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“I wish I could run away to an island and just not do anything” – we’re sure many of us have once thought this way, especially when we’ve hit another snag in a super dry work day.

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And while weekend getaways to secluded islands used to be nothing more than a pipe dream, it’s no longer the case. Belitung Island, your new best friend, lives just a short 2-hour flight away from Batam (or 1-hour flight away from Jakarta), and is all ready to make your lazing-in-the-sun dreams come true!

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Photo via ikasyahid

Here’s an overview of our complete guide (click to scroll to the relevant section):

1. Getting there
2. Getting around
3. Things to do
4. Where to stay
5. Where to eat

This tiny island paradise is part of the Bangka-Belitung island province in Indonesia, which also includes several other smaller islands ripe for exploration. Featuring dreamy white sand beaches and views that are like no other, here is where you’ll get to relax and cleanse both your mind and soul.

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Photo by Simon Long

Unfeeling bosses, nitpicky clients and the nasty colleague who can’t use the toilet properly are all of the past – woes, begone!

Our trusty guide to Belitung island will have you on your way to freedom in no time.

1. Getting there:

Thankfully, you won’t have to teleport to another dimension to be rid of your worries from this life (at least for a day or two).

Here’s how you can get some therapy without spending big bucks on an actual therapist.

From JakartaFrom Singapore (tap here to view)From Malaysia (tap here to view)

Take a direct flight to Tanjung Pandan (Belitung) via Sriwijaya Air or Garuda Indonesia. (Flight duration 1 hour. Return flights cost Rp. 850.000)

Total cost: Rp. 850.000

Step 1: Take a ferry to Batam Centre harbour. (Ferry ride takes 45 min to 1 hr and return trip costs SGD $48)
Operators: BatamFast Ferry, SINDO Ferry, Majestic Fast Ferry

Step 2: Take a taxi from Batam Centre harbour to Batam airport. (Cost Rp. 30.000 – approximately SGD $2)*

*This is if you skip the official taxis in the airport, which cost about IDR $80,000 (SGD $8.20).

Step 3: Take a flight from Batam to Tanjung Pandan (Belitung) via Lion Air. (Flight duration 2 hours. Return flights cost around Rp. 1.5 million – approximately SGD $156)

Total cost:  SGD 215

Step 1: Take a flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport via Malaysia AirlinesMalindo AirAirAsia to Jakarta. (Flight duration 2 hours. Return flight cost RM 350)

Step 2: Take a direct flight to Tanjung Pandan (Belitung) via Sriwijaya Air or Garuda Indonesia. (Flight duration 1 hour. Return flights cost Rp. 850.000 – approximately RM 260)

Total cost: RM 610

Best time to visit (Tap to see more tips)

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2. Getting around:

As Belitung is a relatively small island, taxis are the transport of choice. Street Taxi Belitung is the only licensed taxi service on the island with a meter, and is the only taxi you should take.

While airport taxis are also available, these are operated by local drivers and will charge you a lot more. If you are looking for an airport pickup service, Street Taxi only takes bookings, so it’s best to call them prior to your arrival. Charges are between IDR $75,000 – IDR $80,000 (USD $5.70 – USD $6.00), almost three times cheaper than what the airport taxi will charge you!

While you’re on the island, try to contact Street Taxi yourself whenever you need transport, as many hotels work with local drivers for a hefty commission. If you need to hire a boat for some island hopping fun, Street Taxi also offers boat booking services for IDR $450,000 (USD $34) in low season, which is nearly half the price that most hotels charge.


3. Things to do:

So you’ve successfully escaped from reality and arrived at the surreal paradise that is Belitung Island. With so many gorgeous beaches and views to choose from, how can you best utilise your day here?

Well, even if you don’t do anything and just laze around all day, here are the eight things that you definitely shouldn’t miss!

3-1. Explore a dreamy world of white – Danau Kaolin

Near Tanjung Pandan is a world of pure white that’s so unreal, you probably won’t feel like you’re in Indonesia.

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Photo by ashadinatha

No, it isn’t snow you’re seeing – Danau Kaolin, also known as the Blue Lake, was born when water started collecting in a kaolin mine.

