Exploring Belitung, The Hidden Gem of Indonesia

We were pretty stoked when we were invited to explore Belitung, a place that we’ve never heard of before! When people think of Indonesia, the first thing that comes to their mind is usually Bali. But Indonesia is so much more than just Bali! Indonesia consists of more than 15,000 islands and Belitung is just one of them!

Picturesque azure waters of Belitung island in Indonesia!

So first up…where is Belitung in Indonesia?

Belitung is this island (circled in red above) situated next to South Sumatra in Indonesia. Although geographically speaking, Belitung is much nearer to Singapore than Jakarta, the demand for flights from Singapore to Belitung is not high enough for the airline companies to come up with direct flights. Scroll to the bottom to see how to get to Belitung from Singapore!

What is there to do in Belitung?

Experience glamping at Billiton Eco-Beach Tent

Glamping at Billiton Beach Tent!

Seriously, one of the most luxurious camping experiences of our lives!

Trust us, we’ve tried glamping (or so they termed it) several times at different places. But THIS wins hands down, this truly is the epitome of glamping. For the uninitiated, glamping means glamour + camping (aka atas camping). Which glamping experience comes with AIR CONDITIONING?! And your personal outdoor shower & toilet?!

Enjoying our romantic candlelight dinner at the front porch of our tent!

We even had a romantic candlelight BBQ dinner right at our front porch. And the BBQ dinner was one of our best meals ever in Indonesia!! Definitely a MUST-TRY!

Test your balance at stand up paddle surfing

First time trying stand up paddle surfing! Fun!

This turned out to be a lot more tiring that we expected! We always thought it looked kinda easy and chill, but it was actually quite challenging! Especially at the start when we were trying to get our balance right. But once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy, except that it’s really taxing on the thigh muscles!

ps. This activity is available for Billiton Eco-Beach Tent guests!

Trek through the wilderness and enjoy an amazing summit view

Breathtaking views at the summit of Batu Baginda!

Considered to be an easy trek, suitable for beginner hikers! Took us less than 30 minutes to reach the summit and the terrain was pretty straightforward too. We did 2 treks in Belitung, Batu Baginda and Pramoen Hills.

Batu Baginda’s summit view was breathtaking and the strong breeze was so soothing (shiok)! The last climb up to the summit was pretty challenging though where we had to climb ladders and

Pramoen Hills was quite entertaining, they had several pit stops for photo taking with props, and even a car carefully positioned at the cliff’s edge! I kid you not! We actually climbed into the car for a photo!

Taking a selfie in a car at a mountain’s cliff face? Checked!

Island hopping & snorkelling

A secret lagoon discovered at Kelayang Island!

Interestingly though, when the locals island hop, they literally island hop and not enter the waters for most of it! We visited about 5 islands in total, and only snorkelled at 1 island – Lengkuas Island (Lighthouse). For the rest of the islands, we only walked around the island and took photos with the unique rock forms.

On the way to Lengkuas Island with the lighthouse as the landmark!

The unique & distinctive feature of Belitung is certainly the huge rounded granite rocks. Being avid climbers, we were so tempted to boulder when passing by some of these rocks with cracks so deep they form amazing handholds!

One cool thing about this experience is that we were one of the rare few foreign tourists! We went on a weekend and it was packed with locals, but hardly a foreigner in sight! So if you’re looking for an authentic travel experience, you should definitely check out Belitung!

Tip: Try travelling to Belitung during the weekdays if possible to avoid the domestic crowd!

Try the traditional Belitung coffee (Must-Try!)

Ahhh we absolutely love their coffee! There’s just something so delicious and addictive about their coffee! We love the taste of the roasted coffee bean and when paired with a thick layer of condense milk, ahhh heavenly goodness!

If you’re staying at the city centre of Belitung, you must try the local’s favourite coffee at Kongdjie Coffee! It’s really gooooood! πŸ˜€

Ps. it’s only 5 minutes away from Billiton Hotel, just right across the street!

Taste the local Belitung Mie

This dish reminded us of our local dish Mee Rebus in Singapore and probably Malaysia. The gravy is a little sweet and the noodles slightly springy. Overall not too bad….but……we still prefer our all time favourite INDOMIEEE! I know…..but, we can’t help it!

Visit the “Pamukkale” of Indonesia – Danau Kaolin

Interestingly, Belitung together with a neighbouring island, Bangka, form the world’s second largest tin producer after China! The above place is at Danau Kaolin which once used to be a mining area but now no longer in use. Also known as the Blue Lake, its beautiful sky blue colour is attributed to the water deposited inside the crater being mixed together with the rich white minerals.

Get inspired at the Museum Kata Andrea Hirata

This colourful museum was founded by the author of the best selling novel, Laskar Pelangi. Also the first literature museum in Indonesia! Great place for photo taking with all the colourful walls!

Tip: Belitung grew to fame because of the popular local movie, Rainbow Troops, where they shot the movie set at Tanjung Tinggi Beach. So, watch the movie or read the book first before visiting this island to get a better appreciation!

Essential Information

How to book the above activities in Belitung

We booked our tour with Belitung Wonder, a local tour agency in Belitung. Ria was our main contact person for this trip, and she arranged all of our transport, accommodation and activities! The thing about travelling in less commercialised places is that it’s much tougher to travel around on your own (unless you hire a private driver/guide).

If you’re looking for a tour agency to travel with in Belitung, we would highly recommend Belitung Wonder!Β  Their service is really good, reliable & trustworthy! Pls contact Ria via email (riaindra@belitungwonder.com) for more info.

How to get to Belitung from Singapore

We flew to Jakarta first (~1.5hr) via Jetstar and then followed by a domestic flight to Belitung (~1hr) via Sriwijaya Air. Do factor in some time for the (high) possibility of the domestic flight being delayed.

Hope we inspired you to check out this hidden gem of Indonesia! Travelling off the beaten path is always more exciting! πŸ˜€