Those of you that has been watching my updates on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & Flickr must have known that I went to Belitung for the New Year’s holiday with the whole family. I think this is the first time after a long while we go together in a vacation.
I’ve been recommending Belitung as one of the best places to visit in Indonesia, a heaven for photographers. It has some of the best beach, scenery, pretty sunsets and it’s the home of Laskar Pelangi. Most Indonesian know Laskar Pelangi. It’s a mega best selling book by Andrea Hirata, telling stories about his childhood in Belitung. It was so inspiring because a little kid from small island in Indonesia could ended up studying in France, with the power of love from teacher and power of dreams.
Laskar Pelangi then brought into movie theater and create a huge success too. Since the movie, the local government paid more attention and brand the city as “Negeri Laskar Pelangi” or “Laskar Pelangi city”. They also mark places of Laskar Pelangi movie sites.
I am amazed, now Belitung has more tourists, more new hotels like Bahamas, Grand Hatika & Billiton to complement the existing Lor In Tanjung Tinggi. A local book indeed can stimulate the economy. Now why don’t you start using your own city in your writing? Local government, please support your local writers too!
How to Get There
Ever since I post beautiful pics of Belitung, many friends asking how to get there. Here’s how:
- Best time to visit Belitung is in June or July; due to the wind, the wave will be friendlier and the water will have more beautiful colors
- From Jakarta find flight to Tanjung Pandan using Sriwijaya Air (cost around $100 return, Jakarta – Tanjung Pandan)
- Transportation you can get a car + driver. I don’t have any recommendation for this though. It will cost you around $60 per day.
- Hotel you can choose to stay near the Tanjung Tinggi beach, around 1 hour from Tanjung Pandan (Lor In from $100 per night) or in Tanjung Pandan (there’s various options like Bahamas Belitung, Grand Hatika, Billiton, etc from $70)
- The boat for islands hopping, a regular boat will cost around $40 – the main destination is Lengkuas island, famous with its lighthouse. Make sure you climb all the way to the 22 floor. It’s beautiful up there! From there you can request to go islands hopping to small islands nearby. If you’re lucky you can go to a sand islands where there’s only little space of white sand in the ocean. I don’t dive nor snorkel but you can also ask the best spots for that too.
- Unique features of the Belitung Beaches are the granite rocks. Make sure you took pics of them while on islands hopping
- Belitung is not only about beach but also has beautiful mountain side in Manggar, 2 hours from Tanjung Pandan. On your way there, you can stop and have a look at SD Muhammadiyah Gantong, the school of Laskar Pelangi.
- For food, you can ask to have Belitung’s Noodle (Mie Rebus Belitung), they have the best seafood too, and try their local coffee ($0.3 per glass)
- Belitung has their own traditional house that you can visit. You can wear the traditional costume of Belitung people too and take picture for your FB profile, like tante Kanti (our host in Belitung, she’s a ‘Harbor Master’ :D)
Thank you tante Kanti for your hospitality and VIP treatment we get while we’re there
As we walk to the plane that will fly us back to reality, I look back to the mountains near the airport and I feel the sun instantly greet me on the tip of my sun glasses. I’ll be back.