Explore Belitung with MTN Getaways!

Explore Belitung with MTN Getaways! | Yeah, last but not least. Told you, the previous post is the last entry, but here I come again with an English version of Belitung story as per requested. I went to Belitung Island on 9th December 2018, on a FAM trip organized by MTN Getaways, a tour agency based in Singapore.


We flew from Singapore's Changi Airport at 5.30 pm (SG local time), took 1 hour and 30 minutes journey to arrive at Belitung's Tanjung Pandan Airport around 6.00 pm (Belitung local time). As we passed the immigration and customs check, our tour guides were already there waiting for us holding a big name card with our tour leader's name on it, Sis Lin.

During our vacation there, our travel from the hotel to every part of Belitung was by Lucia bus. The bus was air-conditioned, but the seating was a bit cramped. If you are tiny like me, it will be just nice. On the opposite, it will be a little bit uncomfortable if your journey takes a long time.


To meet our internet needs over there, we bought the Indonesian sim card to stay connected when we were outside the hotel. The cost was Rp.75.000 for an Xtra Combo Lite XL Axiata package with 6GB data + bonus 2GB data for 30 days. We bought it through MTN Getaways and received the sim card once we reached Belitung, but it did not really perform at all places. Sometimes we lost the coverage at certain locations, needed to restart the mobile data once in a while. But the best of all, our hotel wifi was great!


We stayed at La Lucia Boutique Hotel by Prasanthi in Tanjung Pandan. The hotel is included in the MTN Getaways package. If you are coming to Belitung with MTN Getaways, you will be placed either here or at Grand Tropical Village Resort. During our trip, we got this hotel because GTV was already full house. At La Lucia, you can rent a bike, while in front of the hotel, you can find motorbike rental. Five minutes walk from the hotel, there is Belitung ole-ole shop. Behind the hotel is a wide blue sea. Imagine the view when you pull up the window shade every morning. If you have some extra times, you may take the elevator to the rooftop to have a full sea view from there.


I stayed in a double room with Ain. There was a TV, a mini coffee and tea bar, wall hangers without cupboard, and a private bathroom. No iron was provided in the room. You will have to ask the receptionist to deliver it to your room when you need it. Every morning, we had our breakfast at La Lucia Cafe. Although the variety of food is not that much, they were delicious!

Where to go?


Belitung is a very beautiful island indeed. It is located in the east of Sumatra, Indonesia, better known as the World of Rainbow Troops (Laskar Pelangi). Have you heard about this international best seller's film and novel? The film was released in 2008, adapted from the novel "Laskar Pelangi" by Andrea Hirata. The story is about 10 schoolchildren with their two teachers who are struggling with poverty and building hope for the future of Kampung Gantong, which is located on a small island with farm and mining as the main occupation of the citizen, Belitung Island. From the film, there are some beautiful places and captivating sceneries you should not miss around the island.

1. SD Muhammadiyah Gantong - SD Laskar Pelangi

As the name follows, to stop here is a must. SD Muhammadiyah Gantong or better known as SD Laskar Pelangi is located in Belitung Timur, but this is not the real school where Andrea Hirata grew up. It is just a replica. As we entered into the only class there, we were immersed in the story of Laskar Pelangi that once became phenomenal. Its old room with beach sand flooring and zinc roofing illustrate how poor the village school is. But who would have thought, from that outdated school, the Belitung's great geniuses was born in the movie.

2. Dermaga Kirana

Located in the front of SD Laskar Pelangi, you may take a walk or just have a short ride on the bus to get there. Some Malaysians know this place well as it was one of the shooting places for "Kekasih Paksa Rela" drama. It was named Dermaga Kirana because the bridge (dermaga) connects the area to the middle of Lake Kirana. There are many builds of "keong" (snail) made of rattan on the dock floor. It was a very nice place to take pretty pictures. There is also a suggestion to come here in the evening to catch a view of the sunset.

3. Museum Kata Andrea Hirata

It is the first literary museum in Indonesia, built to collect the writings of Andrea Hirata, author of the novel Laskar Pelangi. Just in front of the museum, you will be fascinated by its colorful and cheerful themes which gave it rainbow looks. Every corner from the outside to the inside of the museum is a great place for OOTD. To get into the museum, you will have to buy a thin book, part of Laskar Pelangi novel at Rp.50.000. There is also a coffee shop at the back. You can sip a coffee while reading the book.

