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Biawak Island, The Virgin From North

25 January 2011 1,187 views No Comment

Unlike the southern regions, the north area of Java sea is not identical with tourism. Even if there are points which is used as tourist attractions, the sights is still not as beautiful as the southern sea area. Such condition is also applied on Indramayu regency, West Java. Indramayu doesn’t have beaches like the ones in Sukabumi or Garut though on the same area of West Java. Moreover, the coastal regions are often become the area of poverty marked by slum houses and environment.

However, you must go visit Biawak Island. Natural charm is a blessing for the island which is located about 40 kilometers from the north coast of Indramayu. The water is crystal clear and the sea is as white as those on the south region. This 120 acres mainland is also rich with green mangrove plants.

There are at least 2 other names commonly used to refer to Biawak Island: Rakit(Raft) Island and Menyawak Island. Therefore, you don’t have to argue when people call it other than Biawak Island. A Tower officer who lives there also said that there was another name for Biawak Island: Bompyis Island, which is a name given by Dutch colonial.

The name Bompyis still remaining on board in the generator room. Generator is used for lighting on officers settlement and, especially, to turn on the lighthouse. The lighthouse is located at 65 meters high tower. The building is also a legacy of the Netherlands, built in 1872. Inside the tower, there is a ladder that will take you -if you have the courage- to the top of the tower when you can see the stunning view of mangrove forests and the sea.

As the name implies, this island is the habitat for biawak of big lizzard or Varanus salvator. It is said that the reptile had been there since people visited the island over a century ago. There are no exact calculation about the number of the animal on the island, but it’s estimated at hundreds. They live in swamps and mangrove bushes that dominate the land.

The lizards are not tame, however, they don’t attack if we don’t disturb them. The lizard usually come to the the lighhouse, especially when there are fishermen stop by. Though the lizards are not tame, they are no longer affraid of human.

The clear sea of Biawak Island is a haven for hundreds of marine species with beautiful shapes and colors. There are about 95 kinds of fish representing 30 families, including zebra fish(Dendrichirus zebra), butterfly(Chaetodon chrysurus), and merakan(Pterois valiteus).

With all the nature potential, this area can really satisfy the needs for a pleasure tour. By the time this story is written, the island is technically a virgin. There is no special boat to travel for about 4 hours from Indramayu to reach the place. The visitor must spend around 750.000 IDR(US $70) for a fishing boat with a capacity if about 10 people. There is also no dock, and no inns that can be rented by tourist.

It’s a virgin afterall 😉

Here’s the map

Lihat Biawak Island di peta yang lebih besar

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