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Selasa, 24 Mei 2011

The Lost World: Pulau Biawak (Biawak Island)

A while ago I had the chance to go to a beautiful island named Pulau Biawak or Biawak Island. It is located 40 km north of the city of Indramayu, West Java, Indonesia.

Biawak Island Pier View

According to the locals, the island was originally named Rakit Island. The Dutch called it Bompyes. But around the year 1980s, it was changed again to Biawak Island for conservation and tourism purpose by the local government. And it was because the island itself is the habitat of a species of monitor lizards (Varanus Salvator) called Biawak by the locals.
It is said that these reptiles had been there since the island was visited by people a looong time ago, for more than a century I believe. According to the Island caretaker, their numbers are estimated at the count of hundreds of tails. And with the Island covering approximately ​120 hectares, with almost 70% of it is still a dense forest. Rich with mangroves along the coast line, they live majestically in the swamps around the mangrove and dense forest surrounding the island.

The Monitor Lizard known as Biawak

But you could easily spot some of these Biawak early in the morning scavenging along the coast line, and around noon they usually resting somewhere. They are very sensitive to the smell of freshly caught fish. Some of them would come out of their hideout and try to grab a fish or two from you. They just gulp it down their throat and they were never satisfied until all of the fishes are in their stomach.
And those are only the underlings, the small young ones, I bet if you explore the Island further into the dense forest you could find dozens or maybe if you are lucky you could spot the 3 meter boss lizard that could take

 a kid in one gulp. Imagine that! LOL
As you may already know, these lizards are a capable swimmer. But even for a capable swimmer, a 40 km radius from any nearby islands or the mainland is impossible to reach.
So after so many years, they have taken the top of the food chain in the Island, and thus they have become the sole survivor and residents of the Biawak Island.

Welcome to The Lost World: Biawak Island!

 One of the Few Means of Travel to Biawak Island

It was indeed a lost world because to get to Biawak Island you need about four hours from Indramayu City. And the way to travel there is only by small fisherman’s boat. You could hire them, usually visitors had to spend around $70 USD to $90 USD for a fishing boat with a capacity of about ten people. So if you share the expenses with 10 persons, you only need to pay around $10 USD just for the boats.
No docks can be reach by visitors at high tide and there are no special vacation homes that can be rented by tourists, only caretaker’s house, the lighthouse, and some modest hut. It would be best to take a tent with 

you just in case you need to spend the night with some Biawak.
The water is greenish clear, white sand, and the reefs are still “virgin” and colorful, with so many species of fishes. There are also many kinds of birds that came and go to the island, including The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus Ibis), The Great Billed heron (Ardea Sumatrana), and Cerulean Kingfisher (Alcedo coerulescens).
The Island is also a haven for hundreds of species of marine life with the beautiful shapes and colors. The visibility is about 3-4 meters, and if you try scuba diving into the deeper reef you could find so many types of fishes, including Yellowtail butterflyfish (Chaetodon xanthurus), Zebra lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra), Clown fish, small Barracudas, and a type of Moray eel (probably Gymnothorax punctatus) inside, lying in between the reefs waiting for small fish to prey.

Bird View - Dense Forest of Biawak Island

Bird View - Biawak Island Pier

Biawak Island, The Virgin From North

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.

biawaklighhouse2 Biawak Island, The Virgin From North

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.

welcomebiawak Biawak Island, The Virgin From North

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.

biawak Biawak Island, The Virgin From North

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 icon wink Biawak Island, The Virgin From North

Senin, 23 Mei 2011


Biawak Island, One of Beautiful Scenery in West Java

Biawak Island Gate

Unlike southern region of Java, the north Java region was not identical as tourism area. However, the one natural charm you can find here is Biawak Island. You’ll see beautiful natural scenery here and to get Biawak Island can reach about 40 km from the north coast of Indramayu (a regency of West Java). Clear water and white sands like most beaches in the south of Indonesia will amaze every tourist who comes to Biawak Island. Biawak Island also known as Rakit Island or Menyawak Island, then you don’t to argue when people call other than Biawak Island.
In the Biawak Island you will also find the lighthouse as a signpost for sailors with tall about 65 m. This building is also Dutch heritage that was built in 1872. Inside the tower with shaped like cylinder, there is ladder with whole amounted to 240. It took courage to climb those stairs. However, if successful in overcoming the fear within you, at the top of the tower you will find mangrove forests and sea scenery charming.
According to its name, Biawak Island is the habitat of monitor lizards (Varanus salvator). According story, the reptiles have existed since man came to the island in more than a century ago. There are no calculations that provide certain data about the number of the lizard. However, the numbers are estimated at hundreds of tails. They live in swamps and mangrove bushes whose presence dominated the land.

