Many of us would like, if only for a weekend, to escape the hustle and stress of the big city. With its constant traffic jams and noise coming from every which direction, a weekend reprieve would be just what the doctor ordered. But where to go from Jakarta without having to travel too far, but far enough to get away from the urban bustle?
About 2 hours away from Jakarta near Anyer and Carita, on the most westerly coast of Java, facing the Sunda Straits, or approximately 50 km from Serang City, you will find Pantai Karang Bolong. Be on the lookout when approaching this natural wonder, as the entrance gate is narrow and rather hidden on a bend in the road.
Besides offering stunning scenery, a natural atmosphere and a different experience, this beach is loved for its wide-stretches of coral beds and of course the infamous cliff with a large hole in the center. Indonesia itself, as an archipelagic country, is blessed with a long shoreline spread along its coasts. In just one province alone there may be found more than two beaches, each with a beauty and uniqueness of its own. One province that has beautiful beaches is Banten. Three of its most popular beaches among tourists are the Tanjung Lesung Beach, Carita Beach and Anyer Beach. But, if you are looking for something different, other than the popular tourist beaches, another spectacular option offering a completely new experience is Pantai Karang Bolong or the Karang Bolong Beach.
Karang Bolong can be translated as a rock or cliff that is “perforated” or “drilled through”, and with good reason. As its name implies, this beach has a cliff with a large hole through the center making this particular spot unique and different from other surrounding beaches. This gap is in the form of an archway, the site’s most outstanding feature.
The archway is remarkably even and rounded on its underside, but above the cliff face it rises up as an angular and jagged edge. Geologists have estimated that the hole in the rock might have been caused by erosion due to the waves consistently breaking along the rock over a long period of time. It is also suggested that the Krakatau eruption in 1883 could have been responsible for carving out the rocks of Karang Bolong into their unusual shapes and sizes. To this day, the real cause of the gaping hole in the stone is still unknown.
Climbing to the top of the cliff allows for excellent views both inland and out to sea. Looking inland, the small but attractive beach at Karang Bolong can be seen, as also the surrounding hills. Gazing seaward offers a panorama of deep blue waters, and distant cloud-topped islands can be discerned far off in these waters, shimmering in the hot sun.
Scattered along the length of this beach are many rocks and boulders. The tide washes in and out around these stones of all sizes, as they lay fixed in the clean shimmering sand that carpets the beach. Small shelters have also been built on some of the larger stones, providing a shady and fun place to take a break from the heat of the day.
Karang Bolong is a scenic and highly unique site. It is a popular site at weekends and on national holidays, so at times it may get quite crowded. Karang Bolong illustrates simultaneously the great power and remarkable beauty of nature. The sea here is clean, clear and blue while the sea air is both fresh and invigorating, thus offering a natural getaway from the hustle, bustle and clutter of the big city. Take a stroll down the beach along the sparkling white sand and enjoy the crashing waves and the fresh sea air in this natural haven.
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