Sempu Island : Without a Tour!!

Serenity, adventure, fun, photography opportunity, jungle trail, safe swimming, pristine island- these are just a few of the tags I would like to use to define Sempu Island. If you are a fan of camping amidst some dense forest nearby a big natural swimming pool – this is the place.

Sempu is a small island located south of eastern Java. It can be accessed by boats from the harbor of a village named “Sendang Biru” of Malang Province.

This post will guide any reader to reach the Village of Sendang Biru, and then direct to Sendang Biru tourist office. Tourist office staff will assign him/her a Guide (if no one has ever had this tour earlier) and arrange a boat to Sempu Island from the Harbor.

Serenity, adventure, fun, photography opportunity, jungle trail, safe swimming, pristine island- these are just a few of the tags I would like to use to define Sempu Island

This is what bring us to Sempu Island...
This is what bring us to Sempu Island…

Reaching Sendang Biru!

Sendang Biru is around 72 Km from Malang city. It is a small village and not directly connected to the city. There are two ways of exploring Sempu from Malang city:

Renting Motor Bike / Car

This is the best way so far. Though, I couldn’t have my tour this way, but I underwent a few adventures which made my tour a completely different experience. There are numerous rent-a-bike shops in and around Malang. Anyone can look for the nearest option from the place they are staying. Below are few of the options based on recommendation from web and people who rented motor bikes in Malang.

  • Putrajaya Tour & Rent

          Contact number – +61-85 331 069 597

  • Arfand Motorent

          Website – http://sewamotormalang.com/

          Contact number – +62- 87 701 577 000

  • Sunday Holiday

          Website – http://rentalmotordimalang.com/

          Contact Number – +62- 85 288 774 000

Angkot to Sendang Biru
Angkot to Sendang Biru

Using Public Transportation

Little challenging, but this is how I reached Sendang Biru. Journey to Sendang Biru is not direct. It is divided into stopovers and requires change of Angkot’s at two places (minimum).

  1. From Malang to Gadang Terminal: From any part of Malang there are continuous Angkot’s (Mini shared Bus usually of Blue color), which can take you to different city terminals within the city- Gadang is one of them. Take Angkot with GL, LG, AMG, LDG written on their windscreen (G stands for ‘Gadang’) as the last stop of the Angkot.
  2. From Gadang Terminal to Turen: There are multiple options to reach Turen once you are in Gadang. Wait in front of Alfamart minimarket and you will hear multiple callings like “Turen-Turen”, these are small bus or Angkot leaving continuously for Turen. Board any one of those buses or Angkot based on how full they are.
  3. From Turen to Sendang Biru: As soon as you arrive in Turen, there are plenty of Angkot continuously leaving for Sendang Biru. Get into any one of them.
Angkot Displaying their Route Informaiton
Angkot Displaying their Route Information

Once in Sendang Biru!!

Sendang Biru is a small village and its major attraction is Sempu Island itself. Usually it is not very difficult to reach Sempu. One can reach there by just inquiring from the villagers for the road to Sempu Island. Ask anyone regarding Sendang Biru Police station, or directly for Sempu Island. From police station, road on the left take you directly to Harbor.

Sedang Biru Police Station - This way lead to Harbor
Sedang Biru Police Station – This way lead to Harbor

Before going further and renting Boat it is compulsory to pay Sempu Island access fees, as well as getting a Guide from the tourist office (if you are not sure of the route to reach Lagoon). Though, guide can always be avoided if you have anyone in group who is somewhat aware of the route to lagoon.

Abandoned Ticket Office - On the way to Harbor
Abandoned Ticket Office – On the way to Harbor
Security Office - Pay Tourist fees and get guide from here!!
Security Office – Pay Tourist fees and get guide from here!!
Tourist office is along the way to harbor and easily recognizable.

Renting Boat

Semut Bay (Entry Point of Sempu Island) is just 15 minutes boat ride from harbor. There are numerous boats available waiting to take tourists to the bay. Each boat can easily accommodate 12-15 tourists. Though, reaching Sendang Biru early morning is well recommended when most of the tourists leave for Semut Bay and hence has higher chances of sharing the price of Boat ride.

Harbor Area
Harbor Area

From Bay to Lagoon!!

Main role of Guide is to help traverse through dense forest of this island to reach Lagoon. It’s a 1.5 to 2 hours of walk (minimum) if it is not very muddy. Keep an overall margin of 1 hour, if previous day weather has been rainy.

Jungle Trail to Lagoon- Sempu Island
Jungle Trail to Lagoon- Sempu Island

Expenses!! (For a day trip)

Renting Motor Bike55 - 80 K IDR rent a cost per day depending on season and demand
From Malang to Gadang Terminal Angkot4 K IDR/person
Gadang to Turen terminal Angkot 8 K IDR/person
Turen to Sedang Biru15 K IDR/person
Sempu Entrance charges10 K IDR/ Person
Guide cost (if opting)100 K IDR/ Group (Maximum 6-8 person each group)
Boat (return) to Semut Bay (Sempu Island)130 K IDR/Boat (Maximum 12 Person per Boat)

Beware

  1. Angkot from Turen to Sendang Biru route runs based on number of passengers they have in their vehicle. If anytime they find that the number of passengers are very less for Sendang Biru, they can stop in between the route giving any damn excuse, and leaving you stranded midway. This was my personal experience. Make sure that you communicate regarding this with your Angkot driver. Though there is no need to panic as numerous other Angkot are available along the same route.
  2. Road to Sendang Biru from Turen leads to a ‘T’ junction. Many of the Angkot Drivers, do not prefer to go to Sendang Biru, which is at the right leg of the Junction and instead either take left route or end their journey at the junction itself. Make sure to ask your Angkot Driver about this. Still, if you are unlucky, as was I that day, there are numerous ‘OJEKs’ (shared motorbikes) available to Sendang Biru. Usually they charge 30-40 K IDR per person. I hitchhiked and saved on this cost.

hitch_hiked_sedang

Things to Carry!!

  • Make sure to carry sufficient water(2 Lt. is recommended) and some light snacks.
  • Camera – Don’t forget, it is a very beautiful island you would not like to miss capturing it in your camera.
  • Though trekking sandals will be fine, use of shoes is highly recommended specially if the weather was rainy previous night.
  • Cell phone is compulsory here. Take forest office contact number as well as boat’s owner. (you will only find signal in the bay and lagoon)
  • There is no electricity on the island. Make sure to carry your flashlight.
Hitchhiking in a Mini Load Truck
Hitchhiking in a Mini Load Truck

Make sure of these things!!

  • Sempu Island is a protected area. It is still in its serene stage. Please try to keep forest clean. Take all you wastage along with you for disposing it later.
  • Watch your steps while entering without guide (you should not get lost in the forest)
  • Do carry enough water (2 lt. per person is recommended). Also carry some light snacks – There are no shop available once you reach the Island.
  • There are plenty of Wild Monkeys in the forest area. They are not at all dangerous, though keep a good distance from them. Sometimes they can snatch eatables.
  • Make sure you reach back Sendang Biru by 4:30- 5:00 PM, if traveling by Angkot for your journey back to Malang.
  • Take the contact number of the captain of your Boat, as you will have to call him, to pick you up once you are ready to leave from the island. If guide is with you, he will take care of this.

I hope you like this post. You have anything to say or any interesting story to share, please comment and let us all know of it.

Thanks for reading and happy traveling.

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