Top 5 Things to Do on Menjangan Island
Menjangan Island is a small island off the northwest shore of Bali. The island lies in Barat National Park, a protected marine reserve. The pristine white sandy beach surrounding the island, gorgeous coral reefs, and bewitching underwater, Menjangan Island, is an excellent example of natural beauty. Menjangan means "Deer" in the Javanese language. Due to its gorgeous marine landscapes, the island is very popular with divers and snorkelers. Creatures that you may find in the waters of this island includes hawksbill turtles, garden eels and manta rays. On the land, a herd of deer inhabits the island. You can easily reach the island from Bali, which takes about forty minutes by speedboat from Pemutaran/Labuhan Lalang. This island has aided in preserving the gorgeous and unspoiled marine landscape.
Getting to Menjangan Island
Once you reach the Menjangan Island, it may feel very isolated and like a world away from other Indonesian islands. However, the island is very easy to reach from the northwest of Bali, from Labuhan Lalang, a port near Pemutaran.
It is not possible to tour Menjangan Island totally independent. You will need to get a permit and should be in the company of a park guide. Bali Barat National Park made this restriction to preserve the wildlife of the region. You can get a permit for Rp20,000 at the park office in Labuhan Lalang. You can get a guide with the price starting from 350,000. But, most hotels in the area can organize this for you.
Getting to Menjangan Island by boat
The point to get the boat for trips to Menjangan Island is Labuhan Lalang, a harbor near Pemutaran Beach. You can also get a boat from Banyuwangi that lies on the coast amidst Menjangan and Labuhan Lalang. Most of the traveler will be departing from Labuhan Lalang, so there is no particular reason to do this. The boat trip from Labuhan Lalang to the island takes about 45minutes. The return boat trip, including the park and guide fees, will cost around Rp500,000 per person.
Things to do in Menjangan Island
1. Morning trip at West Bali National Park
The West Bali National Park covers a wide area of more than 19000hectares and is teeming with a massive variety of flora and fauna. Menjangangan Island is just one part of this massive park, although it is the best spot among the whole park for marine diversity and optimal diving spots. You can travel through the park with your guide in the morning and still have enough time for other activities. You can walk through the whole island in about one and a half-hour. While roaming around the island, you may be lucky to find the rare rusa deer.
Cost: IDR40,000/ (USD 2.80) (for a park permit)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 8 am – 6 pm
Tip: You can get to see much more on your trip to Menjangan Island. However, don't limit your exploration of West Bali National Park just on this island; the national park has a lot to offer. After you get enough of Menjangan Island, head back to the mainland, and then you can head to the Prapat Agung Peninsula, where you can see its huge mountainous interior and sparkling coastline.
2. Enjoy the Menjangan Beach
As your boat reaches Menjangan Island, the first site you will see is a gorgeous beach with crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand. Before rushing off to explore the whole island, why not lay back and relax on this gorgeous beach. Where will you get to sunbathe among the horde of deer? You may grab a lounger and enjoy sunbathing or go for a rejuvenating swim.
Cost: Free (excluding island permit and guide)
Opening hours: Always open
Tip: It is perfectly safe to approach the deer as they are very friendly; however, do not harm them or leave any trash when you leave the beach.
3. Visit the Pura Segara Gili Dharma Kencana Temple
Pura Segara Gili Dharma Kencana Temple, shortly known as Pura Gili Kencana, is the major monument of the Menjangan Island and is one of the most striking monuments in Indonesia. The temple's most important feature is a statue of Ganesha, cast in gorgeous white stone. The temple overlooks the sea out towards Bali so that Ganesha can protect not only this island but all neighboring islands. Pura Segara Gili Dharma Kencana temple is also said to be located 'on the line of truth' where the word Gili means 'territory', while Dharma means 'truth'.
4. Diving or Snorkelling
Source: The Jakarta Post
Your trip to Menjangan Island will never be complete without going for a dive or snorkel in its waters. Most of the people visiting this isolated island come in search of a chance to see the most diverse marine life in Indonesia. As the island is totally uninhabited, the waters surrounding Menjangan Island offers some spectacular coral reefs, perfect for exploring. Off the island's coasts, seven different world-class diving sites offer perfect visibility anywhere from 15-50 meters. Some of the major diving sites include The shallow Eel Gardens; and Pos 1 and 2, each of which hosts several beautiful marine species, and Anker wreck, a 150-year-old boat around 40 meters deep.
Cost: Prices vary between operators
Opening hours: Hours vary between operators
Tip: Keep counting how many varieties of marine life you can spot on a single diving trip. In the waters around this island, you will find everything from pygmy seahorses and garden eels to reef sharks and clownfish.
5. Discover other temples of the island
While Pura Gili Kencana is the most renowned temple of the island, there are still many other beautiful temples that are worth exploring. Just within a few minutes of walking distance, there is a temple called Taman Pingit Klenting Sari Temple, where white carved tigers guard the entrance. Then, just half a kilometer along a nearby way, you will see a beautiful red temple, Agung Brahma Ireng. From this temple, you can get gorgeous views of nearby Bali. Then, within walking distance lies the Pagoda of Agung Dewi Kwan Im, which is a pink temple built in the Chinese architectural design and Pendopo Ida Bhatara Lingsir Dalem Gajah Mada, with its wooden beams and door, and Javanese influences.
Opening Hours: Always open
Tip: Following the trail from Menjangan Beach to these temples, you will eventually reach Pura Gili Kencana temple with its striking sea views. While visiting, be respectful to locals praying in these temples.