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Photo by poinovella

The clear blue waters of the lake form a soothing contrast with its pure white surroundings. During the dry season, when the lake recedes, you can even see white mounds that look just like floating icebergs.

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Photo via dyandinanty, ashadinatha

This is the place where you’ll be able to take pictures from any angle, and still get some pretty jaw-dropping snaps.

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Photo by indra.bidy

Better yet, Danau Kaolin is the non-stinky sibling to everyone’s favourite Kawah Putih in Ciwidey. Not only is the scent of sulfur non-existent here because it’s not a crater lake, the waters are even just the right temperature for a relaxing dip.

If you don’t want to be found by your boss, why not wear white and hide out here forever?

Danau Kaolin

Address: Perawas, Tanjung Pandan, Belitung Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands, Indonesia
Getting there: The lake is only a 10-minute drive away from the city centre of Tanjung Pandan. Coordinates here

3-2. Enjoy 360° views from up high – Pulau Lengkuas

Pulau Lengkuas is one of the many little islands populating the waters around Belitung, and also the most popular one amongst tourists.

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Photo by antonifbrn

The reason is this gorgeous, ancient lighthouse that was built by the Dutch in 1882. For many years now, it’s been guiding the boats around the area, and also attracting tourists to the island.

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Photo by wkndwanders

We say this charming infrastructure is a figure of both love and hate. You can climb up the 50-meter tall tower, and while you’re climbing, you’ll probably be wishing death by collapse on it.

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Photo via bgenx, achiiiew

But once you reach the top, everything is worth it. Panoramic views of the surrounding clear waters are readily available, and you can even spot the fishes swimming in the sea from your perch.

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Pulau Lengkuas is also a snorkeling destination and a great place to just chill and enjoy the beautiful sight of white sandy beach, crystal clear waters and granite rocks.

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Photo by astridcandice

If you’d like to, you can even camp overnight on the beach to watch the stars (just ask the lighthouse operators for permission first). Sounds like heaven to us!

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Photo via visitbelitong

Pulau Lengkuas

Getting there: Getting to Pulau Lengkuas takes around 20 minutes by boat from Tanjung Kelayang or Tanjung Binga. From the seaside of Belitung, it will take about 30 – 45 minutes. Boat fares range from IDR $350,000 – IDR $500,000 (USD $26.60 – USD $38), but will be cheaper if you hire a boat with your friends. Coordinates here

3-3. Enter the colourful world of words – Museum Kata Andrea Hirata

In 2007, The Rainbow Troops, a book written by Belitung native Andrea Hirata, reintroduced the island of Belitung into people’s minds.

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Photo via dioktaviaa, arthaovky

Museum Kata Andrea Hirata, the first and only museum of literature in Indonesia, was set up by the author in 2010 to inspire people to achieve their dreams just as the main character in his book had.

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Photo by toktavia, wkndwanders

The colourful and vibrant museum was constructed as a replica of the elementary school that Andrea Hirata attended as a child. Various translations of The Rainbow Troops are available, along with exhibitions about Belitung’s geology, history, literary art and even interesting short stories.

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Photo via tyaasfitria, annisatiani

Sit down in the reading and writing corner, and enjoy a quiet day to yourself and your favourite book – doesn’t that sound like the perfect date?

If you’re a bit of a nerd like us, we’re sure you’ll enjoy scouring this colourful world, where the multi-faceted beauty of words are literally presented in your surroundings.

Museum Kata Andrea Hirata

Address: 10 Jalan Laskar Pelangi | Gantung, Belitung Island 33462, Indonesia
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm
Price: Free
Email: museumkataandreahirata@gmail.com
Getting there: Gantung is a 2-hour drive (11km) away from Tanjung Pandan. You can take a taxi, or the buses and mini buses that go to Gantung from Tanjung Pandan. However, these buses are only available from morning to 12pm, and arrival times are infrequent. Coordinates here

Website

3-4. Snap a picture with a star(fish) – Pulau Batu Berlayar

Yet another sand island off the coast of Belitung, Pulau Batu Berlayar is also known as Sailing Rock Island.

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Photo by irawankusuma

Why, you ask? Well, the granite stones that can be found on this island are arranged in such a way that from afar, they look like a ship that is sailing! Two particularly big rocks make up the “mast” of the “ship”, while other smaller rocks form the body.

