Thursday, May 28, 2009

The 1000 Islands

Guess where I was in the past week?
Let me give you some hint…

Yezza, I was in Indonesia - tanah tumpah darah cowok-cowok ganteng ku!

The journey was, officially, a scientific trip (hehehe) to study modern and ancient carbonate depositions and, personally for me, a shopaholic trip to study the limit of my credit card. Hello… visiting Jakarta and Bandung without stopping over, no matter how brief, at their famous factory outlets, Tanah Abang and Pasar Baru is like going to Paris without visiting the iconic Eiffel Tower ye, kawan-kawan. Thus as a responsible citizen of the world, it is my duty to ensure that my journey covers all the important spots in any city I visited... ahem.

Ancient carbonates are limestone and the likes, such as Batu Caves, Gua Tempurung and Gua Niah. These are the ancient rocks now exposed on the surface. As geologists though, we are hunting for the ones still buried underneath because this rock is one of the ‘containers’ of oil and gas underground - if the setting is right. In my profession, we observe the outcrops on surface to derive the properties and structure of their counterparts in the subsurface. This is what a field trip is all about – tengok batu… :p

Modern carbonate is living reef, and it is equally important to study how it all started – the beginning of the carbonate rock. So how do you study modern carbonates? By snorkeling of course! We went to Pulau Seribu, about 45 minutes by speedboat from Ancol, Jakarta. It is a chain of many, many small islands (hence, the name). A few of the bigger islands were inhabited; the smaller ones are humanless paradise waiting to be explored.

It is a cliché to say how crystal clear the water is, but it really is. Or how beautiful the corals and fishes are, but they really are breathtaking. Even where the water is as shallow as our knee, gorgeous, colorful creatures are swimming happily – unlike in Malaysia’s beaches, where you usually have to go quite far off the beach before you can see anything worthwhile.

One of the highlight - a beautiful starfish. Patrick!!!!

Species terancam - badak air masin. Hanya ada seekor sahaja di dunia ini. Hahahah..

We had to be extra careful though, because there are some sinister creatures like bulu babi (or sea urchin) and jelly fish abound. Perghh, bergetar perut everytime I saw the urchins. Just imagine that you are floating heavenly, tengah syok-syok memerhatikan ikan-ikan bermain dicelah batu karang, lalalalala, you went over the coral and suddenly on the other side, loomed a black creature with monstrous spikes. You can always know when a snorkeling friend suddenly stumbled into an urchin – a quiet float…. then suddenly, frantic flapping of the arms and muffled sound of an underwater scream... hahahaha, memang lawak!

The bulu babi, or sea urchins.

Awesome friends!

Credit to Aiman & Amie for some of the pictures.


  1. sakan ya bersnorkelling...hihii..mana pic shopping@Bandung?

  2. Emang Indonesia terkenal dengan teh sosronya ya?

  3. aku bace perkataan 'cliche' -- terus senyap. Huh!


    btw, mamat depan dlm gmbro last tu siaper? comel lah dier..

  4. kak yus: gambar shopping for another post.. nnt saya habis idea nak update psl apa lagi.. heheh

    fajar: hi there! yep, breakfast teh botol, lunch teh botol, dinner teh botol.. huhu. now in Malaysia it is getting easier to get one also, which is good news for us, teh botol lovers :p

    aiman: cliche - aku malas nake describe sebenarnya, hahaha, for it will sound like any other 'oh, the island is so beautiful with white sandy beaces and blue water'
    p/s: hensem ye yg paling depan skalik tu?

  5. ahaaa..cantikk..tapi mana bag2 baju2 kain2 yang cantikkkk?ekekeke