When travelling in the wet season in Indonesia there is always a risk that it can rain from day 1. Maybe one that people don’t want to take when it also involves taking a 4 hour train, 2 hour bus and a becak, but it is worth it when visiting an Eastern Java beach resort called Pangandaran.
This “remoteness” from the standard tourist route makes this place that extra bit special. Don’t get me wrong this place isn’t a deserted paradise as Indonesian’s swarm to this area on weekends and holidays, but for a true Java beach this is the place to be.
Pangandaran is on the west coast of Java on a small peninsula. Black sand line the west side of the peninsula, perfect for sun bathing and beginner surfing. But this sand can get very hot at the peak of the day! On the other side fish shacks line the sea wall waiting to cook up the fresh seafood caught by the fisherman in the morning. During the day you can watch the locals pull the nets if fish to shore full of fish.
At the end of the peninsula is a nature reserve, inhabited by animals such as monkeys and deers. A small entrance fee is paid to enter the reserve which helps to maintain the area. Even though we didn’t go in to see the animals apparently key things to see are the caves, waterfalls and old Japenese war bunkers.
To enter Pangandaran an entrance fee is needed which includes travel insurance, as tsunami risk is a major threat to the area. Since 2006, when the last major tsunami impacted this area, warning routes and evacuation sirens have been in place and successful.