Pangandaran is definitely one of the most overrated yet easily reached tourist destination in Java Island, Indonesia. It’s once (and still) a fishing village which later grew bigger and bigger and became famous among local tourist who long for a sunny day at the seashore and fresh seafood in their stomach.
What’s unique about Pangandaran is that it’s located on a Peninsula, so you might find the beaches facing East and West at the same time. I mean, not literally the same beach facing East and West but you only need 5 minutes walk from the East part of the beach to the West – that’s pretty convenient (for me)!
The West beach, the black sandy beaches which face the Indian ocean, is the swimming area. I find the waves there to be friendly. No wonder why there are so many locals renting boards for body surf. There are even some horses available for rent! I never knew before that horse belongs to the beach. Or not?
Anyway, besides the swimming-thing, there are also a lot of vendors lining along the street offering everything from coconut water (YUM!), bike rent, snacks, to tattoos.
Then of course, on the east part of the land, banana boats and jet-ski rentals line up. You can even surf at the southwest beach but the weather was bad enough the time I got there, so… too bad I didn’t spot anyone do the surfing. In fact, I didn’t even find anyone renting the surfing board! The east beach is much quieter though. Perhaps because it’s where the fishing activity take place. But it’s also a place you can find numerous restaurants offering fresh cooked seafood with affordable price. Cooking up the catches of the day seems to be more favorable (and more propitious) for them than to sell ’em raw.
Well, this land might not be my favorite place on earth. And this might be my last time visiting Pangandaran. But trust me, it’s been a nice stay with dear friends! And here’s some of my favorite activities in Pangandaran.
EAT A LOT OF SEAFOOD!
There’s this place called “Pasar Ikan” or literally Fish Market where restaurants are lining up offering fresh cooked seafood. And it’s very cheap, compared to the price in Jakarta or Bandung. We never skipped a day without seafood. Yum yum.
Go to the National Park (Cagar Alam)
You know, it was raining heavily just right when we enter the national park! Before getting in, you have to buy a ticket for IDR 15.000. They will eventually offer you some guides, but for most part, you don’t even need guides. Just simply follow the paths. It’s like you’ll get lost in a jungle or something.
Inside the National Park, there are several caves and obviously, you need a guide to get into the cave. Plus, you’ll need to rent a flashlight.
Look what we found! A hedgehog!
DO NOT Go Out Snorkeling
Since the water is dirty, we can’t really see anything. It’s just some random fishes and also, no pretty coral reefs. It’s just not a spot where people usually go snorkeling. It’s where the fishermen go fishing.
If you’re into sunset, you might wanna do what I did. Buy some coconut water at a stalls near the beach, and sit there waiting for the sun to set. Golden time.
Rent a Bike!
Did I mention that Pangandaran tourist area is within walking distance? You can also rent a bike and explore the tourist area and even the outer side of tourist area! We did cycle our way to a stall selling satay, which we later found to be quite famous in Pangandaran. It was fun!
Chill out at Relax Restaurant
And of course, you need some afternoon coffee, sooner or later. This might be one those place you’ll find a almost-nice coffee.
Overall, I don’t really like Pangandaran. It’s overrated. And the beach looks… sad and dirty. Any unique experience you had in Pangandaran? Would love to hear some! 😀
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