The easiest option is to hop a boat or plane to one of the 600 islands clustered offshore to the north of the city, known collectively as the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu). Several of the closer islands, notably Onrust, were used by the East India Company as warehousing and drydocking stations, and the ruins of these colonial installations, from the 17th and 18th centuries, can still be seen.
Many others islands are privately owned as weekend hideways. One of them Pulau Putri, has been developed as a tourist resort with air conditioned bungalows and an airstrip. All the islands are encircled by coral reefs, and this is an excellent place for aquistic sports of all sorts: snorkeling, scuba diving, water skiing, wind surfing and sailing.
Another quick gateway is the jaunt to Java’s sandy and secluded West Coast Beachs. Depending on the method of transportation, the route taken and the traffic, you can enjoy a swim and a cool ocean breeze within three to five hours of leaving the city.
History buffs will want to stop along the way at the village of Banten – the site, during the 16th century, of one of Asia’s largest and most cosmopolitan trading emporiums. Banten town was razed by order of the Dutch Governor – General Daendels in 1808, and is today but a tiny fishing village straddling a tidal creek, but the ruins of two massive palaces and a Dutch fortress, plus the interisting old mosque (with its adjacent museum) and a famous Chinese temple are well worth the detour, (See, Travel Tips).
–> Read Also : West Java – The Western Beaches