Day 11, 12 & 13: Pangandaran & the Road to Yogyakarta


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Asia » Indonesia » Java » Pangandaran
July 29th 2015
Published: May 8th 2016
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Pangandaran BeachPangandaran BeachPangandaran Beach

In the morning, the beach is perfect to surf, to relax, to walk over the beach. Also, you can rents boats, to visit the Pangandaran National Park.
Shortly after the bus arrived in Pangandaran I felt myself quite horrible. I became very sick, and I felt myself horrible, especially in the late evening, night and morning of the 12thday. Pangandaran is a great place to learn surfing, but I was so sick, I could not attend this excursion, so in the end of the trip, I did not manage to surf. It also became even more horrible due a fight with a roommate, leaving me no other change to end the relation as friends and find another room for myself.



In Pangandaran we arrived in our hotel Pantai Uni, were I had room 2014. The hotel had a great sight on the beach, so it was not more than 200 meter to the beach. Be careful, because a road had to been crossed in between the hotel and the beach. Original the town was first a small fishers town, but nowadays mostly get their income due tourismn. Many fisher are renting their boats for tourist and tourist tours, and many locals are active in the surfing community by giving lesions, curses and rent the surf boards. And the beach is famous for surfing. You can
Pangandaran BeachPangandaran BeachPangandaran Beach

As you see, you have some pretty seawaves. This makes Pangandaran a great spot for surfing. For swimming, this is not a good place, due the heavy undercurrent streams.
get here surf lesions, and you can hire a surf board when you need to without a lesion. This is not expensive, and cheaper as in Bali. Too sad, I cannot give you experience about the surfing here, or a surfing course, because I was too sick to attend one course. If you like to swim in the ocean, this is not the idieal place, because the sea here has a very high undercurrent, which can take adult people slamming in the sea. Please be careful if you go in to the sea, especially with the kids. Pangandaran is a small town, not very famous and big. It is easy going, popular by backpackers and travellers which want to go “off the beaten path”. Even the beach and the small town belongs to the most popular and beautiful beaches of Java, you do not encounter that much travellers, if you go outside the national holiday weeks. You can lay on the beach without laying in the crowd, the water is good and clear. You can walk over the beach quite long before encounter other tourist, but you might encounter surfers. Also, the people which do have stores here and want
Pangandaran BeachPangandaran BeachPangandaran Beach

Pangandaran was firs a small fishers town. However, much fishers and locals rent their boat for tourismn.
to sell are very hospital and polite, so they will not disturb you with their selling. You can find here some travellers from the Western world, as local Indonesian travellers mostly are coming out of Jakarta. And to be honest, this might be a problem if you visit Pangandaran in a national holiday (week) of Indonesia. Most hotels and hostels are booked (and extra expensive), and the beach is going to be a thrash place. Some local tourist book one week extra, which means this week can be also busy. I was one week after the national holiday week there, and the beach was not very clean. There is still a lot of plastic thrash at the beach, in the sand. However, the local beach properties are trying to make the beach proper as soon as possible. But, they cannot take every plastic thrash out of the sand in that short of time. If you are visiting Pangandaran at least 2 to 3 weeks later than the most thrash is removed and you probably would not see anything of it. If you would like to visit Pangandaran, please do consider this in your time table. The reason that Pangandaran is
Meusli yoghurtMeusli yoghurtMeusli yoghurt

From "The Swiss Woman", at her Restaurant "Relax". Here you can find a lot of European dishes for breakfast, lunch and diner.
so popular is that a lot of people call this town the beautiful beach town of Java, not only told by the Javan people, but also by the Western tourist. Yes, there are many other great beaches at Java, but this is also one to consider. If you really want to go for the great, exotic beaches, you cannot find this in Pangandaran and especially Java. You also can visit the Pangandaran National Park if you would like to combine your beach trip with a little touch of nature. This park is on a small peninsula, which you can reach with a small both. Also, the beach here is also great. In this park you can find diverse animals, for example monkeys and bantengs. A Banteng is a in the wild living ox which are living in the forest of South-East Asia, with a length of 160 cm, and ca 200 m long. A bull can reach a weight of 900 km. They do live in herds, starting from 2 animals, but they also can contain 50 animals. There is always one adult bull surrounded by his female oxen and the small calves. Single bulls can live in a “single
Coconut farmCoconut farmCoconut farm

At the left: you see the pits from the coconuts. at the right, you see the complete coconuts before they are been cut
bull herd”. Do consider to take a guide with you if you go in this park.



