Belitung Island of Indonesia lies on the east coast of Sumatra and it’s an hour’s flight away from Jakarta. The island became famous because of a blockbuster Indonesian film – “Laskar Pelangi”, or Rainbow Troops, adapted from the same-titled novel by Andrea Hirata. In this Belitung itinerary, you will find information on how to get around, places to go, things to do, accommodation information and a cost breakdown of the trip (at the bottom of the post) if you were to travel to Belitung for 5 days.
Belitung Island is segregated into East and West Belitung, with Tanjung Pandan being the biggest town located at West Belitung. The concept is important to know when you are talking to the locals because to them, there is no south or north Belitung. Even if you are referring to somewhere located geographically to the south, it is still referred to East or West Belitung, depending on which side it belongs too. It caused a bit of confusion for us when talking to the driver, as he insisted that there is no such thing as South Belitung.
Besides the obvious popular island hopping, there are also plenty of land activities to do such as visiting the Kata Museum Andrea Hirata, getting acquainted with the town’s tin mining history, or getting a cup of local coffee brewed using beans grown on Belitung Island. Mangaar city located at East Belitung is particularly well-known for its coffee shops, but you’ll see many coffee shops in Tanjung Pandan as well. Three notable local cafes to note are :
1. Waroeng Kopi Ake – the town’s oldest cafe that’s more than 100 years old and it’s located in Tanjung Pandan;
2. Kong Dje Coffee – Belitung’s very own chain store cafe that was established since 1943
3. Warong Kopi 1001 in Mangaar that serves local snacks and coffee.
Getting to Belitung Island
Transit in Jakarta to get to Belitung Island. The town that you would arrive on Belitung Island is Tanjng Pandan.
Getting Around the Island
The island does not have any public transportation, so you’ll have to go around by renting a car, renting a moped, or taxi. I found Street Taxi Belitung’s information on wikitravel, which is the most reasonably priced transport service provider so I went with them for my transportation needs during the 5 days (car rental + driver, taxi & boat rental).
5 Days 4 Nights Belitung Itinerary
We flew from Jakarta, so we almost had a full day on day 1 when we arrived. If you are flying from somewhere else and need to transit in Jakarta, you probably won’t have too much time for day 1 and you should adjust your itinerary accordingly.
Day 1 : East Belitung
Mie Belitung Atep, Rumah Keong, Laskar Pelangi Replica School, Pice Dam, Warong Kopi 1001, Pantai Nyiur Melambi, Bukit Samak, Dinner at Lemadang Grill & Seafood.
– Arrival in Belitung Island, check in hotel.
– Eat Belitung Noodles at Mie Belitung Atep, a popular eatery with both locals and visitors. We found it to be so-so, but the stuffed crab shells were fantastic.
– Visit Rumah Keong. “Rumah Keong” means “Snail House”, as the round rattan structures have their resemblance to snails.
– The Laksa Pelangi replica school is just opposite Rumah Keong; we had some fun time playing student and teacher here !
– Visit the Pice Dam. Built in the 1930’s by a Dutch architect, the dam was built to aid tin dredge operation.
– Get coffee at Warong Kopi 1001 in Manggar. The cafe has a huge kettle at the road side that’ll grab everyone’s attention. The interior of the cafe is fun and chic. The coffee here is not your usual latte or cappuccino. Things like honey coffee, cincau coffee and egg coffee will have your curiosity piqued. We tried some desserts too – pisang goreng (which actually looks more like cheese sticks) and “Serabi Belitung”, a coconut pancake with sweet syrup.
– Visit Beach Nyiur Melambi (near Manggar), characterised by its white sands. This beach is different from most of the other beaches in Belitung because others typically have a rocky landscape.
– Visit Bukit Samak (Samak Mountain) near Manggar. Bukit Samak is a great vantage point to see the beach from above. The houses here are either painted with vibrant colors or decorated with murals. There’s a small coffee shop at the village, where you can grab a cuppa and sit at one of the many pavilions at the village.
-Dinner at Lemadang Seafood & Grill at Tanjung Tinggi Beach. If you love seafood, don’t miss this place that serves fresh seafood at a very reasonable price. However, the trip from Manggar to Tanjung Tinggi was really far (2.5 hours drive on small roads), so you might be better off to head straight back to town after Manggar.
