Indonesia – Belitung, exploring the East

15/09/16

For our last day in Belitung we hired a car to explore the East coast of Belitung, we had been told it’s very nice there so thought it was worth checking out.
We hired the car from our hotel for 250,000rp, no insurance or driver’s license needed ha. They just handed over the key and we were off. The road was relatively clear and were in really good condition so it was a comfortable ride, and it took us around 1 hour to get to Manggar.

At Manggar, we drove round a little bit and noticed kopi after kopi shop. Seems to be a popular drink out here, a shame I don’t drink coffee! We ended up eating at the first place we found which was a siao mai chinese restaurant. I had some nice dumplings and noodles. We then went to the nearest beach, Serang, which was next to Badu village. I really loved the feel of this village, it was so small and sleepy, and the houses were all brightly coloured. It really felt like the Caribbean here.  The beach had a load of seafood warung and many colourful fishing boats, I really loved looking at all the detail on each boat. Here I sat down on a swing I found and enjoyed some mango I had bought earlier, overlooking the sea. There were some local lads here who wanted to get drunk on top of a viewing point, which made me laugh as I was thinking about how they’d get back down again. I then saw a fisherman come back from his trip and checked out what he’d caught, in two hours he’d managed to catch 9kgs worth of fish and huge ones at that! I was so impressed.

The next beach was Olivier or Olie Pier, not sure what the name really was as I had conflicting information. We had to drive down a dirt path for a couple minutes and then came out to a small field with cows. Once parked up we went to have a look at the old pier, where a guy was fishing. This pier had crumbled away but the locals had put on bamboo and planks of wood so you could go out far to fish. Rudy decided to walk along it, I played it safe and watched when I saw all the rocks underneath the wood. It seemed to be a scary walk and the planks of wood did not seem stable at all! He made it back in one piece though which was good.

Across from the pier there was a bit of beach which we relaxed at but we didn’t stay long as the water was rising quite quick. Here it seemed that the sea had worn away the bank and all the trees which used to sit at the top were now lying down on the beach dying, we had gone from rocks to trees on the beach.

The final beach was a quick 10min drive away and at first we found a kopi cafe which had really cute tables and chairs overlooking the sea. From there we saw the actual beach and drove round a village to get there. Here it seems much poorer and the houses have corrugated iron for roofs. The beach had some warung but they all seemed closed, it was more of a community area with nets for sports and places to chill, I don’t think they get many tourists here at all. We ended up playing pictionary in the sand for a while which was fun.

I then drove us to Gantung which took around 30mins, again the roads were really nice to drive on. At Gantung there is a famous school which featured in an Indonesian film, but to be honest I hadn’t seen the film or knew anything about it so I didn’t try to find it… Other than that there was nothing else to see so we just drove further south to try and catch the sunset.

At the final stop I needed the toilet and the guy in the local shop let me use his, it was literally a hole above the sea with some branches of wood tied together to make the floor. It was an experience for sure. Again there was another pier here which had thicker planks of wood to walk on but it still looked a little unstable so me to be confident enough to walk across. It was really pretty in the sunset though and I’m glad we made it there to see.
Beach wise I would say Tengigi is the prettiest but I’m glad I saw the East coast even if it wasn’t as pretty or as much to do..

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