The Serene Sempu

On last July 2010, I finally managed to get myself to Sempu Island, the pretty small island that I’ve been longing since early last year. Why do I really want to go there? Here are the answers.

laguna segara anakan                                          the ultimate destination: segara anakan lagoon

                                         the fast ocean on the other side of the lagoon

                                                         the pretty lagoon from top

The photos were taken by Hasan who went there on February 2009. He’s so lucky to have all of the serene, calm, low-tide, blue sky, and pretty cloud of the Laguna Segara Anakan, the prime spot of Sempu Island. When I was planning my trip to be in July, I was expecting the similar weather but yet my luck is not on the weather but more into the challenging journey.

So this pretty Sempu Island is a small island on the tip south of Java island, belong to the Malang District, East Java, Indonesia. The island is the one down under in the red circle.

From Malang, you can get the public transportation heading to Turen, then take another public transportation from Turen to Sendang Biru. Based on several references, the price range for public transportation is around IDR 15,000 (USD 1.5) each. Once you get to Sendang Biru, get your license and permit to the BKSDA (Natural Resources Conservation Agency) and you will be asked to pay some money, around IDR 20,000 per person. In this office area, some small stores are available to have lunch and buy fresh water or other stuffs before entering the island.

                                                           me in front of the office

                                                           lunch in sendang biru

To get to the island, you have to take fishers boat from Sendang Biru to Semut Bay, the entrance for Sempu Island. One way ride is only 15 minutes since you can basically see the island from the Sendang Biru. The round trip price of the boat is IDR 100,000 (USD 10). Based on some chat with the officers and ‘expertises’ of Sempu, there are actually two trekking paths in Sempu. One is from Semut Bay heading to the Segara Anakan Lagoon, the major and common destination, and the other one is heading to Telaga Lele (Lele Lake). The latter is less common and has longer and more challenging trekking path. 

                             the blue sky in Sendang Biru and a glimpse of Sempu Island

Shall we now continue from the tip of Sempu island, the Semut Bay.
                                                   the Semut Bay during low tide

First of all, one thing for the trip to Sempu: MIND THE WEATHER! On the lovely July where on paper you will have perfect weather, pretty sky, and everything, apparently we didn’t get any. Hasan and some other references said to have one or two hours trekking. But I proudly announce that it took me FOUR hours to get to the lagoon, and THREE hours to get out. We went there on Monday at 2.30 PM and people said that there were heavy rain on Sunday night and it’s previous days. So the mud, is here, there, and everywhere. I have no idea what kind of shoewares that you should use if you take this trip during the rainy season. Maybe the best is shoes designed for muddy area because we found many abandoned ordinary shoes/sandals on our way in. I myself choose to go barefoot after 30 minutes trekking. According to our guide, from scale 1 to 10 of the most challenging trekking path, we were ‘lucky’ to have the largest scale of 10. Woo hoo!! Here are some of the pictures of the road so that you can imagine the trekking path in its worst condition.


(Arrgh, sorry if the layout is not nice. Am using new application here).

So here are the pictures of the muddy area. The one on the left is the picture of me and Oda. A bit blurry since it’s so difficult to take pics in this kind of circumstances. Anyway, the mud can even get into your knees, the viscosity is damn high thus it takes efforts to just move your legs. Our way out is far worse than our way in. During our way out, basically the whole trip was muddy. You can’t even get a meter of dry area. So use your ‘disposable’ clothes for this trekking trip.

Alright, when you’re feeling discourage to see the pics. Scroll the page roll up again to see the beautiful Segara Anakan lagoon to strengthen your vision. Or lemme give another one of the paid off after this long and exhaustive journey.

                 you’ll get a lot of balls that you can play with while swimming in the lagoon

While you’re in the lagoon, get yourself to climb a cliff where you can see the scene of border between the ocean and the lagoon. My neck were chilled and I secretly got teary eyes when I saw them. It’s amazing. In the following picture, the cliff that you should take upon is the highest one on the left.

For me, I will not recommend to go there on your own. The path is NOT EASY. You need other people to take care each other, or at least to take your picture above, or to chat while looking at the pretty lagoon underneath you. Here are some of the picture of way to get above.

So I guess that’s a wrap of all technicalities that you might need to have as mental picture to plan your Sempu trip. For us, we’re lucky to be accompanied by Rido, or Kacong, as our guide during our trip to Sempu. Oh Mas Rido is extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the place. If you look for a friend for your trip in Sempu or other location in East Java, you can contact him through 085755727223.

                                      oda and mas rido, my two trekking guardians πŸ™‚

Get yourself prepare both mental and physical, especially if you’re a city person like me, who spent time in front of computer more frequent than in bed. But if we share the same interest, this trip will surely recharge you and you will not be able to stop smiling and telling all of your friends about the trip. Hope the island can still survive in the next several years, but anyhow, my grandkids will still hear of its beauty from first-hand-novice experience πŸ™‚

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