Yes, that’s sounds awesome right? Yeah, I wish I could surf here and do the tour in the Nature park, but the story did went otherwise. We arrived in the afternoon, and the tour for the National Park started a hour later. Because I felt myself quite horrible already, it was better that I took some rest at the beach. The next day, in the morning and in the afternoon, there was also an option that you could visit the National Park Tour, but in the morning I would like to take my surf lesion. In the afternoon, it also might be possible to do the tour to the National Park, but not due the fact I should go alone, and our tour leader had another tour option to the Green Canyon and I also would like to do this tour. So, choices and choices. That’s why I decided to let the tour group to the National Park in the afternoon go, and I take my rest. I needed it, for my full program tomorrow. At least, that was the plan
A Flying FoxA Flying FoxA Flying Fox

As you can see, his Flying Fox is quite large. Creepy? Nah, he was just a little bit sleepy. I can imagine when you prefer to life at nights.
and I hoped that I could do this at this point. However, I took my rest. In the evening, I went to the Bamboo Beach Club for dinner, just as all the rest of us. Our travel leader told us, this was one of the best places for dinner, and the next evening, we would have a barbeque at the same beach club. Because I did not felt myself good, I ordered Chicken soup. But, this time it took long before the dinner was served. Many of us have eaten, and they found out, they forgot to cook the order from Wim and me. Luckily, the soup came quite fast after they found out, and it was of perfect quality, and the spices was used were great. Hereafter, I went back to the hotel, I needed more rest, but I ended up way more sick. For hours, I had diarrhoea. In the mean time, my “travel partner”, enjoyed the beach party held at the beach club. That is not one of my concerns, but the use of that much alcohol, also local produced alcohol (read: home-distilled alcohol) and probably the use of drugs, he did simply not care about my
Wajang Puppets and Wajang ArtsWajang Puppets and Wajang ArtsWajang Puppets and Wajang Arts

The Artist are showing how they make beautiful art, for example the Wajang puppets.
situation. Coming back in the hotel, puking and not cleaning up and making a complete mess of the total bathing room and his bed, not want to lock the door, I had no other option to get my stuff and search in panic a new room, which succeed. That is why I love a backpack, almost everything I keep in my backpack, just in case that I need to leave, for whatever reason, directly, I do not have to search my room for my stuff and everything is in there.



The next morning, I could kill him. That was an understatement. I felt angry, I did not sleep much and I still was not fit. He booked an excursion and did not care about the status of his room, and I needed to book an extra room for myself, which I got: Room 311. So, he went on the tour, I had my hands busy and I still did not feel good. Due the problems caused by him, and the fact I felt myself not fit to start with the surfing course. Especially due the problems he caused, I feel still very pity I also could not
Wajang Puppets and Wajang ArtsWajang Puppets and Wajang ArtsWajang Puppets and Wajang Arts

Here you can see what great art these Artists are making. Beautiful!
attend. I am still very angry about this, and I never spoke him anymore after the trip. For this problem, we had some minor issues, but this was just the final droplet. I spend my time laying on the beach and in my room. However, I also did not have a good breakfast. There was a little bit a problem with the breakfast, especially the hygiene. Our hotel Pantai Uni was not very clean, especially the water of the swimming pool. A lot of algae were driving in the water. Still, due the holiday week a lot of children were visiting the hotel, and swimming in the swimming pool. Then, they ran to the breakfast buffet and without using their dirty hands, they take out the food out of the buffet holders. This quality of this hotel, and also other hotels, is a running business for the woman of the small Restaurant “Relax”. The woman, running this restaurant is coming from Switzerland. Therefore, she is known as the Swiss woman, or as “The Swiss”. Here, you can enjoy Western food, especially for breakfast as lunch. The yoghurt and muesli is self made, and it looks gorgeous. The name of the
Wajang Puppets and Wajang ArtsWajang Puppets and Wajang ArtsWajang Puppets and Wajang Arts

The Traditional Wajang Puppets
Restaurant, “Relax” is chosen correctly. The atmosphere here is relaxed, the woman is very easygoing and hospitable. The food might be easy, but it taste very good. Also, the serving of the dish is very good, and a lot of attention is payed to this. Therefore, the food looks very tasteful, different colours are popping up in a “relax” style. It is not only a feast for the eyes, but also for the palate of the month. And also for your wallet, because you get a lot of food for what you have ordered. If you do not want to order Western dishes, there is also a choice of Indonesian dishes. Shortly, if you search a cheap, relaxing and a very good meal, please do visit “The Swiss Woman”. You can order breakfast in the morning and let it deliver to your hotel room.



