Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Belitung. Belitong. Billiton

Hello lovelies, how are you doing? Last week I went to Belitung Island for a quick holiday with my friend Aneen. I have been thinking to visit that island since the rise of Andrea Hirata's Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Troops) novels, which is now available in English. I've watched the movie, have yet to read the novels. 

We left Jakarta on Sunday, on a 12.50 PM flight (we had 1 hour of delay, argh). Only two airlines (Sriwijaya Airline and Batavia Air) serve the flights to H.AS. Hanandjoeddin airport in Tanjung Pandan, Belitung. We didn't use travel agent, and we had difficulty to decide which hotel to stay in. So we thought we would pick the hotels when we landed, just let things flew as they were. Don't follow our bad example, guys.

The airport

When we arrived at the airport, the other passengers were quickly whisked away by the tour operators. Then we were the only ones left. Several drivers offered to take us to the hotels, but when I asked the hotel rate, they mentioned Rp 200,000++ per night rate.

"Is there a hotel having Rp 100,000 rate?" I asked.
"Oh yes, Hotel Surya has rooms for Rp 150,000 per night," one of the drivers said.

Aneen made a phonecall to Hotel Surya, and the receptionist said that they had rooms priced at Rp 80,000 per night! Wow. So we went to the hotel with a driver (the ride to the hotel was Rp 60,000 for both of us). Then we found that the hotel also has rooms priced at Rp 65,000 per night. The difference: the former uses air conditioner, the latter only has fans. So which one did we pick? The latter, of course, hahaha. We prefer to spend our money for the food and experience, instead of expensive hotel rooms.

We spent the first day to walk around the city. The hotel is located right in the middle of the city, there is Rumah Kapiten (Captain's House) an old colonial house that is also a tourist spot on the same road of our hotel.

Captain's House on Jl. Depati Endek

With such a cheap hotel rate, we didn't expect to get any breakfast. But we did get breakfast! Alhamdulillah yah, it's really something *Syahrini mode on*. Here is our breakfast menus, which always include boiled eggs.

Donuts and eggs

On Monday, we decided to rent a motorcycle at the hotel (only Rp 50,000 per day, exclude the gasoline). We went to Tanjung Kelayang beach to find motorboat for our snorkeling and island hopping adventure the next day. The boat is Rp 350,000, and another Rp 50,000 if you want to rent snorkeling gear. Since I already brought my goggle and snorkle, I only needed fins (only Rp 25,000 per pair).

Aneen, my traveling buddy

Tanjung Kelayang beach

So serene

We continued our journey to Tanjung Tinggi beach to snap some photos. Then we went to Bukit Berahu to check on the cottages there. The room rate was Rp 242,000 per night. Actually it is quite a perfect place to find solitude with the front porch facing right to the sea. But the price, oh the price. While we were there, rain suddenly fell upon us, so we discussed whether we should stay there or not. In the end, we didn't stay there.

Tanjung Tinggi beach

Tuesday saw us snorkeling and island hopping. There are many small islands along the coast of West Belitung, such as Lengkuas island (with the lighthouse), Babi Besar-Babi Kecil islands (also called as Kepayang islands) and Batu Berlayar (Sailing Rocks).

My feet are in my new Eiger sandals, the ones on the right are Aneen's.

Batu Berlayar

In case you wonder about the size, I'm giving you the human scale

Sea star family at Batu Berlayar

We could not climb the lighthouse because it was under renovation. Sad.

Baby turtles.

Approaching Burung island

Everything is blue and green

The kind of view I'd like to have on my backyard:)

It was raining during the snorkeling, so we headed back to Lengkuas island, sipped a cup of hot tea and waited until the rain stopped. The lighthouse guards were happy with the rain. They put out all water basins and took a bath under the rain with their shorts on! Fresh water must be scarce there.

Once the rain stopped, we went back snorkeling. The corals look beautiful and colorful with the sun shining above us. The fishes approached us since we brought wafer crumbs with us (a trick we learned in Lombok's Gilis, ha!). The tide was calm and I even did two duck dives, yay!

On the spur of the moment, we decided to ride our way to East Belitung, which is some 70 kilometers away from Tanjung Pandan.We went to Burung Mandi beach, Bukit Batu beach, and Nyiur Melambai beach. While these photos may look beautiful, we don't recommend East Belitung since we have fallen in love in the beaches of West Belitung.

Burung Mandi beach

Bukit Batu beach

Hope you like the photos! xoxo

2 comments:

  1. kalo gitu ayo realisasikan rencana ke tidung:) yuk yak yuuuuk

    ReplyDelete