Ancol is a sprawling lifestyle and leisure waterfront resort with no less than 7 themed parks (Atlantis Water Adventure, SeaWorld, Ocean Dream Samura, Pasar Seni, Executive Gold Fun, Jaya Bowling, Beach City, Eco Park, Gondola, etc) 5 beaches (Pantai Ria, Pantai Elok, Pantai Indah, Pantai Carnival, and Pantai Festival) and various recreational developments at the northern coast of Jakarta.
Ancol Dreamland (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol), heralded as Southeast Asia’s biggest tourism precinct is also located here. I’ve heard much about this mega amusement park but I’ll have to save this for another visit.
Hunger satiated at Putri Duyung Nyiur Resto & Cafe, we headed over to the nearby Ancol Ocean Eco Park (5 minutes ride) for a breath of fresh air in the urban city. Coming into form in 2011, the Ocean Eco Park has 4 zones (Eco Energy, Care, Nature and Art) to raise awareness and inculcate environment-centric civic coexistence. The park is free to visit.
Yesteryear kampong lush is resurrected with tall coconut palms and attap stalls lining a path that leads to a pond and waterway where bumper capsules and rides await.
But the real hardcore action comes from the fanatic horde of kois hungry for feed, which can be bought at the ticketing booth for rides.
Ostentatiously decked out in oceanic themes, sculptured floats ferry visitors down a canal that winds through the park.
Our ride took us to the edge of a set where aquatic performances are held at the park before we disembarked on a deer enclosure…
… and were welcomed by stags…
… and a following of adorable doey-eyed deer. Eye contact is guaranteed to melt hearts.
Feed consisting of apples and fruits can be obtained to lure the deers for a close encounter. It was magical to feel their wet tongues on my hand and trusting that they won’t bite me. And the enclosures didn’t smell bad.
Deers are not the only ‘wildlife’ to get friendly with. Roaming freely around the grounds are geese and a collection of water fowls who are shy but can’t resist a hand-fed treat.
I’ve worn down the letters C, U,T, and E on my keyboard while writing this blog post! I tried to ‘hypnotise’ this young fawn which I’ve grew so fond of into following me home. But instead, it hypnotised me into making it a point to visit the deer enclosure if I come to Jakarta again with those eyes. Heh heh…
Our brief tour of Ancol Ocean Eco Park saw only the iceberg’s tip of attractions and activities that the park has to offer. Urbanites would find the greenery and rustic throwback to idyllic kampung days a rescue for the senses while the deer enclosures and park pets provided plentiful opportunities to nurture animal doting.
Ancol Ocean Eco Park is the meditative space amidst Jakarta’s choked traffic and urban cacophony.
Address : Taman Impian Ancol, Jl. Lodan Timur, Jakarta Utara.
Tel : +62 21 29222222.
Website: Ancol Ocean Eco Park