Bangka Belitung Island Travel Guide, Hotels, & Best Things To Do
Bangka Belitung is a pair of tropical islands in Indonesia, and the smaller one (Belitung) is becoming famous for its incredible scenery.
Belitung island is roughly the same size as Bali, and just like Bali it has so many amazing things to see and do. We spent two weeks here and were blown away by the picture perfect islands and white sand beaches with granite boulders. This is island hopping paradise at its best.
This Belitung travel guide will explain how to get there, where to stay, all the best things to do, and everything else you need to know before you go!
Where Is It?
The Bangka Belitung islands are two islands (‘Bangka’ and ‘Belitung’) located just off the east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Belitung (also known as ‘Belitong’ by the locals) is the smaller island of the two, and it’s surrounded by lots of tiny islands and granite rock formations, making it pretty much heaven for island hopping boat tours!
How To Get There
The Bangka Belitung islands can be reached by air or ferry.
Generally the best way to get to Belitung island is to take a flight into the main city of Tanjung Pandan (TJQ).
Non-stop flights are available from Jakarta (CGK) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL), with one way prices as low as 425k IDR (~$30 USD) and a flight time of only 1-2 hours respectively.
How To Get Around
The roads on Belitung are in great shape, and traffic is surprisingly light. We normally don’t travel by scooter, but when we saw how open the roads were on Belitung island we couldn’t help ourselves!
If you need a private airport transfer by car, those can be booked on Klook for as low as 90k IDR (~$6 USD). In the city, short trips can be done with Grab or GoJek.
Where To Stay In Belitung
Best Things To Do In Belitung
• Island Hopping Tour
There are lots of great things to do in Belitung, but by far the best is the island hopping boat tour in northwest Belitung.
You’ll see perfect white sand beaches, turquoise water, rocky granite islands, underwater coral reefs, and even a Dutch lighthouse from the 1800s.
Do not leave Bangka Belitung without doing a couple boat tours!
More info: Belitung Island Hopping Tour
• Tanjung Tinggi Beach
Possibly the most photogenic beach in Bangka Belitung, with perfect blue-green water and giant boulders. It’s a good sunset spot too.
Tanjung Tinggi can be reached with a 30 minute drive from town.
More info: Tanjung Tinggi Beach
• Tanjung Pendam Beach
This is the main beach in Belitung, and it sits right on the edge of Tanjung Pandan city.
It’s a great beach for watching the sunset!
More info: Tanjung Pendam Beach
• Batu Baginda
This was one of my favorite experiences in Bangka Belitung.
Batu Baginda is a short (but moderate) hike that takes you to the top of an absolutely massive boulder, where you have views of the whole southern half of Belitung island on one side, and the Java Sea on the other.
Better yet, if you have a drone, you can take some aerial selfies to see how tiny you look on top of the boulders!
More info: Batu Baginda Hike
• Kaolin Lake
This is a bright turquoise mineral lake that’s still being mined today. It’s a unique landscape that makes for some great photos.
The lake is easy to reach since it’s only a short distance from Tanjung Pandan city.
• Balancing Rock
This is a giant balancing granite boulder that’s not too far from Tanjung Tinggi Beach.
From the road, it’s just a short 10 minute hike to reach the rock, and at the top you get views of the surrounding countryside too.
• Bukit Peramun
Jungles and hills, with giant boulders, banyan trees, caves, and tarsius sightings.
If that sounds like fun, Bukit Peramun is your thing. This is a dense jungle where you can go trekking and see Indonesian wildlife.
• Penyabong Beach
This is a secluded beach in southwest Belitung, about 1.5 hours from Tanjung Pandan.
Penyabong Beach has nice white sand and no crowds, but sadly trash has built up here over the years. Please don’t drop anything here. If you can pick some up on your way out, that’s even better.
More info: Penyabong Beach
• Serdang Beach
This is a nice white sand beach with colorful boats, on the east coast of Belitung.
Sadly, there’s a lot of trash at this beach. Please don’t drop anything here. If you can pick up some trash on your way out, that’s even better.
More info: Serdang Beach
• Bukit Berahu Beach
This is a small beach with cottages and a resort at the top of the hill.
It’s near the main road, so you can easily stop here on the way to other sights like Tanjung Tinggi Beach.
Best Belitung Restaurants
The Belitung restaurant scene is still a work in progress, but here are some good options we found:
- What’s Up Cafe: Great food and good atmosphere. We ate here almost every day. Portions are a little small, but the prices are fair enough. They have indoor and outdoor seating, A/C, good WiFi, and take cash or card for payment.
- Tarsius Coffee: Nice little cafe across the street from Tanjung Pendam Beach. Good place to work, with fast WiFi and lots of power outlets.
- Warung Bizza: The only hand made Italian wood fired pizza joint in Belitung.
- La Terase: Local Belitung food with a modern presentation. Super close to Tanjung Pendam Beach.
- KFC: If you’re itching for familiar food, Belitung does have it. Just throwing that out there. We ordered KFC on the GoJek app one evening when we were too tired to eat out.
- Credit Cards: Hit and miss. Some hotels and restaurants accept cards, but keep cash handy just in case.
- ATM: There are plenty of ATMs in Tanjung Pandan with good withdrawal limits. Foreign cards work fine.
- WiFi: Hotels in Tanjung Pandan generally have decent WiFi. This is quickly improving.
- Cell Service: Local SIM cards have good reception in Tanjung Pandan and elsewhere on the island.
- Apps: Grab and GoJek are both available in Tanjung Pandan. You can use these for food delivery or short rides.
Is Belitung Safe?
Yes! We spent weeks here and I’d say it’s a very safe place.
Indonesia is a low crime country in general. Do be sure to wear mosquito spray when out and about, because parts of Sumatra (including Belitung) are known to have Dengue and possibly Malaria.
With that said, we got more than two dozen bites each on our trip and never got sick with anything, so neither are exactly rampant.
Belitung Private Driver & Motorbike Rental
If you want to explore Belitung in the comfort and safety of a private car with a driver, my top recommendation would be Klook.
Their price is 540k IDR ($35 USD) for a full day of driving and sightseeing in Belitung (up to 12 hours) for 1-6 passengers. That's the total price for the whole car + driver + petrol! It's a steal.
If you'd rather travel by motorbike, they have that too. Their scooter rentals start at 70k IDR (~$5) and include 2 helmets and pickup in Tanjung Pandan city.
We've used Klook for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they're great! Highly recommended.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Bangka Belitung is from April to September.
This is Indonesia’s dry season, so it’s less rainy, with more sun, smoother seas, and better snorkeling visibility.
Months to avoid are November to January, when there’s a lot more rain. If you have to go in the rainy season, give yourself some extra days as a buffer in case of bad weather.
How Long To Stay
You can see the top highlights of Belitung island in 3 or 4 days.
With that said, the weather in Belitung can be unpredictable, so I’d give yourself some extra days as a rain buffer.
Our Belitung Video
Last but not least, here’s a 4K Belitung drone video from our trip to get you excited about experiencing everything this island has to offer.