Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 8 December 2010 • Itinerary
Jakarta equals to air polution, traffic jam, malls and high-rise buildings? Well, that’s true. But hey, if you’re willing to explore a lil bit more, you might find another side of this city, the fun side. My friend and I did that, and we can say that we Like what we found! It’s Suaka Margasatwa Muara Angke, which is located in Muara Angke, next to Pantai Indah Kapuk housing complex, North Jakarta.
This time, it’s Regina’s turn to contribute her travel story. It makes you think twice before claiming that traveling always requires a lot of time and money. Just look around your city, look again, and you might just find some place that you’ve never been before.
In the name of “we-want-to-get-some-peace-of-mind-and-get-connected-with-nature“, we decided that we should give it a go to Suaka Margasatwa Muara Angke [Muara Angke Preservation].
The ticket lady reminded us about the existence of long tail monkeys inside the park. If they saw a visitor bringing some hanging objects [such as bags, cameras, etc], they will be easily attracted, and sometimes they like to “grab” those objects from the visitor. So it was better for us to leave our bags and bring nothing inside.
We left our bags at the guard office. There were no deposit counter or whatsoever. So in the name of “We put our trust on you”, we left our bags and only bring our important cards [ID/ATM] &money and put them in our pocket. And they didn’t charge us for depositing oour bags at the office. ^.^
She also said, that if we wanted to bring our cameras, that would cost us IDR 100,000. Hmmmm, that’s weird. IDR 100,000 with a chance that the monkey would take away our cameras? NO, thank you. I’ll just “quietly” take some pictures with my cell phone :p So, I’m sorry for the poor quality of the pictures on this post. [such a rookie contributor]
So we left our bags and only brought a bottle of mineral water and our cell phones. Then the park guard asked us if we needed his assistance to explore the place. And with the spirit of Dora The Explorer, we said, “No, thank you Sir. We think we’re gonna be okay.” We were ready to explore the “wildlife” of preservation and get connected with nature.
We were amazed with this place. Just a few feet away from this park, right in front of the main gate, you’ll find concrete buildings. And if you just step back to this park, you’ll find this.
Anyway, as the ticket lady said, there’s a chance for us to encounter the “real owner” of this place. The long tail monkeys. But so far, so good. No monkey attack or Return to Eden scene where we got attacked by a crocodile. *too much movies*
So we walked until we found, what I called the 1st Pit Stop. This “little wooden hut” turned out to be an observation place for researchers who want to observe birds in this park.As I found out later after wiki-ing, even though SMMA is the smallest conservation park in Indonesia, it holds a quite important role. Even BirdLife International – one of the bird conservation organization in the world – put Muara Angke park as one of the Important Bird Areas in Java island.
And we continue our exploration. Just few steps after we walked from the pit stop, I saw a monkey jumped on the tree branch, right next to the pit stop. *panic!!*
We stepped back to the pit stop. Took cover inside the hut. And then right in front of us, there it was, this lovely wooden bridge to terabithia * again, too much movies *
And because of that long tail monkey, we got chickened out! Started to blame the spirit of Dora.
We started to think, “We should’ve asked for the guard number. Just in case things like this happened.” *d’oh*
Suddenly, my friend Dina said, “We won’t be defeated by long tail monkey, nor tail-less monkey!” *insert heroic backsound*
“But first, we need to get back and ask that guard to come with us.” Oh yeah, there goes our spirit of Dora the Explorer. (^^”)
Keep On Walking
So, we started all over again, but this time, accompanied by Mr. Rony, the guard. ^.^
As we got close to the Pit Stop, the place where I saw the monkey, Mr. Rony said, “The monkey that you saw, he was looking for food. Take a look at that mess. He’s looking for food inside the dumpster and make a mess out of it.” I gotta say, that long tail monkey, he got a good taste in food.
I won’t brag about “how the hell did this KFC trash got inside a preservation park?” dialogue with Mr. Rony. Let’s just say that it’s beyond his control. Well people, you might want to consider eating outside the park before you get into the park.
So, we walked and walked. Sometimes we saw a small biawak (type of lizard) on the bridge, and it would hide right away as we approached. And then we got into this open lake, where i can see big white birds flying around. According to Mr. Rony, those were called Egrets.
