When visiting the Belitung island, visiting the city of Tanjung Pandan is mandatory. If you love Indonesian noodle dishes, this city is famous for its Belitung styled noodles, especially Mie Belitung Atep’s version. This restaurant is famous for its nasi tim and noodles that serve mie Belitung with yellow noodles doused in seafood and a sweet and sour gravy that reminds you of Pempek sauce. On this trip I stayed an hour outside of the city at Tanjung Tinggi, an area that nests a plethora of beautiful beaches. There’s only one hotel in Tanjung Tinggi, called Lorin and hosts rooms for the backpacking types and Villas for tourists. Tanjung Tinggi is famous for its white sandy beaches with rocks, trees and crystal clear water.
The second day, we went island hopping; one of the islands that you must see is Lengkuas Island. You can see the island of Belitung from the lighthouse on this island, which is a tiring 18 floors up a flight of stairs, but worth the effort when you see the beautiful views and landscape. The beaches are very clean with clear water and very soothing for a sunny day swim.
If you go island hopping in Belitung, Pasir Island is also an important destination in my opinion, it reminds me of the movie “Pirates Of The Caribbean”, because it magically emerges from sea from 10 AM to 3 PM. The island is actually a small sand dune in the sea occupied by beautiful starfish. Swimming here and taking photos of the starfish is fun. Nearby is Lutong Island, an uninhabited island with no life. It has rocks and caves that you wouldn’t want to pass. Next is Babi Island, which is great for sunbathing and chilling out. It has no rocks and has a larger beach, but unfortunately doesn’t have as great of a view as Lutong Island has. Going to Lutong and Babi Island will require a special request to the boat crew you travel with, because they aren’t well known to tourists.
Last but not least, you should visit Lake Kaolin in Tanjung Pandan. The area was once a clay mine. Unused for so long, the excavation site left substantial sized holes in the ground forming lakes with blue water and smoke emitting from the lake, with small limestone hills around. If you’re into night life and hanging out, unfortunately Tanjung Pandan is a ghost town after 8 PM. It’s best to bring any form of entertainment if you plan on a trip to Belitung. But, before that time, try going to Dynasty Restaurant, their seafood dishes will make it a great day ender, you will be so fulfilled, that you would just want to stay in and enjoy the culinary nirvana achieved.
Words by Soraya Felicia
Photos by Soraya Felicia, Arun Trilaraswati & Hadistian Emirul