Difference between revisions of "Pangandaran"
Revision as of 09:23, 24 September 2013
With its black beaches, Pangandaran, will never stand a chance compared to Bali when it comes to attracting the big crowds. However, this is exactly the appeal of this remote town of beach resorts. Even though it is a popular tourist destination with the locals on national holidays for its fine sand beaches (considered to be of the finest in Java), you will not feel overrun by the tourism. In the natural park you have also a beautiful white sand beach with monkeys where you can snorkel.
Susi Air  flies from Jakarta on small 12 passenger Cessnas and its interesting to have experience flying with small plane for those who has not. You can also bring your surfboard, for the large surfboard will be charge as much as the seat price. The distance between airport to pangandaran is about 45 minutes. Passengers should be aware that departure times may be changed with as little as 24 hour notice, and should check in with their booking travel agent, or Susi Air directly the day before a flight.
The bus terminal stops at the market just 500 meters from the beach where you can find plenty of accommodation. It is close enough to walk, but if you are lazy or laden with heavy bags it will not take you long to spot a bicycle rickshaw (more likely, they will spot you) ready to help you empty your wallet.
Local buses run from Pangandaran’s bus terminal to Tasikmalaya (30,000++ Rupiah, three hours), Ciamis (20,000++ Rupiah, 2½ hours), Banjar (12,000++ Rupiah, 1½ hours), Kalipucang or Majingklak (5000++ Rupiah, 40 minutes) and to Cilacap (25,000++ Rupiah, 2½ hours). Buses also run along the west coast as far as Cijulang (7000++ Rupiah, 40 minutes).
The large patas buses generally leave from the Perkasa Jaya depot, just north of town, and Budiman bus company depot, about 2km west of Pangandaran along Jl Merdeka. Frequent normal buses go to Bandung (48,000 Rupiah, six hours) between 6am and 4pm.
However, the most comfortable way to travel to Bandung is with the Sari Harum (639276) door-to-door minibus for 100,000++ Rupiah. Perkasa Jaya minibuses (639607) pick up from hotels for the trip to Jakarta’s Kampung Rambutan terminal (normal/air-con 125,000/150,000 Rupiah, nine hours). Travel agencies can also book tickets for most buses and minibuses for a premium, but transport to the depots is usually included.
Most travel agencies rent minibuses with drivers for about 500,000 Rupiah per day including driver and petrol. Put together your own tour and you may be able to negotiate a better rate. The most popular trip is a three-day tour to Yogyakarta. The usual route will take you as far as Wonosobo for the first night. The second day goes to Dieng for the sunrise, then on to Borobudur for the night. The final day is to Yogyakarta via Prambanan.
Seven hour drive from Jakarta.
Pangandaran’s becak (tricycle) starts at around 10,000++Rp and requires heavy negotiation. Bicycles can be rented for 25,000++ Rupiah per day, and motorcycles cost around 50,000++ Rupiah per day, excluding petrol
The "Pananjung Pangandaran Nature Reserve" is nearby on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow neck of land (about 100 meters) which divides the beach into East Beach and West Beach, so we can see the sunrise and the sunset in the same day when the sun moves in the southern hemisphere. West Beach is more famous than East Beach. About eighty percent of the nature reserve is secondary rainforest. A few hours can be spent here without the need for a guide, however, guides are available and can obviously show you more of the reserve compared to going unattended. The flora of the nature reserve includes the Rafflesia. The fauna of the nature reserve includes banteng, deer, two species of monkey and monitor lizards.
"Green Canyon" Journey through some truly wondrous jungle - rich in massive teak trees, palms, various hanging vinery and the shrill sounds of extensive bird-life. The canyon is apparently a couple of hundred metres long, but it is only safe for visitors to venture the first hundred. At the end of the passable section, the opportunity arises to jump from a 5 metre high stalagmite formation rising from the canyon floor into a deep pool below. The rocks aren't sharp or slippery and there's a myriad of harmless critters around like frogs, dragonflies and miniature crabs to marvel at too. There are about 500 visitors a day, but it will increase to 2,000 per day on holidays make boat congestion on the narrow path and make boat long-waiting too.
"Citumang" is 15km outside of Pangandaran. The English name is Green Valley. It's very nice to walk there to the waterfalls. It's possible to swim in the clear water of the second "Green Canyon" that exists above the dam of the main tourist "Green Canyon". This is slightly more difficult to get to and involves hiring a moped (dirt cheap), but the journey and the final destination is very rewarding. There are barely any tourists and it really feels like you're own personal tropical pool! It is much cheaper (12,000 Rp each for entry and parking) and provides far more freedom than the tourist original "Green Canyon". There's no need for expensive boats and tours and the cool water provides a stark contrast to the hot midday "matahari" (sun).
"Paradise beach" is a deserted island that will satisfy all your Robinson Crusoe adventure feelings for a day. Hire a boat (600,000 for the day), stock up on supplies and have the ultimate picnic on the white sandy beaches of this sliver of paradise.
