‘Left Out’ in Karimun Jawa

Sunset di Karimun Jawa
Sunset at Karimun Jawa

Soo… this time, my task was to arrange the schedule and call the tour agent of Karimun Jawa. I found two along with their schedules, prices, and the pictures they took. I, then, asked my friends to pick one. One initialed ‘WW’ was chosen. It cost IDR 600.000 each person for 2D1N. I collected the 50% of the cost for DP to book the seats. The girls assigned to prepare food and beverage.

All of the preparations had already done and we were excited waiting for the amazing weekend in Karimun Jawa. It was about 2 weeks before leaving. We ordered the tickets on the rainy season. It was like being struck by the thunderbolt when browsing on the internet. There was an article about Karimun Jawa. This time it was about tourists couldn’t go back to Java due to bad wather. My friends got panic, the train tickets couldn’t be refund, so the vacation was cancelled. The 50% DP wouldn’t be back as the agreement with the agent. I who had worked hard to collect money to go on vacation didn’t want let it go. So, I decided to keep going by myself no matter what happen.

A week before the day, I prepared everything. I then realized that I have a schoolmate working in Semarang. He is Arzenta. I called him asking for a night stay. Poor me! He had an event and could take anymore guess. GOSH!!! I didn’t prepare for a stay at Semarang. I didn’t know where to go. I had never been to that city. Then, I used world’s travelling community, Coachsurfing, to find a host for a night. On Monday, H-6, I found a place to rest through the community. I also monitored the weather and water level of Karimun Jawa via Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics. The crossing of Jepara (in Semarang) to Karimun Jawa was still closed on the H-6. I was worried if I could go or not. Wednesday, H-3, I reopen the site. The crossing was opened because the weather and the water level were good. Sooooooo~ my vacation to Karimun Jawa has a chance to go on.

On Thursday after work, I headed to Tawangalun Terminal. I got information from David that he was going to Semarang too to meet his girl. Well, a good news for me since I’d get a travel mate from Surabaya to Semarang. Friday early, I met him at Bungurasih Terminal in Surabaya.

That Friday was a national holiday. On Friday morning, we had already been in Terboyo Terminal, Semarang. David let me stay in the hotel room he had booked before, but I had already had promised Mega to stay in Mega’s house. On the afternoon, Arzenta spared some of his time to take me around the city by public transportation. It was almost dark, so I went back to Mega’s to had some rest.

YAAYY!!! The next morning, Mega took me to Tanjung Mas Harbour in Semarang because I was going to attend the tour to KArimun Jawa by a fast boat, namely ‘Kartini’. I was really left out this time, because I know nobody. Then someone named Adi came to me and gave me a ticket. It turned out that he was the tour guide leading my group. I entered the boat and it left the harbor. I sat and asked people next to me if they were in my group too. But they weren’t. I was so anxious because I couldn’t find anybody in the same group with me. Then I sent message to the tour agent, but I got no reply. AAAA…. I decided to enjoy it by myself. I smiled by myself, and men sitting next to me, Yayat and Mas Bowo (www.TravelJunkieIndonesia.com) stood up and left to the deck on the front side of the boat after seeing me smiling. Wah… seems like he thought I was insane. So I decided to enjoy it alone.

Kartini Fast Boat

Kartini Fast Boat

Karimun Jawa is a group of islands registered as Karimun Jawa Sub District and included in Jepara Regency, Central Java, Indonesia. The islands have a main island and surrounded by small islands. Karimun Jawa Islands consists of 22 islands. It is announced as a national park on 1999. Then in 2001, it is announced as nature’s water conservation area. According to the local’s story, it was discovered by Sunan Muria, one of 9 Sunans who spread Islam in Java.

Karimun Jawa

Karimun Jawa

About one and a half hour, the boat had reached the Karimun Jawa Harbor. NICE!!! But my happiness was a bit off because I was confused of which way to go. All passengers had already had their agents waiting, but mine. After several minutes looking for Mas Adi, I found him finally. Once you get off the boat, the other agents pick them up by pick-up cars. But my agent provides ‘welcome drink’, iced coconut fruit..Sluuurp~! soooo refreshing!!



I found a group led by Mas Adi, a while later we all got onto the pick-up car to the hotel. 4 people got off on a hostel like a 2 stared hotel. Wow cool! I thought mine would be like that too. Then in a minute, we reached a guess house. All people left were going to stay in that guess house. I got a single room. We got 10 minutes to had a rest and put down our luggage.

Tadaaaa!!!! The pick-up taking me had come. We went to a small harbor on the northern part of the island. And a moment later, we took a sailor’s boat, provided for tourists. On the way, it stopped. We had a chance to go snorkeling to enjoy the beauty of the undersea which is called Karang Gosong (Burned Coral). Kyaaa~ most of the coral were black and many beautiful small fish. When we were snorkeling, other groups joined snorkeling in this area. Unfortunately, Mas Adi forgot his underwater camera. Thank God, a guide lent him one. He then got busy taking pictures of those with their friends. While me, the only one alone got few pictures. Pfftt!!

The trip, then, went on to Ujung Gelam Beach. This beach was white and full of coconut tree which is tilted by 70°. I got busy capturing this beautiful scene. On this island, there were small café and gazebo as the resting place for the tourists, but we were not allowed to take anything from this island. I asked Mas Adi if I could take sand of this island. It was okay, then, I took a bottle of it as reminiscence.