**On a side note, my day 1 itinerary was an accidental one. My original itinerary was to go to the “south” of Belitung, visiting Batu Mentas, Pantai Teluk Gembira (Beach), Pantai Panyabong (beach) and Batu Baginda (mountain). Of course at that time I didn’t know that for namesake, there’s no such thing as “South Belitung”. In retrospect, these places belong to West Belitung.
I didn’t do too much research on the places and just mentioned these places to the driver and assumed he would know what to do. The driver took us to Batu Mentas first but we didn’t go in as it seemed to be a bit of a trek to get to the waterfall. It was only then the driver told us it would be too far to get to the other places that are geographically located on the south. Batu Mentas is on West Belitung, but it’s much closer to the East, so we ended up going to the east, Manggar area, on Day 1.
If any of you decide to visit “south”, just take out Batu Mentaus, it should be feasible to visit Pantai Teluk Gembira, Pantai Panyabong and Batu Baginda; and do share with me about your trip if you do !
Day 2 : Island Hopping – Pulau Babi Kecil (Little Pig Island), Pulau Pasir (Sand Island), Pulau Langkuas, Snorkeling near Pulau Langkuas, Lunch at Pulau Kepayang, Pulau Batu Berlayar (Sailing Rocks Island), Pulau Kelayang.
The islands are not very far from each other, just about 10-20 minutes between different islands. The waters here are crystal clear and absolutely stunning !!
Pulau Pasir (Sand Island) is a tiny stretch of sand in the middle of the sea that disappears during high tide.
With its lighthouse being built by the Dutch in 1882, Pulau Lengkuas is the most iconic island among all the islands. You could enter the lighthouse, climb all the way up to the top to see the fabulous surroundings.
Snorkelling near Pulau Lengkuas was also wonderful with plenty of fish and multi-colored corals.
Pulau Babi Kecil ( Little Pig Island ).
Our seafood lunch was on Pulau Kepayang, arranged by our boat service provider at (IDR 110,000, or RM 35 ) per person. The lunch was fresh, fresh, fresh with grilled fish, chili crab, deep fried sotong, kankong vegetable and rice. There’s also a turtle conservation on the island if you wish to visit.
Pulau Batu Berlayar is the “Sailing Rock Island”, named as the huge rocks look like sailing ships from afar.
Pulau Kelayang is an island with a labyrinth of rocks. We squeezed through the gigantic rocks, climbed high and low to explore the island.
Dinner was at Guang Zhou Chinese Restaurant that’s just across the street from BW Belitung Hotel. We were surprised that the food here was comparable to those in Jakarta. I would recommend this restaurant for a good seafood dinner. Oh, and do try the avocado juice here too!
Day 3 : East Belitung
Breakfast at Hanggar 21, Lake Kaolin, Museum Kata, Kampong Ah Hock, Lunch at Rumah Makan Fega by the lake, Open Pit Kelapa Kampit, Sunset at Tanjung Tinggi Beach, Dinner at Guan Zhou Restaurant.
Our breakfast was at Hanggar 21 with Kondjie Coffee. I think the Belitung noodle here is better than the one in Mie Atep Belitung, give it a try if you still have room !
Lake Kaolin and its pristine blue waters.
Museum Kata Andrea Hirata is Indonesia’s first literacy museum. The museum with a 70’s vibe also commemorates the movie “Laskar Pelangi”, in which you will find many pictures and books associated with the movie. Before you even enter the museum, you will be instantly wowed because even the exterior of the museum is artistically painted with murals. Shutterbugs will go crazy as every corner of the museum is so instgrammable ! The cafe within the Museum, “Kupi Kuli” is also worth a try. The entrance fee to the museum is IDR 50,000 (RM 15), and you’ll get a book written by Andrea Hirata written in Indonesian.
Kampong Ahok – It’s the village the former Jakarta governor is from. There’s not really a whole lot of things to there besides a souvenir shop cum restaurant located in a traditional house. Galeri Daunsimpor is another souvenir shop nearby. Both are just down the road from Museum Kata.
Our lunch was at Rumah Makan Fega by the lake which has a lovely ambiance. The fish we had was good but the vegetable had a funny taste.
