Consider these must-sees on Belitung — “the Maldives of Indonesia”!
A new direct air route opened up to Belitung in October 2018, making the island just an hour away from SG. Prized for its pristine beaches and laid-back vibe, it’s custom-made for a chilled-out holiday (and way closer than the actual Maldives, may we add). While you may be tempted to do nothing but relax while there, these 7 destinations are worth motivating for.
The boulders on Pulau Burung and Pulau Batu Berlayar are said to resemble a stone eagle and sail. While they may seem small from afar, up close, you can appreciate the sheer size of these massive granite rocks (hence, their nickname, “The Giants of Belitung”). Visit during low tide to enjoy the surrounding clear water and soft, white sand.
(Tanjung Binga, Sijuk, Belitung Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands 33414; Desa Keciput, Bangka Belitung)
You don’t need to ride in a helicopter to get fantastic 360-degree views of Belitung and its surrounding islands. Assembled by the Dutch in 1889, the 18-storey Lighthouse on Pulau Lengkuas is still active. The island is 20 minutes by boat from Tanjung Keyalang or Tanjung Binga. (Tip: Boat fares vary widely and can be expensive, so consider sharing a boat with others.)
(Bangka Belitung, Simpang Renggiang)
The island of Pulau Pasir is technically not an island, but a sandbar – dotted by giant starfishes – that disappears during high tide. Book a tour for a private guide, seafood lunch and snorkeling gear.
(Jl. Kelayang Indah, Keciput, Sijuk, Kabupaten Belitung, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, 33414)
Hike your way to an abandoned tin mine, ride an ATV or explore a furnace built in 1925 – the Open Pit at Kik Karak Hill has it all! Less than 60 minutes from Bandara-Manggar Street, it’s best to visit with a tour guide, as there are no signposts on trails and paths around the area.
(Senyubuk, Kelapa Kampit, East Belitung Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands, 33571)
If you love being outdoors, head to this district, where you can explore the Batu Mendas River by canoe and take in soothing sounds of forest animals all around. Bonus: Badau – about 30 to 45 minutes from Tanjung Pandan – is home to the rare Belitung Island tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world.
(Kacang Botor, Badau, Silau Malaha, Kec. Siantar, Kabupaten Simalungun, Sumatera Utara, 21151)
Atop 300-metre tall Gunung Kubing lies an all-natural infinity pool that offers panoramic views of the lush surroundings. It’s a great reward after the 10-minute trek to the summit! Gunung Kubing is approximately 40-kilometres outside the centre of Tanjung Pandan. To get there, hire a licensed taxi with a meter or rent a car.
(Gunung Kubing, Membalong, Belitung Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands, 33452)
What was once a mining area is now Belitung Island’s bestkept secret… but not for long! Famous for its crystal blue lake and rising white mounds, Kaolin Lake is Instagram-ready, and only 10 minutes from the centre of Tanjung Pandan.
(Danau Kaolin, Perawas, Tanjung Pandan, Belitung Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands, 33411)
$150 or Less a Night
Want a gorgeous view of the ocean? Opt to stay at the four-star Hotel Santika Premiere Beach Resort Belitung (from $75).
$400 or Less a Night
Minimise your carbon footprint and go glamping at Eco Beach Tent by Billiton (from $353).
Worth a Splurge!
The first and only eco-luxury private resort, Arumdalu Private Resorts (from $590) is located in a conserved 40-hectare rainforest with an 800-metre secluded beach. Want to stay in a treehouse? Do so at the Leebong Island Resort (from $460).
By Melodi Ghui, The Finder Issue 298, May 2019
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