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Menjangan Island is a little piece of secluded, uninhabited paradise, located just a few miles from the coast of Bali. The island gets its name from the Javanese word for 'deer', thanks to an incredible natural phenomenon whereby flocks of the rare wild Javan rusa deer swim to the island every spring — some of them travelling an incredible 2 kilometres to get there!
The easiest way to reach Menjangan Island is by boat from Labuhan Lalang, a port in Northern Bali not far from Pemuteran Beach. To travel around the island you need a park guide (which can be arranged with the help of a tour operator), which will cost you about IDR 350,000 (USD 24.50). You'll also need to purchase a permit, which costs IDR 200,000 (USD 14) on a weekday and IDR 300,000 (USD 21) on the weekend.*
Once you've reached the island, there are many things you can do to occupy your time.
The West Bali National Park covers a massive area of over 19,000 hectares. The park is teeming with a huge variety of flora and fauna, and Menjangan Island makes up just one small part of the park — although it is the best-known part of the park when it comes to marine diversity and optimal diving spots. You can spend your morning travelling through the park with your guide and still have time for other activities, as you can walk around the entire island in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some of those rare rusa deer!
- Cost: IDR 40,000 for a park permit (USD 2.80)*
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 8 am – 6 pm
- Tip: Don’t limit your exploration of the beautiful West Bali National Park to just Menjangan Island! After your visit to the island, head back to the mainland and discover the Prapat Agung Peninsula, with its mountainous interior and sparkling coastline that stretches for miles.
The first thing you will see as your boat draws up to Menjangan Island is a beautiful beach with crystal clear waters, perfectly blue sky and white sand. Before you head off to explore all the island has to offer, take some time to sit back and relax. After all, where else on earth could you sunbathe among a herd of deer? Grab a lounger and soak up the sun rays or go for a refreshing swim.
- Cost: Free (excluding island permit and guide)
- Opening hours: Always open
- Tip: The deer are friendly and it is perfectly safe to approach them — just do not harm them or leave any harmful trash behind you when you leave the beach.
This temple, known as Pura Gili Kencana for short, is Menjangan Island's signature monument and an absolute must-see on your visit. The temple's most prominent feature is a statue of Ganesha, an ancient holy priest who once lived in Bali, which is cast entirely in stunning white stone. The temple faces the sea out towards Bali so that Ganesha can protect the neighbouring island. Pura Segara Gili Kencana temple is also said to be located 'on the line of truth' — the word Gili means 'territory', while Dharma means 'truth'.
- Cost: Free
- Opening hours: Always open
- Tip: The best view of this temple is from the water, where you can fully appreciate the Ganesha statue in its full glory.
No list would be complete without the most popular activity on Menjangan Island. The majority of people who come to this secluded island come in search of some of the most diverse pockets of marine life in Indonesia. Thanks to its being completely uninhabited, the waters surrounding Menjangan Island are very well-preserved, offering some spectacular coral reefs that are perfect for exploring. There are seven different world-class diving sites off the island's coasts, offering excellent visibility (anywhere from 15 to 50 metres). Interesting dive sites include: Anker wreck, a 150 year old boat around 40 metres deep; the shallow Eel Gardens; and Pos 1 and 2, each of which is home to several colourful marine species.
- Cost: Prices vary between operators
- Opening hours: Hours vary between operators
- Tip: See how many different forms of marine life you can tick off on a single diving excursion. In the waters around Menjangan Island, you'll find everything from pygmy seahorses and garden eels to reef sharks and clownfish.
If you’re looking for a snorkelling tour in Menjangan Island, try this day tour.
While Pura Gili Kencana may be Menjangan’s most well-known temple, the island has several other temples well worth exploring. There’s the Taman Pingit Klenting Sari Temple, not far from Menjangan Beach, with its carved white tigers guarding the entrance. Then, just 500 metres along a nearby path, you’ll find Agung Brahma Ireng, a vibrant red temple that offers great views of nearby Bali. Only a few footsteps away is the Pagoda of Agung Dewi Kwan Im, a pink temple built in the Chinese architectural style, and Pendopo Ida Bhatara Lingsir Dalem Gajah Mada, with its Javanese influences and wooden beams and door.
- Cost: Free
- Opening Hours: Always open
- Tip: Following this trail of temples from Menjangan Beach will eventually lead you to the Pura Gili Kencana temple with its stunning sea views. Be sure to be respectful of locals praying in these temples while you visit.
Ride around the island along with other destinations in Bali and Java on this Cycling Indonesia Tour.
Menjangan Island may be small, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a lot to offer! Whether you're a foodie, a marine lover or a culture buff, there's a little something for you here. Trust us, you'll want to stay for more than just a day!
*Note: Prices listed are as of April 2018