PLANCONG.COM – How To Get There Bangka Belitung Island. Bangka Island is a jewel of the Java Sea, situated off the East coast of Sumatra and nestled in next to Belitung Island. It is the largest island in the Bangka Belitung chain with a population of roughly 1.2 million. The name of the island is derived from Wangka, which means tin. Mining remains one of the main industries on the island.
Bangka is administratively divided into 4 regencies and a chartered city. The largest town and administrative capital of the region is Pangkal Pinang. Dotted around the island you’ll find the towns Sungailiat, Mentor, Toboali, Koba and Belinyu (each town has its own limited tourism attractions). English wasn’t widely spoken either from my experience so you may want to bring along a phrase book or your favourite translation app if your Bahasa Indonesia skills are lacking.
is there some way to get there?
- Flights from Jakarta to Belitung Island typically take just under an hour.
- H.A.S. Hanandjoeddin International Airport in Tanjung Pandan currently serves only domestic airlines, including Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air, Citilink, Lion Air and Garuda Indonesia.
- Visitors coming from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur can reach Belitung via connecting flights from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
As Belitung is a relatively small island, taxis are the transport of choice. Street Taxi Belitung is the only licensed taxi service on the island with a meter, and is the only taxi you should take.
- While airport taxis are also available, these are operated by local drivers and will charge you a lot more. If you are looking for an airport pickup service, Street Taxi only takes bookings, so it’s best to call them prior to your arrival. Charges are between IDR $75,000 – IDR $80,000 (USD $5.70 – USD $6.00), almost three times cheaper than what the airport taxi will charge you!
- While you’re on the island, try to contact Street Taxi yourself whenever you need transport, as many hotels work with local drivers for a hefty commission. If you need to hire a boat for some island hopping fun, Street Taxi also offers boat booking services for IDR $450,000 (USD $34) in low season, which is nearly half the price that most hotels charge.
Or you can go there via Jakarta by airplane
- There are several daily Boeing 737 aircraft served by Sriwijaya Air leaving from Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta airport direct to Hanandjoeddin Airport in Tanjung Pandan, Belitung. All flights from Jakarta to Belitung depart from Soekarno-Hatta Airport. The flight takes 45 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can take the Sea route by PELNI passenger ship from the Tanjung Priok harbor, in Jakarta. Keep in mind that the ship only serves travel to Belitung once every 2 weeks. The journey will take about 24 hours.
- From the Provincial capital, Pangkalpinang, you can get to Belitung Island by taking the daily Bahari speed boats that will take 4 hours. This is by far the most convenient means of Sea transportation and comes complete with air conditioner. Bahari express leaves daily at 14:00 pm from Pangkalpinang, Bangka, to Belitung, and leaves at 07:00 am from Tanjungpandan Belitung to Pangkalpinang.
Bangka Belitung Island Travel Guide, Hotels, & Best Things To Do
Belitung island is about the same size as Bali, and just like Bali it has so many amazing things to see and do. It’s even been recognized as a UNESCO Geopark for its unique landscapes. Bangka Belitung is a pair of tropical islands in Indonesia, and the smaller one (Belitung) is becoming famous for its incredible scenery.
Best times to visit
Island hopping is among the most popular activities in Belitung, so it is recommended to plan your visit during dry season from April to September. Those who want to avoid the crowds can visit Belitung on weekdays, as weekends are usually packed with travelers from Jakarta.
As with all regions across the archipelago, Belitung island has two seasons: the wet season that runs from October to March, and the dry season, from April to September. With the impacts of climate change, however, this is for general reference only, and be sure you pack for sudden changes in the local weather.
Popular place to visit
Belitung Island is divided into two regencies, Belitung and East Belitung. Tanjung Pandan, the largest town on the island, is the capital of Belitung regency and home to a variety of hotels, popular restaurants and the one and only department store on the island.
Meanwhile, East Belitung regency hosts popular tourist attractions, such as the replica of the elementary school from Laskar Pelangi, Museum Kata Andrea Hirata, Kampoeng Ahok and the Kwan Im Goddess Temple in Burung Mandi.
1. Kaolin Lake
Kaolin Lake is located in Tanjung Pandan and is actually an abandoned mine. However, its picturesque turquoise waters have caught the attention of many a visitor, making Kaolin Lake among the must-visit places on Belitung.
2.Museum Kata Andrea Hirata
Established in 2010, Museum Kata Andera Hirata is said to be the first literary museum in Indonesia. Inside the colorful building, bookworms can view photos from the Laskar Pelangi film adaptation, the author’s achievements and inspirational quotes. At the back of the museum, travelers can rest and sip a cup of Belitung coffee.
The entrance fee is Rp 50,000 per person, which includes a pocket-book edition of Laskar Pelangi.
A stone’s throw from the museum is a traditional Belitung house called Kampoeng Ahok. The souvenir shop offers a wide array of items from T-shirts to traditional snacks, as well as nastar (pineapple tarts) and biscuits made by the mother of former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, a native of Bangka-Belitung.
Across from Kampung Ahok, travelers can also drop by Ahok’s childhood home and check out the Galeri Batik Simpur. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of Ahok’s mother gardening in the yard.
4.‘Laskar Pelangi’ replica elementary school
Fans of Laskar Pelangi, whether Andrea Hirata’s original novel or the film adaptation, may want to schedule a visit to the replica SD Muhammadiyah Gantong elementary school. The structure was a shooting location and it is still well maintained, allowing visitors to see the limited facilities where Ikal (Zulfanny) and Mahar (Verrys Yamarno) studied. The entrance fee is Rp 3,000 (about 20 US cents) per person.