Water Clear View

Lizard View 

Lighthouse in Biawak Island


Sunset View

Visit Biawak Island Indramayu

Island Biawak which is located in the area of the Sea Indramayu, is a government asset Indramayu District, West Java Province who prouded far. Local government also did not seem reluctant to contribute funds for the repair, regulation, and efforts to manage the island's most unique city in the Mangga Indramayu.

Characteristics of these Biawak, perhaps, because the flock settled Biawak ancient eternal existence that is still up to now. In addition, the marine biota is still natural and beautiful, not much disturbed by megrim those who do not responsible. Strict supervision of the officer who conducted any diterjunkan Department of Fisheries and Marine Indramayu District.

The tourists who visit there, everything is forbidden to take or damage the things that are considered harmful to k beautifully Island Biawak. To keep things that do not want to, tourists will be guided by staff who have been prepared by the Fisheries and Marine Indramayu District.

Initial instructions, prior to Biawak Island, you should first contact or coordinate with the Department of Marine Fisheries and the local. Because all the information and other matters that are required for tourists in the future are described office.

Then, the tourists are not difficult to find hard-ship or sea transport facilities to go to Island Biawak. Because, the Fisheries and Marine Indramayu District already up big motor boat that accompany the holiday special.

Figure ship quite easily recognized. Because the image reptilian "Biawak" allegedly to describe the transportation facilities to the Island Biawak. This motor boat, have any posts Assistance Department of Fisheries and Marine who has nongkrong since 2008 at the Beach Karangsong Indramayu.

That need to be prepared for tourists, perhaps quite supplies and preparedness must be physical because of the surging sea and Indramayu. Who knows, tourists needed is not available there, as a means to go away to the market. Understand, an island in the middle of the ocean including the rarely visited by many people. However, all kinds of s meanses, have been made gradually since a few years ago.

If sidah until Biawak on the island, the tourists will enjoy the beautiful natural beauty of the island since hundreds of years ago has made the lighthouse stood Netherlands, hundreds flock around biawak ancient, and is in grave b pilgrimage Syarif Khasan sheik (reputedly, his Sunan Gunung Jati ) it. Marine biota and the land was kept tight in order to remain sustainable, as an effort to spoil the tourists who come to the island.

Head of Fisheries and Marine Indramayu District, Ir. Rosyid Abdul Hakim, said the center to seek to make the island Biawak as a fun area attractions. Therefore, he said, gradually built a variety of facilities for easier reach of tourists, and making visitors comfortable. So that the pier was made, bungalau, posko, and others.

"We seek, the existence of Biawak able to provide benefits for all parties. To the future, able to exchange for the cash pan Original Income Area Local (pads), "he said.

Seriousness of the handling and management Biawak been submitted Regent Indramayu, H. Irianto MS Syafiuddin (Yance) in a plenary session of Parliament Wiralodra Earth Indramayu, Friday (13 / 3) in Speech delivery Accountability Reports Description Regent Indramayu Fiscal Year 2008.

In addition to reveal about the Spatial Plan Area (RTRW) District Indramayu Year 2008 - 2025, Regent Yance (greeting familiar H. Irianto MS Syafiuddin) says, that Biawak Island is a special area management area. So Biawak Island is divided into two (2) zone, that is, the core zone and development zone.

Explained, is a core protection zone biota and fauna on land and sea, and other functions to be prohibited. Meanwhile, Development Zone, the area of Biawak enabled the development of tourism for the economy, such as limited cultivation of the sea, fishing is limited, and tourism island.

Well, if you're interested in to fill the holiday with your family or your friends on the island of Indramayu Biawak? If interested, you should contact the Fisheries and Marine Indramayu District.