Pangandaran is located in south east of West Java and people say that it is like Kuta Beach 20 years ago. Well, my first time in Bali was 3 years ago and I could not really imagine how it looked like before. Okay, maybe it was less crowded than now but I believe it was not like a random beach in East Nusa Tenggara which feels like your private spot.
I arrived at 9 am and saw so many kids with their families have been there playing with the sand and sea water. The sand is not white like what you see in your windows desktop, but yeah, the smell in the air was really refreshing and brought blissfulness.
Since Pangandaran is a fisherman’s village, there were so many boats along the beach. Some young men asked me to rent the body board or sail to another side, Pasir Putih Beach – literally White Sand Beach. I walked through the national park of nature reserve instead. I swear I saw a giant lizard there but alas, I only brought a wide-lens camera with me and I was too scared to get closer so I chose not to take its picture. The sand color is a bit brighter there in the other side, but its texture is grainier. As the day began to rise, the water receded and I can see the coral popped up.
I rode motor bike to Batu Karas and spent one and a half day there, specifically in Legok Pari, which is a really small beach but always full of people. It is a favorite place for surfer because there is no coral and it is relatively safe for the beginner – like me, I learnt how to surf for the very first time here. Pro surfers will like Bulak Benda better since the wave is bigger and more challenging. There are some small bars and restaurants to relax after swimming and some of them offer fresh and savory seafood that really worth to try.
Before going back to Jakarta, I stopped by Green Canyon (Cukang Taneuh). Due to the tight schedule and I did not want to miss the bus again, just like what happened when I climbed Mt. Sumbing, I only down the river by boat. It was amazing to see the high canyon full of moss and verdure everywhere. Next time, I will come back again and jump in to the stream, doing that body rafting for 4 hour!
- Try not to visit this place during weekend, especially a long one with national holiday. I came on Chinese New Year holiday, 19-21 February 2015 at the same time with other Jakarta and Bandung residents. I obviously could not really enjoy my surfing lesson since I was too afraid hitting kids with my board in Batu Karas.
- Other than bus straight away from Jakarta to Pangandaran (there are Gapuraning Rahayu, leaving from Kampung Rambutan or PO. Merdeka from Grogol or Kalideres, twice a day at around 7am and 8pm), consider to take train from Senen Station to Banjar (which cost around Rp30,000) where you can continue by bus to Pangandaran.
- The west beach of Pangandaran is only 5-10 minutes walking from the bus stop. Don’t ake the ojeg (motor bike taxi) unless you are dying.
- Bargain! Especially if you want to rent motor bike or surf board. Food and alcohol price are fair enough, but you may save some pennies by doing this and it does not hurt just to try. Oh! And don’t forget to ask the price before you enjoy those beers or anything as local people always try to mark up especially if you are foreigner.