4. Kampoeng Ahok

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or better known as Ahok is Belitung born who was a former Jakarta Governor. Kampong Ahok became a center of tourist attraction as well as Ahok is known throughout the world in politics and various controversies. According to our tour guide, Oty, Ahok is highly regarded in his hometown for developing Belitung, despite the fact that various issues and negative news are associated with Ahok's name. Here you can take pictures in front of Belitung's traditional house, and also have the chance to take pictures with the Ahok family if you come at the right time.

5. Tanjung Pendam

Known as the midtown coast because it is located in the city of Tanjung Pandan, Belitung. We came here in the evening to enjoy the sunset views. You surely can not swim here, but the beach is lively in the evening. If you want to taste the Belitung's famous Kong Djie coffee, there is a restaurant on the beach that serves the coffee and sells the coffee powders. But the price is slightly higher than in the main Coffee Kong Djie stall.

6. Danau Kaolin

Lake Kaolin is located in Tanjung Pandan, Belitung. This lake was formed from "kaolin" mining, a kind of white mineral material used in papers, food, cosmetics, and toothpaste. From afar, you will be enchanted by the beauty of this area because of its pure white land and its blue lake on a good day. If it was raining the night before or the sky is murky on the day of your visit, the lake will look greenish.

7. Rumah Adat Belitung

Belitung's traditional house is located in Tanjung Pandan City, next to Belitung Regent home. Entering the area of the house, you need to climb the stairs to the living room. According to Oty, the number of stairs of an old house in Belitung illustrates the social status of the family. The higher the stairs, the higher the level. In the living room, the bride's wedding dresses and all the aspects that are taken into account in the wedding ceremony are showcased. On the wall, there are pictures of Belitung Regent from the first one to the latest. Went into the kitchen, we were briefed on the major occupation of Belitung people. In the yard, there is a simpor tree whose leaves are used as a food base, especially for nasi lemak and Belitung noodles.


Those are the most interesting places to visit at Belitung Island, Indonesia. Apart from those listed, there are also other places you can visit such as Jami Muntok Mosque, Kwan Im Vihara, Pantai Burung Mandi, Satam Stone Tower, Leebong Island, and more.

What to eat?


Travel with MTN Getaways, you do not have to worry about foodstuff. Breakfast is complete with accommodation, lunch and dinner are all included in the package. You only need to bring your belly to eat. Each restaurant has a set comes with non-sugar hot tea. Yes, that is the way Belitung people eat their meals. Some restaurant also provides a small bottle of mineral water. If you want to have other drink, just pay for it. For example, coconut water cost Rp.25.000, while iced lime (es jeruk) cost around Rp.10.000-11.000.

1. Raja Seafood Belitung, Tanjung Pandan

I love the sweet-sour sea bass and the pickled fruits. I can say that others did not touch the pickled fruits, I love it so much. It tasted sweet and sour with the crunchy turnip. The only thing that disappointed me was the crab, it was a little less fresh. I am allergic to seafood, the effects will come much faster if I eat crabs, shrimps or squid that are not fresh. As for the fishball soup, it can be said that almost all the seafood restaurants serve this menu. But I'm not very interested in fishball, whoever it is will be so lucky to be seated at the same table with me. Haha.


2. Resto FEGA, Manggar

We had our lunch here on the second day. The restaurant is just beside the lake, thus you can take beautiful ootd photos after lunch. I love the grilled fish so much, the crispy squid tempura was also delicious and tasted so fresh. Farah and I kept talking about the squid till the last day. The cuisine with fish in the yellow soup is called "Gangan". Malaysian calls this cuisine as "Singgang Kuning". Overall, this restaurant is one of my favorites in Belitung.


3. Warkop Millenium 2000, Manggar

Belitung is the state of 1001 coffee shops. Yes, Belitung people like to drink coffee early in the morning and almost the whole day. You can see that most of the stalls by the road are coffee shops. Warkop Millenium 2000 is not far from FEGA. As we were still full after lunch, we just ordered drinks and goreng pisang. I ordered iced milk coffee, my husband's ordered iced coffee o Belitung. The coffee was delicious. I could still feel the blended coffee beans at the bottom of the glass.


4. Resto Belitung Timpo Duluk, Tanjung Pandan

The restaurant is located on a hill. Here, we were introduced to the eating tradition of Belitung's community, "makan berdulang". The foods were served in a big round tray and covered with food cover. The concept applied is to respect the eldest. The youngest one in the group will uncover the food and distribute the plates. The eldest will take the food first into his/her plate, followed by the second eldest and so on, until the youngest. The menu here was simple, like the everyday meals your mother or grandma will cook for you. I love the chicken, but I do not know the name of the cuisine. The sambal looks yellowish, but like other Indonesian sambals, it was very hot. Different from "Gangan" at FEGA, here we ate "Gangan Darat" which contains beef meat and potatoes in the soup. The wall of the restaurants is filled with decorations describing Belitung's culture. There is also an ole-ole store below if you want to buy a souvenir.


