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You might not expect it from the island whose tin mines gave their name to Australian mining giant BHP Billiton, but Belitung is one of among the nicest most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia. Pristine white sand beaches look out on a turquoise sea filled with great snorkelling and a fantastic display of off shore islands. Check out '''Tanjung Kelayang''' and '''Tanjung Tinggi''' for world class beaches without the hustle and bustle now found at beaches of this caliber anywhere elsecalibre elsewhere. Small uninhabited off shore islands range from white sand fringed coconut plantations to elaborate granite rock formations to long temporary sand bars of sand the quality of powdered sugar. Some are too far to swim to from the shore, but colourful local fishing boats will take you on an island tour.
As yet uncharted by the Lonely Planet guide of 2012, no big resorts have been built here yet but it will not remain a sleepy paradise for long. The small uninhabited off shore islands range from white sand fringed coconut plantations widely-translated novels Laskar Pelangi (“Rainbow Troops”) published in 2005 and its sequel “The Dreamer” have done a lot to elaborate granite rock formations to long tempory sand bars of sand put Belitung on the quality map of powdered sugarinternational tourism [http://en. Some are long swim distance from the beach].  '''The best time to visit''': Dry season (April – October) is obviously sunnier but colourful local fishing boats will take you on an island tourcan be very windy, resulting in choppy waters. There During the rainy season (November – March) there is less wind though it does rain most afternoons. The school holidays (June-July) are best avoided as a 100+ year lighthouse on one island that was cast lot of local tourists come from elsewhere in England then shipped to Indonesia and assembled by . Similarly weekends can be quite busy with large Indonesian tour groups visiting from Jakarta. Interesting annual cultural festivals include: * Tour d’Belitung: 300km bike race around the Dutch in 1889island held every December []. * Outrigger sail boat race held every October/November at Burung Mandi Beach. Each piece has Includes a number stamped on it and they were bolted together. No big resort areas are built there but it will not remain the sleepy paradise it is now longsand statute competition.
==Get in==
===By plane===
Daily flights connect [[Tanjung Pandan]] to [[Jakarta]](1h flight), [[Palembang]], and [[Pangkal Pinang]] and [[Batam]]. These routes are served by Sriwijaya Air, Batavia Airand Sky Aviation. Since March 2013, LinusBatavia Air officially declared for bankruptcy and all their routes in were stopped include Jakarta (CGK) to Tanjung Pandan, and Riau AirlinesBelitung (TJQ). Garuda indonesia newly opened a route from Jakarta (CGK) to Belitung (TJQ) since 23 May 2013Citilink also provides a route from jakarta (CGK) to belitung (TJQ).
===By boat===
Ferries leave and go to [[Jakarta]], [[Cirebon]], [[Pontianak]] (Kalimantan), and [[Bangka (Sumatra)|Bangka]]. Smaller fishing craft can be chartered for some harder to reach places and small islands.
==Get around==
Belitung is small enough that more or less any point on the island can be reached in under less than two hours from the main town Tanjung Pandan. However, taxis are non-existent and public transportation on the island is hard to find, so the only practical way of moving around is to '''rent a car or a motorcycle'''. Expect If you rent a car, expect to be asked for pay Rp 400,000 - Rp 600,000 per day (all inclusive) for a good car with driver(all inclusive). A common and fair deal for both parts parties is between Rp 600,000 and Rp 800,000 for the whole weekend including airport drop-off on the last morning. Keep in mind that with that they have enough for the whole month. Overpaying only causes greed.
Enterprising locals drive to Alternatively when you arrive at the airport at flight times, so you can haggle with them locals to get you to your hotel and arrange the rest of the transportation from there. Or ask your hotel to pick you up from the airport (which the upscale ones will do anyway). Once you arrive at your hotel you can then rent a motorcycle from Rp 50,000 per day (excluding petrol) from most resorts and explore the beaches yourself; they are well signposted. However, expect to get wet during rainy season! Here is a decent road map with some nice photos [].  There are no ojek (motor cycle taxis) on the island but locals may be willing to give you a lift on their motorcycle for short distances (Rp 15,000 – 20,000).
