The Lebak Regency is the Regency to which Eduard Douwes Dekker (Multatuli) was appointed in 1856 as assistant resident. Douwes Dekker observed that the local regent exploited the local population and requested his removal. He made a few mistakes in this. He bypassed his direct chief and overlooked the size of abuse by the regent. The regent being of local nobility but paid the colonial government was regularly in poor circumstances having to keep up with demands of patronage for his large family, according to the adat, the traditional law. Bad practices were known and condoned to a certain extent by the colonial administration. Governmental research that same year showed however more serious abuse by the lesser local officials. The Governor-General disapproved of Dekker's tactless conduct and ordered his replacement, which Dekker refused. He resigned after three months of duty in Lebak. Home he published four years later 'Max Havelaar, or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company', a pamphlet-novel, which had great influence on later administrators, less by force of analysis than by the vigour of its language, setting a new standard for Dutch literature.
To the southern coast of the Regency, there are Sawarna and Ciantir Beach which can be accessed from Jakarta for 6 hours drive. The modest Sawarna village has no available 24 hours electricity and no television broadcast can be accessed. In some areas, terraced rice fields are like in Ubud, Bali. Ciantir Beach is suitable for professional surfer with high tide of Indian Ocean.