Siung Beach is located in a remote area in Gunung Kidul Regency, to the south of Tepus Sub-Regency to be exact. The distance is around 70 kilometer from the center of Yogyakarta city or it will take you around 2 hours drive. Since it is difficult to get public transportation to go the beach, it would be easier if you make your travel with your own vehicle. Public bus or mini van from Wonosari city will stop at Tepus area only and you have to wait long to get one.
When you plan to make your travel by your car or motorcycle, make sure that they are in a very good condition. The reason is that you are going to go through challenging road with climbs, sharp bending and sometimes slopes under the hot sun in between limestone hills and vegetable fields. You will have to overcome all the hindrances since you come to Pathuk area (the first Sub-Regency that you will pass by in Gunung Kidul Regency) until you get to the beach.
You cannot escape from the hindrances. The easiest route with smooth asphalted road you best take is Yogyakarta – Wonosari continued with Wonosari – Baron – Tepus route. Another route, namely Yogyakarta – Imogiri – Gunung Kidul, has harder challenges with road full of holes, while Wonogiri – Gunung Kidul route is to far to take from Yogyakarta city.
Suffering before getting the happiness seems to represent your journey to Siung Beach. You will fee happy, released and peaceful after you get to the beach. The blue ocean and white, clean sands will cure tiredness. Some wooden houses are available for visitors to take shelter or to have a chat with friends while enjoying the beauty of the beach panorama.
One of the prominent enchantments of Siung Beach is its coral reef. The huge coral reefs at the west and east parts of the beach have important function to add the beauty of the scenery and to border with other beach.
The coral reef of which form resembles the fang of a monkey protrudes little bit to the ocean. The name of the beach was – according to Wastoyo, the local senior leader – taken from the form of the coral reef that resembles the shape of a monkey’s fang. The coral reef remains beautiful to enjoy with the waves sometimes hit it and the seawater permeates through its cavities.
The monkey’s fang coral reef that still stands firmly despite eroding waves becomes the witness of the triumph of Siung area in the past. Wastoyo tells that Siung area was one of the trading centers during the time of Islamic leaders in Gunung Kidul area. Close to the beach, in Winangun area, there is a traditional market. Here, Mrs Kami and Mrs Podi, the widows of the servants of the Yogyakarta and Surakarta Kingdoms lived.
Most of the people in Siung area make their living by producing salt. They rely their lives on the seawater that is rich in rich content. The salt produced by the local people becomes the main commodity in Winangun market. Even though the sea is rich in various kinds of fish, not many local people dare to go sea by that time. Most of them just catch fish at the shallow waters.
The trading in Winangun market was decreasing when the market was “moved” to Yogyakarta. The new market in Yogyakarta that used to be the Winangun market in Siung area was named Jowinangun that stands for Jobo Winangun, meaning outside the Winangun area. Local people lost their livelihood and not many people come to this area. There is no history telling what local people did to keep alive.
It was during the vacuum time that the beauty of the coral reefs in Siung Beach regained its popularity. In around 1989, a group of nature lovers from Japan utilized the coral cliffs to the west of the beach as an arena for cliff climbing. Then, in 1990s, there was a competition of Asian Climbing Gathering utilizing the coral cliff at Siung Beach. Since then, the popularity of Siung Beach began to come back.
As many as 250 climbing routes are now available at Siung Beach to facilitate the lovers of cliff climbing sport. Referring to the rule that the existing route can be added with the consent from the maker of the previous path, the routes can possibly be added. Many groups have made use of the climbing routes in this beach, such as a group of students from the State University of Yogyakarta that was about to climb when YogYES came to visit this beach.
The other facility supporting the cliff climbing activity is the camping ground in the eastern part of the beach. Tents are erected in the camping ground and fire can be set to spend the night. The only requirement to go camping there is destroying the environment and disturbing the turtle habitat as the sign board there says.
Close to the camping ground, a wooden stage-house can be functioned as the base camp as another choice than erecting the tent. It contains 10 – 15 people. The stage-house enables visitors to get wider view of the exotic beach. You only have to get permission from local people and pay some amount of money to use the stage-house.
When night comes or when there are not many visitors, the long-tailed monkeys will get down from the cliff to the shore. The existence of these rare long-tailed monkeys can be one of the reasons why the naming of the coral reef was analogized with the fang of the monkey, not other kinds of animals.
Wastoyo explains, based on what wise men explained, the prosperity and triumph of Siung Beach will come soon. The visit of more people and the increasing popularity as an arena of cliff climbing signal the movement of this beach to its triumph. The visit of tourists, including you, will surely speed up the attainment of the triumph.
Text YUNANTO WIJI UTOMO Photography DANIEL ANTONIUS KRISTANTO Copyright YogYES.COM