Besides the obvious beach activetiesactivities, like swimming in the crystal clear seas and laying around on the white sand beaches, Belitung has plenty more to offer. Snorkeling  '''Snorkelling''' is great. The coral right offshore in many places is still in fantastic shape. Island hopping is another fun activity Many hotels also have '''scuba diving''' equipment for hire (e.g. [] and [http://www. Belitung has many smaller largly uninhabited islands surronding it, one island has a 100 year+ old 18 story lighthouse waiting to be climbedbelitungadventure. Other islands look like abstract sculptures consisting entirely of granite rockcom] ). Local fishing boats will be glad to take you out The coast off North-East Belitung is renowned for a fair feeits numerous Chinese wrecks from different dynasties. One of the oldest wrecks in Indonesian waters was recently discovered offshore.  '''Beachcombing ''' and long beach walks discovering hidden coves and secret beaches are another healthy activity. Some noteworthy beaches are listed below: * '''Pantai Tanjung Tinggi''' (North-West Belitung). Made famous by the movies made based on the books Laskar Pelangi and The Dreamer, this white sandy beach is framed by two peninsula with artistic granite boulders. Several food stalls can be found here where you can eat great seafood. While snorkeling * '''Pantai Tanjung Kelayang''' (North-West Belitung) and adjacent Pulau Mabai form a huge 1.2km long beach, with granite boulders on its southern end of the peninsula, as well as several small islands with excellent snorkelling.* '''Sendang Beach''', north coast. Great place to see the sunrise []. * '''Pantai Burung Mandi''' (“bird bath beach”) in North-East Belitung is excellent the site of an ancient harbour already used by the Dutch and some exploratory dives have been doneChinese over 200 years ago, as now you’ll find hundreds picturesque Manggar outrigger boat parked along the beach []. An outrigger sailboat race is held here annually. Nearby '''Bukit Baku''' has interesting granite rocks. Enjoy the view over Burung Mandi Beach and beyond from the top of '''Bukit Samak''' (Stone Hill) [] built by the Dutch director of 2009the tin mines in the 1950s, there including a little wildlife park. The food of the restaurant is still not great but the view is very nice. * T. Gembira and other beaches near '''Membalong''' (South-West Belitung) is a 1.5h drive South from Tanjung Pandan. Here you can also see Batu Baginde Hill []. * '''Port Dendang''' and '''noPunai Coast''' dive centre on (South-East Belitung) [] are a 2h drive away from Tanjung Pandan. Here you can find the islandunique Satam gem stones [].
A pretty waterfall '''Island hopping''' is another fun activity. Belitung has many smaller uninhabited islands surrounding it with stunning beaches. Other islands look like abstract sculptures consisting entirely of granite rock. Local fishing boats can take you out for a fair fee (400,000-500,000 per day including food). Higly recomended to bring your own food from mainland. You may want to check the tides before heading out []. Some noteworthy examples of islands (“pulau” in Bahasa) to visit are:* '''Pulau Lengkuas''' (North-West Belitung): On this island stands a 100+ year lighthouse that was cast in England then shipped to Indonesia and assembled by the Dutch in 1889 to guard the straight between Bangka and Belitung. Each piece has a number stamped on it and they were bolted together. Stunning view from the top, 60 meters above the ocean. Rp 5000 entry fee. Great snorkelling just off shore. * ''''''Kepayang Island Conservation Center'''''' KCC is one of the conservation projects implemented by a local NGO (KPLB Kelompok Peduli Lingkungan Belitung) to protect the marvelous environment of Belitung and swimming hole rising the awareness of local people on Mount Tagam also make for its importance.Kepayang Conservation center accounts with a diving center, a turtle sanctuary in which baby turtles are bred till they are strong enough to face the sea and a coral garden built in order to restore the coral reef threatened by fishing activities. It accounts with as well with a Resto and nice day tripaccomodations facing the sea. Website: * '''Pulau Basir''' (North-West Belitung) this sand bank is only accessible at low tide. Covered by starfish. * '''Pulau Burong''' (North-West Belitung) this island, named after a bird-shaped rock, has secluded beaches and private cottages on it. * '''Pulau Batu Pelayar''' (North-West Belitung), literally meaning “sail-shaped rock” is very picturesque with great snorkelling just off shore. The rocks are lit up by colourful solar lamps at night. * '''Pulau Lutong''' (North-West Belitung): Two small islands connected a low tide; one with a granite rick shaped like a rhinoceros’ head.
