour of the island. The strength of the island, according to Mr. Indra, was its rich history.

I then went to Martello, a 23-meter wide fortress built in 1849. This is the only fortress in Indonesia whose original structure was kept mainly intact.  The small armory windows and the round structure in the middle of the fortress reminded me of the computer game, Counter-Strike. While walking down the stairs, I chanced upon a photographer snapping photos of a newlywed couple. Legend has it that a couple who takes picture in this fortress will have a long-lasting relationship.

Another interesting fact about this island is that half of it remains to be a lush green forest. It came as no surprise then, that I saw a monitor lizard lurkingin the tree branches as I was walking along a path. Up to 50 monitor lizards inhabit the area, some growing to as long as 2 meters. Walking along a path surrounded by big trees and bushes was such a relaxing treat, it took my mind away from Jakarta’s noise. 

Bidadari Islands, Thousand Islands Region

Address : Bidadari Island,
Jalan -

About The Author

Galuh Wulandarie, Writer, Indonesia, Bali

Galuh writes for SD Editorial Team in Jakarta. Robert J Steiner manages Streetdirectory.co.id & FlowerAdvisor.co.id, well known for for online Flowers & Gifts in Indonesia.

Achieved her bachelor degree in Communication science, Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Galuh Wulandarie is a seeker in adventure. Having worked in Bandung and Bali to start her journey, now she finds her true passion writing articles for Streetdirectory Indonesia  and so her journey continues.

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