We previously wrote about Java’s answer to Kuta beach, the wonderful Pangandaran located on the south coast of West Java. It’s a fairly remote outpost off the main highway, disconnected from the rail network and seemingly a hassle to get to. But it’s really not as difficult as it first seems and here we explain the different ways of getting there.
Bandung to Pangandaran
Many visitors to Java make their way across the island starting in the capital Jakarta, heading east to Bandung and then onwards from there. From Bandung, Pangandaran is quite easy to reach, although it can be tiring due to the condition of the road. Buses regularly depart Bandung from the Cicaheum bus terminal in the east of town, costing 35,000 rupiah and taking seven hours. Many angkots (public minivans) zooming around all parts of Bandung head directly to Cicaheum, so it’s simply a matter of finding one of those, hopping on it and paying the 3,000 rupiah fare. If in doubt, angkots and buses depart from the train station for Cicaheum. Alternatively, a taxi should cost no more than 30,000 rupiah. Once at Cicaheum, touts will spring up out of the ground and ensure you get on the right bus — but don’t bank on air-con as many buses to Pangandaran don’t have it.
An alternative to the bus is to fly to Pangandaran. Susi Air has regular services costing about 350,000 rupiah and taking a mere 40 minutes. These services depart from Bandung airport and land on a beach strip about a kilometre north of the main tourist area in Pangandaran. The ticket’s an absolute bargain in our eyes.
Yogyakarta to Pangandaran
For those traversing Java in the opposite direction, the trip to Pangandaran is also simple. Most travellers will be heading to Pangandaran from Yogyakarta as there is not a lot to see between the two locations. A morning train from Yogyakarta to Banjar should take about four hours and cost upwards of 60,000 rupiah depending on the class of travel chosen. From Banjar train station, ojeks and angkots are available to take you to the bus terminal about a kilometre away. From there, it’s a 90 minute, 30,000 rupiah bus journey to Pangandaran.
Both of these options may on the surface sound complicated but in reality the story is vastly different. Fellow travellers and touts all along these routes are keen to help you get to your destination and will point you in the right direction should you just ask in English things like, “Cicaheum?”, “How far to Banjar?”.
So now’s there’s no excuse for skipping Pangandaran on your trans-Java excursion. Keen?
By Adam Poskitt
Last updated on 30th January, 2012.