REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SUKABUMI - Beach resort of Palabuhan Ratu was packed with two million holidaymakers during the three days of Eid al Fitr festivity. Situated on the south coast of Java in Sukabumi district, Palabuhan Ratu beach resort is only a three-hour drive -through picturesque mountain villages- from Jakarta and Bandung.
"As of Tuesday afternoon, around 2 million holidaymakers have flocked to the stunning beach with good surfing conditions," Sukabumi Tourist Rescue Agency (Balawista) spokesman Erik said on Wednesday.
He noted that Palabuhan Ratu was a popular tourist resort among holidaymakers from Jakarta, Bandung and other places because of its breathtaking beauty with hills, mountains and wide sandy beaches overlooking the deep blue Indian Ocean. Right next to the long stretches of white beaches, visitors can find thick tropical forests on rolling hills.
"Taking walks uphill will enable them to have a view of the horseshoe shape of the bay`s coastline, whereas at night hundreds of fishing boats` lamps seemingly compete with the star-studded sky above. It is both enchanting and romantic," Erik said.
He noted that only 50,000 holidaymakers visited the beach resort of Palabuhan Ratu on the second day of Eid al Fitr festivity, but the numbers rose sharply and touched 2 million on the third day (Tuesday).
"But the numbers are approximate and are likely to keep rising until Saturday, the last day of the long Eid al Fitr holidays," Erik said, adding that the holidaymakers, most of whom were students and workers, would return to their schools and workplaces on Monday.
The famous deep blue waters of Palabuhan Ratu Bay provide both visitors and locals with an opportunity to enjoy a wide range of water sports. In addition to the ever popular swimming and surfing activities, there are boating, wind-surfing, deep-sea fishing and water-skiing facilities available.
But the sea and many parts of the south coast of Java are treacherous, with massive rip currents. Therefore, the visitors are warned against swimming in the dangerous waters of Palabuhan Ratu.
Head of the Sukabumi Search and Rescue agency Okih Fajri said tourists had been warned not to swim too far into the sea, adding that "a black flag marks the beginning of dangerous waters". He stated that two local tourists drowned, with another one still missing, while swimming at the dangerous area off Palabuhan Ratu on Tuesday.