Sunday, May 2, 2010

PULAU BELITUNG TRIP REPORTS

TOM'S TRIP REPORT ON PULAU BELITUNG - visited April 2010

Pulau Belitung - image maninerror (hanif)

When Tom fired in his Nusa Lembongan trip report a few months back he said he was next visiting Belitung, which he reckoned was way more attractive. So I asked him to do a trip report if he had time. Belitung may seem off the beaten track, but for travellers going thru Jakarta it is not too much a reach at all (see map below)
Tom is like me in my early trips, travels light without a camera, but good old Google Images came thru with some beauties - click on hanif's and yuvinta's links for a porfolio of Belitung shots taken by excellent photographers. The Trip Advisor shot link leads to their usual good coverage of a destination
- Tezza

Belitung is between Sumatra and Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) and not too far from Java - image Google.

I just got back from 5 days in Pulau Belitung after a 3 years interval.
I think that besides Pulau Kei, Belitung has the best beaches in Indonesia.
Pantai Tinggi is Belitungs’ most popular and beautiful beach due to its amazing rock formation and granite boulders (some 20 m high) on both sides of the bay ....although it was heavily littered on this visit due to the shooting of 2 blockbuster movies.

Pantai Tinggi - image yuvinta

The other great beach Pantai Kelayang was much cleaner as my resort was cleaning the beach daily. Kelayang is much quieter than Pantai Tinggi. The only negative this time were the sand flies. The manager of Kelayang Cottages where I stayed told me it is a seasonal thing. Kelayang Cottages is a great place with rooms 200-300 K, and cheap food - website kelayangcottages.com.

Kelayang beach - image tripadvisor

Both towns of Manggar and Tanjun Pandan have cheap hotels and losmen (100-150000) but both are far from the beach (25 km)so you need to rent either car or bike as public transport is almost non existent, Roads are now paved all around and great for renting a motorbike (40000 rp /day). It takes bout 7 hours to drive around and see the main sights.

The highlight of a Belitung trip are the two offshore islands of Pulau Burung....Palau Barung - image maninerror (hanif)

....and Pulau Lengkuas which has the wonderful Lighthouse Beach.
View from the light house - Palau Lengkuas (image yuvinta)

Both lengkuas and Belitung have incredible beaches, arguably better than Kei but its tough as they are so different - think Seychelles on a budget as the rock formations and boulders are similar. Snorkelling is not good, it’s the natural setting of those beaches with their granite boulders that makes it such a special paradise, particularly for photographers.

Pulau Lengkuas beach from the light house - image yuvinta

There is no accommodation on these islands. The only way to get there is part of a 4 island tour - theboat is 300000 for 8 hours but worth any cent. If you stay in Kelayang Cottages it’s very easy to find other people for the trip particularly on weekends when it tends to be booked out. All the boat tours leave from Kelayan Cottages.

Both Sri Wijaya and Batavia have daily flights from Jakarta( 40 min 300-700000 one way). Book ahead at weekends for both flights and accommodation as they are often fully booked with local tourists, particularly after the impact of those 2 blockbuster movies

4 comments:

  1. belitung island is the caribbean of the east. kool pics

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  2. Thank you nice article.
    your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!
    I love here Surin Beach Hotel This hotel is very nice clean and the people are friendly. VERY nice hotel with helpful staff.
    And I really love white sand, crystal clear waters at Surin Beach too.
    Thank again.

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