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Photo via fery julian

This island is really tiny, so other than visiting to take a picture of the natural ship from afar, tourists also come for photo-ops with another star – ahem, we mean, starfishes. These creatures can be found aplenty on the island, and while you can’t ask them for an autograph (you can try), you can feel free to snap some pictures of these beautiful creatures.

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Photo by gegea_, riaaa_andriyani

Starfishes are delicate and can’t survive out of water for long, so please do not attempt to hold or remove them from the sea!*3-4-4-batubelayar-via-visitbelitong

Photo via visitbelitong

Or, you could simply float on the clear seawater and enjoy a day of doing nothing. That sounds pretty perfect to us too.

Pulau Batu Berlayar

Getting there: You can get to Pulau Batu Berlayar via a 10-minute boat ride from Tanjung Kelayang. If you book tours to Pulau Lengkuas, this neighbouring island will usually be included in the itinerary. Coordinates here

3-5. See a stone eagle roosting in the ocean – Pulau Batu Garuda

It seems almost impossible that every single random island in this area would have something special, but here we are with Pulau Batu Garuda.

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Photo by indrabejoo

Other than the standard fare of gorgeous snorkelling opportunities, this island is, once again, known for a fortuitous formation of granite rocks. Rocks again? We can already see your sian (Singlish, or Singapore english for “bored”) face.

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Photo by titto pramodya, mytripsneverend

Don’t worry, this sight won’t disappoint. Take a relaxing boat ride around the island, and you’ll see a few rocks that look strangely like a gigantic stone eagle that’s taking a rest on the sea.

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Photo by armedian 

This majestic sight has made Batu Garuda one of the must-go photo sites for tourists – isn’t Mother Nature just so cool?

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Photo by bubuiorihajirocker

Pulau Batu Garuda

Getting there: You can get to Pulau Batu Garuda via a 10-minute boat ride from Tanjung Kelayang.

3-6. Plant corals and free turtles at an eco lodge – Pulau Kepayang

Pulau Kepayang is home to an Eco Lodge, Dive & Conservation Centre that promotes eco-tourism. It also educates both locals and tourists about the importance of conserving Belitung’s natural environment. Which we totally agree with – pretty islands need to be protected!

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Photo by gayuhcandra, pellenordenfalk

But when it’s not off being an environment-saving superhero, the island also offers tourists a one-of-a-kind, all-in-one holiday experience.

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Photo via harrisjaputra

Not only will you get to save corals by planting one in the coral conservation garden, you can also help to save baby turtles by giving a small donation and setting them free into the sea.

The eco-lodge also provides diving, snorkeling, canoeing and even island-hopping services.

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Photo by nda 2504, visitbelitong

You can even glamp in luxurious tents or chill out in your own bungalow! That’s right, it’s the perfect destination for the you who can’t be bothered with planning holidays.

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Photo by ayuputri86

Besides, you’ll be doing good deeds and having tons of the fun on the way – win-win, we say.

Pulau Kepayang Conservation Centre

Getting there: Simply contact the conservation centre; they offer airport transfers and boat services to the island.
Contact: +62-81280180246 / +62-81949189456
Email: info@belitung.travel
Staying here:
Rates from USD $34 per night

Website

3-7. Visit a “disappearing” island – Pulau Pasir

Technically, Pulau Pasir isn’t even a “pulau” (island) at all. Made up of nothing but sand, this little “island” sinks below the sea a high tide and emerges at low tide.

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Photo by armedian 

Pulau Pasir is so small (less than one hectare!) that when you stand on it, you can see all around you – yes, that translates to amazing views of the surrounding islands. Many starfishes can also be found on this island, as they are washed up along with the receding tide.

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Photo by armedian 

This island usually appears in the early mornings before the tidal waves come in, but whether you will be able to visit it really depends on your luck. If you come by and voila, it’s there, maybe it’s time to buy some lottery!

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Photo via delladithia 

Pulau Pasir

Getting there: Take a boat from Tanjung Kelayang. Pulau Pasir is near Pulau Kepayang; the two islands are only separated by hip-high water during low tide. The trip will take around 15 – 20 minutes.

