Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Belitung Island - Indonesia

          Doing a little research about next travel destination, browsing info about the weather, where's the good place to stay, eat, drink, buy souvenirs, going to the money changer, booking the ticket, packing, deciding which clothes to bring and... all those excitement before you're finally leaving to catch your just can’t wait to get there and explore the new place. This time I’d love to take you to Belitung Island located on the east cost of Sumatera, Indonesia in the Java Sea.  The very first time I went to this beautiful island was in 2009, after watching the movie "Laskar Pelangi" and fell in love with the gorgeous nature and beach. Very happy to be back there again, I didn't think twice to book the tickets as soon as I received my salary. Early morning flight from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandan ( Belitung ) by Batavia Air ( or Sriwijaya Air ), arrived in Belitung like 10 am-ish, then the car we rented took us to the hotel in Tanjong Pandan. Very hot and humid, We had a very delicious Belitung noodle soup which was only $2 then the driver took us to our first stop, the temple.

Kwan Im
Done with the temple, we rented a boat to drop us to some island like :
Tanjung Pendam island, Tanjung Kelayang island, Burung island, Batu Berlayar island, Lengkuas island, Burung Mandi island, Tanjung Tinggi island.


The view from the lighthouse
We even stop by for a while at SD Muhamadiyah Gantong, the old school building where people were filming “Laskar Pelangi” movie back in 2009. The movie was very famous couple of years ago, interesting story about a boy who’s chasing his dream, from nothing to something, from zero to hero.

SD Muhamadiyah Gantong, the old school where the big hope and dreams born
             It was all about enjoying and appreciating every single moment being in a gorgeous place, closer with nature and universe. Breathe the fresh air, and loving how quiet the island was. Went up to the lighthouse, watching the clear blue sky and beach, plus the sound of the wave was simply release me from all the stress living in a big city, while capturing some pictures and talking to the local kids, traveling always..always gives us different unique experience.
            Belitung island can be a very good option for beach weekend getaway for Jakartans who’s sick of the hustle bustle of the city, or for travelers who’s visiting Indonesia and interest to see what it’s like in the east of Sumatera. Don’t worry about accommodations, it’s very easy to find a low budget hotel until the really nice hotel, room prices start from $13 per night, with AC and TV.

afternoon walk at the downtown Tanjung Pandan

            Speaking about the food, you should try the Belitung noodle and of course they have lots of seafood restaurant, the food prices start from $1. For transportation, it will be much easier if you rent a car with a driver - $45 per day, excluding gas . They will drop you to the port, then you can rent a boat for island hoping.
            Overall I spent $200 for 3 days 2 nights in Belitung island, including return flight tickets by Batavia Air, accommodations, meals, transportations. If you’re too lazy to arrange your own trip to Belitung Island and prefer to go on with travel agent / tour group, you can check  , they have weekend trip schedule to Belitung Island, in a very affordable price.