Sshhh… the hidden gems

Pacitan- East Java

“Where are you heading next on your trip? Pacitan! Where the fuck is Pacitan?”

This was the response we got from every traveller we spoke to when mentioning our desire to head to the small fishing village of Pacitan, 5 hours south east of Yogyakarta. This response also gave us even more motivation to get to this place ASAP before it was discovered and turned into yet another over crowded town full of European women learning to surf while falling in love with their Indonesian surf instructors (extremely common we have noticed).

The dirt path to the beach is through a cow paddock

The dirt path to the beach is through a cow paddock

Getting to Pactian was an experience in itself, we decided to opt out of the expensive private car option from Yogyakarta and went for the public transport route which included a 1 hour train journey from Yogyakarta to Solo, a mad dash across Solo to get the last bus of the day, a 6 hour bus ride from Solo to Pacitan then a 1 hour walk through pitch darkness before we stumbled across the wonderful Harrys Ocean House.

Harry's outdoor kitchen

Harry’s outdoor kitchen

On arrival the manager of Harrys Ocean House ‘Edo’ sorted us out with an air-conditioned room, 2 surfboards and a motorbike with a board rack for the bargain price of $20 a day! The boards and motorbike helped keep us highly entertained for the next 10 days as we explored the rugged coastline discovering deserted beaches with near perfect reef breaks peeling in.

Watu throwing over

Watu throwing over

The real highlight of Pacitan was how self sufficient you had to be, this town is really not set up for the tourist market and as a result Harrys Ocean House supplied a kitchen and the rest is up to you. This meant most mornings were spent buying produce from the local markets while in the afternoons we would buy a bunch of fresh tuna off the local fisherman, set up a fire on the beach and enjoy succulent fish and cold Bintangs under the moonlight (Tuna was $2 a Kilo!).

enjoying sunset, ice cold beers and some homemade chilli tempe

enjoying sunset, ice cold beers and some homemade chilli tempe

With Java being the most populated Island in the world it is amazing that you can still find untouched places like Pacitan however it is extremely doubtful that this place will remain off tourist radar for very long. Pacitan is an ideal location for both beginner and expert surfers; the river mouth break on Pancer Beach offers a very mellow left-hander with a sand bottom while the area also offers world-class reef breaks such as Watu Karung, a heavy left hander which has in the past welcomed surfers such as Kelly Slater and Bruce Irons.

Our own beach for the day

Our own beach for the day

If you have a craving for a surfing safari where your only company are friendly locals and a few cows roaming the beach then get to Pacitan! In 10 days our total expense came to $200 each for accommodation, food, surfboards, motorbikes and plenty of Bintangs!


Lot 10 Hutong- Kuala Lumpur 

Hidden gem 2

Lot 10 Hutong is a food oasis hidden beneath the hustle and bustle of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur.  This food court is Kuala Lumpur’s first and only heritage destination and offers more than 30 of the country’s best eateries that have survived the 2nd and 3rd generations. For an eatery to be accept into Lot 10 Hutong they need to have a track record dating back at least 40 years. This makes the quality of food superb and with prices only around $3 AUD for a meal you cant beat it.

Next time you are in Kuala Lumpur make sure you check this place out.

 hidden gems 1

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