3-8. Visit an abandoned tin mine – Open Pit Kelapa Kampit

Before the 1990s, Open Pit was the site of a tin mine in eastern Belitung. This area has gained fame for its majestic cliffs and scenic surroundings, but it is, in fact, not meant to be a tourist destination.

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Photo by Aris Sanjaya Photography at arissanjaya

Well, that hasn’t stopped anyone from traversing the wonders of this place. Here, you’ll find a gorgeous turquoise lake situated within a pit of red cliffs, and also the old caves of the abandoned mine. Do note that you’re not supposed to swim here, or attempt to explore the caves due to safety reasons.

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Photo by ramarafaelp

However, what you can do is take in the unbelievable beauty of the place, and snap tons of photos to show your friends back at home. This site is also a popular choice for couples who are looking to have their wedding photoshoots, so if you’re stepping into the altar soon, why not try something new?

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Photo via bentarvirgana39

Just a note of warning – it’s not all rainbows and butterflies while you’re getting here, because you’ll have to climb all the way. But, if you can handle it, it’ll definitely be worth it. You’ll even get to see some rare plants like forest orchids on your way up!

Open Pit Kelapa Kampit

Address: Gunung Ki Karak, Desa Senyubuk Kelapa Kampit
Getting there: Open Pit is in the area of Bukit Pangkuan, which is about an hour’s drive from Tanjung Pandan. There are no signposts leading to the area, so you are encouraged to get a local guide’s help. Coordinates here

4. Where to stay:

Although it’s an island paradise, it’s hard to enjoy your hard-earned holiday if you’re out pitching tents on a hard, rocky beach, we think. No offence to all the hardcore campers out there; it’s just a matter of personal preference.

Thankfully, for those of you like us, who prefer a warm bed under your bodies and air-conditioning on full blast, Belitung Island has no lack of comfy hotels. They’ll not just provide you with a roof over your head, but also contribute to making this getaway one to remember.

Although you could argue that a night spent getting stung by mozzies in the outdoors would be memorable too in its own right…

For families:

4-1. A fun haven for adults and kids alike – BW Suite Belitung

Rarely do we see a place where parents and their children can have fun at the same time, but BW Suite Belitung has somehow made it possible. You can even save some money at the same time by making use of the hotel’s Family Weekend package!

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Photo by marianarahayu269

Here, moms, dads, and little kids – no one will be left behind in your family’s pursuit of fun and games. While a kiddy pool is available for the little ones to splash around in, adults will enjoy the perfect sunsets that the infinity pool’s vantage point gives you.

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Photo by vv.ciu

Besides that, the hotel also has tons of facilities readily available. Dads will love taking a break in the billiards room, while the whole family can have fun screaming your lungs out at the karaoke rooms. Outdoor movie nights are also available at the scenic Open Terrace, so if your kids are night owls, they’ll definitely love a good movie under the stars.

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Photo by ms.meliana lie

BW Suite is also located right on the beach – think the children are just a bit too hyperactive for your liking? Set them loose into the sandy haven for a day of fun and games.

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Photo by laimamy

Just don’t be surprised when your kids dive headfirst into the bed at night instead of running around and driving you crazy!

BW Suite Belitung

From USD $112++ for two interconnecting rooms
Address: Jl. Patimura, Tj. Pendam, Tj. Pandan, Kabupaten Belitung, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, Indonesia
Contact: +62 719 23898
Website

Check Rate on Agoda Check Rate on Booking.com

4-2. Never-ending fun for the family – Rahat Icon Hotel (from USD $26.90)

The whole family will have a smashing time at Rahat Icon Hotel, which has been raved about by travellers as one of the best budget hotels available on the island.

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Photo by prithawibisono

You’ll find the taste of home here, as staff go out of their way to match your every need. Better yet, the hotel is also situated a mere 500 metres away from downtown and a short distance from the beach, so you won’t have to worry about having a lack of options to please those fussy little ones.

There’s even a kids’ club and games room in the compound itself – who says you have to go out to have fun? At Rahat Icon Hotel, even staying in is an enjoyment in itself.

You might have to book two rooms because there are no large rooms here, but for what they are offering you and the cutthroat price, we think it’s completely worth it.

