Tidung Island, DKI Jakarta – The Bridge to Refreshing Weekends

Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 8 September 2010   •  Itinerary

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Tidung Island has gotten itself more and more famous among Indonesians, especially those who reside in Jakarta. Our friend Vindhya is here to tell us all about the islands, which she has visited for so many times. Everybody, give it up for Vindhya..!!  

*applause*

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

 (photo courtesy of Cici Suciati)

Our arrival at Tidung Island after 2.5 hours boat ride from Jakarta was welcomed by the turquoise water and the warmth of village life. Unlike what you might imagine a pretty island would be, you wouldn’t find a lot of white sandy beaches here. However, Tidung has its own charm, that is the marvelous underwater scene and the bridge that connects the two islands of Big Tidung and Small Tidung, which has become one of the attractions for visitors.

Note: Big Tidung translates to Tidung Besar, and Small Tidung to Tidung Kecil.

It is a small island, but you can never run out of things to do, especially when you’re only at a 2-day weekend getaway.

 

Biking

Come relax and bike around the island. You don’t need to hassle yourself by bringing your own bikes from the city because you can just rent them there.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

 (photo courtesy of Endi Hamid)

Beware, not all of the bikes’ brakes still function well. So you need to be a little bit creative when it comes to stopping. Some choose to do it the Flinstone way, stop the bike with your feet. Very manually and old school, but then again it wouldn’t really matter cos you don’t need to go fast in this relaxing getaway, would you?

Upon your visit, never forget to take some snapshots and sip some young coconut with ice. This popular natural beverage is such a treat in the tropical heat.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

 (photo courtesy of Vindhya Sabnani)

You’re actually free to bike across the bridge between Big Tidung and Small Tidung. But you wouldn’t be allowed to do so when there’s too many visitors. And as Tidung gets more and more popular, there are times when it gets crowded with visitors, especially in the weekends.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

(photo courtesy of Yusdi Irawan)

Much Ado About the Tidung Bridge

Design wise, there’s probably nothing spectacular about this wooden bridge. But there are several things you can do on, around, and off the bridge, such as swimming and snorkeling around it, taking pictures with beautiful ocean as your background (would make great profile pics for your Facebook accounts), or get some adrenaline rush by jumping off the more or less 3 meters high bridge. If you don’t really wanna do much, grab a book and read on the bridge with the wind blowing until you doze off.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

(photo courtesy of Anto Motulz)

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

(photo courtesy of Cici Suciati)


Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

(photo courtesy of Cici Suciati)

Snorkeling

As a trip organizer, I would strongly recommend my trip participants to snorkel around the islands. Viewing the sceneries on the surface is great because it’s lovely, but that’s not enough! You have to see what’s under the water as well. They’ve got perfectly shaped coral reefs and adorable fishes of various shapes, sizes, and colors, such as the blue spotted stingray, lion fish, pipe fish, shrimpfish, and starfish.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

(photo courtesy of Cici Suciati)

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

(photo courtesy of Cici Suciati)

If you don’t have snorkel and mask or just plain too lazy to bring any, no worries, snorkeling apparel rentals is easy to find on the islands.

As much as I want to, I’ve never dived at Tidung islands, simply because I find it hard to prepare my own diving trip when I also have to take care of the trip participants. But I do snorkel a lot there. My favorite snorkeling spots: the north and west part of Big Tidung and the east part of Small Tidung.


Island Hopping

There are some other islands that’s worth a visit, for example:

– Payung Island

It’s only about 20 minutes by wooden boat from Big Tidung. Usually I schedule lunch for my trip participants on this island. I usually bring food in boxes for them, but you could also buy some munchies here, like fried snacks (gorengan), and even instant noodles and bakso.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

 (photo courtesy of Cici Suciati)

Aside from eating, this island is also great for its coral reefs. And at the east side, there’s a spot that’s great for just lazing around while enjoying the view of a pretty blue lagoon. It’s actually an artificial lagoon. Well it’s actually a pool having made by the owner of half of Payung island, but it’s filled with salty water from the ocean.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

(photo courtesi of Cici Suciati)

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

(photo courtesi of Cici Suciati)

The down side of this island? It’s owned by some rich person, I don’t even know who, but I know that when the owner is there, public can not go to the east part of the island. Darn! I didn’t even know that you could own a whole island. I wonder what’s the law for that.

– Karang Beras Island

Honestly I’ve never been to this island. But a trusted friend of mine has, not long ago, and she said that it’s got a great snorkeling spot. I must go there someday!

– Pramuka Island and others

If you have extra time, you could also visit Pramuka Island and the islands around it. Pramuka Island is one of the most developed islands in this mini archipelago, and it can be reached by wooden boat only in 60 minutes from Tidung.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

(photo courtesy of Anto Motulz)

The other islands around Pramuka include Semak Daun, Balik Layar, and Karya islands. I believe Vira and Mumun have written about their trips to these islands in previous posts.

