Can you imagine a weekend getaway to a beach: sunbathing, swimming, surfing, tandem-bicycling, fishing, riding on a fisherman’s boat, exploring forests and caves, embracing sunrises and sunsets, having a seafood feast, ALL just for less than Rp200.000,00?? Well i’ve just done it. A couple of weeks ago (June 11th-13th) with 7 of my friends, starting point: Bandung. Here are some tips and tricks if you ever want to go for a low-budget Pangandaran-trip, too ;) :
1. Bring along your friends! Of course, right? Besides, you will be able to do ‘joint-venture’ (err..i mean: share all the costs together). 8 people could stay in a 2 rooms + a livingroom villager’s house that costs Rp250.000/night (meaning Rp32.000 each!!). More advantages below.
2. Make sure you’ll be there NOT on a holiday peak. For the many services’ prices will be higher, and the natural-conservacy (the exploring forests and caves one) tour guidance service will be time-slotted. You wouldnt want that since you would wanna have ALL day to explore the many forests, caves, and beaches there are.
3. From Bandung, take a Budiman bus that leaves at 7pm sharp (from Cicaheum port). Budiman is a quite well-known bus, yet the price is very reasonable. I suggest you go for the air-conditioned ones, NOT the vice versa. The ones with AC charge only for Rp35.000, just Rp3.000 higher than the ones which isnt.
Why at 7pm? Because thats when the last bus of the day is. AND, so that you’ll hit Pangandaran at 1am the following day. You’ll get much needed times to find a place to stay and TO REST before going to a beach to see sunrise at 5.30am =)
4. Stay at one of the many villager’s houses instead of a hotel/motel. It will save you a lot of money. I recommend Pak Haji’s house at Bulak Laut next to masjid Al-Islam. There are 4 rooms available only for Rp350.000/night (+ 2 living rooms, 2 TVs, 2 hot water dispenser, and 2 bathrooms). I and my 7 friends rented 2 rooms only for Rp 250.000/night (+ a living room, a TV, a hot water dispenser, and a bathroom). It only costed us Rp32.000 each. 6 of us shared 2 rooms and the remaining 2 shared a living room. It was comfy enough since we spend more of the time outside the house.
5. Other advantages of going in groups of 8 (based on me and my friends’ experience):
- Seafood feast (2 kg of ‘tongkol’ fish, 1/2 kg of sweet&sour-sauced shrimp, 1/2 kg of fried squid, unlimited baskets of rice, coconut fruit for dessert): Rp18.000 each
- Nature-conservacy tour (riding a fisherman’s boat to the site, exploring many forests and caves with a tour-guide, go to other beaches nearby, seeing native monkeys, witnessing reef ecology, seeing sunset while at the boat, etc): Rp30.000 each
- Tandem bicycling for 2: Rp5.000/hour each. Discounts available for longer rental duration.
6. More tips:
- One carrier/backpack only.
- Bring your camera. Period.
- Bring along with you a pangandaran site-map. Proven very useful to track down ways to the resort-market.
- Bring along your ipods. You’d wanna kill the long 8-hours trip on the bus.
Here are some photos from my trip:
HAPPY BACKPACKING! =)