In the afternoon, the travel leader organised an excursion to the Green Canyon. We not only would visit the Green Canyon, also we should visit a little farm where they work with coconuts. The excursion started at 2, and shortly we reached the coconut factory. The people do here hard and unsafe work,
Cukang Teneuh (The Green Canyon)Cukang Teneuh (The Green Canyon)Cukang Teneuh (The Green Canyon)

In the Green Canyon, you seet that many rocks are grown by vegatation, and the trees are hanging over them. The water is clear and blue.
they might cut their selves during the hard work. Also, accidents do happen. Here, the people are cutting the coconuts. They cut the nuts with sharp, large knives. Standing and prostrate, the works cut the pit out of the coconut, which happens quite rapidly. The pits, contains the meat of the coconut, which will been sold, and coconut oil can be made out of it. In fact, we were not here for the coconuts, but for the animals on this farm. A special animal, known as the Flying Fox (Megabats). We were introduced by a member of the bat family, the Flying Fox, and these animals are bigger than the normal bats in most cases. There are different subspieces of the Flying Fox, where the smallest Flying Fox has a span width of his wings of around 24 cm. However, the largest spices, known as the Kalong (Large Flying Fox), which can reach a span width of 180 cm! Therefore, the animal itself can reach one kilogram. You can recognise the Flying Fox to it’s head, because it might look like the head of a fox or a small dogs. Therefore, you can separate them from normal baths. Another way
Cukang Teneuh (The Green Canyon)Cukang Teneuh (The Green Canyon)Cukang Teneuh (The Green Canyon)

The Sunlight falls inside the canyon, which makes all colors pop up very beautiful
of separate the Flying Foxes from the normal bats is due their eyesight and hunting methods. The hunting method is different, because the Flying Fox does not has the ability to use Echolocation. Echolocation is hunting via echo senors, which some animals like the normal bat, is able to do. Echo’s are send out in the environment , and when the echo reach another object, it will been reflect back. With these reflects, the animals can identify his environment. The Flying Fox is not able to do so, therefore he needs another hunting method, and other possibilities to do so. Therefore, the Flying Fox has a very good sight and sense of smell. Which, normal bats do not have. Where normal bats hunt on animals, for example insects, the Flying Fox does not eat flesh but they rather fruits. Therefore, they are hunted a lot by humans and farmers, because they can destroy a lot of the fruitcultivation. And, now, a Flying Fox was hanging for us. Creepy? No, he was just a little bit sleepy. And that is, because Flying Fox are living in the night and are a night animal. The was not that active. You could like
Bamboo Beach BarbequeBamboo Beach BarbequeBamboo Beach Barbeque

You can order by the Bamboo Beach in Pangandaran a barbeque. Fresh fish will be catched, great salads will been made. This all on the beach with some music of lokal people. This is the awesome life!
to hold him at his tiny feet, but I rather to let this animal rest. It seems like that his wings looks leather like. After saying this Flying Fox goodbye, there was a small demonstration about cutting Indonesian and about making Wajang, known as the Javan Indonesian dolls. In Fact, Wajang is the name of the Traditional Javan Theatrical performance, most performed by the Wajang dolls, and in some cases dancers. Because the dolls/puppets have an unique style, they are known as Wajang. One of the Artist told us about the Wajang dolls and their meaning. Every doll was made handmade, with hard work and with passion. No single puppet was the same, which was hanging in the store. We could buy a Wajang puppet if we wanted to. And some members bought a (small) Wajang. You have the Wajang puppets in different sizes, from small to a very large.



Then, we reached Cukang Teneuh, but it’s more known for his English name, The Green Canyon. A lot of locals also use the name “The Green Canyon”, as many tour operators. Cukang Teneuh, belongs to the Santirah River. As the name says, it is a canyon, coloured
Javan River Boat TripJavan River Boat TripJavan River Boat Trip

We ordered 4 boats, where place was for 5 people and one boat guides. These are motorboats and the motors produce quite a lot sound, so please use ear plugs.
beautiful in green styles. The green plants, the moss against the brown rocks, it can look surreal. Also, due the fact the sunlight falls quite unique through this canyon, which makes that the water get’s a very blue colour, or coloured green due the many light of the vegetation is falling into the clear water. The green colour at the side of the canyon, makes it almost a neon-look, bright colour. A beautiful art from Mother Nature. And, sadly, everybody knows this place. And that was the most issue with this place, in my opinion. Touristic. In fact, to touristic. You can do different activities in this canyon. You can visit the canyon with boats, swimming tours, rafting tours. Due the current streams, it is possible to swim and you can swim here though the canyon, without getting badly hurt. However, you are swimming in protecting vests. For rafting, this place is also good, due the mild streaming. And, because the canyon is quite near, and you come in a time that all activities find place it is too crowded. As it was when we arrived. It was so crowded that no one of us was able to swim. The
Javan River Boat TripJavan River Boat TripJavan River Boat Trip

Local fishers beside the river are waving to us. I like the hospitality of these people.
nature here is really beautiful, but probably you do not have the space for yourself. It is crowded if you come during the high times, so than I would not advise to visit this canyon. Try to find a time early in the morning. Is it worth to visit the place? If you are there alone, or with not much people, yes it is.



