Spending a weekend at a tranquil destination is one of several choices in the mind of holiday-makers. For both locals and foreign tourists, there is still a lot of such places beyond Jakarta. In addition to the mountainous Puncak area with its cool weather, the are Anyer and Carita, two beach resorts. A sea journey from Jakarta to Anyer and Carita can be made from many fisherman villages in North Jakarta or one can travel by road. After a one-and-a-half hour westward drive from Jakarta, or 80 km away, one can see the enchanting panorama of Banten in West Java. AN ancient trading port, Banten is noted for its historic buildings, some of which were built by the Dutch. The Great Banten Mosque was built by Sultan Maulana Yusuf in 1559. The palace of Sorosowana is located adjacent to the mosque. About three kilometers from the palace lies an artificial lake called Tasikkardi and there is a water fountain called Panuranan. Another building of historical significance is Fort Speelwijk. Banten is also famous for debus, a traditional performance of seemingly supernatural feats. On the road journey to Anyer, one will come across many industrial estates. Anyer is therefore an accommodation base for many locals and expatriates working in the nearby factories. There is also no shortage of accommodation for tourists. Along the Anyer and Carita beaches are cheap beach-side huts, cottages, apartments, condominiums and five-star hotels. A hotel that deserves mention is Sol Elite Marbella, an international standard hotel with 580 rooms. It has various sport facilities such as tennis, golf, diving, jet ski, yachting and parasailing. Anyer and Carita offer sandy beaches and colorful coral reefs in its waters. At Karangbolong Beach, still within the area of Anyer, there is a magnificent coral reef with a big hole in its center. It was formed when Krakatau Mountain exploded in 1883. The hole is big enough for people to pass through. There are several shady areas along Karangbolong beach where one can relax and enjoy the views of the horizon. Krakatau mountain and its "offspring mountain" locally named Anak Krakatau Mountain are among the recommended places to visit in West Java. Krakatau Mountain on Rakata island caught world attention in 1883 when a massive eruption shook the entire world, with ashes falling as far away as New York in America. And the spewed lava that cooled is responsible for the rock pools that surround the beaches of Anyer and Carita. The strong smell of sulfur smites harshly on the nostrils as visitors get off their boat at Rakata island where pools of cauldron sulfur can be found. Typical activities on the island are trekking and snorkeling, diving and fishing in its clear waters. From Carita, visitors can continue southward to the national park of Ujung Kulon, which was declared by UNESCO as a Natural World Heritage Site in 1993. Covering 120.551 hectares, the park is home of the one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros Sondaicus), an extremely rare animal of which only sixty survive in their natural habitat. The difficulty of reaching the park is part of the challenge for many visitors. Though package tours are available from Jakarta, Carita and Labuan, it is also possible to travel on your own by four-wheel drive up to park headquarters in Taman Jaya. Offering eco-tourism experience, Ujung Kulon is synonymous with white sand and beautiful scenery. Thus, it is also a nice place for water-related recreation. The area is dwelled by endangered wildlife and diverse species of oxen, birds, leopards, wild pigs, deer, snakes and bears. Though the park is famous as the home of the rhino, the animal is rarely seen. It is extremely shy and has a sharp sense of smell that warms it of approaching intruders. Currently, the government is developing a new resort named Tanjung Lesung, not so far from Ujung Kulon. Covering 1.500 hectares, there will be hotels, cottages, a marina, a golf course and an arts center.


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