Alas Purwo National Park, Pantai Plenkung, G-Land- the south-east tip of Java

john madden

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In case there are any Banyuwangi residents or intending visitors to this area here’s some information on this spot. It doesn’t cover all the attractions of this National Park at the south-east tip of Java but internet searches will add more info eg on wildlife spotting, surfing etc. I’d welcome others adding to this thread especially as my experience is of a couple of years ago.

I live near a small town which is on the road to Alas Purwo if you approach from Banyuwangi and close to that road in if you approach from the west ie via Jember>Genteng. I've been all the way into Alas Purwo once (ie to Pantai Plengkung) and most of the way a couple more times.

The last place with a decent hotel is Jajag; the Baru Indah has commercial traveller type rooms as well as larger half cottages which are quite acceptable - dunno how much a night. Jajag also has the last BCA branch - there's a BRI in Purwoharjo and ATMs for the majors there too - not much after that.

From Jajag/Purwoharjo you'll head to Tegal Dlimo then Kalipahit. Roads this far are bitumen and reasonable although badly potholed and lumpy in places. A few ks after Kalipahit you enter the National Park which is initially planted forestry - old mahogany and teak and very pleasant, shady and quiet compared to the usual scene in Java.

Once you enter the park there is next to nothing in the way of infrastructure and nothing along the road other than two forestry posts at which you are required to report and pay a small fee. At each some basics are available - drinks and nasi goreng etc. The first is maybe 8ks in and the second another 8 more. From the entrance to the park to the second forestry post the road is dirt once was paved and now in places has a cobbled effect from the rocks used as road base being exposed. Motor bikes use the self made track along the edge most of the time. After rain there can be large puddles in the depressions but I've never seen water right across the road nor bogs prior to the second forestry post. After that post it is a completely different story.

On push bikes you're likely to see peacocks, deer and pigs in the forestry and in fact I’ve seen them from the car. There's a Hindu pura some distance in just before the turn off to Pantai Triangulasi - this beach is less than 1k off the main road. There is a guest house of some kind at PT but who for and who runs it I don't know. Otherwise it's just a long exposed ocean beach with a couple of buildings - maybe toilet? - no warung. Nice and shady in the parking/picnic area. From PT it's only a few ks to the second forestry post which is next to the beach. As above there is a warung, toilets here. There are also walks to a couple of caves - less than 1k from memory of the signs - I've not been to them. The planted forestry extends to roughly here.

From this point the road get interesting. I've asked plenty of people at different times "How's the road in?" and never had an answer other than "Terrible". The one time I went all the way to Pantai Plengkung where the surfer "hotels" are we hired the feller who hangs out as post 2 with his wrecked Kijang. For 120k he'll take you in and hang around until you're ready to come home. The road pretty much shadows the beach and in the wet must be almost impassable. We went when there's had been bugger all rain for a long time and there were still bogs 20 metres long - wet sandy mud. We had to walk the last 1 k as he couldn't get through any further. I think it's 11ks from post 2 to the hotels and it's crook all the way - in my experience. The hotels use jacked up 4wd mini buses to get the punters in and out.

The last few ks before post 2 and from post 2 to the hotels is dry "jungle" - palms, liana type cane some taller trees etc. Where there's fresh water near the beach (at post 2 for example) you'll likely see some giant iguanas - not komodo but pretty impressive. Lots of pigs in this area also.

The hotels are generally bungalows (some AC, some fan) with a central restaurant/bar area. I've not been into any but the most recommended is Bobby's Camp and the least Joko's. They're not cheap - have a look at Bobby's website - I met the American chap who works there as a surf photographer the other day - nice feller.

No warungs, no hawkers but the beach is really beautiful - still clear water with the reef and surf break about 1/4 - 1/2 k out. My plan is to get in there somehow and walk further around the coast and do a bit of LBG fishing for giant trevally - there's an OZ/American who runs jungle fishing trips there for one or two guests only a time - his website makes it look great but I'm sure it's very expensive. Being so close I just need to work out how to do it independently.

The good news for cyclists - no challenging hills at all and maybe the last relatively untouched, peaceful, natural and beautiful part of East Java. The difficulties - a long ride on poor roads with no infrastructure and only expensive accommodation at the end of the road.

