The province of Bangka Belitung Islands covers a wide expanse of 81,725,14 square kilometers, comprising some 16,424,14 square kilometers of land and 65,301 square kilometers of water. The province has two main islands, Bangka Island and Belitung Island, as well as 254 surrounding islets along a coastal length of 1,200 square kilometers, and is divided into 7 sub-provinces.
With its splendid archipelagic topography and ecosystem, Bangka Belitung offers excellent marine tourism (diving, scuba, snorkeling, fishing and sailing). There are about 55 Chinese or Buddhist temples on Bangka alone that are still in use. The Chinese ethnicity make up at least 20% of the population of Bangka Belitung, the majority of who are direct descendants of the coolies brought in from mainland China to work the tin mines. The oldest temple is located at Batu Rusa, a village along the road from Pangkalpinang to Sungai Liat. A beautifully decorated temple is found near Tayu in the north of Bangka Island.
Chinese influenced architecture and Traditional House
Tanjung Pandan is the capital of Bangka Belitung province. It consists of lowlands and areas of swampland. The central area is a range of hills some 150-200 meters high above the sea level. It is the second biggest tin producer in Indonesia.
Accomodation in Bangka Belitung
Belitung Island has remained unspoilt. Getting there is quite an adventure and it is advisable that visitors come prepared, bringing personal gear and necessities.
Huge Stone of Tanjung Tinggi Beach
Tanjung Tinggi Beach is one of the popular beaches in Belitung Island. This beach is known for its gorgeous white sandy beach with huge granite rocks piled at the beach. It is quite disappointing that nobody knows about how these huge and hard stones could be there.
The Giant granite stones in Babel’s beach
The size of the granite rock scattering in this beach starts from only one digit cubic meters to hundreds of cubic meters which are bigger than a house construction. Tourist can climb the granites, walk and jump between the stones enjoying exceptional scenery from every angle. These huge stones are also unique in shape; some come in a cave shape that can be used as a shelter during the rains pour from sky.
To enjoy the beauty of the beach along with its huge stones, tourists can visit Tanjung Tinggi Beach using air transportation from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandan, the capital city of Belitung. From Tanjung Pandan, they can have a taxi to get them to this beach and it takes only about 45 minutes.
Manggar is about 90 kilometers from Tanjungpandan. The main economy in Manggar is tin mining. There are many places worth visiting, such as: Serdang Beach, Burung Mandi Beach, Malang Lepau Beach, Pengepangan Beach, Tirta Surya natural swimming pool, Lake Payak, Kwan In Chinese temple.
Matras and Parai Tenggiri Beaches
Matras and Parai Tenggiri Beaches in the northeast of Bangka, 48 kilometers from Pangkal Pinang and 12 kilometers from Sungai Liat. The beach is about 3 kilometers long and almost 30 meters wide. Parai, a beach set between rocky outcrops, is an ideal location for relaxing and swimming. The local fishermen’s vessels moored here after a hard day’s fishing gives the beach a truly picturesque feel of a fishing village.
Mount Benumbing is a 355 meters high hill in the neighborhood of Mentok (northwest Bangka), which is a witness to the history of the Indonesia’s struggle for independence. A guesthouse, built here by the Dutch in 1932, housed the nation’s first President Soekarno and VicePresident Hatta during their imprisonment from February to July of 1949.
Remodong Beach in the north part of Bangka Island is a favorite place to enjoy beautiful sunset. Tourist facilities are also available on this beach.
The name Bangka is derived from the word ‘wangka’, meaning tin. This word was also found in a Sriwijayan stone inscription dated 686 A.D. discovered near the town of Kota Kapur in west Bangka. Today, this inscription is kept in the National Museum in Jakarta. Bangka is Indonesia’s primary tin producer and also well-known for its white pepper. The group of islands making up the Bangka Belitung Province is located close to the equator at 1° 30’ to 3° 07’ latitude and 105° to 107’ longitude east.