The first part of our story to the magnificent island in Indonesia called Belitung.
The Plan. Another trip with my family! There’s another long weekend and my family has planned to join my-mom’s-high-school-friends trip to Pulau Pramuka. But exactly one week before the day, we’re told that our homestay will be booked by Jokowi for “penghitungan suara”. What? Okelahkalobegitu.
Right after the semenamena cancellation of our trip to Pramuka, I googled for another trip at early morning in the office (while I supposed to be working). I just randomly google ‘open trip 18-20 april’ without knowing where to go. After 5 minutes browsing and opening travel websites to travel websites, I found that Belitung is really interesting place to go. Then I continue searching about the flight ticket price. No promo ticket, and no cheap ticket left (as I expect since it’s 1 week left, on a long weekend, peak season).
*There are several airlines choice to Belitung. You must search destination to Tanjung Pandan (TJQ) if you want to go to Belitung. From the cheapest: Citilink (1 time a day, early morning), Sriwijaya (4 times a day), Lion Air (3 times a day), Garuda. The price range from (in Rupiah) 400K to 1500K.
I posted my search results in my family group “Let’s go to Belitung next weekend”. After some discussion, and they agreed with the schedule and flight price, I bought the ticket the day after. And directly continue to search for the travel agent (funny things here, I found my college friends travel agent wisatagunung.com owned by Adi Setiadi, they also have an open trip to Belitung on the exact same date). I booked the travel agent the day after I bought the ticket.
*There are a lot of choices for travel agent in Belitung that offer similar package. For the package, you can choose between: Laskar Pelangi package, Photography package, Beach & Island package, Honeymoon package. The difference between every package is only on the destination places. Please make sure that the package offered already include all the things you need in Belitung (Accommodation -hotel, car, boat-, food) and check are the itinerary scheduled as you want.
I did research about the places and all activities we can do at Belitung. And as my mom have been there before, I also ask her about several things. And after that, voila! I’m confident enough with the itinerary :-p
*The itinerary that you found on Google is standard. You can use them as a standard for your own itinerary. My tips: try to collect as many itinerary on google as you can, compare one to another, google the places name that unfamiliar -if there’s a conflict schedule from several itinerary, choose which one is more interesting for you (but still estimate about the time)-.
The day. We still can enjoy the holiday by woke up late because our flight is at 12PM. We’re heading to airport at 9AM and arrive at 10AM. Way too early :)) We chose to wait at Red Corner in Terminal 1A. It’s a nice place to wait for the flight. There are several restaurants (Padang, Siomay, Rawon, etc), Indomaret, and Beard Papa’s (this one is dangerous for my wallet :-P).
We have a noon flight, and only given biscuit for our snacks ._. Still, alhamdulillah. Thank you Sriwijaya…
Arrived safely at Hanandjoeddin airport around 1.30PM, our guide from the travel agent (Mas Jun) texted that he’s already waiting outside. So it supposed to be 6 people in our group (3 from my family, 3 strangers), but he said that 2 didn’t get ticket and 1 didn’t send him any news. We decided to left them all and heading to the hotel (sorry, guys).
Mendanau Hotel. A Melati-class Hotel near Tanjung Pandan Fish Market. 225K for a room per night!! The room? Don’t expect too much :)) 3 beds, a bathroom with squat closet and bucket with water dipper, a television, and aircon. Enough for us since we will only shower and sleep in here.
After done pray zuhur, we are ready to explore belitung day 1! But when I arrived at the lobby, there’s this situation: our guide, the hotel receptionist, and a “bule” trying to communicate with a body language and their own language. They don’t get each other. I walked to the receptionist desk, and tried my best to help. After talked with her, I found out that she was searching a car/”ojeg” and a guide to guide her around Belitung. I offered her to join us. And she was sooo happy (I can see it in her face and she said alhamdulillah). After negotiate about how much she must pay the guide, we’re going to Tanjung Tinggi beach! The famous beach where Laskar Pelangi movie filmed. (Before that, we have lunch at a restaurant where I order Orange Juice and I get (kind of) slurpee orange lol).
Melody Sabooki. As we will be together for 3 days, I was trying to get close with her. I always interested about why a bule choose Indonesia. On her version, she want to live in a country that have many Moslems, it’s between Thailand or Indonesia at first, and finally she choose here and enjoy it here so far (I hope I get it right ya Mel :-P). So, she is from the states. California. She is in Indonesia for teaching English at EF. She lives in Kalimalang! (Pondok Kelapa to be exact). She just went to Metropolitan Mall the night before she went to Belitung. What a small world… And she is a Moslem 🙂 her parents is from middle east (Persia). She’s so nice and so excited about our journey here in Belitung.