In the evening, we had an barbeque, organised by the Bamboo Beach Club. It was already dark, but for that, we would like to watch with the diner. And, the diner/barbeque was from very good quality. Of course, they had Saté Ajam, but, they used also a lot of fresh fish, which was cached out of the ocean today. Pangandaran was a fishers town, and besides tourism, fishing is still a major income. Therefore, having a fresh fish on the barbeque was definitely a plus. I do not like to eat fish, but for the other people, they found the fish very good. It did also looked very good on the grill, such a huge fish! Of course, rice was there, and they made some French fries as well. There were two sauces
Javan River Boat TripJavan River Boat TripJavan River Boat Trip

As you can see, the people live a poor live and they are depending on the fish in the river.
for the fish and the Saté. The First one was Sauce of the Saté, which flavoured a little spicy, but very good. The other was a chilli sauce. Also, they had 5 salads: 3 salads did contain different vegetables, one salad with beans and one salad with spinach. After a good meal, it was time to go to bed. The next day, we should travel to Yogyakarta.



As many of us, I ordered a breakfast by the “Swiss Woman”, of Hotel Relax. As many of us. At 7:30, we left Pangandaran and in the mean time, I could eat my breakfast in the bus. Today, we will not only travel by bus, we also take the boat. After 40 minutes of driving, we arrived at the boats. It was time to make a fast toilet stop, before we went on board. In one boat, there was place for around 4 people and the boat guide. Ship Ahoy! We sailed over the river, what would be a very nice course for almost 4 hours. It are traditional boats, and sometimes, the motor of our boat had a little problems, suddenly it went off, and we drifted over the
Javan River Boat TripJavan River Boat TripJavan River Boat Trip

Local Fisherman on the side of the river, by a selfmade "Harbor". Fishing is a man's job, so you only see man's on the river, trying to catch some fish.
water. Luckily, the boat guide was able to get the motor working again. Keep in mind that these motor boats makes a lot of sound, so if you do not like this, you need to search another boat. I used earplugs, and I was happy to do so, because the motor made a lot of sound! And this is very awesome, to travel in Java by boat. In Java, you need to take the train and take the boat. There, I said it, because I agree you defiantly should do this when you are in Java and you have enough time to do so. And no, the ferry to Bali does not count, because I probably would think this is your reaction right now. From Bandung to Banjar and/or Yogyakarta, you can take the train, but Java has many rivers where you can take a small trip on the boat. Especially in the West of Java, you have many opportunities to do so. In the train, you saw the country side live, and therefore, please refer to my previous blog. But, here at the river, you could see the river live and the river side. Here, you could see how
Javan River Boat TripJavan River Boat TripJavan River Boat Trip

This is the sight when you sit on the boat.
the people are living when they were living quite close to the river. Which means, almost every family does contain a boat. With their boats, they are able to fish on the river, and they might catch more fish than on the side of the river. You also see some people fishing besides the river, but with a boat, you have more opportunity to catch some fresh fish for dinner tonight. The fishers are man, which are trying to catch the fish. You see many of them. And that is because fish is probably the main food on their menu. At the side of the river, you see small, little town. Of course, with many children, waving at us. The towns looked very poor. I did not saw any animals, only some birds. The board tours, like this is mostly about culture and see the people living aside the river, and not for nature and spotting animals. If you might do that, you probably need to find another area of Java, and also hire another boat. When we arrived at the harbour, our bus was ready.





The rest of the day, we spend in the
Javan River Boat TripJavan River Boat TripJavan River Boat Trip

On the River you get passed by other local boats.
bus, but we did have Lunch for a Nasi Goreng Ajam. This was by Restaurant Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri. All soda was sold out, so I took tea. The Nasi Goreng Ajam was not the best Nasi Goreng I had. They left the hot spices out, therefore, it tasted a little bit flat. Luckily, they served us some sambal, to spice it up and to bring a little bit flavour into our dishes. In the evening, we finally reached Yogyakarta at our hotel “The 101”. The 101 hotel is a huge, large hotel, so I had room 8006. The service is great, and the pool is so good to hang out. In the hotel, you have a good restaurant, where they make also great Mocktails. A Mocktail is a cocktail without alcohol. I had the Mocktail “Micky Mouse” which has a little Baileys taste. I ordered also a pizza, which was surprising. The bottom was a little bit to flat, but the sauce was good. The sauce had a surprising taste, which you do not encounter in Europe. It was quite sweeten. In the next two days, we will stay in Yogyakarta.


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Indonesian Road to YogyakartaIndonesian Road to Yogyakarta
Indonesian Road to Yogyakarta

Check that truck, he is carrying a lot of massa!
Indonesian Road to YogyakartaIndonesian Road to Yogyakarta
Indonesian Road to Yogyakarta

During a toilet stop, I met this family. Just look at this little boy. Is he not cute?


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