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confusemuse Sukabumi - A travel report by Bebe
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Sukabumi,  Indonesia - flag Indonesia
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confusemuse's travel reports

Ujung Genteng - At the Very West Tip of Java

  10 votes
This is a 2 days-1 night trip to a not-yet-much-discovered place called Ujung Genteng. A 'strange land' even to still many Indonesians. Discover nature's wonder in a zero promotion, humble and modest surrounding that's worth the long bus ride.

View of the Indian ocean from 'Amanda Ratu' resort
View of the Indian ocean from 'Amanda Ratu' resort
Ujung Genteng beach is a West Java's under appreciated treasure. It's an approx. 7hrs drive (one-way) from Jakarta, Indonesia's megapolitan capital, passing through the town of Sukabumi, 3 (or 4) hillsides and the famed Pelabuhan Ratu beach - which is much more well-known to tourists. It's a rather sleepy fishing village, with it's navy radar base, Japanese dock ruins dating back to Indonesia's independence movement era, the fish market and the sea turtles conservation. They have decent inns (with one very fancy, expat exclusive inn) and cheap eats. A little bit farther away from the Ujung Genteng beach, there's a fancier resort called 'Amanda Ratu' - with no beach, but pretty view of the Indian ocean. The ocean are rich with ocean life. With every turn of the beach, it offers different animals - some scary looking (to me anyway) - and clean, clear water. The ocean's not too ideal for 'swimming' because of all the coral, but a dip is surely achievable. White sand beaches are abundant and it's the perfect spot if you want to retreat from the hustle bustle of life and walk by yourself with your thoughts and a healthy supply of clean air and the sound of nothing but crashing waves. Take your camera and you'll be capturing nothing but beautiful skies and gorgeous reflection of light on water. A humble and modest place, it might not be right for the 'travel in luxury' types, but if you want to get away and wear nothing but shorts and t-shirts all day then this is your spot. And if, like Henry David Thoreau, you like to walk, not 'to somewhere', but just walk - well, this place will give you 'your walk' to your heart's content.

Favourite spots:
A baby turtle masking as 'zorro' *LOL*
A baby turtle masking as 'zorro' *LOL*
Ujung Genteng beach, directly in front of the inns, where if you walk about 20 min. will lead you to the Japanese ruins and fish market. The turtle conservation at Pangumbahan beach have spectacular sand and at night (when we went and see the turtles lay their eggs), the forest circling the conservation is so full of fireflies that it looked like the stars have fallen off the sky right into the jungle of trees. It also kinda remind you of a massive display of christmas light. Awesome awesome view. The trip is a bit exciting as well, as the beach can only be reach by motorcycles and it's pitch dark. A beach road amidst the mangrove trees, very close to the open ocean. The ride is fast with the local motorbike 'ojek' and off-roady across sand dunes and puddles. At the conservation you can see baby turtles about to be let off to sea in the morning and big old, 200 pounds turtles laying their eggs. Gorgeous landscape and on a clear night a show of planetarium like starry skies.

What's really great:
The Curug Cikaso waterfalls
The Curug Cikaso waterfalls
On the way home, there's one final stop, not very far from the Ujung Genteng beach called Curug (=which means 'waterfall' in the local dialect) Cikaso. It's a set of 3 waterfalls pouring from one hill into this pool of turqoise coloured water. The pool is said to be at least 30m deep. From where the bus stop, we took a 5 minute boat ride across the Cikaso lake to the dock on the waterfall edge. Again, it's pretty undiscovered, so it's very quiet and clean. The water is the pretty shade of turqoise all over and clear if you look at it up close. The temperature at the fall is cooler with showers from the falls gently splashing you if you stand close enough. The big rocks are the best seats in the house where you can splash around, cool tired feet, take pictures or even take a dip in the pool right beneath the waterfalls.

Ujung Genteng beach nearing sunset
Ujung Genteng beach nearing sunset
The 'Amanda Ratu Resort' with it's gorgeous view of the Indian ocean and coral formations, the Ujung Genteng beach, the Pangumbahan beach Turtle Conservation, the old Japanese dock ruins, the fish market, the Curug Cikaso waterfall.

Pondok Hexa Inn
Pondok Hexa Inn
We stayed at the 'Pondok Hexa' inn, right in front of the beach. They have bungalows and individual rooms. The bungalows have 2-3 rooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen with basic utensils, living room with TV (local channel only) and a large terrace. The rooms are air-conditioned, with large beds. The bathroom has no showers, but clean fresh water. The inn has a dining hall or restaurant, where you're welcomed to bring your own meal or of course, you can order from them. They sell bottled mineral water and cold beer. But if you want to have your favourite food with you, just bring them along. Which is a common practice anyway. Oh they have a swimming pool, albeit not a very impressive one.

Well into the sunset at Ujung Genteng beach
Well into the sunset at Ujung Genteng beach
There's no existing nightlife really. Mind you, it is a village, in every sense of the word. They have a little karaoke shack about 10-15min. bike ride, which is literally a shack but that's it. If someone's having a wedding, than stroll through ke village to have a taste of Indonesian 'Dangdut' music...hahaha. But otherwise, the turtle conservation is the only recommended activity at night. If you're easily bored, do come with a group of friends, a good book, guitar or board games - or whatever it is you do to keep amused :-)

Walk this beach!
Walk this beach!
'The hangout' is in the form of this little 'warung' (=a typical Indonesian bamboo or wood-board stall selling anything from coffee, instant noodle, soap and shampoo) infront of the hotel - that's it. The nature is the hangout!

Part of the Japanese dock ruins and fish market on the background
Part of the Japanese dock ruins and fish market on the background
There's no 'proper' restaurang set up anywhere near the Ujung Genteng beach. So the hotel's 'coffee shop' is your only choice for now. But for something different (and if you have the stomach for it) try the morning fresh seafood market where you can enjoy fresh crab or turtle eggs at a bargain. Be extra carefull if you have an 'untrained' stomach, do eat safe because the place is quite secluded and a bit far away from the nearest town and hospital. Since you are allowed to bring your own food anyway, pack up on some of your trusted meals.

Other recommendations:
One of the few marvelous sea creatures
One of the few marvelous sea creatures
There's supposedly a conservation forest pretty nearby also, but we didn't go can't really advise on what it's like there.

Published on Friday February 6th, 2009

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Tue, Feb 24 2009 - 09:55 PM rating by robynallen

Bebe. This place looks and sounds great! love the waterfall pic

Thu, Feb 12 2009 - 06:01 AM rating by vrgultom

I had been there 2 years ago, it is a nice place. Not many tourist come there so the nature is almost still original.

Tue, Feb 10 2009 - 07:33 AM rating by kwongmei

Bebe, this is a wonderful report!

Sat, Feb 07 2009 - 10:09 AM rating by krisek

Bebe, really good first report. This little known place sounds and looks truly inviting. Great photos, by the way. Seeing turtles at night, eh? This is something I would definitely do, after trying to karaoke with the locals... :)

Fri, Feb 06 2009 - 10:16 AM rating by pesu

Nice report, Bebe, after reading it I can fully understand what you liked about your trip to Ujung Genteng. Beautiful pics!!! Will you upload them thus we could see them bigger? :)

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