Parangtritis Beach

Parangtritis Beach

Atmospheric and mystical beach

More on Yogyakarta

Wild seas, jagged cliffs, sand-boardable black dunes, huge skies with stunning sunsets, Parangtritis Beach, 30 kilometres south of Yogyakarta, is certainly atmospheric. And if the tempestuous landscape isn’t enough, the local myths and legends will send chills running down your spine.

Travelfish says:
Hanging out on Parangtritis Beach. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
Hanging out on Parangtritis Beach. Photo: Sally Arnold

As the story goes, Sutawijaya, Sultan of Mataram (1584–1601), spent three days and three nights in her watery palace, where he was offered everlasting power and her love. We’re not sure what the payoff was, but she became his wife and pledged herself to all his descendants. Many Javanese believe she is the reason Yogyakarta remains politically powerful to this day. However the love of the Sultan is not enough for this insatiable sea nymph, and she likes to entice swimmers into a watery grave, apparently preferring handsome young men, but anyone wearing the colour green will suffice. Locals are very superstitions about this, so bear that in mind when you’re dressing for a day at the beach.

To avoid any mishap, we’d actually avoid swimming (really). The sea is dangerous, with rips and undertows, and drownings are not uncommon. In case you’re wondering, her presence can be felt by a sudden short gust of wind leaving a strong and lingering fragrance. Further to this legend, some 450 kilometres west of Yogyakarta as the crow flies (longer by road), in the beachside town of Pelabuhan Ratu, West Java, the Samudra Beach Hotel keeps room 308 furnished in green, and reserved for this aquatic queen. The myth extends to involve President Sukarno and his ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)

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Reviewed by

Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.

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