Distances above are approximate and from memory and could be a bit out. I know the first time I drove (in a rental) from here to post 2 it took three hours, the second a little less because I was driving my own, more robust vehicle. Anyway, have a look at maps and google earth.
 

Jaime C

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Any pictures? I'm a visual type guy.
 

ponyexpress

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Maybe a short podcast where you can do Rick Steves version of Banyuwangi will be fantastic.
 

Bowsaw

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Had a few visitors at our place go there. Not sure which area but they paid 1.2jt for a room and had bedbug bites galore in the morning and the room was crappy. Could find out more details if needed. Theres 4 fdifferent areas? Each owned by different ppl?
 

scouser59

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I took the alas purwo road this year , with the intention of checking out the hindu temple and maybe G land , but the road was so bad thro the forest, and the people on the post half way tried to screw me as a tourist , said they didnt recognise my ktp ! so I turned around and left the way I came,
 

john madden

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Any pictures? I'm a visual type guy.
Sorry - not a photographer. There are quite a few in Google Earth - search for Alas Purwo.

Maybe a short podcast where you can do Rick Steves version of Banyuwangi will be fantastic.
What's a podcast? Who?

Had a few visitors at our place go there. Not sure which area but they paid 1.2jt for a room and had bedbug bites galore in the morning and the room was crappy. Could find out more details if needed. Theres 4 fdifferent areas? Each owned by different ppl?
Yeah 4 05 5 establishments with highly varying comments when you search the web.

I took the alas purwo road this year , with the intention of checking out the hindu temple and maybe G land , but the road was so bad thro the forest, and the people on the post half way tried to screw me as a tourist , said they didnt recognise my ktp ! so I turned around and left the way I came,
Both unfortunate aspects are all too often encountered in rural Jawa in my experience - the second can sometimes be overcome by an accompanying local but not necessarily.
 

scouser59

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Both unfortunate aspects are all too often encountered in rural Jawa in my experience - the second can sometimes be overcome by an accompanying local but not necessarily.

yap your right, unfortunately Banyuwangi is trying to promote itself as a tourist destination, I think they must take some steps to make it more foreigner friendly , we shall see?
 

john madden

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Both unfortunate aspects are all too often encountered in rural Jawa in my experience - the second can sometimes be overcome by an accompanying local but not necessarily.

yap your right, unfortunately Banyuwangi is trying to promote itself as a tourist destination, I think they must take some steps to make it more foreigner friendly , we shall see?
My wife has said to me a couple of times now: "You know that Banyuwangi is the #1 tourist area in Java now?" I just think to myself: "By what measure? And they sure got a lot of work to do!"
 

Bowsaw

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Not noticed any increase in touris in Bwi. Usual bus loads that get dropped at Hardies and tricycled into kota and back. Few backpackers as usual. Pantai Boom is getting done up and there is a few new hotels in last few years. Dinas moved in Kantor Touris thingy n lot has been spent on WIFI hotspots etc. Hope it does ive purchased 4 kavling in different areas to cash in later...
 

Balilongtime

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The hotels use jacked up 4wd mini buses to get the punters in and out.

actually 99% of visiters staying at the expensive surfcamps there (unless things have changed ?) ..., The 4WD transport is mainly used for getting camp supplies in and out (food etc) and the visiters surfboards

Havent been for a few years so AFAIK ..,

The Surf Camp Guests ...., either do a package deal that includes full return overnight transport leaving from Bali ...,

ie ; Picked up at their hotel approx 10 PM (with their surfboards loaded separately on to a different vehicle, which will meets up with guest later on arrival) / Overnight Travel from Kuta to Gilimanuk / Same car ferry crossing to Banuwangi Java / then travels onwards to Garajagan Village harbour at Dawn / transfer to a boat ride departing from Garajagan village going directly to the camps (arrive approx 9 AM - total trip 11 hrs)


Another 'upgrade option' ...,

Is they cross the ocean from bali and go directly to to the surf camps (about USD$100 extra) ...., they can bypass that 11 hour 'overland' journey by taking the fast boat direct from Bali (which departs 'German Beach' at Tuban) and takes about 1.5 hours
 
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