Comfortable beds, amazing beaches, and extraordinary food; all you need to create a great trip. A visit to Bangka means slowing down your pace. People there go about their day in a typical islander rhythm; laid back, relaxed, and always ready to eat. Which brings us to the food, amazing creations created by family owned businesses. No big chains, nor franchises, food in Bangka is produced by proud hands that have been perfecting their crafts for generations. Seafood, traditional snacks, noodles, kopitiam, and more seafood of the best quality. Here are some highlights of the trip.
Seafood Mr. Asui
The joint is famous across Bangka, and it deserves to be. The offerings here are personally seasoned by God. Fresh seafood that is million miles away from the frozen cardboard we eat in the city. With produces this fresh, adding more than 4 ingredients is a sin! Mr. Asui only uses three kinds of seasonings; salt, pepper, and nature. Perfectly grilled fish, well timed boiled clams, simple sautéed vegetables accompanied with the most wicked sambal terasi. I’m sure the term haute cuisine is not well known in this part of the world, but the cooks at Mr. Asui have achieved that level anyway. Perfecting a craft of creating the best possible flavor that nature can offer. A revelation indeed.
Kopitiam Tung Tao
The oldest coffee shop in Bangka, Tung Tao has been brewing since 1937. With 70 years of experience, I’ll be damned if the coffee didn’t taste amazing. It has a distinct beautiful aroma that is just typical of a small town authentic kopitiam. To top it off, the joint offers food that will just explode your taste buds. The various roti bakar is a must-try, pieces of pillow bread filled with precious fillings such as srikaya, fish floss, eggs, durian jam. All of this is homemade, which means that Tung Tao has figured out the best way to accentuate the flavors of all ingredients. You also can’t miss the “Mie Kuah Ikan”, which is comprised of fresh chewy noodles sprinkled in sweet fish floss, fish balls, and the tastiest fish broth I’ve ever eaten in my life. A tasty and mild broth that silked it’s way in smoothly with no trace of fish aroma, amazing. Tung Tao has three branches across the islands that offer the same quality of food throughout. Please, do visit.
Parai & Pasir Padi Beach
Pasir Padi is the Ancol of Pangkal Pinang, although still beautiful, it is crafted somewhat as a tourist attraction. All along the coast, we will be greeted by small beer warungs and seafood restaurants. A vast beach stretches slowly to the sea; Pasir Padi is more like a giant floating pool than a seafront. You can walk 75-100 meters towards the sea and the water will still be only ankle deep. Although not as pristine and native as other beaches, it still brings a sense of grandeur.
Meanwhile, Parai beach is the typical Bangka-Belitung rock beach you see in magazines. A beautiful beach with huge boulder rocks simmering in pristine green emerald water. The beach is located as a part of Grand Parai Pools & Villa resort, which can be crowded and dirty come tourist season. Now, where is the beautiful postcard sand and water? Apparently, it is just a few steps away from the main beach. Just to the right, a warm nature made pool shielded by huge boulders. Just a little to the left, pristine clear water beach with no garbage in sight. Beautiful and all for your self.
Words & photos by Iman Adisoma