Belitung Weekend Getaway Journal #3: East Belitung and Beyond

Saturday, March 26, 2016


The last part of my Belitung Weekend Getaway is here! Sigh. Writing a consistent travel journal feels so excruciating for a procrastinating expert like me... But anyway, enjoy this very last part of it! For the third day of my trip, I went to several places in Eastern Belitung such as temples and some Belitung favourite landmarks thanks to Laskar Pelangi movie that popularised them! Belitung beaches and islands might be the best I ever visited but these places should be on the list too, if you had either watched or read Andrea Hirata's masterpieces.

It took a quite long time to travel from my hotel to East Belitung, due to my hotel location which was a little bit more secluded than the other hotels (that were located near the capital Tanjung Pandan), but the road's pretty smooth and I almost never found any other car (thanks to travelling while not in high or peak season!). By the way, there are lots of things we encounter that were not captured on camera such as Masjid Al-Ikhlas Sijuk, the oldest mosque in Belitung that were built in 1817, and a village named Balitung which is consisted of immigrants from Bali.

Then, in around an hour, we arrived in the very first destination we had today: Vihara Dewi Kwam Im, the biggest and the oldest temple in East Belitung located on the top of a hill. It was Saturday and there are plenty people who were doing their worship there so I guess it'll be great if we keep quiet and respect them by giving them some space. And took some quite snaps before we go. Hehe. 

Short snap before we go-o!

Stairway to nirvana.

Then, we went to Burung Mandi beach, located not far from the temple we visited before. It's quite a relaxing place to chill on every weekend, and I can see some locals having their lunch here or just sitting around. I can tell the locals were just back from the temple and currently having some leisure time with their family and friends. The weather that day were as good as I had on the second day, so it's a really perfect time to sit around at the beach.

From where I sit.

And then, we went to Bukit Manggar, a place where we can enjoy some amazing sceneries from the top of the hill. By the way, Mas Ipit made us see the politician Yusril Ihza Mahendra's house and a whole beach named after him, which didn't interest me at all. (I'm just not that enthusiastic with politics and all of those havocs in Indonesia's politics system. Hahaha)

The next place we went to was Kampoeng Ahok, which is basically just a signage where you can took photographs with to show your support to current Jakarta governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama a.k.a Ahok. Since my grandma's a big supporter of him, it would be nice to linger for some quite time awhile in this place and take some snaps.  

Oh my God! I've been in Kampoeng Ahok!

There is a house behind the signage that sold several merchandise related to Ahok, and if you're Teman Ahok, please do have a visit! And, Ahok's house is located across the street and you can visit the house anytime by filling the guest book. (Mas Ipit said Ahok will read the guest book if he's back in his house. So, he will read my writings, then? Hmmm...) We took several photos in front of Ahok's house, and the housekeeper took us to a donkey barn which belongs to Ahok's younger brother, who is currently the regent of East Belitung.

In front of Ahok's house.

The donkey won't let me pat its head. What an ass. Hahaha!

The next part that were in the itinerary is everything related to Laskar Pelangi, which I love. One of many reason I decided to have a trip to Belitung is my fondness to Andrea Hirata's works. (I recently read Dwilogi Padang Bulan and Ayah!) Anyway, the first place I visited was the lesser known replica of SD Muhammadiyah Gantong. There were absolutely no one else beside us that day, so it was a complete opportunity for us to take as many photos as possible. Aside from the school replica, there is also a traditional house of Belitung we can took photos with.

Here it is. The traditional house of Belitung.

And this is the lesser-known replica of SD Muhammadiyah Gantong plus the author.

Not far from the lesser-known school replica is the coziest and homiest museum I ever visited, Museum Kata Andrea Hirata. It is the first and currently the only literary museum in Indonesia, built in 2010. All I can say about Andrea Hirata from this museum is he's so artsy judging by lots of murals and wall hanging inside the museum, and also a hoarder like I do. (Proud hoarder typing here. Hehehe)

A snap before going in never hurt.

Me, being fascinated by words of Andrea Hirata.

In front of many editions of Laskar Pelangi. That little guy looks like he's peeking on me. Haha.


Words to live by. 
I am just fascinated by the floor.

My favourite spot for the museum!

There's this corner at the museum where they sell Belitung's well known coffee. I ordered a coffee plus condensed milk and it tasted good! And they also provide a small post office at the other corner that will send you postcards if you purchase them!

The lovely traditional coffee maker.

The postcard that I sent to myself arrived at my door around two weeks after I got back from the trip.

After spending some few times in the museum, it's time to move on to the next destination: The much more known replica of SD Muhammadiyah Gantong! It's actually just a spot where you can took some photographs to proof to the world that you've visited Belitung, but it's still worthy enough to visit!

Am I good enough being a teacher? Hahaha.

Obligatory photo.

Mas Ipit's such a creative guide! He found a random hole to snapped this fancy photograph!

We're being punished to stand near the flag pole. Hahaha.

Our journey on East Belitung finally ended. But wait, there's more to explore... In the capital Tanjung Pandan itself! We then went to this beautiful Kaolin Lake to enjoy some quite a view. 

Kaolin Lake was formed because of tin exploitation they made back then. But we never thought it could be this beautiful!

Some substances caused this lake to be this colour.

I jumped the fences to get this photo. Hahaha.

Next, we headed to Tanjung Kelayang beach to see the sunset. It was a bit cloudy so the sunset was not really clear enough for us to see. But it's alright. Belitung is still a beautiful place, isn't it?

The sunset marked the end of my trip in Belitung. Sad!

There's still more to explore in Tanjung Pandan, tho. We had Belitung noodle at Belitung's most favourite place, Mie Atep. Belitung noodle is a noodle dish served with fish cakes, shrimp, potatoes, cucumbers, and emping (melinjo crackers). The broth is thick and tasted a little bit sweet, so I put a lot of hot sauce to get rid of the sweetness! Overall, it's a perfect dish to enjoy and a must eat in Belitung!

Yum!!!

We had another Belitung coffee and shopped some souvenirs before heading back to the hotel. Back in the hotel, we packed our bags and in the meantime, I walked around the hotel. The sky was clear that night I saw the stars. Sigh. Belitung. A beautiful place. 

"Will I come back here?" I wish!


The very last photo I took for Snapchat before I leave.

Belitung Weekend Getaway Journal:

2 comments:

  1. Wow, I didn't know there were so many hidden gems in Belitung. Reading this post has given me an itch to travel there. Thanks for the beautiful insights! :)

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    Replies
    1. You're very welcome, Dixie. And thank you for taking a look in my blog. ^^
      There are lots to explore in Belitung! It's really an island full of surprises. Plus, exploring Belitung is also perfect for a short weekend getaway and it's actually pretty cheap to travel there. :D

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