Pulau Macan: One Island in Indonesia’s Thousand Islands


Pulau Macan

Since I’m now down to my last six months of living abroad, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting about the trips I’ve taken.

One of my favorite sojourns was to Pulau Macan (also known as Tiger Island) my first year in Indonesia. A part of the country’s Thousand Islands, I went with a friend and co-worker during a long weekend. Though meeting at Ancol, the launching point, was stressful and boarding what looked like an overpacked boat was worrisome, I truly enjoyed Pulau Macan.

The water around Jakarta is polluted, which is putting it mildly. It was (and still is) the only time in my life where I’ve seen water as black as my hair (not because of sediment) and an actual trash line that served as an uncomfortable reminder as to how “convenience” is killing the planet.

Once the boat’s blades were detangled from the trash and we were speeding across the ocean, I felt as if a centrifugal force was launching me from the megalopolis and into paradise.





Pulau Macan’s entire perimeter can be traversed on foot in less than ten minutes. Besides the quiet that came with smallness (and considerate travelers who were also visiting at the same time), there were simple yet delectable meals, a weak connection to force me off of my phone, blue starfish, my great friend from work, two amazing Malaysian women to chat with, and the ocean. What else could I need?

If ever around Jakarta, I would highly recommend spending even one night out there. If that’s not possible, let the pictures below serve as a quick travel journey for you.