Ujung Gelam Beach

Ujung Gelam Beach

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It was about 5 p.m. we went home to the island. On the way home, we were enjoying a very beautiful sunset. I captured every moment of it; when it was still on the water, till disappeared into the sea. Well, it’s just ordinary words to describe sunset, but scientifically it is wrong. Hahahaha…

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We reached the main island, and the pick-up car took us to the guess house. When we got off, Mas Adi told me to move into other guess house which was quite far from the initial guess house because I was by myself while the room I was using was for more than one person. HAAAA…. I was really left out in an island I just know.

I was moved into a guess house in the center of the island. Well it was quite close to crowd and I was the only one staying there. I took a shower and charged my mobile. At 7 p.m, it was free time. I didn’t know what to do. No friends, no destination to go; finally, I sent message to Mas Adi to accompany me for a walk. But the signal was not good. So I went out alone. I had dinner in a café in the crowd center. I ordered Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice). Then, I bought some souvenirs for my family in Jember. it was almost midnight when I went back to the guess house. I passed the hostel where Yayat and Mas Bowo stayed, I stopped by to have some chat. The topic was, no doubt, about travelling. I was sleepy, but when I reached, it was locked. ARGHHH I knocked. Minutes later, the guess house owner opened the door. I disturbed his sleep…Forgive me, Sir!! Hihihihi….

On Sunday morning, I didn’t get any information from Mas Adi the time to leave. I waited while took a shower and had breakfast made by the madam of the house. It was fried fish and sambal plus the vegetable. It was nice. At 8 o’clock, I hadn’t received any info and the pick-up car hadn’t come yet. I decided to hang around. Then I bumped into Mas Adi who was on a motorbike. He was looking for me. I was picked to a harbor on the north Karimun Jawa. A group headed to the snorkeling spot. The coral in this spot was nicer and colorful.

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Being enough of snorkeling,we went to sharks breeding center. The sharks are not the big ones like in movies; they were little brownish sharks. We also got a chance to take pictures with stingray. KYAAAAA!!! Ticklish and slippery!! Well, it’s okay; at least I have memorable pictures with it. Starfish here are beautiful too. Beside the big fish, they also take care of small fish. It was about noon, so we had lunch here. We then sailed to a spot for snorkeling, but got refused since the weather was too stingy. Hence, we headed back to the main island which indicated the trip was already over. HAAAH!!! Going a long way here and paying quite high, I’d just get this??!!

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When the pick-up car was about to take us home, the driver offered me to visit another beach. He asked for IDR 50,000 as the fare. I delivered the news to the group; only some wanted to come. A couple paid the fare, but the entrance tickets to the beach excluded. It was IDR 10,000. Beyond my imagination, at the beach with the quite luxurious wooden hotel, I met Yayat and Mas Bowo. They told us that their trip was cancelled because there was no sufficient guide. What a bad luck! They paid higher than mine for this tour. They had to walk from the guess house for 2km. we took pick-up car home.

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We went to the guess house to prepare for crossing back. I was about to charge my mobile, but electricity was on at 4 p.m. till morning. I went to Mas Adi’s place to fulfill the administration and the copy of underwater pictures. We headed to Karimun Jawa Harbor. Reaching there, the boat was broken. GOSH I was more worried because I had to be at Terboyo Station by 4 p.m. due to coming to office on time. After 1 hour waiting in the harbor, we finally got on express boat “Bahari” to Jepara.

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Bahari Express Boat

Bahari Express Boat

Arriving at Kartini Harbor, Mas Adi still had to find us a bus to get off at Terboyo Station. 15 minutes later, we got it and headed to Semarang. On our way, at Demak, there was a roadwork. Thus it became jammed. Police took an alternative to do on-off system in which spent more time.

We arrived at the station at 6 p.m. Gaaahhh I must be unable to reach my office on time. So I went to Mega’s house. We went to a shop selling Lumpia (a roll cake with vegetable and chicken filling, eaten with special sauce), a snack of Semarang. We met Jay who was going to go back to Surabaya, I also met David at the station. In the end, we took express bus to Surabaya. We arrived at Bungurasih Station on Monday early. I sent message to my boss telling that I couldn’t make it to the office due to sick (Forgive me Sir!! Hope he doesn’t read this article. Hahahaha) I arrived at Jember on the noon of the same day.

Here is the end of my story, hope this becomes an inspiration for travelers and readers others. Keep moving! Age doesn’t enough to explore our spacious earth. As long as we have the time, what else we are waiting for!


10 responses to “‘Left Out’ in Karimun Jawa

  1. It’s sort of a secret, but definitely becoming more popular. Most Indonesians have never heard of it themselves though. Definitely look it up it’s really a wonderful place!

  2. Hello there!
    Do you know any driver in semarang that would be interested in bringing us to Jepara at the end of the month?

  3. Hi there,,, Karimunjawa? Excellent, go for it! Karimunjawa Island is an amazing place on earth. my suggestion if you want to go there Monday or tuesday take a fast boat .. for if friday and saturday often run out of tickets. paket karimunjawa – jadwal kapal karimunjawa. regards

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