Have a taste of Indonesian local delights. Near the bridge, there’s a simple stall that’s open from morning till late afternoon. You can choose from chicken porridge, bakso, grilled fish, snacks, fruit ice, and even packaged crackers that you can bring home.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

 (photo courtesy of Vindhya Sabnani)

And guess what? They also sell t-shirts for souvenirs! The t-shirt price ranges from IDR 30,000 – 50,000 / pc.

You can also try some meals at stalls around the people’s houses in the village. They’ve got fried rice, chicken rice with tomato and chili base condiment (pecel ayam), bakso, and many other kinds of food.

Recommended stall for bakso: bakso urat at the left of the jetty (IDR. 15,000/portion), as for pecel ayam: the one behind the jetty (IDR. 13,000/portion).

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

 (photo courtesy of Vindhya Sabnani)

If you’re not up for a little food adventure, you can just order catering to the lodge where you’re staying and they’ll organize the menu for ya. Some of the menus are nasi uduk (steamed rice cooked with coconut milk), fried squid, shrimp bakwan, some vegetables, and tongkol fish cooked in various ways. Whatever food you choose, sounds like a winner anyways, right?

I don’t think there’s a hotel, motel, or hostel on this island. But there are guesthouses, which are actually locals’ houses being rented out to visitors. The people here are used to guests in “taking over” their houses, so they’ve got some extra mattresses in stock, and they’ve also added refrigerators, TV sets, and some air conditioners for your convenience.

I myself am not too comfortable with lodging in people’s houses, so I always choose to rent a small house, sort of like a pavilion unattached to the main house, fully equipped with TV, AC, and its own bathroom.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

There’s another way of lodging, which is sort of crazy but not really if you’re an outdoor type: have a sleeping bag ready, and slip into it on the famous bridge. No money needed there!

You could also camp out at Small Tidung Island, just be aware that there’s no electricity there, so it will be very dark at nights. Except maybe when it’s full moon. But then beware of werewolves. Nah I’m just kidding!

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

 (photo courtesy of Anto Motulz)

Going there:

Option #1, which is what I always choose:

Make sure you get to Muara Angke port very early in the morning. Me, because I live near to Lebak Bulus area, in the south Jakarta, I’d get on the first departure of Trans Jakarta bus (busway, as people like to call it) at 5 AM from Lebak Bulus, get off at Grogol 2 stop, and then get on a red angkot #01 To Muara Angke at the Citraland crossroad. You’ll be in Muara Angke approximately at 6.15 AM, and then hop on a wooden boat that will leave for Tidung Island at 7 AM. You’ll arrive in Tidung 2.5 – 3 hours later.

Please note that boats that go to Tidung only operate in the mornings. So set your alarms right, guys!

Option #2:

Get on the Kerapu boat from Ancol’s Dermaga 21. But there’s only one boat that goes to Tidung and it’s a 25-seater. The boat leaves Ancol port at 8ish AM and it takes 1,5 hours to get to Tidung.

Note that if you missed this boat from Ancol, or if they’re out of seats, then you won’t have another choice cos the boat from Muara Angke has left even earlier.

Going back to Jakarta:

The boat to Ancol usually leaves at 12 to 1 PM.

There’s also a wooden boat with unpredictable schedule and operates depending on whether it’s high or low season. But usually it leaves at 7.30am, 11.00am, 12 – 1 pm.

Now here’s a way to get rid of the hassles:

Send your inquiries to me – vindhyasabnani@yahoo.com – and I will arrange the amazing trip for you 🙂

Tidung is a part of A Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu). It’s located at the southern part of the mini archipelago, and at the outer part of it to be exact. That is why the waves around the island are usually bigger than those around other islands in the archipelago. But sometimes I can head there and back in really calm water.

Other than the fact that Tidung is beautiful and so close to Jakarta, this is another reason why it’s become a favorite to the Jakarta people for short getaways. It costs relatively little money, especially when they’re going in a bigger group around 15-20 people. That way, they can share the cost for lodging and boat.

Travel Indonesia: Tidung island

 (photo courtesy of Anto Motulz)

Here’s the budget breakdown for the trips I usually organize to Tidung.

Transport from Muara Angke port to Tidung, and back: IDR 66,000 / pax by public boat

Bike rent: IDR 15,000 / day

Meal: +/- IDR 10,000 – 20,000 / meal

Lodging: +/- IDR 300,000 /

Boat rent: IDR 300,000 – 450,000 / boat / day, usually for island hopping

Snorkel & mask rent: IDR 35,000 / day

In total, this trip costs less than IDR 400,000 / pax (equivalent to USD 44 in today’s rate).


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