If somebody tells you that Ujung Genteng is as lovely as paradise, you gotta believe in full faith – whatever God(s) or Deities that you worship. What you may not know, and this may not be revealed much anywhere is that it will take a bloody hellish journey to get there.
I went there with family early April 2012. Let me start by saying that 70% of the roads are AWFUL – either muddy, potholes, or mud-holes – that are so severe, you may unintentionally transformed into a grumpy old-man/woman who never stop swearing all the way. You can certainly try to be positive and pretend to fall in love to the semi off-road tracks, just please make sure that you DO use off-road vehicle or at least imagine so. Low ground-clearance cars such as Honda Jazz, Honda City, Toyota Altis, Camry are an absolutely no no.
I have warned you 🙂
If the above-true-but-potentially-misleading-badmouthing does not break your determination, then you are good to go. My first advice is, spend at least 3 nights there. Here’s why :
1) Day One. you wouldn’t want to miss visiting the absolutely gorgeous Curug Cikaso (Waterfall). You may spend at least half a day on this. Warning : If they offer you to also visit another destination called “Muara” or River Delta, just politely say NO. Not worth it in my opinion. Then you can spend the rest of afternoon/evening enjoying sunset back at Ujung Genteng. There are other waterfalls in the area which I don’t have the chance to visit yet.
2) Day Two. One of the best thing of Ujung Genteng is that you can easily enjoy beautiful sunrise as well as sunset without much effort or going very far. Spend one morning, wake up early, and take a short stroll to the TPI – Tempat Pelelangan Ikan (Fish Auction Area) to watch the marvelous sun rising, let your kids play the sand at beach. This will be fishermen area where you can take pictures with traditional boats as background. Then in the afternoon/evening you should visit the famous turtle conservation. You will need to visit this place twice : 1) in the afternoon to see the good folks there releasing baby turtle to sea and 2) late in the evening. Don’t you dare to miss the chance to see the turtle laying her eggs at this time. It’s a very rare occasion. Warning : the 3 km roads from Ujung Genteng to the conservation area is the ultimate off-road tracks. Please consult with your hotel staff and plan in advance to get “ojek”. The cost will be quite expensive for 50,000 rupiah but you will not be able to bargain – it has become a standard 😦
3) Day Three. On another morning, visit Amanda Ratu resort to enjoy another fantastic sunrise. Plan ahead, wake up early as you may need to travel for approx 20 minutes or less (depends on where you stay). Make sure that your transport and gear are ready.
Travelling from Jakarta will take approx. 12 hours – which can be quite boring and exhausting. Try to avoid heavy traffic jam area such as Cibadak (Sukabumi). Plan your travel ahead, prepare the location’s GPS coordinate if you can, and make sure that you travel to or from Ujung Genteng back home in daylight !
Remember, going back home you will experience the same hellish journey again, just make sure that while swearing you also avoid going down on those cliff/valley along the way.
Super important tips : Please do NOT forget to bring your camera tripod! You’ve gone a long way and you should be prepared to capture the glorious moments of sunrise and sunset, which best captured with camera + tripod to cover the long exposure.
Please review my photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/alihusen/, those speak louder than words. Feel free to comment for further queries, I will try to respond with whatever little knowledge I have.