There’s a saying in my country, says “tak kenal maka tak sayang.” It means that you won’t love someone (or something) if you don’t know anything about that person, so what better ways I can know and love Indonesia, other than to explore it.
That’s why I decided to explore Belitung, a small island on the east coast of Sumatra island.
For those of you who are so busy with your work life and have no time for travelling, Belitung can be the solution for you.
It only took 1 hour to fly from Jakarta to Belitung. It’s very affordable and can be explored in 3 days.
Here’s the cost breakdown of my trip:
- Flight: Rp. 813,000 (round trip)
- Local Tour: Rp. 900,000 (includes hotel for 3D2N, boat rent, snorkeling, and admission fees to tourist spots in Belitung)
- Meals: Rp. 400,000
- Gifts: Rp. 100,000
TOTAL: Rp. 2,213,000
We planned this whole trip in just 1 week, starting from buying the tickets, contacting the local tour guide, researching the spots, etc. I realized that we don’t have to plan too much when traveling domestic, especially for this kind of 3 days weekend getaway.
Luckily, everything went smooth and we ended up starting our trip on Feb 13th and going back to Jakarta on Feb 15th.
Ok, without further ado, let’s jump in to our first day in Belitung.
We arrived in H.A.S. Hanandjoeddin at around 10am. It only took us less than 1 hour to get there. It was really a short flight. I barely closed my eyes and didn’t have a chance to sleep.
Here, it was only 1 landing strip and 1 terminal. I know it’s a small island, but I thought it would be bigger than this. Not a big deal though, as long as I can safely arrive and depart 🙂
So here we are in Belitung.
It’s time to start our adventure!
Our first stop is Kedai Mak Jannah. Our original destination was supposedly Mie Atep, one of the famous noodle restaurant in Belitung, but unfortunately, it was close due to Chinese New Year holidays.
Both of these 2 restaurant are similar, so I guess we have to settle for Kedai Mak Jannah for now. Maybe we have better luck next time.
The funny thing that I noticed in this place is the way they dry dishes.
They arranged the plates up front and just let them sit there – air dry, definitely a cost-effective way to dry your dishes 🙂
Their most favorites menu are Mie Belitung Kuah dan Mie Belitung Kering. Personally, I like the Mie Belitung Kering better. The soup one was so-so for me.
After we are full, we are now ready to visit few tourist spots in Belitung.
Our next stop is Vihara Dewi Kwan Im. This temple is the biggest and oldest Buddhist temple in Belitung. It was founded on 1747, which makes this temple 269 years old. Though its old, it appears that this place is well taken care of by the locals.
Well managed garden, a newly painted wall and staircase, and their recently-built Kwan Im Goddess statue really showed that the Buddhist really cares for this place.
Our next stop is Pantai Burung Mandi. It was not too far from the temple we just visited, probably just 10 minutes driving.
This our first stop at the beach, so I’m pretty excited.
First of all, I don’t know why they name this place Pantai Burung Mandi (translated to “Beach where the Bird Baths”). I don’t see any birds around.
Well…I don’t really care about the birds, the thing that I care know is how beautiful this beach is. The sand was clean. There were not many people there. It’s just a perfect spot to just chill and enjoy the sun.
Like I mentioned in the beginning, I was looking for beautiful and serene beach. Beautiful and serene beach I found!
It’s time to just sit and relax. Enjoying the moment. Feel the winds and breezes, and definitely some coconuts 🙂
This is a young coconut, so the meat is very soft and it contains a lot of coconut water, what a perfect combination to accompany me relaxing there.
It’s time for lunch now, so we headed to this seafood restaurant called, Rudi Fakistan.
According to our local guide, this restaurant is not the typical restaurant where local guide would bring tourist to eat at. The typical restaurant located not too far from Rudi Fakistan. The place was nice but the taste wasn’t so good. That’s why he brought us to this place instead. It’s cheaper and taste better.
I totally agree with him. I don’t really care for a “nice” restaurant. As long as it’s cheaper and taste better, I’m a happy camper 🙂
After we are full, we are now visiting our Governor’s old home in Belitung.
As you might already know, current Jakarta’s governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok), was originally from Belitung. If you follow his track record in Jakarta, the changes that he brings to Jakarta was amazing, which made me a huge fan of him. LOL
…and right next to his house is this small boutique, selling Batik with local patterns and colors local to Belitung.
Our next destination is Museum Aksara Andrea Hirata (Andrea Hirata’s Literature Museum). It housed many different literature pieces by Andrea Hirata, of which one of them is Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Troops) that got many awards and recognition from the literature community and also was translated into many other languages.
Laskar Pelangi itself was released in 2008 and you can find its synopsis here.
Too bad that I don’t have any knowledge in art and literature, so I can only admire Andrea Hirata’s passion to contribute in the literature world and how this place was uniquely created to show that to us.
Speaking of SD Muhammadiyah Gantung (or SD Muhammadiyah Gantong – according to its original language), we also had the chance to visit the actual shooting spot the elementary school place that was in Laskar Pelangi the movie.
To be honest, I haven’t watched the movie, but it seems that Laskar Pelangi the movie was so well received by the Indonesian and people are really fond of this movie since it shows many different aspect of life in Belitung. I will watch this movie once I get back to Jakarta. It just seems like a logical idea to watch the movie after I visited the shooting spot.
It was almost dark, so we headed back to our hotel to take a power nap. After we rested for about 2 hours, we were woken up by the growling sound of our stomach, telling us that it’s time to get some dinner.
We chose to go to Belitong Timpo Dulu restaurant. It’s time for us to try some local-traditional food in Belitung.
The meal was simple but yet really rich in flavor. If I’m not mistaken, the Belitung government even endorsed this restaurant as one of the local restaurant that still serves traditional Belitung dishes.
That’s all for our 1st day. I hope you enjoy it so far.
Please make sure you visit following pages to see other interesting places in Belitung. This is just the beginning. I think the best spots in Belitung are the ones that we visited the 2nd day.