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Thousand Islands

A string of 130 palm-fringed islands in the Jakarta Bay, the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu) offer white-sand beaches and calm, clear seas (aside from the islands closest to the mainland, which are plagued by trash). Although they're hardly a match for many of Indonesia's other dream isles, they're certainly a welcome break from the polluted air of Jakarta. Most visitors to the archipelago are concrete-jungle-fleeing Jakartans and expats, and because of this, the Thousand Islands are expensive by Indonesian standards.

Several islands have been developed into resorts with bungalows and water sports. Pulau Pramuka is the group’s district centre, but most people live on Pulau Kelapa. Pulau Panjang has the only airstrip on the islands.

You can book island trips at Ancol Marina, which sits within a large resort and amusement-park complex, or book via the Jakarta Visitor Information Office.