In short; beach, sun, surfing and kicking back is the image of Pangandaran. However, there is so much more in this yet unspoilt paradise. Hire a motorbike and explore the surrounding area. Not far from the beach you will encounter the life of the unimpressed locals tending to their crops and livestock. Take a trip to the Green Canyon (see above) and continue on to Batu Karas, for some of the best surfing Java has to offer.
Hiring a moped is well worth the tuppence that it costs. Exploring the surrounding villages such as Batu Karas (the amazing two-way traffic bamboo bridge crossing the river is a highlight along with great surfing at the beach) and Karang Nini boasts some spectacular isolated beaches (one beach which hasn't been cleaned up since the 2006 tsunami also boasts a lagoon). Batu Hiu or "Shark Rock" provides beautiful views of the Indian Ocean and Pangandaran along with clifftop walks (as well as the opportunity to have your picture taken with Tinky Winky!!!!).
NOTE: Pangandaran and many of it's surrounding villages charge a fee to enter (in the region of 3-5,000 Rp), it may also be necessary to provide a monetary gift (1-2,000 Rp) to the guard.
Surfing lessons are offered in Pangandaran, prices vary around 200,000 - 250,000 per day. Every hotel and tour operator will let you know about this as soon as you arrive.
Tours to the Green Canyon and/or treks to local tribal communities are eagerly offered. They average about 150,000 per day.
Bike For Discovery (the Heartland of Southern Coast, beyond the beach, Pangandaran offers more natural attractions. choose on of bike tours. enjoy the countryside experience across the lush paddy field, garden, and coconut plantation. take a breath of fresh air of the village and watch the local farmers starting their day, and try other track and be the downhiller.
Coral Adoption, Contributing to Nature, coral transplantation has been taking place in Pangandaran to contribute to coral reef rehabilitation. in the last two years, the program has been extended to allow tourists to participate. join and be a foster parent
Tunnel Exploration, Pangandaran keeps silent evidence of the rail route in the southern coast of Java - dated back from its role as one of the plantation areas in the colonization era. the rail track lies from Banjar - Pangandarn - Cijulang although it is no longer used, the tracks and tunnels keep their appeal and provide a perfect setting for trekking tour in the hinterland.
Cultural Temptation, The Sparkling Traditional Dance, Ronggeng Gunung is a traditional dance originally from Pangandaran. It is very much related to the history of the local princess "Dewi Rengganis. Rengkong and Gondang are the traditional dances to celebrate harvesting period at the southern coast of West Java. The local community has developed a special performance tour for you to see these fascinating dances. Setting under their village's open sky and at the yard of a traditional stage.
Kayaking / Canoeing, explore the local rivers on a tour with SPORA ( Water Sports Development School ) paddling a kayak up or down the river while enjoying the calm serenity of the rural atmosphere. For the more adventurous, there's an ocean tour leaving early in the morning and paddling for 2 to 3 hours around the Nature Reserve peninsula of Pananjung.
other interesting attraction in Pangandaran; - Traditional Dance Lesson - Cooking Lesson - Wooden Puppet Carving Lesson - Feel The Village Atmosphere and stay / overnight at the local people's house -
ATMs are available near the bus terminal and nearby Nyiur Indah Resort, bulak laut street and at the bus station area, there are 3 ATM's.
Seafood comes fresh to the fish market on the eastern side of the city every day. Here you can have your pick from one of the many cheap eateries. Pick your live seafood (fish, crabs, lobsters, prawns etc.) and watch while they cook it in front of you. It doesn't get mor authentic than this.
On the west side (the beach side), western style cafes and restaurants line the beachside road.
Often a bonfire on the beach and drinks and snacks from the closest Warung is the definition of a night out in Pangandaran.
There are hundreds of hotels to fit every budget. Shop around; they are all very close to the beach and each other.
These are some in the sweet spot of cheap and good. You can get cheaper and better by walking down the beach road (and its back alleys).
On national holidays prices go up and you should book ahead.
Please note that the "taxi mafia" are quite strong. Any taxi or ojek driver that takes you to a hotel will then demand/extort up to half of the room's nightly rate from the hotel. Even if you don't take a taxi from the bus station, locals will often follow you (sometimes at a distance) to the hotel, and the local will demand that the owner pay them even though you never said a single word to that person! Failure to pay this extortion means that the "taxi mafia" will bad talk the hotel to everyone who arrives in town, and try to ruin the hotel's business. When you arrive in town, DO NOT tell anyone where you plan on staying, and be wary of people following you to your hotel.
There are some internet places by the beach, but the cheapest (1000 Rp per 15 minutes) is near the bus terminal. They don't have wifi, but you can bring your laptop and plug it into their LAN (same price). As of April 2012 the internet cafe next to the steak house at the beach has closed, leaving the bus terminal currently the only place in the town with internet access in Pangandaran (excluding hostels/hotels with wifi).
The main route out of Pangandaran is to Yogyakarta via Sidareja. A private minibus (usually seating 4) is heavily advertised by the main hotels (Mini Tiga home-stay etc.) which travels to Sidareja station and from there the train heads to Yogyakarta.