Madura is one of the thousands of Indonesian islands, located north of east Java and connected to Surabaya city with a 5km bridge called Suramadu (Sura ‘Surabaya’ – Madu ‘Madura’) bridge, which is the longest bridge in Indonesia and South East Asia.
Madura is a magnificent island, with so much to offer, however, until now it is undiscovered, neither by entrepreneurs nor by travelers (or at least most of them.) From the millions of visitors of visit Indonesia every year (mainly Bali,) only a counted few take the effort to visit Madura.
I’m guessing this is mainly because of its reputation of being populated by more religious Muslims, and as wiki travel puts it, coarse and unrefined people. But weren’t locals in Bali the same as well before it became over populated by tourists? And as someone who traveled all over Madura, people are generally not coarse or mean, on the contrary they are in general very nice people, and always very helpful as they rarely see tourists and they do their best to welcome them!
This island has a great potential of becoming a real tourist hub, especially in the coming few years before it becomes over populated by the rich tourists that mainly ruin any place!
Madura has great road structure, with most of them recently renovated; at least 90% of the roads in Madura are smooth and really easy to drive on, with the remaining 10% being a work in progress, as far as I’ve seen them.
I have circled the whole island, as well as going off the road at some points, and I haven’t encountered bad roads except very few times!
Add to that the fact that the island barely has any traffic, which makes driving in it much easier than driving in Java or in Bali!
Madura, as most other islands in Indonesia, is almost a paradise on earth. Amazing scenery all the way, amazing beaches and green lands, with simple villages dotting the road making it even more picturesque!
Many times in between the villages I would stop at an empty deserted beach and I can see proper hotels or resorts in these areas! The place is just amazing and totally unused before!
According to wiki travel, the whole island of Madura has only 31 accommodation options, most of them being informal!
I searched through Agoda, hostel bookers and hostel world and barely found anything to pre book on the island, and thus had to take addresses of few hotels from wiki travel and look for them while there, many of which did not even exist anymore, or were not even hotels!
One of the options from wiki travel turned out to be just a salon/spa!
If some proper budget hostels with the normal hostel prices and cleanliness were to open on the island, and get listed on the known booking websites, this would encourage many of the travelers to start thinking of the island and visiting it! It is worth the investment I’d say!
Downsides of the island
There were only 2 downsides of Madura, apart from the limited accommodation options.
The first one is the lack of alcohol, which is understandable, given that rarely any tourists visit the island, and the Madurese people being religious Muslims so they don’t consume alcohol. Therefore even the normal supermarket chains that always have alcohol on the other islands don’t sell them in Madura.
I see this one easily solved, however, if there will be higher consumption, i.e. more tourism, or it will at least be available in traveler hostels and hotels.
The second downside is rubbish. It is very normal for Indonesian people in general to throw rubbish everywhere. In Madura, however, the problem is a little bigger as the rubbish is thrown on beaches that are never used, and thus never cleaned! The problem seems to be bigger closer to the villages and less visible on deserted beaches.
This is easily solved, as if there will be a hostel or a hotel near a beach, they will definitely clean their own beach for the use of their visitors!