Indonesia – Belitung Island, South of Tanjung Pandan

13/09/16

We decided to switch it up and head south to see what was on offer there. On the Indonesian Tourism site there was an island called Leebong, so we decided to try it out.

The journey South was a little sandy but empty roads and with pretty coastal scenery. It didn’t take long to get to the southern port where we asked around to find out where we got the boat. As they told us the captain was at a warung down the road we decided to also visit a warung for lunch. Unfortunately in the immediate surrounding area there were no restaurans, but when we drove down the other port there were many places for the truck drivers to eat. I ended up eating some ayam bakso which was chicken dumplings in noodle soup. The chicken balls were a bit undercooked so I didn’t eat it all, but at 15,000rp I really can’t complain.

We then headed back to the main port and there were a new bunch of people waiting for the boat to take them home to their island. These locals were super friendly and we ended up buying everyone an es doger and enjoyed them together. The es doger is like strawberry milkshake in a ton of ice with some grass jelly and other bits thrown in, at 5000rp we were cool in buying the round.

I do feel a bit like a mini celebrity here as there are no foreign tourists, most if not all are Indonesian tourists. They all want to either smile and practise English or they are completely shy and shocked to see us. Either way everyone is incredibly friendly, not one person has been rude. I really enjoyed sitting with everyone waiting for the boat even if we couldn’t speak to each other.

Once I had finished my es doger I decided to look up Leebong island on my phone and then it dawned on me that it was a private island and we were supposed to ask permission to visit! Oops! I thought then maybe I could visit another island and asked again when the boat was leaving and they told me 2pm, and we wouldn’t be able to get a boat back on the same day. Disaster! So we left the boat port, still in high spirits as we enjoyed sitting with the locals.

What made the day was on our way back to Tanjung Pandan I saw the coast on my left and some small paths that lead to the beach. I ended up on the secluded beach which had amazing calm water and nice white sand. It was ideal! I lazed in the water for the rest of the day and left just before all the bugs would come out. Pure bliss.

For dinner I went onto Tanjung Pandan beach where I think you are supposed to pay entry but being silly foreigners got away with not paying. There are many restaurants here and some have bars and some have stages fo bands, it must be really busy at the weekends. At the other side of the beach there are a ton of food stalls and the cars with lights on like in Yogyakarta but less flashy. The food was good here and around 30,000rp for a dish. They were happy to see people from England too.

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