Since the popularity of a motivational novel and then followed by its movie of Laskar Pelangi, travellers set their attention to Belitung. The middle-sized island in the southern Sumatra has malayan beauty every traveler dreams of. Its twin, Bangka island, is located in the northern of Belitung. The two islands are then named as Kepulauan Bangka Belitung province. Around Belitung are smal 189 small islet with white sand beaches you can also explore. However, not all of those islets are inhabited.
There are many tropical destinations to go. You will also find some hills combined with coastal area, just like the one in Karimunjawa Islands. Selamur, Guda, Kik Karak, Kubing, and Burung Mandi are some hills you can hike if you want more various tour experience.
Snorkeling and diving are must-do activities for beachgoers. Visiting Belitung is best done during dry season (April-October) because it must be less convenience to explore Belitung when rain comes. In addition, storm is very common in wet season. In dry season, although it is rain every now and then, the climate is relatively warm and windy. Along the beaches, reefs are exposed from sea water surface and the tide is calm.
The most visited beach is Tanjung Tinggi Beach where you can find many giant granite rocks there. The place is pretty exotic, with clear beach scenery. You can climb on to one of those big rocks and feel the marine scent from atop. Do not hesitate to wandering around the rocks. The shaddy place is just great after you are exposed by the hot sun light. You can sunbathe or simply lounge here and take pictures. If you like less rocky beach, Tanjung Kelayang is perfect. The panorama is uniquely natural. It also attracts photographers to hunt pictures. The island is provided with island hopping service. You can start from Tanjung Kelayang or other beach like Tanjung Binga Beach. The later seems to be designed for island hopping transit.
One more beach suitable to sunbathe and offers clearer off shore view: Burung Mandi Beach. White sand is still there, the sound of larks and melodious sound of wave. You can lay down under one of the coconut trees or play volleyball here.
Tanjung Pendam is famous for its sunset. You can enjoy the sun goes down from the shore or restaurants nearby while enjoying delicious seafood. There are more facilities here than other beaches. It is because Tanjung Pendam is mostly crowded in the afternoon to dusk. The night view here is also great, especially when it full moon.
Since Belitung has many and more to see, it is better to do island hopping. By boats, you can visit some tropical islands. Usually, from Tanjung Binga the boat driver will guide you to Lengkuas Island. You can see around Belitung from the top of a lighthouse. It is still active but open for tourists. However, it is not a good idea to go there in peak season (long holidays or weekends) because you have to wait for other visitors to climb upstair. If it happens, just turn around and try another thing like swimming or snorkeling.
If Lengkuas Island is too crowded for you, then Kepayang Island is better to dive. There is also turtle conservation. You can participate to plunge baby turtles into the sea. You can also stay here since some resorts are available.
Burung and Lutung Islands offers more tranquil landscape. They are mostly sandy than rocky. Another nice spot to swim. The tour guide will occasionally take you to Pulau Pasir (Sand Island) when the tide is low. There are starfish here, makes you like in the mermaid sanctuary.
You can also walk through forest in Belitung Island. However, some of the area is used for palm oil plantation. You may find some asian fauna like monkeys.
If you want some forest adventure, batu mentas conservation center can do. You can hike among tropical trees and see the cute tarsius, and also go tubing in the river. It is like a mini Eldorado.
Meandering through this Island simply for sightseeing is okay. You can go on foot or public transportation or rent car or motorcycle. You can halt for a cup of coffee or or culinary tour, take pictures from the malayan society, and pass tin mining.
One tip when you head to Belitung by air, make sure that your ticket is marked Tanjung Pandan or Tanjungpandan (TJQ). It is because some travel agents are careless and book Pangkal Pinang or Tanjung Pinang instead. Backpacking and solo travelling should be fun in Belitung if you have flexible time.
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