Enjoy the sun and sand on Belitung in the east of Indonesia.
Looking for a nice, quiet weekend away? Touted as the “new Bali” or the “Maldives of Indonesia”, this up-and-coming island is known mostly to locals. Located in the East of Sumatra, Belitung’s untouched beaches are host to exciting (or just plain relaxing) activities for all. Don’t miss these spots:
Surrounded by crystal clear waters and white sand banks on its coasts, the idyllic island of Leebong offers guests an exclusive experience of enjoying its serene waters through a variety of sea sports. Visit on a day trip, or stay in one of its four villas, tents or the island’s tree house if you’re looking to spend a night (from $73 a night).
Leebong Island, Belitung
This multi-coloured museum is the pride of Belitung, and is the first literary museum in Indonesia. Built in commemoration of the best-selling novel Laskar Pelangi (The Rainbow Troops) by author Andrea Hirata, that tells the story of 10 school children and their teachers, as they struggle with adversity and poverty in Belitung. Read the heartwarming and inspirational excerpts from the book plastered on its walls plus specially curated photographs from its hit movie adaptation.
Jl. Laskar Pelangi 10, Gantung, East Belitung, 33462
Scale up this rock formation to get a bird’s eye-view of Belitung! Situated within the dense forest near Baginda Mountain in the south of Tanjong Pandan City, the two granite boulders provide an unparalleled view of the surrounding land, the nearby Tanjung Kandi Village and the sea. It’s a tough climb up, but the view is worth it.
Desa, Padang Kandis, Membalong, Kabupaten Belitung, 33452
Hungry for some local food? Try Mie Belitung, yellow noodles cooked in a flavourful shrimp broth. The dish is topped with kekian Peranakan shrimp and chicken cake), minced prawn rolls, crispy fried shrimps and keropok emping, crispy gnetum gnemon seed crackers that often complement Indonesian dishes. Get a plate at the popular Mie Belitung Atep, a restaurant that sees patrons hailing from all around the country.
Then, round out your meal with a piping hot cup of coffee from Warung Kopi Kong Djie. The outdoor stand may seem archaic, but the “baristas” that brew this beloved traditional beverage over a charcoal fire have been touted to craft quite possibly the best kopi (coffee) on the isle.
Jl. Sriwijaya Sebelah Kiri, No. 27, Tanjung Pandan, 33416;
Jl. Pangeran Diponegoro, Pangkal Lalang, Tanjung Pandan, 33411
Get there by flight with AirAsia, the only international low-cost airline carrier that has regular flights to the island via Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Jakarta. If you’re coming from KL, AirAsia offers checked baggage straight to Belitung.
WHERE TO STAY
Eco-conscious travellers will love Arumdalu Private Resorts, the only eco-luxury resort on Belitung. The resort’s grandiose off erings – from its interior furnishings to its food – is sustainable and sourced locally when available.
AirAsia is a leading travel and financial platform company in Asia Pacific, carrying more than 600 million guests to over 150 destinations regionally. It has been named World’s Best Low-Cost Airline by Skytrax for 11 years running.
by Melodi Ghui, The Finder Issue 301, December 2019 / Photos: (Museum Kata Andrea Hirata) www.khairulleon.com, (Warung Kopi Kong Djie) makankeliling.com + 123RF.com
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