THE ANGEL ISLAND

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Pulau Bidadari or The Angel Island is an amazing and outstanding tourist destination which is worth visiting. It isn’t very far from Jakarta and it needs half an hour to arrive at the beautiful island.

Tourists usually go to Marina Ancol Port where speedboat and jet-ski are hired for travelling to the Angel Island. The departure is from 08:00 to 10:00 am. It’s so crowded at weekends. However, only two departures are available on a normal weekday.

While you’re on the way, you’ll see the islands which have their own historical values, such as Cipir, Ontrust and Kelor Islands. Fortresses, houses and harbours were built on those islands by the Dutch government during the Dutch occupation.

In the 17th century, the Angel Island was the location that supported the activities on Ontrust Island, in which the supporting facilities had been built. The Dutch East India Company relocated a leprosy hospital from Angke in 1679. That was why the Angel Island was called the Sick Island.

At the same time, the Dutch government built a control tower which is used for keeping an eye on the surroundings, so that they could defend themselves against an attack. Some Dutch and Ambonese had ever lived there before the Dutch army took control of the Angel Island.

In 1800, the British fleet came to attack and destroyed all the buildings on the island. The Dutch returned to take control of this island and rebuilt the facilities in the year 1803.

Three years later, the Royal Navy came back to attack and nothing remained undamaged on the Ontrust and Angel islands.

Once again, the Ducth came back to rebuilt the islands in 1827. The labourers who worked there were mostly Chinese and prisoners. A Hadji dormitory was established and functioned until 1933.

After the Dutch left the Indonesian archipelago, the Angel Island became unoccupied and nobody had ever visited there before 1970. Later, PT. Seabreez Company invested a large sum of money and developed it from a deserted island to a tourist resort.

Unlike other resorts, the Bidadari Island has the floating cottages. Such cottages look like the stilt houses of the fishermen which are raised on piles over the surface of the sea.

Stilt cottages are also built on the island and they look like the Minahasa traditional houses. If you don’t like stilt cottage, you may choose a common cottage.

Anyone can play around the sea with banana boat, jet-ski, canoe and kayak. Besides, visitors can also have other activities like fishing or playing ball on the beach. Walking barefoot along the beach will normalize blood circulation like foot reflexology that gives a good massage to our soles.

There are a number of Javanese traditional pavilions (pendopo) at the beach. Those who feel tired can take a rest by having a cup of coffee or tea.

Drinking coconut juice in the cool breeze might restore your energy quickly. Some men and women sit or lie under the coconut trees in the warm sunshine.

The resort also provides speedboats for visitors who would like to go to Ontrust Island.

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