This little-known island is a secret so well-kept you probably haven’t heard of it. It crosses Pacific Islands appeal with the panoramic beauty of Seychelles-like mammoth boulders jutting towards the sky, yet it’s just some 5-hour flight away from Singapore.
Fancy some getaway to the
road less traveled beach less swam? Take a look at my 4D3N Belitung itinerary.
We arrived at Belitung around 9 in the morning and after a quick check-in at the hotel, we headed straight to Tanjung Klayang beach, where we began our island-hopping to the garuda-shaped Pulau Burung, the dramatic stones of Pulau Batu Berlayar and climbed up the lighthouse at Pulau Lengkuas.
The view from the lighthouse is simply breathtaking.
We then snorkeled in the middle of the sea nearby Pulau Lengkuas—it’s so beautiful there’s literally no sea ground uncovered by corals. We then stopped for a quick lunch at Pulau Gede Kepayang (a little overpriced) before heading to Pulau Pasir, which is a small, unique stretch of sand with frequent spotting of starfishes.
We ended the day by visiting Tanjung Pendam for sunset. Despite a non-sunset, cloudy afternoon, the beach still offered beautiful color changes and incredible, mirror-like effect at late afternoon.
Our morning began with a cultural visit to the Rumah Adat (traditional house) and then to the surprisingly beautiful Danau Kaolin, a mining leftover ground which has turned into blue lake.
From there, we sped up to Tanjung Tinggi, which is Belitung’s #1 attraction after appearing at Indonesian hit film Laskar Pelangi. With its crystal clear water and giant stones decorating its coast, it’s a great place to swim.
In the afternoon, we went to visit the old temple of Kelenteng Tua Sijuk before dropping by briefly at Pantai Batu Banyak (not much to see here though). We went to Bukit Berahu at Tanjung Binga area for sunset, but alas, it’s another bad-weather day. Despite that, we had a wonderful time walking around the shores collecting beautiful seashells.
Kaolin Lake: Most beautiful ex-mining site ever?
Having explored the northern and western coast two days prior, we drove to East Belitung today. We passed by many beautiful villages and lush greenery before reaching Gantung, where we stopped by SD Laskar Pelangi, Museum Kata, Rumah Ahok (former house of Jakarta’s governor) and Bendungan Pice. Most are gimmicks, but the museum is surprisingly entertaining and full of activities.
We drove to Manggar town for lunch at Pantai Serdang with beautiful views of colorful fishermen boats, before going all the way up to Bukit Samak A1 where we could see some beaches from up the hill. We had a quick stop at a temple called Kelenteng Dewi Kwan Im and the breezy coast of Pantai Burung Mandi.
We saw the scenic Danau Mempayak along the road and decided to had a quick stop. We wanted to visit Open Pit Kelapa Kampit (another mine-turned-lake) but it started raining and we decided against it as the road there can be slippery. When the rain finally stopped, we decided to drive up Gunung Tajam to see the Gurok Beraye waterfalls instead (PS. It’s steep and not for the faint of heart).
Our morning started early with a long drive to the even lesser-known southern part of the island called Membalong. We stopped by Teluk Gembira (nice, but high tides in the morning) and Pantai Penyabong (full of granite too, not as high as those in Tanjung Tinggi but in a good way because it’s easier to climb up the stones).
Driving our way back, we had a photo stop nearby Batu Baginde (it’s a famous climbing spot at Belitung, but the difficulty level is said to be moderately hard plus we didn’t have the time). Having spent a wonderful trip, we chilled at Tanjung Pendam one more time, drinking the famous Kong Djie coffee before departing back to Jakarta.
Recommendation for 3D2N or 2D1N Belitung Itinerary
Tanjung Tinggi is arguably the biggest highlight of the entire trip.
If you’re pressed for time, focus on the northern coast. The eastern/southern part of Belitung are beautiful, but the granite rocks are not as jaw-dropping.
The must-dos are: Tanjung Tinggi, Pulau Burung, Pulau Batu Berlayar, Pulau Lengkuas and Danau Kaolin. For a two-day itinerary, it’s possible to do the first four in Day 1 (ending with sunset at Tanjung Tinggi) and do a photo stop at Danau Kaolin just before heading to airport in Day 2.
But if your flight arrives quite late, you might not want to rush yourself and do three days instead. For Day 1, you can instead spend the whole afternoon enjoying Tanjung Pendam and exploring the main Tanjung Pandan city first. The last two days will be the same as the 2D1N itinerary in the previous paragraph.
What lesser-known places have you traveled to?