I’ve been living in a tropical country for my whole life and I don’t think I’ll move out to a country with a cold climate. Because you know what? What’s so great about living in a tropical island is that you don’t have to wait till summer to go to the beach! This is what I do to start a new year.
Fred and I decided to take a 3-days road trip to the beaches in the west side of Java island. Since we didn’t have any plans for our holiday, we just packed our stuffs and headed to the city of Anyer, Banten in West Java.
And here’s our road map just so you can imagine it clearly.
A is our start point and our first stop was Anyer Beach (represented as ‘B’ in the map above), about three hours of driving from Jakarta. There are so many water sport equipments available for rent at the beach but since it’s Monday and no one’s there, (I mean, really…, literally, no tourists) and because of the unfriendly waves, UNFORTUNATELY, we can’t do any water sports. But the great news is… It’s just the two of us walking down the seashore..
Hey, what could be more romantic than that?
We just walked.. and talked… and walked.. and talked… Until the sun set. But don’t expect too much from the beach. It’s quite small and too much ocean wave in January.
And since it’s dark already, we stayed for a night in Marbella Hotel in an ocean-view room. It’s a big old hotel actually, and I’m sure it really needs a maintenance or even a renovation. Seriously.. The wall itself is covered by mildew in many places, the air con in our room was leaking, and the hot water was not working properly. We booked our hotel reservation online because it says that we could get a 30% discount off. We did. But the price is not yet included with the 21% tax. And then we have to wait for an hour before we could finally checked in. A total disappointment for a 4-star hotel. (Well at least that’s what they claimed. A 4-star hotel). I should have read the reviews in tripadvisor.com before staying here.
For all travelers who are planning to have a holiday in Anyer, do not stay in Anyer unless you have to. I’m pretty sure all hotels here are the same. I mean, it’s expensive but looks cheap. There are many other better places for the same amount of spending, I suppose.
The good thing is, we had our nice dinner in Kembang Sari Juara Ikan Bakar restaurant. We ordered a grilled gurame fish, stir-fry kangkung, and karedok. I love ’em all. It would be even better if the fish is a little bit dry.
The next day….
The sun finally rose, we had our breakfast in El Patio restaurant in the hotel and then we went to Carita Beach (C) and Sawarna Beach (D).
It has been raining almost constantly when we arrived, so what we did was taking some pics and then we go find something to eat. We’ve been starving all day until we finally found a hut which sell chicken satay. It costs IDR 15.000 / plate included (cold) steamed rice.
As it’s still raining even after we finish our super-late-lunch, we went back to the car & decided to continue our road trip to Pelabuhan Ratu (E). We stayed for a night in Bunga Ayu Resort. It’s a motel actually with a small nice clean bedroom and a big balcony. It’s located right on the beach. Here, you don’t have much choice for breakfast. Only fried rice / toast with tea / coffee. And there is no pool either. But it was a nice stay, anyway. The air-con in the bedroom made our stay very comfortable. And the room is quite clean!
We walked down the beach in the morning and found out that there’s sooo much pollution both on the sea shore and the water. Trashes are everywhere so I used my flip flop while walking down the beach. But still I enjoyed it. I love the view in Pelabuhan ratu because it’s where sea meets the mountain.
There is not much in the town in the way of shopping or dining, so we decided to headed to Sukabumi for our next stop. We made a stop in a port in town first.
Surprisingly, we found Loji Beach, just by following the road sign. We have no plan at all that we would visit this beach. I mean, we don’t even know that this beach exists. But there we were, staring at how virgin & beautiful the beach was.
Loji Beach is located in Simpenan Village, South Pelabuhan Ratu. It’s about 15 km from the port of Pelabuhan Ratu. Unlike any other beach, Loji Beach is surrounded by rocks. Yeah, big rocks.
Just right beside the beach, there stood a Buddhist temple named Vihara Nam Hai Kwan Se Im Pu Sa. It was located on top of the hill, facing directly the sea. So to get to the top of the hill, you’ve got to pass through hundreds of stair blocks. People said, no one could count exactly how many the stair blocks are. Some said 419 some other 520. No one knows.
But what makes this temple different from any others is that this temple is not just for those who embrace Buddhism, or Confucianism. It’s also a place for other religion which worships King Siliwangi and Nyai Roro Kidul, the queen of south sea.
There are also many rooms available for rent here at the temple, around IDR 350.000 / nights.
Here’s some tips if you’re planning to visit Anyer / Sawarna / Pelabuhan Ratu :
1. Bring your own snacks. Lots of snack. We brought a jar of jelly and it helped us a lot!
2. Be careful if you’re planning to swim in the ocean. The waves is so unfriendly.
3. Don’t expect too much from the 4-star or 5-star hotels. They sucks.
4. Don’t forget to order some freshly grilled seafood!
Marbella Hotel Anyer (not included 21% tax)
Ocean-view room USD 78 (online reservation)
Ocean-view room USD 189 (offline reservation)
Kembang Sari Juara Ikan Bakar Restaurant
Jln Raya Karang Bolong KM. 131, 5 Cibaru Anyer
Grilled Gurame Fish IDR 110.000
Stir-Fry Kangkung IDR 15.000
Karedok IDR 15.000
Fresh coconut IDR 10.000
Steamed rice IDR 5.000
Bunga Ayu Resort, Pelabuhan Ratu
Ocean-view superior room IDR 453.750
Vihara Nam Hai Kwan Se Im Pu Sa
Car Parking Fee IDR 10.000
Room Rent IDR 350.000 / night (for 10 people)