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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

About Karimunjawa islands

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About Karimunjawa islands

The beauty of coral reef and diversity of marine life becomes Karimunjawa marine national park as highly recommended tourism destination. Explore the spectacular underwater scenery by diving and snorkeling marine ecosystem in a preserve marine area. Located about 45 miles North West of Jepara and 3.5 hours by speed boat from Semarang made this location as splendor holiday spot. The natural panorama, under water beauty, various sea organisms, mangrove forests, all are still be natural and pure, so that Karimunjawa now becoming a sea national park. The Karimunjawa islands is administratively part of Jepara regency, located approximately 45 miles northwest direction from Jepara city. Totally, this area covers 107,226 ha, with 100,105 ha is sea part, and the reminder is land. The average temperature in this area is about 26 until 30 degrees Celcius, with minimum temperature is 22 Celcius and maximum is 34 Celcius. The fascination of Karimunjawa is its flora and fauna. It can be seen from five species of flora ecosystem, those are; coral reef ecosystem, forest of mangrove, coastal forest, field-ponder and lowland forest. On the other side, there are many kinds of fauna, like long tail monkey, deer, and also aquatic fauna which is consisting of 242 decorative fish types and 133 kinds of aquatic biota and there are also 2 types of turtles which live in National Park ecosystem of Karimunjawa islands.

A.2 Nyamplungan Legend
According to folklore, the word Karimun comes from 2 words that is "kremun-kremun" means not so clear. The legend of Karimun is related to Sunan Nyamplungan story. Sunan Nyamplungan was the name Sunan Muria's son. His name was Amir Hasan. He was very spoiled by his mother, and because of it, he tended to be naughty. By his father, he was entrusted to his uncle, Sunan Kudus.
After some time being under Sunan Kudus's upbringing, he became an obedient young man. The he was sent back to his parent. But he became naughty again here. So Sunan Muria asked him to go somewhere which was seen "kremun-kremun" (not so clear) from the top of Muria mountain. At last, he decided to go to the place where his father asked. He was accompanied by two guards and two seeds of Nyamplung fruit with him. He also brought mustaka (part of the top of mosque) which is now still residing in complex of Sunan Nyamplungan grave. The place where Amir Hasan resided was crowded by Nyamplung tree, and called as dukuh Nyamplung.

A.3 Local Community
The people who lived in Karimunjawa come from some tribes having a unique traditional house. The tribes lived in Karimunjawa are Java, Bugis Makassar, and Madura. Java tribe community dominantly lived in dukuh Karimun, dukuh Legon Lele, dukuh Nyamplungan, and dukuh Mrican. Almost of them are farmers and doing some activities in home industry scope, like brick and coconut oil. Bugis Makassar tribe community dominantly lived in Kemujan island, dukuh Batu Lawang, dukuh Legon Gede, and dukuh Tlogo. This tribe is well known as good sailormans, so the dominant profession in this tribe is fisherman. People in this community are well known for their weaving sarong goods. Almost the same as Bugis Makassar, people in Madura tribe community dominantly are fishermans. Besides, they are good to make some foods, like dried-fish.

B. Tourism Facilities

B.1 Tourism Interests
With its beautiful nature which relatively pure, Karimunjawa becomes an interested place that offering maritime tourism object and natural adventure. Besides, local community lived in Karimunjawa with their unique traditions and culture, bring some fascinations to this place. Maritime objects offer various tourism activities and water sports. Some are below.
- Diving
This activity can be done in northern and western part of Karimunjawa island, eastern part Menjangan Besar island, around of Menjangan Kecil island, southern and western part of Geleang, western part of Bengkoang island, western part of Parang island, eastern part Kembar island, around of Katang island, northern and eastern part of Krakal Kecil island , and western part of Kumbang island.
- Snorkling
This activity can be done in Menjangan Besar and Menjangan Kecil island, western part of Bengkoang island, around of Kembar island, and northern and eastern part of Krakal Kecil island.
- Fishing
Tourists can do this activity in around of Menjangan Besar and Menjangan Kecil island, Menyawakan island, Kemujan island, Parang island, around of Kembar island, and western part of Bengkoang island.
- Swimming
Locations used by swimming activity are eastern and southern part of Karimunjawa island, southern and western part of Menjangan Kecil island, western of Tengah island, around of Parang island, Kembar island, and Kumbang island.
- Sunbathing
Almost all the coasts in Karimunjawa island have white sands with long coast line. This situation made a lot of Karimunjawa coasts are right places for sunbathing, watching the sunset, or sunrise.
- Roaming the Sea
For anyone who can not swim and dive, using glass bottom boat can be a good reason to roam the sea in Karimunjawa. The tourists are able to see the under water scenery. It's really fantastic for whom like fishing, snorkling, and diving.
- Watching Under Water Aquarium
Menjangan Besar island have a location where an under water aquarium resides. Here, the tourists can see beauty of aquatic faunas, the life of sharks, and others.

With its pure various vegetations and geological conditon, Karimunjawa is a challenge for natural adventure. Locations available for this activity are Karimunjawa island, Kemujan island, and Parang island. In Kemujan island, there is a location named Batu Lawang which giving the beauty of Karimunjawa island scenery to visitors. Besides of its nature, the local community also makes added value to this tourism objects. Various cultural attractions are available in Karimunjawa, such as reog (lumping horse), pencak silat, rebana, and Javanese gamelan (Javanese traditional music). Also available some attractions regularly held by local community, like turtles releasing ceremony, boats releasing ceremony, and khoul sunan Nyamplungan (1st Suro ritual). The Nyamplungan legend makes this place as a pilgrimage destination object.

B.2 Souvenirs
Traveling without buying souvenirs is like having dinner without Brandy. That is the words we may hear from the tourists. Karimunjawa is full of souvenirs made by local society. Most of souvenirs are made from rareness wood, like Dewadaru wood, Setigi wood, and Kalimasada wood. You can find keris (Javanese weapon) and tasbih (prayer beads) in each island of Karimunjawa archipelago. For woodcrafts, below are places for ordering.
- Al Badri Woodcraft Center, Legon Cikmas village
- Labiki, Kapuran street, Karimunjawa island.

B.3 Accommodations
If tourists want to spend the night in Karimunjawa, there are some homestays and hotel
available. The price (per 2006) to deal is cheap enough, starting from Rp 40,000.00 until
Rp 300,000.00. These spread out in Karimunjawa island, Menjangan Besar island, Tengah island,
and Menyawakan island. Below is information about accommodations in Karimunjawa.
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