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Alas Purwo – A Potential Tourist Resort in East Java
Alas Purwo is located in the eastern part of Java exactly 65 km away from Banyuwangi. According to the classification of botanist from Germany, Schmidt and Ferguson is a tropic rain forest, the state land is less productive covered by sediment, and it has a few gaps. It has buffer zone of approximately 1,303 ha. There are such animals, like: tigers, deer, monkeys, buffalos, green and belimbing turtles. We can also find many kinds of plants, to mention some, kepuh, mangong bamboo, tomongo and sawo kecik that is black and has beautiful shape. Now one of them has been planted in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia.
There are lots of beautiful places in this vicinity with the potential to be developed as a tourist resort. We believe the places will attract many tourists, both domestic and foreign.
Trianggulasi Beach, Turtle Beach, Pancur Beach, Pandang Sadengan Tower, to mention some, are places of hidden potential. There are also many caves in the surrounding area and the waves are good for surfing at Plengkung Beach. It is more or less 8-10 m wide and 300-400 m long between April – October.
We can go to Alas Purwo by public transportation indeed, but we’d better drive our own car for it is cheaper and more enjoyable. We may have an adventurous trip. From Jember, if going by public transportation, we can take a bus to Benculuk. From Benculuk, we can go on by minibus to kalipait. Then form Kalipait, en route to Pasar Anyar, about 3 kilometers away, the only transportation is “dokar”, a kind of traditional horse-drawn cart that is still used by people in villages or small towns. Pasar Anyar is the office og PHPA, where we can get a permit to enter Alas Purwo. From there we still continue our trip by “dokar” to reach Trianggulasi Beach.
Plengkung Beach can only be compared with Hawaiian Beaches. Reportedly, it was first discovered by Mike Bonyem, a surfer from America. We observe that the visitor going there are increasing all the time. It may be due to the fact that the transportation is getting better and better.
Trianggulasi is a beautiful beach, with the white sand and the waves which we can enjoy very much. It is often used for religious ceremonies, especially by Hindu people living in the surrounding area. It is marvelous if you can enjoy the sunset on this beach, as we did recently. The sunshine was beautifully reflected by the water as if God, Himself had sent heaven down before our eyes. We have never been so impressed by a panorama as we were that evening on the beach.
Pandang Sadengan Tower is a tall building. From this tower we can see buffalos, gathering and wandering in the grass and lake, and other kinds of wildlife living in Alas Purwo.
Let’s talk about Pancur Beach. It is about 3 km away from Trianggulasi Beach. If we want to go there we have to walk along a foot-path, and follow the coast. When the water ebbs we can run along the beach. Pancur Beach is very close to rows of caves. One of the caves is Istana Cave, also well known as Princess Cave. It takes us no more than 30 minutes to reach from Pancur Beach.
Until now Istana and Padepokan caves are still used for practicing asceticism. Whenever we come into the cave we find people doing it. In istana Cave there is a grave which is believed to be a holy one.
To villagers, the grave is a place where a “syekh” (a title for a religious teacher) whose ship running shore on the beach was buried. Near to the cave, there is a small lake called “Sendang Srengenge” (sun lake). In all, there are not less than 34 caves in Alas Purwo.
That is the potential of Alas Purwo. It is reasonable to develop it as tourist resorts, especially to support the government’s program of amazing tourism place in Indonesia without ignoring the main function of it as a wildlife reservation.