July 24, 2008


Have you ever been traveled to Ujung Kulon, Banten, Indonesia?

I was there, and it was the ever memorable and unforgettable trip to the south-western tip of Java Island.

There are many amazing place to go when you arrived in Ujung Kulon, such as Cidaon where you can watch the wild ox having an eat, Cigenter river where you can go along the river watching the rainforest nuance and animal by paddle the canoe, Tanjung layer where you can find the lighthouse – the scenery from the top of it, is very amazing. Going to Ujung Kulon is not completed if doesn’t pass by Ujung Kulon National Park. As all people already know that the park is one of the world heritage sites, since here lives one-horned rhinoceros species (Rhinocerus Sondanicus) which is nearly extinctive. This park is a refuge for dwindling animals and plants. Besides the rhinoceros, there are around 700 varieties of plants including 57 rare species. Here, also lives: lutung (Presbytis cristata) – kind of monkey which have long tail, the wild ox of Java (Bos javanicus), tiger (Panthera tigris), surili – kind of monkey (Presbity aygula), 270 species of bird.

The other place recommended is Peucang Island, don’t questioned, it is like a heaven! You can stay a night at this small beautiful island during your trip to all places mentioned above.

I went to Peucang Island by group, the group was about 10 people include me. At the time, 4 years ago, the travel only cost Rp. 250,000/person or about USD 35/person including meals, barrack for sleeping, and other administration matter. It was very cheap travel to Ujung Kulon, since many people have to pay more expensive than this. Well, this is maybe like backpacker, with limited accommodation. So, don’t hope to get luxury traveling, take it whatever there is.

We leaved for Cilegon in the morning, and arrived at Sumur – Labuan at noon (Peucang Island can be reached by many ways. However, the common way is only two ways. First, taking a boat form SUMUR – Labuan - Anyer. Sumur is a small fisherman village.You can take a boat here to deliver to Peucang Island which the cost is about Rp. 1.5 Million or about USD 156 per boat. The capacity of the boat itself is about 15 – 20 persons, made from wood which has been modified. The other way is through TAMAN JAYA village. This village is the nearest to the Ujung Kulon National Park. You can also take a boat to Peucang Island).

We had still able to take dhuhur prayer in the mushola (little mosque) near the Sumur beach. We continued the journey by boat and it only took around 3.5 hours arrived at Peucang Island. The travel along the sea was also amazing. Feel the sea water spark in our skin, the wind blow along the sea caught up our face. Strong sea wave happened when we passed by the “Selamat Datang” bay because it directly face the ocean, however after we through that bay, the wave is not as strong as it is. The wave became friendlier, as we entered the Peucang Island border. Peucang Island located between Panaitan Island and the tip of Ujung Kulon peninsula. The water around was so calm and quiet. Soon, we reached the small harbor of Peucang Island. As we getting closer, we could watch the white sand became more and more large. It’s amazing! The white sand beach was glowing, reflected the sunshine. Blue coastal marine was very clear as you could see the fish back and forth inside of it.


The motorboat started to dock in the jetty. Here we are, in Peucang Island. Wow! Unbelievable, we could stand our feet here!

Walked down the Peucang Island gate, there were a lot of long-tailed monkeys roam about the lodging house. Actually, in there are kind of lodges, of course with different price. If you still want comfortably as like in the city, you can take luxury hostel “Flora” which facilitated with AC, hot water, refrigerator that cost around USD 50/room/night. Lodge “Fauna” - moderate price – is a wood building consists of 7 rooms, which each capacity of each room is 3 – 5 persons. However, the cheapest is lodging, that we were stay a night, just a building like barrack; we can rent a bed for sleeping. For meal, we bring rice cooker, and other food that already cooked. If you want to try restaurant menu, there is a restaurant also in this Island which provides both Indonesian and International menu.


In the afternoon after get some rest, we decided to go to Cidaon where we could see wild ox feed in the large grass field. To reach this area, you must accompany by the Jagawana (they are the park ranger who have familiar with this area) as a guide. So, we sailed again to the Cidaon, but it didn’t take to much time. In Cidaon, there is an observation tower where we can watch the wild animal. Unfortunately, we found not of the wild ox, just some peacocks seen in the field. Having some pictures in Cidaon, we back to Peucang Island due to the day turned by night.

