Bamboo retreat

More on Pangandaran

Longing for a taste of rural Java, but still close enough to enjoy the beach? If that is you, Bale’Ku should be on your short list.

Travelfish says:

Three kilometres from the main centre of Pangandaran within a local kampung at the edge of the rice fields, our local friends, Sutar and his wife Lies (pronounced like “Liz”) have constructed a delightful bamboo guesthouse.

Relax. : Sally Arnold.
Relax. Photo: Sally Arnold

Surrounding and over a small pond, the single and double-storey bungalows have a mix of tiled, cement or pebbled floors, while most of the construction is of bamboo with thatched roof. It’s no-frills and fairly basic with standard fans for cooling and cold-water bathrooms, but the homemade bamboo and wooden furniture add a delightfully rustic homely style.

Beds are mosquito netted, and while there are a few mozzies about, the fish and the frogs in the pond seem to keep their numbers low. We were pleased to see that each bungalow is equipped with a water dispenser to minimise plastic use. Ensuite bathrooms provide showers and a mandi for a refreshing splash and Western style toilets. Private balconies overlooking the pond invite you to while away the hours swinging in a hammock, embracing the rural tranquility.

Doesn’t get much more natural than this. : Sally Arnold.
Doesn’t get much more natural than this. Photo: Sally Arnold

Rooms range from “Economy” to “Superior”, with the main difference being size and outlook, and if you have the budget, go for the top floor Superior room, with views over the area and surrounding rice fields, just delightful.

For a more social spot, walk over the bamboo bridge to a small communal bale mid-pond where you can (literally) hangout with other guests in an alternative hammock view. Breakfast is included and homemade local lunch and dinner can also be prepared. Sutar and Lies both speak excellent English and can organise tours and transport and offer lots of local inside info.

Simple living. : Sally Arnold.
Simple living. Photo: Sally Arnold

For folks interested, Sutar is a keen pigeon racer and you might be able to talk him into taking you to one of the meets—a very popular local spot. We love the laid-back atmosphere here, but be warned it is located in the middle of a kampung with early rising roosters and the call to prayer.

Call for a free pickup from the bus station or town as it’s easy to get lost around the small village lanes. For an alternative back-to-nature experience, Hau Eco Lodge at Citumang (Green Valley) offers a riverside container stay or in the thick of Pangandaran’s backpakerville, Adam’s Homestay enjoys a somewhat rural feel in their lovely tropical garden.

Bale’Ku was not reviewed on an anonymous basis.

Contact details for Bale’Ku

Address: Jalan Sadiproyo RT/01 RW/08, Desa Wonoharjo, Pangandaran
T: (0812) 1362 5857; (0822) 1864 0118; (0813) 2270 2692;  
Coordinates (for GPS): 108º38'1.93" E, 7º40'29.65" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 150,000 to 400,000 Rp

Room rates

What we were quoted as a walk-in.

Dbl fan private bathroom
Economy room
175,000 rupiah 175,000 rupiah
Standard double room 200,000 rupiah 200,000 rupiah
Superior double room 250,000 rupiah 250,000 rupiah

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