Friday, May 24, 2013

B E L I T O N G | island readers :-*
Longtime no see, how are you? sorryyy...lately I've been busy with some office works and makeover jobs, however I try to continuously write. Now I'm gonna share you 'bout The Beauty of Belitong Island...just fasten your seatbelt ^^

Last week I had a chance to visit Belitong Island (or Biliton in English) - a beautiful small island lies in the east coast of Sumatra Island, Indonesia. If you don't know where it is, yup here is the map below :)
Belitong Island on the red mark
Zoom in closer....

In fact the island isn't too far from Jakarta, you could reach there by only 45 minutes direct flight from Jakarta. Since 15th May 2013, Garuda Indonesia has opened new route from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandan and vice versa. The Hanandjoeddin airport is also easily reached from the town, but unfortunately the town still has rare public transportation :(

The Airport
Belitong, located between Gaspar Strait and South China Sea, is very rich with its tin and white pepper (local people called it "sahang"). During colonization period, The Dutch also has mining company here named NV Billiton Maatschappij, I notice that the company name derives from the island name. The biggest town is Tanjung Pandan in the east and the second one is Manggar in the west. Since The Rainbow Troops (Laskar Pelangi) novel which takes place in Belitung Island has been published worldwide and translated into many languages, the popularity of the island becomes booming.
"One thing that's ridiculous, I just find out that my husband was raised in this island until high school and Belitong has become his second homeland, owww how come I didn't know at all previously?  >.< "
If we talk about visiting new place, we have to talk about the food as well, food has been the most important thing in my life although it brings me guilty pleasure, so trying kinda new tastes is a must! The most famous food here are Gangan and Otak-Otak, let's take a look....nyum..nyum..

Gangan is a kind of fish soup with sour taste, the sour itself comes from pineapple which becoming one of the main ingredients. You could cook Gangnam by using any kind of fish, but I recommend to use mackerel (tenggiri) or sea bass fish (kakap). Now let's move on to Otak-Otak, this dish is a kind of fishball but has yummier taste, you better enjoy it with spicy and sour or peanut sauce. I really recommend to use mackerel for Otak-Otak, it's the best fish for it! (my experience :p)

Besides Gangnan and Otak-Otak, you could also find another yummy local food here named Martabak which is rather similar to pancake but has richer taste. The local people here are used to mention Hoklopan instead of Martabak. Martabak is made from butter, egg, wheat flour, milk, peanut, chocolate and cheese...more than enough to increase your cholesterol level :)

The hotel is so-so, the food they serve isn't really good so I just take a light breakfast everyday, but nearby beach was worth a the inconvenience is paid! Some new hotels are built along the coast, but we can't swim around the hotels. Some poisonous jellyfish are everywhere and ready to attack you, besides that..the beach has quicksand (pasir hisap), so it's really...really dangerous to swim, be careful! *I wonder why there are no warning signs*
Local people said that if you visit Belitong Island you have to visit Langkuas Island too which only takes about half hour from Tanjung Pandan by boat. This island is smaller than Belitong but has great view and really famous with its lighthouse, giant rocks and nature.'s definitely truueee! sit on the beach, brilliant white sand under your feet, cobalt blue sky over your head, freshly chopped coconut + straw in your hands, some colorful fish swim in the clear blue water....what a paradise :)
The torquoise blue sea around Langkuas Island is moderately calm and shallow, making it's safe and great for sailing, snorkeling and swimming...even you can grasp some fish with your own bare-hand! In far..far away, rocky beaches are framing incredible natural landscapes. I feel like that I'm lost in a Robinson Crusoe Pacific Island \c", /
Barely do I hear the sound of waves...yes the sea level is very calm and yet relaxing...only some small waves exist somewhere...The weather is quite unpredictable. Once it rains heavily, then suddenly stops and comes the hot sunny day then it rains again! Don't be surprised if you see some thunderbolts here. It's common, due to Belitong's land contains tin (ummhhh...the tin could act as a conductor? cmiiw).

The lighthouse which was built in 1882 by the Dutch is still working nowadays but I'm really curious how the giant stones could arrive there and form a beautiful mound formation. 

On the way toward the Langkuas Island, in the middle of the sea, I find Sand Island. Really awesome! all island is made from sand and only appears during the low tide. It submerges during high tide....f a n t a s t i c ! The island size is various depending on the tide level :) but when I visited there the island is only about 15m x 15m.

As a coffee addict, it's a must to visit Manggar City. Coffee has been a part of Manggar's local community, from the upper to the lower class of society, they are altogether hanging out in some traditional coffee stalls. They exchange some information, updated news, even expand business network there which have been a tradition since a long time ago. The acculturation of Malay and Chinese cultures is obviously seen in the coffee stalls atmosphere and that's the uniqueness that we couldn't find somewhere else.

The weather suddenly turns horrible as I describe above - dark and stormy rain :'( but now it's time for me heading back to the airport and going back to my daily routine: paperwork, traffic, catching the train, bla bla bla...No delayed or canceled flight T_T wish me luck to have a safe flight O=)

Bye Bye Belitong, till we meet again soon 
 *somehow I wish I could live in such a quiet place as Belitong............

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