I spent my ied holiday in Belitong island which is very beautiful island. The island has known by people since The Rainbow Troops novel was published by Andrea Hirata and became more popular after the movie was released. The novel and also the movie show how beautiful it is. There are so many white sand beach, beautiful scenery and also the heritage. It’s very natural like no one touch it.
Now, Belitong is easy to visit. There are some flight from Jakarta (Soekarno-Hatta airport) directly to Tanjung Pandan (H.AS.Hananjoeddin airport), which is only 50 minutes. Sriwijaya air is one of the airline that operates 5 times round-trip from Jakarta-Tj.Pandan, the others are Citilink and Garuda Indonesia. The price is around Rp.350.000-800.000,- one trip, depend on the booking date. So, there is no reason about the transportation.
Belitong is divided by two region, East Belitong and West Belitong. The trip to East Belitong takes 60-90 minutes from the airport. The place, which very famous in East Belitong, are Gantong village and Manggar. Gantong is the village where Andrea Hirata spent his childhood with his friends and finished his study at Muhammadiyah-Gantong primary school. Now, the school is never used again but it’s conserved by the government as an heritage asset for tourism. We also can see the first literary museum in Indonesia that was built by Andrea Hirata. Manggar is located 20 minutes away from Gantong. Now, Manggar is becoming the central government of East Belitong. This city is called by “Negeri 1001 kopi” because of so many coffee shop there. Each year, the coffee festival is held by the government to attract the tourist. The most favorite coffee shop is “Warung Atet”, you must try how delicious the coffee milk is. There are only a few beach here, the famous one is Serdang beach, which is not more beautiful as the beach in West Belitong.
West Belitong is located 30kilometres away, approximately 30minutes from the airport. West Belitong consists of white sand beach such as Bukit Berahu and Tanjung Tinggi Beach. From here, tourists can access the other islands such as Lengkuas island, Batu Berlayar island, Kepayang island and Gosong island. It can be reached only by boat. We can rent boat Rp.400.000,- / each boat to visit it. Firstly, the boat will visit “Gosong island”. It is an island with no stones, no trees and no peoples, here just only the white sand beach with some starfish. Secondly, we can see the Lengkuas islands, before stop there we can do snorkeling around it and see the beautiful coral and fish. Lengkuas island itself has a lighthouse which is about 18th level and each level consists of 18 stairs. However, we can see the beautiful scenery of Belitung island from top of it. Thirdly, we go to Kepayang island. It is the island that conserve hawksbill turtles. The turtles eggs will be kept here, after the turtles born and their ages are 3 months years old, they will be released into the sea. The last is Batu berlayar island, it is small and consists of row of stone which is so beautiful. The trip is about 6 hours, it’s better to bring some water and food before we do the island trip. We will be immersed in the beauty of the West Belitong.
In addition to the islands, Tanjung Tinggi and Bukit Berahu beach are place must be visited by tourists. Tanjung Tinggi is a white sand beach with row of stone but no waves, so we are safe to swim. It is used for the rainbow troops movie shooting. Moreover, there is a delicious seafood restaurant called “Rindu Pantai”, the grilled fish, gangan fish soup and fried calamari have their best taste. We feel like we have a potbelly after. Bukit Berahu is located just 10 minutes from Tanjung Tinggi. The beach is under hill, so before we can reach it, we must go down for about 50 stairs. It is a white sand beach, cool and peace.
The center of West Belitong is Tanjung Pandan. It is small city, comfortable, full of heritage. However, the gas station is limited and there is no public transportation. The citizen usually use motorcycle to go around the city. In conclusion, both East and West Belitong is really beatifull. We will love and wanna back again someday.