Downtown Tanjung Pandan Cultural trips* Belitung has a rich diversity of people. Check out the Malay style wooden houses that reminds you of the Caribbean, or the Bugis traditional houses on stilts that have a dock to dry fish, for example in the fishing village near Bukit Berahu. * Balinese transmigrants have a thriving community that carry on Bali's traditions and religion. The inhabitants, who originated from the Island of the Gods, were originally pepper farmers, but the tin mining business, which promised more money, turned most into miners. About 200 families live in the Balinese Village of Giri Jati, which is guarded by gates with Hindu architecture. At the west entrance of the village you’ll find an '''old Hindu temple''' built in 1818. There is another Hindu temple in the middle of the village, as well as small family temples in front of most houses. Not far from the temple stands an old mosque and cemetery built in 1817 [].* Kwan Im is quite interesting due a '''Chinese Buddhist temple''' dedicated to the sea goddess Vidhara, built in 1747 by the first Chinese workers who came here to work in the tin mines []. Don’t miss the nearby Chinese cemetery.* On the road from Giri Jati to Manggar, you’ll pass many '''palm, coconut and pepper plantations''' along the side of the road; some are large enough to be seen on google maps. This area used to be used to iron ore mining, creating the '''Lake Mempayak''' [].* '''Manggar''' was the centre of Dutch Colonial buildings tin-mining since the 19th century and shop still has many old colonial houses. Most It is famous for its ‘one thousand’ coffee shops, with the tradition of coffee-drinking said to have been started by tin miners taking a break between shifts. Visit the fish market early in the governmental buildings are morning. Have excellent seafood at the boat-shaped restaurant by the original lake. Go for stroll in Beransai Park []. * The Dutch buildings have been mining tin on Belitung since the 1880s. Traditional tin mining methods are interesting to watch, no chemicals just water and lots of mud. Visit the open mining pit used from 1971-1989 in the old Dutch tin mountain village of '''Kelapa Kampit''', 1h east of Tanjung Pandan []. The huge Kaolin Lake, created by a former mining housing compound pit, makes for great photography. * '''Pice Dam''', near Manggar []. * '''Mausoleums of the King of Cerucok and the King of Badau''' [], near the airport. Not far away is still kept up'''Badan Museum''' exhibiting traditional dress and weaponry [], and '''Istiqomah Buding Museum''' []. * '''Laskar Pelangi Museum''' based on the novel Traditional Bugis fishing craft [] and an odd assortment reconstructed birth-place of other boats make the wharf author []. * '''Maritime Museum'''. To be opened in 2013, near Lore-In Hotel (Tanjung Kelayang) * '''Selat Nasik Island''' has a nature reserve and fish market traditional houses [] which you can reach with a short boat trip from the main town. Here is also an interesting place, certinly for your nose, to visitold Dutch lighthouse from 1882 [] and a monument marking the independence movement against Dutch colonialism [].
Traditional tin mining methods are cool to watch, no chemicals just water Nature / adventure trips* The '''Beraye waterfall''' and lots of mudswimming hole on Mount Tagam make a nice day trip []. Also for those who don* In '''Batu Mentas nature reserve''' [] you can spot the endangered Tarsius monkey ['t live with it every day palms_tarsier]. * This local tour provider [] can take you on boat trips, cultural trips, hiking, cycling, coconut and pepper plantations kayaking etc.* Another local tour provider [] can be interestingtake you jungle trekking to see the endangered Tarsius monkey species unique to this island, tubing on the river, or to have a relaxing foot massage in a natural ‘fish spa’ pond where fish nibble at your feet! They also have diving facilities on their diving centre on Kapayang Island. ☎ +62 821 7570 4250 / +62 819 4918 9456.
