In high school at Banjar, West Java, all the students had to do some research before taking our final exam. Therefore, my school held a field trip to Pangandaran. They chose Pangandaran because there were many natural locations the students got several choices for their research object. Besides that, the town also have many tourism attraction so we could do something fun besides researching.
The first place I visited was the National Rainforest. There were many kinds of trees on the forest. Some of them seemed new for me to see. The most unique plant I saw was the Rafflesia, a very big flower with awful stink. It was rare and could only live on South-West Java. The flower is protected by the law because of its rarity and uniqueness.
On the forest, there were so many mosquitos. I had to put on anti-insect cream several times to avoid them. But mosquitos were not the only massive animals to be watched out. There were also monkeys! Yes, there were so many active monkeys swinging from tree to tree. But do not get carried away.
They liked to snatch things from people’s hand. One monkey snatched my drinking bottle when I put it besides me. I was so shocked, but the park officer said I was quite lucky, as there were several people whose expensive things got snatched, such as cameras and cellphones.
This rainforest was my research object, so I came there several times. Based on my experience, here are some important tips of going to a rainforest;
- Bring an anti-insect cream
- Do not carry things away on your hand
- Do not put things anywhere. Just keep them save on your backpack
- If you need to take out your camera or cellphone, hold it tight with your both hands
- If you want to avoid the monkey, try walking on the shoreline. The monkey is very afraid of water.
- Do not pick any leave or flower from its tree. Most plants are protected by the law.
Nearby the rainforest, there was a very beautiful beach. The beach had black sands and the ocean was very exotic. But you need to be careful. The wave from southern Java ocean could be very big and unpredictable. You could get carried away. But some days, the weather could be very friendly. You could even do many activities there, such as snorkeling, swimming, or even surfing. If you are interested in doing ocean activities, always remember to:
- Check out the tourism management’s warning. If they said it is safe for water activities, go ahead. But if they prohibit you to, do not dare to cross the line.
- If you do some snorkeling or surfing, and you are not a professional, always hire an instructor to guide you. Doing it on your own may risk your life.
- If you have children, keep a good eye on them. Do not let them swim too far from the shoreline.
- The tide could be high when the sun starts to set. Be careful.
There were two beautiful beaches in Pangandaran. Between those two, lay an isthmus with 200 meters wide. Under the isthmus, the water was very shallow and cold. That was the most perfect place to play water.
Meanwhile, the upper side of the isthmus was used as a very large fishing facility. My tour guide said that this facility has been quite a favorite for men. And that was true. If you go there, you would see so many men, young and old, enjoying their time waiting for the fish. Most of them were local citizen. But there were many people from out-of-town, too. Even some of my guy classmates went there, too.
While the boys enjoying their fishing, I go to the traditional tourism market nearby the area. On the market, there were many souvenirs like clothes, bags, and some traditional food. The food that caught my attention the most was the Jambal Roti. It was a kind of dried salty fish. You could find this kind of food in every food stall.
The size varied, from a small portion which is enough for just one person to eat, to a big portion which would be enough to feed a big family. According to the seller, people usually eat the Jambal Roti with rice as side dish. It would taste perfect if you have some sambal as an addition.
Besides the Jambal Roti, you can also find many kinds of seafoods there. I went to a small restaurant and they had almost all the kind of seafoods. Some of them could not be found in the city. The price was quite expensive though, but the taste was worth it.
In Pangandaran, I was staying a cheap hotel along with all my classmates and teachers. The hotel is loated in a village not so far from the beach and rainforest. My teacher chose that hotel so we could easily go to the rainforest or beach to do our research. Nearby our hotel, there was a tandem bike rental. I rented some for my friends and me. We biked around the village in late afternoon. It was very enjoyable.
Overall, I think Pangandaran is a very nice place for a vacation; especially you wish to escape from a crowded busy city to find a peaceful vacation. And if you really like adventure, you can try to go deeper on the rainforest. There was a very beautiful waterfall. But you would need a special tour guide to go there because you really have to go through a wild jungle to reach it.
Anyway, I hope one day you could go to Pangandaran and enjoy the very exotic nature here as I did.
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