While interconnecting rooms are available here, you can opt for the larger suites and buy extra bed space for the benefit of a family room, where the whole family can gather and bond at nights.

Rahat Icon Hotel

From USD $26.90++
Address: Jl. Depati Rahat No. 21, Tanjung Pandan, Belitung, Indonesia 33416
Contact: +62 71923855
Website

Check Rate on Agoda Check Rate on Booking.com

For couples:

4-3. Escape to a beachside sunset haven – Bukit Berahu Resort (from USD $37)

Running away from real life with a loved one? Why not escape to this little beachside haven and enjoy some private time with each other?

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Photo by rina sihotang

The first resort to introduce the concept of beachside wooden cottages in Belitung Island, Bukit Berahu resort is conveniently located on the beach – and not just any beach. At this beach, you’ll be able to catch some of the loveliest sunset views around. Better yet, you can do that right from the comfort of your own terrace.

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Photo by gilanghamidy

Snuggle up in these snug wooden cabins and open the door to a miraculous view every day. You can’t escape from the view here, when even the restaurant features a sweeping vista of the white sand and rocky beach.

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Photo by perfectessa

And if you’re imagining all the mosquitos and discomfort you’ll face living out in a cabin, let them go poof! All cottages are fully air-conditioned and even have cable TV!

Perfect views, perfect comfort and perfect price… where else can you find a better worry killer?

Bukit Berahu Resort

From USD $37++
Address: Jl. Kampung Bugis | Tanjung Binga Villages, District Of Sijuk, Belitung Island 33412, Indonesia
Contact: (0719) 9223305

Website

4-4. Teleport to another world – Billiton Hotel and Klub (from USD $49)

Travel back to the past at Billiton Hotel and Klub, a stately Dutch Colonial style building in the heart of Belitung’s main city, Tanjung Pandan.

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Your escape from modern day worries will be made complete as this gorgeous hotel transports you into another world entirely. Marvel at the many antiques from days gone by adorning this place, and chill out in spacious, sunlight-filled rooms with gorgeous garden views.

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Photo by travellingwithal

From regular-sized comfort to a gigantic suite with a separate living room and pantry, Billiton Hotel offers different levels of luxury to suit your needs. They even offer a Honeymoon Package that includes aromatherapy in the privacy of your room, and a swoony candlelight dinner at Verandah, the poolside in-house restaurant.

The hotel is also only 14 minutes away from the nearest beach, Pantai Tanjung Pandem, perfect for the re-enactment of that favourite drama scene. For more island-y fun, you can also head to Billiton’s Beach Club at the private Kepayang Island, and kick-start your island-hopping journey there.

It’s time to throw away the 21st century – an entirely new world is waiting for you!

Billiton Hotel & Klub

From USD $49++
Address: Jl. Depati Gegedek no. 50, Tanjung Pandan, Belitung, Indonesia 33411
Contact: +62 719 22887 (Tel) / +62 819 2922 2887 (Mobile)
Website

Check Rate on Agoda Check Rate on Booking.com

5. Where to eat:

As much as we’d like to lie around all day and photosynthesize in the sun, biological needs can’t be ignored.

While there are admittedly not a lot of dining choices you can find here (most of the restaurants are all within resorts), rest assured, for it’s quality over quantity. Here are some unique dining/drinking spots where you can fill your bellies up in Belitung!

5-1. Experience Belitung’s finest seafood on the beach – Sahang Beachfront Cafe & Resto

Part of the Arumdalu resort, Sahang Beachfront Cafe & Resto sits on the beachfront in South Belitung. This area is known for the freshest seafood on the island, which mean your tastebuds are in for a treat!

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Photo via alfonst, elisa eliz

Sahang Beachfront Cafe & Resto combines freshly-caught seafood, edible wild plants and their own organic farm products to create unique international dishes. Don’t miss out on the famous Zori-ebi slipper prawn, and the Japanese-inspired Kaiseki Bird in a Cage! There’s also the signature Arumdalu mocktail, which is made with handpicked ingredients from the resort’s organic farm.