Cultural Belitung has a rich diversity '''Downtown Tanjung Pandan''' is quite interesting due to the many Dutch Colonial buildings and shops. Most of people. Check out the cool Malay style wooden house's that reminds you of governmental buildings are the Caribean or original Dutch buildings and the old Dutch tin mining housing compound is still kept up []. Traditional Bugis traditional raised houses that are half dock fishing vessels make the wharf [] and fish market an interesting place to dry fishvisit. A Chinese Buddist temple is said to be one of You can also visit the oldest old ceramics pit opened in Indonesia built by 1851 [], the survivers of a ancient Chinese trading vesselTanjung Pandan Museum where you can see old ceramics found in shipwrecks [http://belitung.yogyes. Balinese transmigrants have a thriving community that carrys on Bali's traditions com/en/places/40/], and religonan old Dutch fort [].
There aren't really any stand-alone restaurants in the Western sense. The two holiday resorts (see [[#Sleep|Sleep]]) both usually have decent restaurants, while the town has a collection of simple ''warung'' (eating stalls). The best things to eat are fresh seafood and special Belitung cakes. For those needing a dose of Western food, Kentucky Fried just opened a store in downtown Tanjung.
Beer with ice in it. Hard Cold beer is hard to find cold beer except for Mama at Mamma Mia's restaurant in Tanjung Kelayang at Kelayang Beach Cottages, in Tanjung Kelayang. Coffee in Manggar is a unique experience, there are many coffee shops for the people to relax and chat. Manggar city also called the city of one thousand coffee shops [].
Accommodation on Belitung is quite limitedhas improved a lot recently. However most places only accept cash, no credit cards. ===Budget===* Homestays (“penginapan”) are increasingly popping up around Belitung. There These are rented rooms in people’s homes. Very basic. Watch for signs by the side of the road, especially near the beaches around the North-West of the island. Often under Rp 150,000 per night.  ===Mid-range=== In the main town of Tanjung Pandan* <sleep name=" Harlika Jaya" alt="" address="Tanjung Pandan" directions="" phone="+ 62 719 24 633 / + 62 719 33 415" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""> Simple clean rooms from 75,000 – 250,000 per night (no breakfast). The adjacent beach promenade has great cheap seafood restaurants (e.g. Pang Paysa) and a few basic karaoke bar (Bar Unique); it’s a favourite hang-out for locals on the weekend. </sleep>* <sleep name=" Hotel Martani" alt="" address="Tanjung Pandan" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price=" Rp 200,000" lat="" long=""> One of the oldest star hotels in downtown . Spacious rooms with hot water, AC. </sleep>* <sleep name=" Lux Melati Hotel" alt="" address=" Jalan Melati 72, Tanjung Pandan" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""> Cleap and clean. 5 minutes’ walk from tanjung pandan beach. </sleep> By the beach* <sleep name="Bukit Berahu" alt="" address="Tanjung Bingga" directions="" phone="+62 819 2959 9808" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="$20" lat="" long=""> Great cottages with warm shower, plus one AC, TV, kettle and minibar fridge (1but no mosquito nets). 5 cottages right by the beach with two single beds ($30 / Rp 300,000 per night including breakfast) resort , and 2 bungalows further up the hill that fit 4-5 people each (Rp 787,000 per night including breakfast) with kitchen area, living room and terrace with great views. Access to the cottages is via a long walk down some steps to a small isolated beach area. You can walk north along the shore from the beach to a picturesque traditional fishing village. Very peaceful and quiet but at night it can be a bit eerie as it is so isolated and none of the staff sleeps at the office upstairs - you will be on your own!. Beware that at certain times of the year there may be jellyfish in the ocean brought here by strong easterly winds, but the hotel also has a huge pool on the hill with stunning views, including various secluded picnic benches. Office on top of the hill has a good restaurant with sprawling views of the ocean, especially at sunset. Highly recommended accommodation, though you will have to go elsewhere for day-trips and snorkelling. Some photos [] </sleep>* <sleep name="Kelayang Beach Cottages" alt="" address=" Tanjung Tinggi Kelayang " directions="" phone="+62 819 2979 8420 (Manager; Rudy) or +62 821 761 90700" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""> Run by a Western-Indonesian couple and family. 