Tanjung Tinggi. While we arrived, the clouds were covering the sky. A little bit sad 😦 We took photo on the monument (lol what’s this thing called idk) written “The Film Site of Laskar Pelangi”. The weather was not really good, but when I reached the beach, I was speechless with the rocks view! It’s amazing how this rocks can be here! It stacked beautifully. Masya Allaah. I didn’t take a lot of pictures here, because I was amazed by the view. And Ryan was so excited that he climbed the rocks until the very top! I really want to did that too, but Mom looked at me with no-you-cannot-go-there eyes… The water was soooo clear. The gradation color of the sea was beautiful. Then we walked to the place where the crowd are spending their time. The beach. It’s wide, and not too crowded. It’s clean, no trash on the beach. Ryan suddenly ran along the shoreline happily whilst capturing moment. The weather was really good for swimming (cloudy, not too hot), but I didn’t prepare for that because our swimming time is going to be tomorrow. It’s okay since I really enjoyed the view, the rocks, the crowd activities (children making castle sands -and it’s pretty-, a family teaching their little son to swim, kids running over each other, etc), and we ended up buying Rujak! Alhamdulillah.
Tanjung Kelayang. Mas Jun said “There’s no schedule to go to this beach, but let me take you there”. Yeah, we’re on our kind of private trip since it’s only 4 of us, so Mas Jun lets us choose about where to go and what to do next (although we still need his guide along the way). He said, this beach was used to held a sailing competition back in 2011, so it was renovated (in a very good way). Stepped out the car, looked to the sea, me with my brother suddenly ran to the beach! OMG! The sands was sooo soft like flours and sooo white like a powder! We’re so excited. The weather was not as cloudy as in Tanjung Tinggi (although the distance is only 5 minutes by car, yea this is an island, no rule for weather lol). There were still a lot of rocks view. Rocks everywhere on Belitung beaches. They’re all beautiful. This island just beyond beauty. Allah choose this island to have that rocks and drop-stack-arrange it amazingly. We cannot spend a lot of time here because we need to rush to Tanjung Pendem to catch the sun set! Thank You Allah for this beautiful view and stunning beach.
Tanjung Pendem. It’s like Ancol. Period. The beach, the trash, the crowd. Cabe-cabean? You can find a lot in here (not including me ya). So we were just took a spot to sit, enjoying the weather, listening to my favorite music -ocean breeze-, taking photos, using the monopod (tongsis) for the first and last time -not really useful for us-, waiting the sun to be set in the west. Allah is beautiful. The sun set experience I have never get before. At 5.45PM it was not too cloudy so we still can see the sun fully round. When it’s ready to be set, the other end is cloudy. But it was a shaped cloud. It shaped like a rabbit! Mom said it looks like Wayang Gareng. Whatever our interpretation was, it’s beautiful. 6PM, Mas Jun told us to move to our dinner place (still located in this beach). While waiting for our fish, we took a spot near the shoreline to watch the sun set from different angle. And this time, we saw a dinosaur shaped cloud!! It was so beautiful. Allah is beautiful 🙂 After it went dark, we moved to the restaurant beside the sea and enjoyed our dinner: grilled fish and kangkung!
Day 1 ends here. Mas Jun took us back to the hotel, before we enter the hotel he said “I will wait you at lobby hotel at 8PM, after you shower and pray. We can talk and play card together”. Aww that’s sweet, Mas. But we’re really tired and since we will have a full day on the ocean tomorrow, we choose to sleep and leave him alone that night 😛
Mas Jun. He was given an itinerary by the travel agent and really obey to schedule! He is from Karimun Jawa (which I really excited since it will be my next destination to go next month!), so basically he is a Javanese. He lives here for 5 years, doing tin mining. It was his first time being a tour guide… (that leave me speechless for a moment). But he’s doing it great! 🙂
P.S. I’m writing this at our flight home after it delayed about 3 hours -.- and they only gave us a bread! I have a window seat, and my current view outside the plane’s window is beyond amazing. It’s sooo pretty with the sun going to set. We’re heading south, my seat is on the right wing, perfect place. The sun reflection on the sea is really beautiful. Subhanallaah. I can see the ocean waves make a pattern whilst lighted by the sun. It’s so pretty! Too bad my phone and camera can’t take this beautiful view. But my eyes which Allah’s created is able, and I will keep this beautiful view in my memories 🙂