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Bangka-Belitung

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Bangka-Belitung, cutely abbreviated Babel, is a province in Indonesia consisting of the islands of Bangka and Belitung (Billiton), just off the south-eastern coast of Sumatra.

Regions

The province is divided into seven regencies:

Cities

The only cities worth mentioning are

Other destinations

Belinyu, Jebus, Sungai Selan, Batu Rusa.

Understand

Belitung has some of the nicest beaches in Southeast Asia. Beautiful white sand edging turquoise calm seas and a nice long dry season of sunny skis. Go now so you can be one of those who visited it before it got ruined. Downtowns are full of well preserved Dutch colonial buildings. Bangka and Belitung serve as relaxing weekend breaks for office-goers in Jakarta and Palembang.

Get in

By plane

Both Pangkal Pinang (Bangka) and Tanjung Pandan (Belitung) are well connected to the rest of Indonesia by air. There are frequent flights to Jakarta and a few to Palembang (Sriwijaya Air) and Batam (Riau Airlines).

By ferry

There are daily slow overnight ferries (~11 hours) and fast Bahari Express hydrofoils several times a day (~3 hours) from Palembang to Mentok, on the western side of Bangka.

PELNI's giant ferries visit the island about once every two weeks, running either from Jakarta to Bangka and onward to Batam, or from Jakarta to Belitung and across to Pontianak in Sumatra. The Jakarta-Bangka leg takes about 24 hours.

Get around

Local transportation is shabby at best and it would be advisable to either rent a car or a motorcycle.

Bahari hydrofoils travel between Pangkal Pinang on Bangka and Tanjung Pandan on Belitung daily (~4 hours). Flights between the two are on and off, enquire locally.

See

The main attraction of these islands are the lovely, long, clean and tout-free beaches, with crystal clear and surprisingly calm turquoise blue seawater. This makes for fantastic swimming diving, snorkeling and sun bathing. The sand is very fine, clean and brillant white. Numerous island just off shore (some can be reached by swimming) make for great day trips and views. One small island off Belitung houses a 18 story Dutch lighthouse built in 1889 that can be climbed.

The society's cultures are dominated by Malay and Hakka Chinese. Large numbers of Bugis and Javanese also live here. The Chinese, Bugis and Javanese we're all brought there as contract labourers by the Dutch to mine tin and help domestically. The tin mining used giant dredging boats, that is one reason for the large population of, normally seafaring, Bugis people. Their are also some Balinese kampongs and Madurese villages, moved there in Suharto era transmigration plans.

Itineraries

Both Bangka and Belitung offer similar experiences for the tourist, but Belitung is considerably more laid back of the two. At Tanjung Kelayang in Belitung, Kelayang Beach Cottages can arrange tours both inland and on the water.

Stay safe

Hotel Mitra. Jl.Mentok No 3 Pangkalpinang. Phone 62-717-439071. Fax. 62-717-424265 Kelayang Beach Cottages, Kelayang Beach Belitung Phone 62-81-929 798420

Related Information




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