Indonesia is one of those places where your dollar goes very far. For the average traveler, that means dabbling in luxury. For the luxury traveler, that means a lavish experience replete with attentive service and a level a luxury normally reserved for a billionaire. The first stop on this luxury adventure will be Jakarta, Indonesia’s largest city with more than 10 million residents in the city and more than 30 million in the metro area on the world’s most populous island of Java. We can also help point you to the best resort in Jakarta. After a few days there, you’ll be ready for something less metropolitan and then, your adventure will continue north of Jakarta into the Thousand Islands. This is a chain of islands comprised of a string of 108 islands stretching 28 miles into the Java Sea. How to get to Thousand Islands from Jakarta? We have ideas there as well!
Jakarta is famous for Monas, the National Monument as well as the Istiqlal Mosque and Jakarta Cathedral. You can also find Martabak Boss making some of the best martabak you’ll find anywhere – martabak is a thick, stuffed pancake with your choice of savory or sweet fillings. There’s more to Jakarta than the standard tourist attractions.
Museums and Art in Jakarta
You may find yourself impressed with the art – both national and international – at The National Gallery with both permanent collections and temporary exhibits. A stroll through Old Town elicits feelings of living in another era. Also known as Old Batavia or Kota Tua Jakarta, it is full of Indonesian history, historical architecture, and museums – while some of the buildings are in disrepair, restoration efforts are in progress.
A visit to the National Museum – more than two centuries old – takes you through more history of Indonesia and Asia and features an extensive collection of ancient Hindu-Buddhist sculptures. On the lighter side of things, a former church is now home to The Puppet Museum of Indonesia or Museum Wayang. This delightfully quirky collection of puppets, masks, and other dolls from around the world is a must see.
In the north part of the city, the Maritime Museum allows you to step aboard a schooner or pinisi. Be sure to take in the full museum to immerse yourself in the rich, sea-faring history.
The Best Resort in Jakarta
What you’ll likely enjoy most, however, is the luxury hotel experience in Jakarta. There are several places that vie for the title of the best resort in Jakarta. Spoil yourself with hotels like the Four Seasons, The Ritz-Carlton, or The Hermitage at prices ranging from $150 to $250.
For the next leg of your Indonesian adventure, it’s time to leave the best resort in Jakarta and head off to the Thousand Islands to a more rustic experience. How to get to Thousand Islands from Jakarta? There are two harbors in Jakarta where you can catch a boat. You can take a public ferry but we opt for the speedboat!
Which Island to Choose
Out of the 108 islands, only 36 are usable for recreation pursuant to a government decree, and of those 36, only 13 of the islands have been developed fully. Two of these islands are historic parks with the other 11 featuring resorts. The remaining islands are either uninhabited, used as fishing villages, are not open to the public, or are privately owned.
With everything from snorkeling and diving to local culture and dining, the only difficult choice is which island to choose. That decision usually boils down to your choice of accommodations. Prepare yourself as you won’t be staying at what you think of when you think of a luxury resort. The rooms or private beach huts will seem primitive by most standards. You’ll have the necessities to meet your needs, but they may not be luxurious.
Resorts in Thousand Islands
Rooms aside, when you step outside, you’ll see pristine beaches, snorkel with sea life, and return with a sun-kissed glow from your Indonesian tan. But which island or more pertinent which resort? Pulau Ayer features one of the most complete resorts, the Pulau Ayer Resort and Cottages (both floating on the sea as well as planted firmly on the ground). Pulau Tiding is home to an almost 900-yard bridge (Jembatain Cinta or Love Bridge) connecting small Tidung with large Tidung. Or you can choose Pulau Pelangi where you’ll find some of the greatest snorkeling in its crystal clear water.
Enjoy the full experience by exploring Jakarta and the Thousand Islands on an extended itinerary. A stay at the best resort in Jakarta will only enhance the experience. With the length to which your dollar will stretch, adding a few extra days won’t phase you one bit. So are you ready to book your Indonesian adventure?