Banten Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing
(Banten, West Java, Indonesia)
The tourist attractions within the Banten province of West Java are incredibly varied. Many tourists and sun-seeking holiday makers come to Banten for its gorgeous beaches, with the finest offerings of this kind being found at the resorts of Anyer, Carita and Labuan.
A popular alternative to the beach attractions on Banten is the Ujung Kulon National Park, which is now listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. For families in Banten, many further tourist attractions are very appealing, such as the Pulau Dua Bird Sanctuary, the fun water slide of Ocean Park at Tangerang, and the regular cruises from Merak.
An upmarket village located on the westerly coast and containing a selection of pristine sandy beaches, the holiday resorts of Anyer are in plentiful supply and stretch along the scenic coastline, although some can be quite expensive. Apart from the beach itself, there are also further attractions here, such as the eye-catching Anyer Lighthouse
. Relatively close by, the beach of Karang Bolong is just over 10 km / 6 miles away and to the south, being around 30 km / 19 miles north of Labuan.
Carita lies on the western side of Banten and is close to Anyer, where it offers a noticeably more relaxed atmosphere. The principal tourist attraction here is without question Carita Beach, which is extremely wide and boasts calm waters, highly suitable for swimming. Carita Beach enjoys a particularly tropical setting, with a backdrop of lush coconut palms and even views of the distant Krakatoa Volcano (Gunung Krakatau)
. Tourists tend to flock to Carita beach, since it has very affordable accommodation, as well as excursions to both Krakatoa and the Ujung Kulon National Park. Close to Carita is the Curug Gendang waterfall, the Hutan Wisat Carita forest reserve, and the village of Sindanglaut, where the 1883 tsunami actually ended.
Baduy (Baudi) Cultural Conservation
The Baduy Cultural Conservation comprises around 30 individual villages, which stay resolute that they do not wish to be a part of modern Indonesia
, instead remaining traditional in their appearance, culture and beliefs. Tourists are able to visit a number of the villages outside of the religious celebrations in April and May, although permits must first be obtained at the Rangkasbitung tourist office.
Karang Bolong Beach
A popular destination with tourists and sun seekers, Karang Bolong Beach is named after a hole (Bolong) in one of its rocks (Karang), which is believed to have been created during the 1883 eruption of the Mount Krakatoa volcano. The rock itself is a much-photographed attraction and forms a gateway, facing the waterfront. Close by is a freshwater stream, and many people also choose to bathe in this water, after first having a swim in the ocean. Banten holiday makers wishing to venture to Karang Bolong will find this beach around 50 km / 31 miles from Serang.
Labuan Beach is a very scenic part of Banten, made up of small pebbles and lots of attractive seashells. There are various coastal attractions and facilities available around Labuan Beach, such as fun inflatable banana boat rides. Many holiday makers simply come to Labuan en route to Carita or the Ujung Kulon National Park, or to visit the Labuan PHKA tourist office, for information about how you can best explore Ujung Kulon independently, without the need for a guide.
Ujung Kulon National Park
Situated on Java's far south-westerly tip, the Ujung Kulon National Park is quite remote and isolated, and covers some 760 square kilometres / 293 square miles in total. The Ujung Kulon National Park is overflowing with wildlife attractions, which come in the form of wild cattle and pigs, crocodiles, gibbons, leaf monkeys, panthers and one-horned Javan rhinos. Hiking trails are plentiful around the park, along with pristine sandy beaches, which often come complete with colourful coral reefs and marine life. The main part of the Ujung Kulon National Park stands on the mainland itself, although the whole park in general does also encompass the outlying islands of Pulau Handeuleum and Pulau Panaitan.
The port city of Merak resides on the north-westerly side of Java and is approximately 140 km / 87 miles from Jakarta
. Merak is mainly visited for its good transport connections and offers regular ferries to Bakauheni on nearby Sumatra
, as well as buses to Bandung
, Bogor, Cilegon, Kampung, Labuan, Pulo Gadung and Serang. Salira Indah Beach is conveniently just 15 km / 9 miles from central Merak, at nearby Tanjung Pujut.
Tangerang (Tigaraksa) / Ocean Park
Located within the Tangerang Regency and considered by many Indonesians to be a satellite suburb of Jakarta, the city of Tangerang is huge and has a population now topping 1.5 million people. Golf is an extremely popular attraction in the Tangerang area and there is a wealth of courses close by, such as the Gading Raya Padang Golf, the Imperial Golf Club and the Soewarna Golf Club. If you are feeling the heat, then you may prefer to spend an afternoon cooling down at the Ocean Park on the Jalan Raya Serpong, which features an abundance of water slides and swimming pools, and is amongst the biggest of its kind in South-East Asia.
Often referred to as Lippo Karawaci, the town of Karawaci sits to the west of Jakarta and can be reached by travelling along the Jakarta to Tangerang highway. The attractions of Karawaci tend to be of a recreational nature and include the Imperial Aryaduta Country Club and the acclaimed Lippo Karawaci Golf, the latter of which was designed by none other than golfing legend, Jack Nicklaus. Families looking for things to do in Karawaci will no doubt enjoy spending an hour or two at the Timezone entertainment centre, and may possibly even like to try their luck at go-kart racing.
Pulau Umang (Umang Island)
Umang Island is a small and privately owned resort and is to be found directly to the west of Pandeglang, and north-west of Sumur and Cimanggu. Relatively close to the Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatoa Island), which formed in 1927 following volcanic activities, the Umang Island covers just 5 hectares / 12 acres and features private luxury villas and beach areas, as well as various water sports, leisure spa attractions, modern amenities and even wedding and honeymoon packages.
Pulau Dua Bird Sanctuary
The island of Pulau Dua is an important nature preserve, rich in Banten flora and fauna, with more than 50 different species of sea birds alone. Located just off the northerly shore of Banten, the Pulau Dua Bird Sanctuary is amongst the biggest bird sanctuaries in Indonesia and has become a major tourist attraction in this area. Large groups of cormorants, herons and storks live on the island throughout the year, although it is between the months of March and July when interest peaks, since this is the breeding season and sees huge numbers (50,000+) of colourful migrating birds arrive here. Boats to the Pulau Dua Bird Sanctuary depart from the Karanghantu (Karang Hantu) harbour, in the village of Banten, although it is also possible to reach the island by using a series of old bridges, which span the fishing ponds.