Night at Peucang Island is also amazing. However, you must put your jacket on your body. The night wind is so cool. We watched clusters of fishes swim near the jetty. They were so visible under the sea water crowed around the wood bridge. Feel like to fishing!


The next morning, we watched sunrise in the beach, than swimming to feel the cool blue coastal water. The sea water is really clear and blue. We could see all creatures under the water, swim along. Many little fishes, colorful could be seen, beautiful corals, etc. It was the first experience swimming with many fishes around us, didn’t realize that some jellyfish touch our skin make us feel little pain and itchy.

Feel satisfy, we took some breakfast in the lodging, then we continued tracking to Tanjung Layar. Again, we went by boat to Cibom and continued by foot to Tanjung Layar where we could find the old lighthouse. At Cibom, the beach is full of steep corals, so to get the land we should continue with little boat named “sampan”, well be careful here, watch your stuffs not fallen into the sea water. Actually the water level is only about 100cm height when we should change with little boat. Little accident happened, one of my friend lost his balance, he fallen with his camera.


Tracking to Tanjung Layar only took one hour, passing by the tropical forest that fully of big trees that mostly wound around with parasites like liana and epiphyte as the characteristic of this forest. After about one hour walking, we arrived at the lighthouse. The view from here is really amazing. As far as the eyes take a look, it was like a blue sea water carpet with coral landscape and green forest at the edge. What beautiful scenery!

Just after noon, we arrived in Peucang Island again. After have some lunch and dhuhur praying, we were ready to leave Peucang Island. It is hard to leave Ujung Kulon, we still wanted to explore. There were several places we’ve visited yet due to our limited time. We left our heart in this Island. Hope someday we’ll come back here.


The weather was very nice as we left for the Island. We were so happy, made fun with joke, singing, etc. But it was dramatically changed when in the middle of our way. The weather was not too good during our sailing back to Sumur. It was probably stormy in Indian Ocean that directly facing to “Selamat Datang” bay. It was hard wave attack our boat. Adrift and buffeted in the sea, and look not too far away from us, a boat nearly sank. The boat helper continued, harder and harder to scoop up the water that entered the boat, just to keep our boat stable. All of us were very frightened, silence, and prayed all along the way. How if we couldn’t passed it? Fortunately, after we passed by the bay, the wave has subsided. What a relief!

Nearly 15.00 pm, we arrived at Sumur. Take Ashar prayer first in the Mushola, then continued driving to Cilegon. It was not as smooth as we predicted. The road from Sumur to Labuan is up and down, and the condition of our hired-car was not good. We even had to stop for while, for cooling down the car engine. We were drop in Labuan to have dinner at “Padang” food stall, then continued driving and arrived at Cilegon at 19.00pm.

Still dare to go Ujung Kulon? Who’s scared?

Here are some TIPS before you go to Ujung Kulon :

  1. Don’t forget to eat malaria tablet before and after the trip (I forgot to eat them! May be the malaria’s mosquito recognized that I am from Banten also! It’s just a kidding!)
  2. Take much mineral water, food, and don’t forget some medicine. To reduce your budget, you can bring several stuffs and material for cooking
  3. Recommended to take your sunglasses, sunblock and hat
  4. If you like to dive, don’t forget your diving stuff
  5. Flashlight and batteries are must when you are going for tracking or paddling, and don’t forget to use anti mosquito lotion before you enter the forest.
  6. Sleeping bag may be necessary when you plan to sleep in the open nature
  7. Avoid visiting Ujung Kulon in the rainy season (I went there just at the end of dry season! No wonder). Bad weather usually hits at November until March.
  8. Don’t ever try to feed the animals even its look so tame
  9. It is advised to use park ranger to guide
  10. Don’t throw the rubbish, just collect it and throw it in the trash bin
  11. And don’t forget to bring camera, there are a lot of beautiful sceneries to be taken

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