There are a few western orientated restaurant/bars situated near the northern end of the town, around the surfing area of the beach. The southern end, near the forest and swimming part of the beach, is more traditional and sees more Indonesian visitors. There is a small white sand beach accessible by boat on the edge of the park.
Pangandaran, and the surrounding area, suffered damaged from the 2006 tsunami. Whilst major effort has been made to repair the town there are many buildings and roadside areas still showing signs of damage. In particular there are many fairly new buildings with windows blown out and crippled roofs. Don’t let this put you off, the town is lovely, the beach great, and the area free of hassle and touts. Bargains can be had with accommodation.
Pangandaran has excellent surfing potential. The surfing area is signed. The locals are friendly and helpful, and there are plenty of waves to go around.
Travel agents and information
PT Lotus Wisata
tel: 0266 639635
Jl Bulak Laut
Very helpful and knowledgeable travel agents. You may find yourself dropped here by bemo mini-buses, especially overnight buses that arrive early in the morning. I have had several dealings with the them and they proved excellent in all cases. They can arrange and advise on everything to do in Pangandaran and onward travel. Note: as with all travel agents you will pay a commission if you book bus tickets through this travel agent. Walk to the bus station to arrange cheaper onward travel.
Food and drink in Pangandaran
The Bamboo cafe offers good food which is also available for take away if you want to relax in your guesthouse room.
Accommodation in Pangandaran
Foreign tourist accommodation is at the northern end of the beach, opposite the surfing section of the beach. The more western style restaurant/bars are also here. The southern end of the beach, near the swimming zone, caters more for Indonesian visitors.
Jl Pamugaran, Pananjung, Pangandaran
t: 0265 639641
Just along the lane from Mini-Tiga which is signposted from the beach road.
A tranquil area, this guesthouse has a little garden and is run by a very friendly and helpful family, although they speak limited English, it’s not a problem. Lovely and clean rooms with balconies, small views of the area, en-suite bathrooms with cold showers, TV, furniture, wall fans and AC. The internal walls are a little thin though so conversation can sometimes be heard. Downstairs they have large suites with 2 bedrooms and communal areas. Towels are provided, and hot water and coffee and tea are regularly left on the balconies. The family do laundry on site. Rooms are IRP80,000. AC is IRP20,000 more.
Getting to and from Pangandaran
The bus station is about 1km outside of town. All big buses stop at the bus station. Bemo mini-buses generally go into town.
There are lots of cyclo (rickshaws) in Pangandaran, and you can easily get a ride to the bus station, or take a 30 minute walk. The PT Lotus Wisata travel agents can arrange bemo connections to the bus station.
From Yogyakarta: Public transport buses require at least one change, and are not reliable. Direct bemo mini-buses cost IRP180,000 and run during the day and night. They arrive in Pangandaran at around 5am when some guesthouses will be open to meet you. Expect to pay for that nights accommodation though.
To Jakarta: Direct buses leave the bus station at 8am, and 3pm everyday. The journey takes about 8 hours, arriving in Jakarta at around 4pm and 7am respectively. Tickets cost IRP60,000 on an executive AC bus, less for non-AC. The PT Lotus Wisata sell tickets for the same bus (including transfer to the bus station) for IRP125,000. It’s cheaper to walk, or get a ride with a cyclo, to the bus station, and then by the ticket onboard the bus.