Have you ever hear about Belitung Island?
Belitung Island is very popular since the movie, “Laskar Pelangi”, took set on a white sandy beach with stones in this island. Since then, there were increasing number of tourists to Belitung Island.
I had cheap flights from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandan with Batavia Air, only 250k for return flights. Normal price will take around 700k-800k for return flights. It didn’t go smooth from the first, even when I wanted to go back to Jkt (read later below). I came late to the airport. The schedule was at 9.45 a.m. and I reached Soekarno Hatta International Airport just in time. 9.45 a.m. The plane should have left.
Luckily, I still could check in because the flight was delayed. It takes 45 minutes from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandan. I arrived at H.A.S. Hanandjoeddin Airport. My host Dida from Couchsurfing fetch me to her house.
First thing we did was having lunch. She took me to one of the popular food in the downtown, Belitung Noodles, Atep Restaurant. After having our lunch, Dida had to leave me because she’s working. I rent motorbike, helped by Dida. There’s no public transportation in the city. Dida gave me map and explained me about Belitung Island for awhile before leaving me.
Here’s my journey began, alone.
My first destination was Kaolin Lake.
This is a mining area. Kaolin the material for tint, cosmetic, and ceramics. I was astonished by this place. It is an ordinary mining, but it looks like snow around this place because Kaolin has white color. It’s not a real lake. People dig this place and left hole, filled by rain and turned to something like lake. It has beautiful blueish sometimes greenish color.
Next, Tanjung Tinggi Beach where the movie, “Laskar Pelangi” took set. About 30 km from Tanjung Pandan City. Quite far. I speed up my motorbike.
The good thing visiting place in weekdays is not so many people around. Tanjung Tinggi has white sand beach and big granite stones structured magnificently. I tried to climb those big stones. Be careful, It’s high. In some point you can walk into another side of beach within the stones and you find yourself in your own private beach, surrounded by granite stones. Amazing.
My plan for second day was visiting Manggar, eastern part of Belitung Island to see the replica school from the “Laskar Pelangi” movie, Dewi Kwan im Temple, and some beaches. Around one and a half hour by motorbike.
Too bad it’s raining from morning. I canceled this plan and waited the rain stop. It stopped around 3 p.m, I decided, not to waste my motorbike rent, I went to Bukit Perahu and Tanjung Binga. It’s still the same direction to Tanjung Tinggi.
Bukit Perahu is a resort and restaurant. It’s located in a beautiful place and they have a beautiful calm beach. But I think it’s not managed well so this place seems not appealing. I’m sure if they clean up a lil bit and promote this place well, It will become a great place to stay.
Tanjung Binga is the fishery village. An interesting object for photography. I went there and saw men were building the wooden deck and hut maybe for the fish, while the women were preparing food, a kind of black rice soup and shared it to the men. Very nice.
I went back to Tanjung Pendem, a beach near the downtown. There are plenty of hotels around here. I tried pampi noodles, they said it’s the same as kwetiau but for me it looks different.
I did not do anything on the third day, just staying in Dida’s house. I was hoping for sunny weather in the fourth day because it’s time for me to do hopping island, my main destination in Belitung Island.
Dida took me to Tanjung Kelayang, not far from Tanjung Tinggi. This is where the boats depart to some islands. Small boat cost 400k and big boat cost 700k. 15 people fit in this small boat I think. For renting snorkeling stuffs, 70k for complete gear (goggles, fin, and life vest). I joined a group of people. There were 4 of us.
First destination is Lengkuas Island. About 30 minutes from Tanjung Kelayang. It was soooo beautiful with the light house in the middle of island. We climbed the stairs to the top of the lighthouse. There were 18 floors for about 300 stairs. It was made by Dutch when they occupied Indonesia long time ago.
The view from up there was soooo wonderful. The frazzle was paid off. Below there, the magical color of the sea with the corals inside, a group of white color granite stones. One word. AMAZING.
Snorkeling around Lengkuas Island is a must. Corals are still beautiful.
Check another view from the top!
Next pitstop, Kepayang Island.
Before, the name was Pig Island, but they changed it. There’s nice resort in this place. Quite affordable. I recommend you to stay in this island rather than staying in hotels at the city. If you do diving, this place provides diving package for you. The beach is nice. I will come to stay in this place again next time. Here is the contact number: 082175704250 and here’s the website www.belitungadventure.com.
They give half price for the boat to the guests who stay in this cottage. They will also pick you up from Tanjung Kelayang.
Last island. Pulau Pasir or Sand Island. A small sandbar in the middle of the sea. Very nice.
I had problem for my return flight to Jakarta. The airline company suffered bankruptcy. All the operations were stopped since 31 December. Means I couldn’t go back to Jakarta again with Batavia. I was planning to go back by Pelni Boat (12 hours, only 160k to Jakarta). But my parents told me to take plane, so my mom bought me Sriwijaya Air for 410k. Planning to do low budget traveling but failed. huh.
Thanks Mbak Dida for hosting me =)
Total expenses in Belitung Island:
- Rent Motorbike: 60k for 24 hours
- Gasoline: 22k
- Entrance fee Bukit Perahu: 2k
- Entrance fee for Tanjung Pendem: 2k
- Rent Boat, divided by 4: 100k (more people, cheaper)
- Go up to the light house in Lengkuas: 5k
- Food for 5 days: 100k
- airport tax in Belitung: 11k
Total IDR 266,000.
- Renting car or motorbike is the best solution remembering there’s no public transportation in Belitung Island. Unless you have someone fetching you. Not so expensive. 250k car+driver for 24 hours, gasoline excluded.
- There’s traditional house in the city and also museum.
- There’s new tourist attraction called Batu Mentas where you can do jungle trekking, tarsius (mini bat) watching, outbond, tubing. check out www.belitungadventure.com
Enjoy Belitung Island =)
Traveled in 29 January – 2 February 2013
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