I asked Mr. Rony, “Is there a crocodile or snake?” He said, “There are snakes here. Crocodile? I haven’t seen one. But, who knows?”
Let’s carry on then.
And before we know it, we finally reached the end of the bridge. They put this freestanding information display about garbage at the end of the bridge. It informed us about most of the solid waste that drifts in the river in Jakarta. Most of the waste are plastic and styrofoam from the domestic waste. Various form and size of the plastic waste covers the root of the mangrove tree. Waste is also dangerous for the living creature in the park. Some fish are found dead because they got trapped in the plastic waste.
The Wooden Bridge
We walked back to the main entrance. From Mr. Rony, we found out that the length of the wooden bridge is aproximately 900 meters [800 sumtin, i forgot the exact number]. So if we walk until the end of the wooden bridge, and walk back to the main entrance, in total, we already walk for 1.8 km!!! Great way to burn all of those fat, yes?
Ow, almost forgot. How can I be so impolite! Let me introduce you to “real owner” of the park.
Okie then. Have fun exploring your own city.
I won’t suggest you to eat inside the park. I even think that we’re not allowed to eat in there. Plus, they don’t sell food there. So, what my friend and I did was, we ate before we got in the park. There’s a Japanese restaurant in front of SMMA, but we decided to look for another food.
And we found these food stalls, where you can choose from the common Warung Nasi, Mie Ayam, Nasi Uduk, Sate Ayam/Kambing, Gado2, etc. We decided to eat Satay. The price on a portion of Sate Kambing with Lontong [goat satay with rice steamed in banana leaf] was IDR 13,000. And it was yummm-o! [or maybe I was just starving and everything just tasted good as long as I can eat something].
Using Public Transportation [what my friend and I did]
From wherever Trans Jakarta shelter that you started, you just have to hop off at Harmoni shelter and continue with Trans Jakarta Harmoni – Kalideres, and then hop off at Jelambar shelter. Then, you get on B 01, a small red car public transportation [angkot] with Grogol – Muara Angke route, and you get off at the gate of Pantai Indah Kapuk housing complex, marked with Pizza Hut or the pool shelter of angkot U 11.
From there, you can continue by walking, or by using angkot U 11.
If you choose to continue by walking, you just walk in to Pantai Indah Kapuk, cross the bridge [around 50 m from the gate, on your right side you can already see part of SMMA area]. Just follow the pedestrian, about 300m from the bridge, across the Mediterania Niaga shop houses, you’ll find the main entrance.
For us, who no longer have the strength of early 20s girl, we decided to use angkot U 11 instead. Hey, we gotta save some energy here.
Using Your Own Vehicle
1. Via Inner City Freeway
Take Pluit exit way. Follow the street through Mega Mall Pluit, just go straight until you get in Muara Karang street, marked with a crossroad with a bridge. Just follow the road until the end of street, marked with Pizza Hut and an apartment building. Take a left turn, go straight in to Pantai Indah Kapuk, after you cross a bridge [around 50 m from the gate, on your right side you can already see part of SMMA area]. Just go straight about 300m from the bridge, across the Mediterania Niaga shop houses, you’ll find the main entrance. You can park your vehicle at the shop houses parking lot.
2. Via Airport Freeway
Take Pantai Indah Kapuk exit way. Get inside Pantai Indah Kapuk complex. Follow the street that directed to Mediterania. You can park at the shophouses of Mediterania Niaga, right across the main entrance of SMMA.
If you do it my way exactly, then this is how much you would need:
Trans Jakarta bus [Mampang-Harmoni-Jelambar] = IDR 3,500 x 2 [round trip] = IDR 7,000.
B 01 angkot [Jelambar – Pantai Indah Kapuk] = IDR 4,000 x 2 [round trip] = IDR 8,000.
U 11 angkot [Pantai Indah Kapuk – Main Entrance of SMMA] = IDR 1,500 X 2 [round trip] = IDR 3,000.
Food [ Beef Satay] = IDR 13,000.
Drink = IDR 6,000.
Ticket Entrance = IDR 5,000.
Fee for Mr. Rony [he didn’t ask, it was our decision] = IDR 25,000 [per person].
In total = +/- IDR 67,000 [per person]