I have always wanted to visit Belitung Island even before it became popular because of the movie "Laskar Pelangi".
I really did not know what to expect of this island, I have seen some photos and videos on the net but not enough info about it.
So here I'm gonna tell you some things about this place.
The easiest way in my opinion to get to Belitung Island is by plane from Jakarta, it takes around 45 minutes.
We went by Garuda Airlines, the plane was pretty small... almost like a private jet. A private jet not for the super rich that is, no first class, only economy class.... no champagne only bottle water, no expensive cheese & crackers only Lumpia.
And the plane is so small the passengers have to smell each others' fart.
The things that I hate the most when traveling in Indonesia is the people throw rubbish everywhere, I hate it as much I hate hipsters, ISIS & Bieber!
After spending a few days in Jakarta & Lampung, Belitung was quite impressive! It was quite & clean, I could tell that the locals dispose their rubbish properly. Only in tourist areas we saw some rubbish, I'm guessing the tourists from other places threw rubbish everywhere. Dumb asses have no respect for the place at all. I hate them!
Anyway, Belitung is not a big island, I think you can go around the Island by car in a day or less.
There's not much to see here, not much tradition either unlike Bali which is full of traditions.
The city itself is quite small, the first 3 nights we stayed right in the city in Billition Hotel & Klub which was fantastic because the staffs were very friendly & helpful.
Not sure if we went on the off peak season but it was very quite, most of the tourists we saw were domestic (Indonesian) tourists (the ones that throw their rubbish anywhere they please), the whole 5 days we were there I'd say we saw less than 10 International tourists.
We hired a car & driver on the 2nd day, he took us to East Belitung. What a waste of a day! Not much there, we went to Laskar Pelangi school replica & the house of Ahok (the current
Governor of Jakarta) where we actually met his mum which was quite cool.
Just like other places in the world, some parts of Belitung are ruined by the mining industry, the driver took us to one of the mining place... maybe he thought it was a cool place because the water is glowing bright blue, it just doesn't look right to me.... reminds me of the Toxic Avenger's Pee.
The best things to do in Belitung is the small islands and the beaches.
Snorkeling by Lengkuas Island is absolutely a must while you are there, the water is very clean, many species of fish and the corals are beautiful.
To go to these islands, you need to hire a boat for Rp. 500,000 (around AUD$50)/day.
If you are staying at the Lor In Hotel Belitung, the staff can organize a boat for you and if you stay somewhere else ask your driver to organize it for you, so it will cost you more because you
have to pay for car hire as well.
The thing about Lor In Hotel, it is far from shops and restaurant. Also the food in the hotel is not so good.
The hotel itself is poorly managed, I can see the staffs are quite good and try their best but I don't see anyone managed them.
Right across from Lor In Hotel is The Lorin beach... which was only few steps away from our hotel room.
From The Lor In Hotel you can walk for around 30 minutes or drive for few minutes to North East direction to Tanjung Tinggi Beach (one of the locations of Laskar Pelangi).
Tanjung Tinggi Beach is quite beautiful but a lot of mosquitoes there so be prepared with a lot of mosquito repellent, I used the one I brought from Sydney, it's not good enough, maybe the ones from Indonesia work better.
Tanjung Tinggi beach is quite popular, a lot of people there.... well, not crowded like Kuta/Legian/Bondi beach but there were some people, unlike Lor In beach was like our own private beach.
There's restaurant by Tanjung Tinggi Beach that I like: Lemadang Seafood & grill. I like it because it's clean and no flies like other restaurants in Belitung.
I've been to Bali dozens of times and never got a Bali belly, Belitung gave me the runs! Once I almost pooped in my pants while in a Buddhist temple.