4 bungalows with air-con (Rp 300,000) and 4 bungalows with fan only (Rp 200,000). Accommodation is very basic and quite run down, only containing a bed with a mosquito net and a bathroom with an Asian-style squat toilet and a mandi (water tank) shower. Some guests have complained of bedbugs. The location is quite noisy due to traffic from the nearby road and the small fishermen’s harbour in front of the cottages. Accommodation is not great but come here for day-activities: the manager (Rudy) speaks good English and can help you organise day trips. The beach-side restaurant (‘Mamma Mia’) is good with cold beer, snorkel gear and diving gear rental, boat tours, bike and motorcycle rental, and traditional massages (Amina; ☎ +62 878 9647 5465). The large beach is stunning with snorkelling possible right off-shore, but if there is little wind there are many sand flees due to the fishing boats; also beware of jellyfish at certain times of the year </sleep> On off-shore islands* <sleep name="Pulau Kapayang Cottages" alt="" address="Pulau Kapayang " directions="" phone="" url="(" checkin="" checkout="" price="Rp 350,000" lat="" long=""> 4 cottages on this island, take a look at the website </sleep>* <sleep name=" Ecolodge Tent" alt="" address="Pulau Kapayang " directions="" phone="+62 818 0901 7080 / +62 819 0811 5659" url="(http://" checkin="" checkout="" price="Rp 350,000" lat="" long=""> 1 eco-lodge tent with a double bed and modern shower on this island </sleep> In the rainforest* <sleep name="Batumentas lodge" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""> Sleep in tree houses in the rainforest </sleep> ===Splurge===In the main town of Tanjung Pandan* <sleep name="Bahamas" alt="" address="Tanjung KelayangPandan" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price=" US$60++ / Rp 700,000++" lat="" long=""> The newest hotel in Belitung, comfortable open-air hotel with 50+ rooms on a nice beach. Very easy to coordinate trips from the hotel to locations around the island. Highly recommended. </sleep>* <sleep name="Grand Hatika" alt="" address="Tanjung Pandan" directions="" phone="+62 719 2889" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""> Has a pool, an ATM and a karaoke bar, but no internet café. </sleep>* <sleep name=" Billiton Hotel and Klub" alt="" address="Jl. Depati Gegedek No.50, Tanjung Pandan" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""> Large clean rooms, friendly staff, walking distance from city centre </sleep>
===Mid-range===* <sleep name="Kelayang Cottages" alt="" address="Tanjung Kelayang" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">8 bungalows, four with air-con (Rp.250k), four with fan only (Rp.150k). Restaurant with cold beer, fantastic beachside location, snorkel gear rental and tours. Run by a Western-Indonesian couple and family. </sleep>By the beach* <sleep name="Lor-In Belitung" alt="" address="Tanjung TinggiKelayang" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="US$67/ Rp 700,000" lat="" long="">The most A modern place to stay on Belitung, hotel with 20 air-conditioned cottages right on one of the island's best beachsTanjung Kelayang Beach. Pool, good restaurant.</sleep>* A huge resort is being built on the North-West coast of the island, to be opened in 2013.
==Get out==
* [[Bangka (Sumatra)|Bangka]]: the neighbouring island to the West, the ''Ba'' in ''Babel''Bangka boasts many white sand beaches and a few interesting Chinese temples.
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