The Gems of Indonesia (Belitung Island)

It has been a while since my last post. I am having a holiday in my home country, Indonesia. Indonesia has so many beautiful islands, one of its gems is Belitung island. It is located on east coast of Sumatra, and it belongs to Bangka Belitung province. This island is around 4800 km2. Belitung is divided into two districts, Belitung Timur and Belitung Barat. The main town is Tanjung Pandan. It is located in Belitung Barat.

We traveled to Belitung with Sriwijaya air from Jakarta. You can get a ticket price around Rp 700.000-800.000/person in low season, but in high season, it will cost more than Rp 1,3 million. I recommended you to fly with citilink or Sriwijaya because the airways are normally on time. It took only 1 hour to reach this island. We arrived at H.A.S Hanandjoeddin on Friday morning. I recommended all of you to rent a car to explore Belitung island since the public transportation is rare. For renting car (for example Avanza), the cost is around Rp. 500.000/day with fuel and driver, but you can also give the driver extra money for his service at the end of the day.

We directly took a tour in Belitung Timur. It took around 1 hour driving from the airport. You will rarely see another car or traffic jam in this island so it is so comfortable to drive with a car in this island. The first place that we reached is the replica of elementary school in “Laskar Pelangi”, one of the most famous Indonesian movie that promoted Belitung island. The elementary school was an really an old ramshackle building. You need to pay for entrance ticket, it is around Rp. 5000/person. After that, we went to Dermaga Kirana or Kirana Pier, you can find some Rattan Houses, like snail houses. The parking fee is around Rp. 5.000/car.  The ambience is so calm and peace here. The view is so instagramable, you don´t need any filter for your photo.

Then, we drove to Bendungan Pice or Pice dam, it was built in the era of Dutch colonialism to control the river´s water level. Our last destination was Kampung Ahok. Why does Ahok become so famous? He is the phenomenal and very clean as Jakarta Governor. He has made a lot of improvement for Jakarta, but unfortunately, he is prisoned because of something that he didn´t do. Here are some photos of Belitung Timur.

After having lunch, we drove to hotel. We stayed in BW suite Belitung, it is located in Tanjung Pandan. It is four stars hotel. The room rate is around Rp. 800.000/night for deluxe room. The hotel itself was clean and comfortable, the staffs were also friendly, the food was good. The location is very strategic. You can find a souvenir shop and mini market beside the hotel. There are some restaurants also across the street. I will surely stay here again if i come back to Belitung. Here are some photos of the hotel.

Then we visited the traditional house of Belitung, it is like a stage house with only two rooms. One big room is like a living room and also probably a place to sleep, the other rooms is like the kitchen and dining room. This traditional house opens only till around 3.30pm. You don´t need any ticket, but you may pay voluntarily. After that we visited Kaolin lake or blue lake, it was so beautiful. This lake is actually made from Kaolin mining that has been abandoned. The view was really mesmerizing, but it was also hot. So i suggest all of you to visit the lake at around 4 pm or later. You don´t need to pay any entrance ticket here. Here are some photos of it.

The last place, that we visited that day, was Tanjung Pendam beach. You need to pay for entrance ticket, it is around Rp 5.000/person. The beach itself was quite clean, but unfortunately you still can find some plastic rubbish. Beside it, you can also find shells, snails, and crabs. The sea is quite calm, without wave, so it is not a suitable place for surfing here, but it is safe for children to play at the beach. Here are some photos of the beach.

At the second day, we rented a boat to have island tour. There are some beautiful small island nearby Belitung. Our driver drove us to Tanjung Kelayang beach, where we could find our rented boat. It took only 30 minutes from our hotel. The cost for one boat is around Rp. 500.000 to visit all island that you want, but surely you can give extra money for the boat driver. You can book a boat from the car rental company also.

The islands are close to one another, so it didn´t take any long time to reach each island. The islands are not so big also, you can walk around the island and you can do some water sport also (such as snorkeling, diving) because the water is clean and blue. There are around 6 islands that can be visited, they are Lengkuas, Kepayang, Kelayang, Batu Berlayar, Batu Garuda, and Pasir islands. You can find lighthouse tower in Lengkuas island, and normally people have their lunch in Kepayang island to eat some seafood, but you have to order a day before if you want to eat seafood from your travel guide, or you can order some simple food such as fried rice here. The beach and island are beautiful and also unique. The most unique island is Pasir island for me, because it is just like stranded in the middle of the sea. My daughter love to play with sand and she love to collect shell at every island. The island tour was worth every cent. The duration of this tour is depended on you, it is possible to stay longer in an island if you like that island. We started at 10 am and finished at 4 pm.

Overall, we had a great time in Belitung. The food was also good, especially sea food, but i won´t review the food since i didn´t do any culinary tour. So if you plan to have a holiday with family, this island is recommended to visit. 3 days visit will be enough since it is not a big island. As a suggestion, i recommend you to visit at weekdays and book the rental car. I will surely come back to visit this island with my family again. What a wonderful island!!

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