The Pacitan Regency in East Java, Indonesia, hides many natural beauties. Not only the countless romantic beaches. It also offers beauties underneath our feet. Goa Gong, for many, is one of the world most beautiful caves.
Harsh Land of Pacitan
The limestone mountain range of southern Java stretched as far as Gunung Kidul Regency in Yogyakarta Province to Trenggalek Regency in East Java. That includes Pacitan Regency in between them. This makes the land is hard for farming and always lacking water during Dry Season.
Pacitan is a small undeveloped regency under East Java Provincial Government. The town consists only residences’ house and government buildings. There are no fancy malls or City Square filled with teenagers. The luxury travelers wouldn’t touch it, only adventurous traveler dare to explore the region.
Although the land is harsh, many people managed to survive from such condition. Being a fisherman is one of the best occupations. Other well-known occupation would be becoming the State Employee because farming is rather impossible.
The Colonial Government calls it “Parta Incognita”. The Unknown Region and it’s written on their map. This is because the region is hard to access and harsh, not to forget the less economic values they thought in the past.
Goa Gong the Magnificent
But make no mistake, this land hides natural beauties like caves, river stream, waterfalls, and beaches. One cave attracts many tourists, The Goa Gong. This relatively large cave offers a magnificent view inside our mother earth.
According to the locals, the name Gong comes from the stone wall formation in the cave that can produce sounds in different tones. These imitate the sound produced by music instrument called Gong, a part of Gamelan traditional Javanese music instrument.
On our way to the cave’s entrance, we will see the souvenir market. That is after going through hundreds of steps uphill. They mainly sell foods and drinks for visitors.
Many of them sell “Batu Akik” rings. Batu Akik is a local term for semi-precious gemstones, one without translucent but rich in colors. Mostly are fossils of a tree trunk.
The surrounding area is limestone hills with not so thick Teak Tree forest. During Dry Season, all the leaves fall, leaving the branches dry.
Stepping in the cave’s mouth will give you creep sensation. It looks dark at first until we reach the first cave’s chamber. Then we go “WOW!”.
Chamber after chamber
The inner interior is filled with the stalactite and stalagmite formations. On the ceiling, they form natural chandeliers with a combination of colors from the lightings.
Some of them join together and form pillars that connect the base to the cave’s ceiling. One pillar is so huge, we can see it in a distance. We had to climb down the steps into a deeper chamber in order to approach this gigantic pillar.
The stone formations are still wet, evidence that the cave is still alive. The formation of the stalactite and stalagmite are still in progress. And it has been for thousands of years. I wonder how long it takes to form that gigantic one.
There are many chambers inside the Goa Gong. One chamber is filled with beautiful sparkling stone formation, the Crystal Chamber. Words are not enough describing the jaw-dropping view I’ve seen in the Crystal Chamber.
The cave’s wall appears in many shapes, some looking like a giant curtain, the other like bat wings. There are even blossoming flower shape stalactites hanging on the ceiling.
Some areas underneath our pathway, we can find natural pond filled with water. If only I could swim in it. But the surrounding looks dark and frightening. So I just moved on.
Tips Visiting Goa Gong
It is huge, deep, humid and less air inside. We hardly breathe during the cave exploration. You should visit the Goa Gong Cave when it’s less crowded.
During holiday season or weekend, the locals flock the location. It will make you even harder to breathe, especially when we walk in a queue on the narrow pathway inside the cave.
For those with asthma or other breathing diseases, we don’t recommend to do such exploration. Oxygen tube will be necessary if you want to do so.
Wear special shoes like hiking shoes, do not wear anything slippery. The pathway in the cave might be wet and slippery, so always be careful when you walk.
Bring DSLR Camera, there is much dimmer light in the cave so the only camera that able to capture well in low light can capture good pictures.
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