The highlight of my long weekend in Belitung was island hopping and snorkelling off Pantai Tanjung Kelayang for the day. The weather in Belitung is very much like Singapore, hot and humid, and it is easy to get sunburnt. My friends and I lathered ourselves with sunscreen early in the morning, before enjoying a light breakfast at our beachside Santika Hotel. Although Belitung is a former Indonesian mining island, originally named after the toxic PHB Billiton company, nowadays it is trying to reinvent itself as a tourist hot spot. Sprigs of colourful yellow and red baby blooms danced in the breeze along the hotel’s perimeter as we finished our brekkie.
There is an old biblical saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life,” which is a wise and heartfelt philosophy. That is, until you become the subject of such efforts! On my recent holiday to Belitung, our tour guide made us learn how to fish and farm for our supper with disastrous results.
I visited the Taman Wisata Batu Mentas on day two of my long weekend to Belitung. The visit was a unique way to experience the island’s natural habitat and taste locally prepared food. We also got to check-out some really unique houses constructed from water bottles. However, don’t set your expectatons too high if you plan to visit here. You may be disappointed.
This September, I embarked on a mini three-day adventure with a great group of women to Belitung Island in Indonesia. Belitung is not a popular tourist destination and I was curious to discover an island not yet spoilt by the hoards of water bottle people. Whilst I admit there was not a smashed avocado on toast in sight on the island, by the end of the trip I realised that Belitong is probably too undeveloped for my liking.