Open Pit Kelapa Kampit was an active tin mining site in the period of 1906 – 1985. The jade-green lake against the red earth is a beautiful sight to behold. Once you get to a certain point on the road by car, the road is no longer accessible so you’d have to get down and take a short trek (10-15 minutes) to get to the pit.
Sunset at Tanjung Tinggi Beach (unfortunately it was too cloudy on that day).
Day 4 : Chill at Tanjung Tinggi Beach, Dinner at Cafe Kon Djie.
Tanjung Tinggi beach is probably the most beautiful beach on Belitung island. There’s everything you need here for a perfect day out at the beach – beautiful waters, unique rocky landscape, coconut juice and Indo Mee. If you love snorkelling, this would be an ideal beach to go because you don’t have to swim too far out to see pretty corals. Snorkelling gears and rubber boats are available for rent at the beach.
Our dinner at Cafe Kong Dje that’s next to the BW Suite Hotel.
Day 5 : Coffee at Waroeng Kopi Ake, Satam Monument & Home Sweet Home.
Waroeng Kopi ake and Satam Monument are right next two each other. In fact if you want to have a last round of Belitung noodles, Belitung Mie Atep is just right next door too.
You’ll probably come across the black, egg-like monument when you are going around Belitung. The natural stone is considered to be sacred by the locals.
Last by not least, grab a last cup of Belitung coffee from Waroeng Kopi Ake that has been serving coffee at the same location since 100 years ago. Go inside to the far end and check out the metal kettle that they use to brew coffee, the kettles are as old as the coffee shop !
Accommodation / Hotels
We had a chance to stay at three hotels – BW Suite Belitung, Golden Tulip Hotel and Casa Beach Hotel.
BW Suite Belitung – Modern and comfortable rooms. It’s by the beach though the beach is not great for swimming. There are some eateries around the hotel. IDR 800,000 / night (RM 263), inclusive of breakfast.
Golden Tulip Hotel – Modern and contemporary rooms with a lot of eateries nearby. IDR 700,000 / night (RM 230), inclusive of breakfast.
Casa Beach Hotel – the hotel has a lovely Bali vibe with a manicured garden and it’s right next to the beach. It’s located right next door to the BW Suite Hotel. The facilities are old though. IDR 500,000 / night (RM 165), inclusive of breakfast.
Cost Break Down
RM 500 – RM 600 per person (KUL – Jakarta, Jakarta – Belitung). (Ours wast just RM 300 / person as we are already staying in Jakarta so we flew from Jakarta).
Food is not expensive on the island. If you eat at the local kopitiams (“warung”), you can expect RM 5- RM 12 per meal. There are also mid-ranged restaurants such as Rumah Makan Fega that’ll cost RM 15-RM 20 per person. Since you are on an island, you probably wouldn’t want to miss the seafood. Seafood would be around RM 30-RM 40 per person.
There are different types of accommodation on the island to accommodate different needs. You can find hotels in the range of RM 50 – RM 150 per person.
Transportation is high as there is no public transport on the island so you’d have to rent a car, rent a moped, rent boat or call a taxi. Moped rental is cheap but you might also want to think about places that you want to go to because from one end of the island to the other it takes 2 hours to go and another 2 hours to come back by car, it would probably take much longer on a moped.
For Day 1 and Day 3, we rented a car with a driver at IDR 400,000 (RM 130 per day), fuel was not inclusive but it was between IDR100,000 – 200,000.
Boat Rental for Day 2 was IDR500,000 (RM 165 /day). The boat fits up to 10 people. You would also have to take taxi from the hotel to Tanjung Tinggi Beach and back (variable depending on where you stay. Our taxi fee was IDR 370,000 (RM 122). If you have plans to go other places after coming back from island hopping, it would make sense to take the car & driver at IDR 400,000 per day, excluding fuel.
Day 4 Taxi cost was IDR 400,000 (RM 132) to go to Tanjung Tinggi Beach and back. Again, you might consider renting a car with driver if you are staying far away from the beach or if you have other plans after coming back for the beach.
Day 5 Taxi cost was IDR 130,000 (RM 43) to the airport.
If you have 2 person, you can expect to spend RM 1300 – RM 1600 per person.
If you have 4 or more people, you can expect to spend RM 1100 – RM 1400 per person.