5. Resto Kepayang, Kepayang Island

To visit this restaurant, you have to join island hopping and snorkeling activities as it is located at Kepayang Island. When you get tired of snorkeling and hopping from island to island, you will then get hungry too. We had lunch here on the third day. It was seafood again. Farah and I kept our focus on the squid tempura. Hahaha. The others had crabs, they said it was fresh and delicious. The sauce was nice too. Yes, I would recommend this restaurant to you. In addition, you can try filefishes grilled in Indonesian style.


6. Nelayan Seafood, Tanjung Pandan

We had our dinner here after the island hopping and snorkeling activities. Interestingly, you can sing while eating because the restaurant provides karaoke system just in front of your dining table. The fish was cooked with taucu, there were also prawn sambal, omelette, and tempe. The hot jasmine tea served here was really refreshing. I drank two cups of it.


7. Kong Djie Coffee, Tanjung Pendam

Coffee lovers should try this. We went to the warkop branch on the last day, near Tanjung Pendam Beach. Ordered iced chocolate coffee which tasted so good, just like our Neslo and Mocha. Kong Djie Coffee is famously known as coal stoved coffee as they classically boil the coffee before serving it. You can buy Kong Djie coffee and chocolate powder here but the price is slightly higher than at the main Kong Djie Coffee shop.


8. Resto Wan Bie, Tanjung Pandan

We ate the famous Mie Belitung here. It was just like our Mee Jawa or Mee Rebus, soba-like noodles with sweet gravy, a little bit potatoes, beansprout, tofus, and emping chips, served in a plate covered with a simpor leave. For me, I prefer Johor Mee Rebus. You should taste it too, then tell me your opinions. The restaurant is well designed with nice wall decorations for pictures. You can take photos while waiting for your Mie Belitung.


What else to do?


Snorkeling and island hopping, of course! What else? Around Belitung, there are many beautiful small islands which are well maintained. Its green sea water is very clear until you can see the corals and fish swimming underwater just like that. With MTN Getaways, you can visit the beautiful shooting place of Laskar Pelangi at Tanjung Tinggi Beach, hop on the boat at Tanjung Kelayang to have a look at Garuda Island and stop by at Lengkuas Island while drinking a coconut before going for snorkeling. Do not worry about your lunch as I said before, the lunch is served at Kepayang Island.


After another snorkeling session, the tour guides will lead you to Kelayang Island to start a little caving activity. Located on the island is Goa Kelayang, which is formed by colourful gigantic rocks. The view here was amazing, you also can feel the strong sea waves even though you are in the cave. We had some good time at the beach here before going back to Tanjung Kelayang.

In conclusion, the trip was a success. We had so many beautiful memories at Pulau Belitung. Everyone was so friendly there, the foods were delicious, the road was still deserted, the air was still fresh from pollution, the sea was crystal clear, everything was mind-blowing. Thank you MTN Getaways for the opportunity, we fell in love at this island. I am calling all of you, let's explore Belitung with MTN Getaways!


MTN Getaways Getting You There

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Get RM75 discount for every purchase of package using promo code SUNAH75

For more info on the tour package to Belitung, please contact:
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15 comments:

  1. nice sharing dear. sounds great. all food comes with the package right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wowwww so wowww..
    Nasib dah baca yang version BM, kalau tak kena la Sis ko bukak kamus hahahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahhaha ngekkk..ni just summarize dari malay version sikit2..google translate n ubah sikit2 mana yg lebih sesuai

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  3. masih terasa di lidah makanan-makanan di Belitung tu :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fuh macam nak kena pergi juga lah nampak nya nih

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. harussss...nanti bawak family datang sini tau...pasti enjoy!

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  5. nice place..If want honeymoon or want to release stress recommanded come to pulau belitung..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yesssszaaa..moga satu hari nanti akak pun dapat ke sana bersama family!

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  6. semua tempat nampak best. so many places can go. makanan mengecurkan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. iya kak...macam2 ada..tu pun banyak lagi yang kitorang tak pergi..

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  7. omg! sound so nice island to go for vacation .....

    ReplyDelete

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