Umang Island, West Java ~ escape route to paradise
By Dian Hasan | September 16, 2009
Umang Island (Pulau Umang) is the ideal weekend escape destination from chaotic big city Jakarta. A surprising island with Bali-like villas, many people mistaken it to be located in Jakarta Bay’s Thousand Islands. But Umang Island is actually on the Sunda Strait close to the Ujung Kulon National Park in southwestern part of West Java. Ujung Kulon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, is renowned as one of only two last remaining habitats of the critically-endangered Javan Rhinoceros. And it is the largest remaining lowland rainforest in Java.
Umang Island is a 5-hour drive from bustling city of Jakarta, but it’s well worth the long drive (take the Kebon Jeruk highway to Serang exit, and drive towards Pandeglang). A virgin island with white sandy beach and clear blue water, it’s popular for Corporate Gatherings and weekenders from Jakarta. Named for the many crabs that are found on the island, Umang is West Javanese (Sundanese) for Crab.
Accommodation is spread across the island in 30 one-bedroom Villas, and its largest, a 2-bedroom Villa. The rooms are big, clean and comfortable (with mezzanine and terrace), with amenities of a 4-star standard hotel. All villas are airconditioned, and come with the expected TV, hot shower (no bathtubs), phone, mini-bar, etc…). The hotel is built using mostly natural materials sourced from the area: limestone and other natural stone, teak wood, thatch roof, and modern wooden furniture.
The beaches around Umang Island are nothing to write home about – fairly rocky – so if you fancy snorkeling and lazing on tropical beaches, use the hotel’s speedboad and venture off to Oar Island (Pulau Oar), a tranquil minute of an island where you can snorkel and swim to your heart’s content.
And there’s always the hotel’s infinity pool and Spa to consider for your other leisure options. Water sports abound at Umang, including snorkeling, banana boat, jetski, and traditional Jukung boat (kayak).