Vallaura's Blog

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Biawak Island

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What the heck is Biawak? Yeah… I feel your confusion and perhaps a pinch of worry? hehehe…

I don’t know whether I am lucky or not, but I live in a country that has various wildlife. When I said various, I really meant it. Sumatran Tiger and Elephant, Orang utan, Siamang, Paradise Bird are just few to mention. Others are more exotic, such as Anaconda, Komodo Dragon and … Biawak.


Just by glancing at it, we can tell that it is a reptile. And of course, it is a reptile. In fact, just in case there’s a scientist-to-be reading this writing, its scientific classification is; animal-kingdom, chordata-phylum, sauropsida-class, squamata-order, varanidae-family, varanus-genus and albigularis-species (as one example).

Biawak comes from the same family of Komodo Dragon (Varanus Komodoensis). But they are from different species. While v. komodoensis grows up to 3 meter length, v. albigularis  is just around 1 – 1.5 m length. They  consume almost everything. But they tend to be tame, hmm… or at least they are tame in the island I stayed.

Biawak Island.

This island is geographically located at 06°56’022’’ Latitude dan 108°22’015’’ Longitude. Even Jack Sparrow can find it with his sextant. It is a small island aparting about 40 kilometre of north coast of this Indramayu. From Indramayu, we can just ride on a ferry or fisherman boat to get to the island. around 4 hour trip with the available fishermen boat. Water of transparent and its sand turn white like most coast in south area. Continent for the width of this rich 120 hectare also with green mangrove crop and meeting looked into from height.

According to the locals, the island was originally named Rakit Island. The Dutch called it Bompyes. But around the year 1980s, it was changed again to Biawak Island for conservation and tourism purpose by the local government. And it was because the island itself is the habitat of a species of monitor lizards (Varanus Salvator) called Biawak by the locals. Another prominent feature of Biawak Island would be the lighthouse tower.

The Dutch build the lighthouse in order to navigate ships across the narrow channel. The Lighthouse towering about 65 meters above sea level was built by ZM Willem in 1872. And if you have been to Anyer coast line or Bangka-Belitung you could right a

way spot the same lighthouse tower, because they were build around the same time. For electricity, the island have a small generator to supply electricity to the lighthouse and lighting for the caretaker house and appliances. (copied from

Yup, indeed the lighthouse looked extremely interesting. However, it is also equal to extremely terrifying. My friends who went there with all their courages saw and climbed up a cylindrical stairs to the top of of the lighthouse. The caretaker also suggested us to climb up there as early as the sunrise so that the majestic view could be captured. Alas! I don’t have the necessary courage. nor my friends… haha.. the stairs were just to eerie for us, seriously!

If I am correct, the lighthouse is exactly in the heart of the island. There’s a path to the left, heading to some under construction bungalows. The path will continue through the mangrove forest to a tomb of a moslem pilgrimage who died on his way spreading his religion. To the right, there is an abandoned marine life conservation house. Go through another side of mangrove forest to another tomb. A dutch tomb. I think he travelled and had shipwreck somewhere near this island.

Sea and Beach

Enough about this island. Let’s go to see what’s fun to do here. Snorkeling and Diving are of course the main things that we can do here. And you will be mesmerized with beautiful scenic underwater lives. I am so unfortunate that I cannot dive. There, in the water, is a cliff that filled with beautiful and amazing marine lives. I can only see the cliff and some colorful corals, unable to go deeper with this life vest. How lucky my friends, taking underwater photos and enjoying another world.

* c o r a l s *

swimming with the fishes ~ feeling the corals ~ kissing the sea water

just perfect!

We also went to nearby island, Gosong island, a deserted tiny island with no inhabitant. We went near it and jumped in it to have another snorkeling spot to find that it’s surrounded with Jellyfish! Wow, I felt like Spongebob Squarepants!! It was so painful to swim away (after we knew it was jellyfish field) with constant sting of jellyfish on our body. haiiisshh…. 😦

The food that the caretaker and boat driver (huh? what do you call him?) provided for us were superb! Or we were just so hungry after that catastrophic snorkeling war with our new buddy, the jellyfish! But who can complain? And soon enough, the weekend is over, and so does our trip. Beautiful trip I may conclude. And I bet my country has gazillion more tiny island to visit. Ah! till next journey. Keep reading and feel the ecstasy! 😀


more professional pictures a

special thanks for Linawati who lent me her G12 🙂

corals photos courtesy of Leonardi Djwa, our tour leader

Written by Vallaura

December 7, 2011 at 9:58 PM

One Response

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  1. […] And, I did. I joined a backpacking trip to this place. The pack leader was Leo. I knew him from my last backpacking trip to Biawak Island. That’s another story that you can check it here. […]


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