Sawarna, Banten

Sawarna Travel Blog

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There weren't many tourists we saw in Sawarna, a secluded beach area in Banten province best known for its waves that have attracted both foreigner & locals surfers, when we visited the area few years ago. My guess was it had something to do with its far-flung location, about 8 hours of driving from Jakarta. Or it was simply because only few people, surfers notably, liked the idea of having to spend some time there. But it was understandable, I suppose. Yes, the beach is beautiful, the sandy beach ideal for running/jogging/walking, lying down suntanning, yet you may not want to swim for safety reason. I didn't see anyone swim during my stay, so I wasn't tempted to either.

It was my second visit to Sawarna, the first being in the early 2006 for a business trip -- to shoot a TV commercial, that is. Even then, there was only a few people, most of them being, who else, surfers. But it was great trip, at least for me. We managed to stay in the Sawarna village which offered standard guesthouse accomodation after crossing a wooden (or was it bamboo?) bridge in order to get to the village, sightseeing to surrounding area such as the Tanjung Layar rocks formation, do some trekking and entering a cave barefooted, and paid a visit to a tomb bearing the name of Theo Van Gogh -- a relative of Vincent, the famous Dutch artist. You may wonder why was this Theo burried here, and so do other Dutch tourists.

Well, after all, Sawarna used to be a coal-produced area back in the Dutch colonial and continued until the Japanese invasion to Java in the 40s. The remains have long gone, but the local elders still can tell you the story of how the coal was laboured by prisoners sent to this far-flung place from Batavia (Jakarta's name under Colonial government), if you manage to meet ones.

It was a pleasant journey, and I would say this is enough if what you look for is a quite, secluded beach to surf all day long or to sit by the beach looking out to the horizon, enjoying the wind breeze, reading any book by whoever writer you like reading, or simply contemplating your life.

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330 km (205 miles) traveled
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photo by: yuness