A Slice of Nirvana in Baluran: Discover the Hidden Gem of East Java

A Slice of Nirvana in Baluran, Discover the Hidden Gem of East Java

javaprivatetour.com – Sunset paints the northern coast of Baluran National Park in Situbondo, East Java, with a fiery glow. From the white-sand shores of Bilik-Sijile, the sun bids farewell to the day.

From the white-sand shores of Bilik-Sijile, the sun bids farewell to the day.

Bilik-Sijile is a beach strip on the Madura Strait connected to Java by a strip of land. This landmass, almost breaking away from Java, forms two cove bays: Bilik and Sijile.

On the western side of Bilik-Sijile, Mount Baluran rises majestically, reaching 1,247 meters above sea level. The wind in the sky above Baluran swirls clouds into a canopy of overcast.

At the peak of the cloud canopy, the clouds spread in all directions, obscuring the setting sun. For a few seconds, the setting sun’s rays gild Baluran as the clouds part.

In the evening, hundreds of cows owned by residents of Labuan Merak return to their enclosures after being herded in the savanna within the Baluran National Park.

I had just passed through the grasslands and dry forests. In the peak of the dry season, Baluran’s heat is scorching. Scorched rocks are scattered among the dry grass. Fire recently swept through the padang, leaving behind blackened soil.

Upon reaching Bilik-Sijile, the wind washes away the sweat. The blue sea cools the eyes.

Upon reaching Bilik-Sijile, the wind washes away the sweat. The blue sea cools the eyes.

The waters around Bilik-Sijile are known to be steeply based, with colorful coral reefs. Foreign tourists usually swim, dive, and snorkel.

Although without the fanfare of sunset, the purity of Bilik-Sijile showcases another side of Baluran’s beauty. Nature stretches out perfectly, silent and serene.

A herd of wild deer walks among the acacia trees in Baluran National Park. Plans to build a road for a nickel smelter directly bordering the national park are feared to be dangerous for the sustainability of the ecosystem in this area.

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Behind the cluster of mangrove trees, the tops of gebang trees tower over the savanna. The calls of peacocks (Pavo muticus) resound from the grasslands. Nightjars, which usually live at night, begin to stir.

Bilik-Sijile is indeed not yet visited by many tourists. This coast can be reached by boat from Bama Beach for 2 hours. Visitors can rent a boat for a round-trip crossing.

Meanwhile, from land, it can be reached from Karangtekok, which is located at the westernmost border of Baluran National Park. From Karangtekok, visitors pass through a trail that cuts through the padang by motorbike.

However, during the rainy season, the Karangtekok-Bilik-Sijile trail is impassable. The alternative: take a boat from the small port of Ketapang, Gatel, not far from Karangtekok.

The tranquility of Bilik-Sijile momentarily separates life from the bustling world.

Kayaking at Bilik-Sijile Beach

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