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Photo via arumdaluresort

Are the dishes that we’ve mentioned already whetting your appetite? Well, this restaurant may be big on the food, but it’s not all just about eating here. If you favour atmosphere, this beachfront restaurant may have exactly what you’re looking for. Although the restaurant’s scenic location is already prime for a romantic dinner, you can also request for a private dinner setup to surprise your loved one!

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If seafood isn’t really your thing, fret not – Sahang Beachfront Cafe & Resto offers a variety of international, Chinese and local cuisine, so there’ll always be something for everyone.

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Photo via 27vakantiedagen

Sahang Beachfront Cafe & Resto

Address: Jl. Batu Lubang 33452, Membalong, Belitung Island, Indonesia
Opening hours: 8am – 7pm
Price: USD $26 – USD $30 per pax
Contact: +62 81927607626

Website

5-2. Have a taste of traditional local coffee – Warung Kupi Kuli

This traditional coffee shop is situated within Museum Kata Andrea Hirata – the perfect pick-me-up when you’re tired from all the reading.

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Photo by abi 85

The aged wooden building and its wooden stools and tables create a vintage atmosphere, which is complemented by some of the tastiest local coffee around and a fried banana or two. You’ll even get to watch the whole process of traditional coffee-making!

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Photo by Steven Edwin, rudierha, r djangkaru

If you really love the taste of this coffee, you can also choose to buy it packaged in lovely little bottles. We’d say that it would be a great souvenir if this is your last stop, but we fear you’ll end up drinking it all before you even step out of the museum.

Warung Kupi Kuli

Address: 10 Jalan Laskar Pelangi | Gantung, Belitung Island 33462, Indonesia
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm
Price: IDR $5,000 (USD $0.40) per cup

5-3. Have a relaxing meal on a private beach – Kampong Dedaun

A short 5-min drive away from Tanjung Tinggi beach, Kampong Dedaun offers a local fine-dining experience, along with the comfort of a private beach.

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Photo by fidomfs,anggapermadi 

Here’s where you can laze away in a lounge chair right on the beach, watching the waves crash soothingly onto the shore. Or, you could (or should) try out their seafood dishes, including the Gangan Ketarap, Kampong Dedaun’s signature fish head soup dish.

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Photo by er.pertiwi

Good food, good views, what else could you possibly need? If your answer is fun… Kampong Dedaun has that too. Bicycles are provided for you to burn off those calories, and you can even kayak or play with fireworks on the beach!

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Photo by evasilviana 2

How’s that for a wholesome meal?

Kampong Dedaun

Address: Jalan Tanjung Pandan – Tanjung Kelayang, Sijuk, Kabupaten Belitung, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, Indonesia
Opening hours: Fridays to Sundays, 10am – 6pm
Price:
Contact: +62 812-7847-9677

Website

5-4. Sing, eat and jam to live music – Unique Bistro

Since you’re here in Belitung, why not meet some locals and have a smashing time together? If that sounds like your type of fun, Unique Bistro might be your ideal dinner choice.

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This open-air beach restaurant is where everyone hip gathers for a fun time. Local bands jam out here starting from 8pm, but if you’ll prefer to sing yourself, the bistro also has karaoke available for its guests.

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Unique Bistro is much raved about for the great coffee that it serves (from legendary coffee maker Kong Djie), as well as its selection of yummy and cheap Indonesian dishes. For those of you who tend to get homesick, a series of Western dishes, such as fries, french toast and calamari rings are also part of the restaurant’s menu.

Better yet, you’ll get to enjoy all these to a great view of the beach and the sun as it goes down. And after the sun sets, well, it’s only time for more partying!

Unique Bistro

Address: Tanjung Pendam, Tanjung Pandan, Belitung Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands, Indonesia
Opening hours: 11am – 11pm (opens from 4pm during Ramadan period)
Price: IDR $15,000 – IDR $40,000 (USD $1.13 – USD $3)
Contact: +62 877-8874-4666

Website

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Now that we’ve got everything down pat, all there’s left to do is to pack your bags for next weekend! If you’d really like to avoid the weekend crowd, you can even opt for taking leave during the weekdays. Or, we don’t know, you could go take an MC…

You didn’t hear that from us.

Are there any more fun things in Belitung that we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments below!

*Edit: Thank you to those who informed us of the dangers of picking up starfishes for photos!

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