Have you ever heard about Belitung Island? Belitung Island is one of many beautiful islands in Indonesia. Belitung Island is very popular since an Indonesian movie, “Laskar Pelangi”, took set on a white sandy beach with stones in this island. Since then, there were increasing number of tourists to the island. Here are some things to do in Belitung Island.
Getting to Belitung Island
Belitung Island can be reached by air from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandan using airlines such as Lion Air. The flight is very short, only for an hour. Back then, I had cheap flights from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandan with Batavia Air, only IDR 250,000 for return flights. Normal price will take around IDR 700,000-800,000 for return flights.
Nowadays, Batavia Air does not operate anymore. My experience didn’t go smooth from the beginning. Even when I wanted to go back to Jakarta, my flight was cancelled.
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 from the airport to her home.
First thing we did was having lunch. She took me to one of the popular food in the downtown called Mie Belitung in Atep Restaurant. Definitely, eating Mie Belitung is the first thing to do in Belitung Island for me. The texture of the noodle, and the sweetness mixed savoury taste of the sauce. It’s yummy!
Also Read: Snorkeling in Wangi Wangi Island
After having our lunch, Dida had to leave me because of her work. I rented a motorbike with Dida’s help. The public transportation in Tanjung Pandan is unreliable, so it’s better to rent a car or motorbike. Dida gave me map and explained me about Belitung Island for awhile before leaving me. Here my journey began, alone.
Things to do in Belitung Island
1. Kaolin Lake
My first stop was Kaolin Lake. Actually, Kaolin Lake is a mining area for a mineral called Kaolin which is used as 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.
2. Tanjung Tinggi Beach
Next, Tanjung Tinggi Beach where the movie, “Laskar Pelangi” took set. It’s pretty far from Tanjung Pandan, about 30 km. I drove pretty fast with my motorbike to reach this place.
The good thing visiting places in weekdays is that 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.
3. Bukit Perahu
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. Manggar is 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.
4. Tanjung Binga
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’m having my favourite all time food as well, Pempek Palembang.
Also Read: What to do in Manado, Indonesia
5. Tanjung Kelayang
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 do island hopping around Belitung. The price to rent a small boat for island hopping is IDR 400,000 and the big boat costs IDR 700,000. Price to rent snorkeling stuffs, IDR 70,000 for complete gear (goggles, fin, and life vest). I joined a group of people. There were 4 of us.
6. Lengkuas Island
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.
7. Kepayang Island
Next pitstop, Kepayang Island. Before, they called it Pig Island, but they changed it. There’s nice resort in this place named Kepayang Eco Lodge. 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. They give half price for the boat to the guests who stay in this cottage. They will also pick you up from Tanjung Kelayang. (Update 2020: The resort in Kepayang Island is no longer operated)
8. Pulau Pasir
Last island, Pulau Pasir or if translated to English literally means Sand Island. It is just a small sandbar in the middle of the sea. This small island can only be accessed when the tide is low. The sand is so soft and it’s just nice to sit in the middle of nowhere.
So, 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 IDR 160,000 to Jakarta). But my parents told me to take plane, so my mom bought me Sriwijaya Air for IDR 410,000, haha. Planning to do low budget traveling but failed. huh.
Total expenses in Belitung Island:
- Rent Motorbike: IDR 60,000 for 24 hours
- Gasoline: IDR 22,000
- Entrance fee Bukit Perahu: IDR 2,000
- Entrance fee for Tanjung Pendem: IDR 2,000
- Rent Boat, divided by 4: IDR 100,000 (more people, cheaper)
- Go up to the light house in Lengkuas: IDR 5,000
- Food for 5 days: IDR 100,000
- airport tax in Belitung: IDR 11,000
Total expenses IDR 266,000 for four days not including flight. Yes, I traveled pretty cheap.
- 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 IDR 450,000 – 600,000 for renting a car with the 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.
Enjoy Belitung Island and thanks Mbak Dida for hosting me =)
Traveled in 29 January – 2 February 2013
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