Attractions

Bangka Island, Indonesias Secret Paradise!

bangka island
Written by Town & Tourist

You may have never heard of Banka Island, it’s a secret paradise which lies to the east of Sumatra Island  and does not get the same recognition as places like Lombok or Bali. Is it worth visiting?

Absolutely, here you can find tranquil beaches, shimmering lakes, historic temples and much more!

Even better as the world is yet to know about this place it still attracts relatively few tourists compared to places like Bali. So expect lower prices, (in fact most things to do are free!) and an island paradise to yourself.

Facts about Bangka Island:

  • Bangka Island or Pulau Bangka is next to Balitung Island.
  • Bangka Island has a population of 1.2 million.
  • Bangkas capital is Pangkal Pinang.
  • Other towns include: Belinyu, Toboali, Mentor, Koba and Sungailiat.
  • English is not widely spoken so bring google translate/phrase book/translation app to help you out!

How to travel to Bangka Island?

Flights to Bangka Island:

The best way to get to Bangka is to fly from Jakarta to Bangka Islands Capital (Pangkal Pinang). There are various airlines flying this route, the most popular ones seem to be Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air. A return ticket will cost you approximately $100.

There is also a few flights from Palembang  to Pangkal Pinang, so you can check this out if you in a pinch.  The Main airport in Pangkal Pinang is Depati Amir Airport

Bangka Island Indonesia. Source: Bluewaterdivetravel.com

Bangka Island Indonesia. Source: Bluewaterdivetravel.com

Ferries to Bangka Island:

You can also catch a ferry to Bangka Island. There are very long overnight ferries from Palembang to Mentor, which take approximately 11 hours. This is long but it’s also very cheap if your on a tight budget.

If you would prefer to save time, I would recommended the Bahari Express hydrofoil, this runs many times per day and is just a 3 hour trip.

Getting around Banka Island?

Bangka is a large island, with well kept roads. However, it does not have very good public transportation system! So i suggest renting a car as the best way to get around…this also gives you lots of freedom to explore the island.

Renting a Car or Motorcycle?

Cars cost just $25 (USD)/day  (Rp350.000) and Motorcycle/Scooter costs just $7/day. To rent you may show your driving license.

Top Tips

  • Bring cash as card is rarely taken
  • Watch out for scams, many people will try.
  • Most people can’t speak English there so you need be prepared…bring phrase book/translation app (which works offline), worst case use google translate.

Map of Bangka Island: Things to do 

Dive into our map below to help you find the places to visit, including beaches, lakes, temples and even places to eat!

DIVE INTO OUR MAP! User Guide:  Simply Click the +/- buttons to zoom in & out,  Click on a favourite attraction, and click directions symbol to give you the driving or walking route directly there!

(Many visitors choose to share our map on facebook by clicking the link in the top right corner!)

Webmasters: If you own a website, feel free to embed our map to help your readers, just remember to credit us at; www.townandtourist.com/attractions/bangka-island

Things to do on Bangka Island:

Secluded Beaches, shimmers Lakes and historic Temples are abundant on the island. With less tourists, you will have the whole place to yourself.

Beaches in Bangka:

There are lots of beaches in Bangka but I would say for the best beaches you have to drive a little further out. For example, Rambak Beach is close to the city & free entry but it’s not amazing…its just nice.

Penyusuk Beach

My favourite beach is Penyusuk Beach this is a real beauty!it takes around 2 hours one way or 4 hours for a round trio.  It was also very secluded and wasn’t crowded at all.

Insider Tip: 

You can also take a boat to Putri Island just 10 mins away. Either rent a boat or take a boat taxi.

Penyusuk Beach Bangka Island

Penyusuk Beach Bangka Island. Source: destinationandfoodindonesia.blogspot.com

Parai Tenggiri Beach

Parai Tenggiri Beach offers white sands and a secluded atmosphere with very few people around. There is also some rocks nearby you can climb on. The sea isn’t the best though, its not crystal clear like other places…also alot of small rocks on entry.

pantai-parai-tenggiri

pantai-parai-tenggiri. Source: Indonesia-tourism.com

Romodong Beach

Romodong Beach is a secluded beach area with clear waters and is characterised by two large rocks guarding the area.

Location: Sungailiat, BelinyuBangka Island 36500, Indonesia

pantai-romodong-beach-rocks

Unique Rock Formations leading up to pantai-romodong-beach

Tanjung Berikat Beach – Hidden Gem! 

Tanjung Berikat Beach is located on the eastern-most tip of Bangka Island. Popular with the locals it features white virgin sands & crystal clear waters.

The unique thing about this beach is you can observe one side being very calm while the other side has waves crashing to the shore!

Tanjung Berikat Beach

Tanjung Berikat Beach

Ketawai Island (Pulau Ketawai) 

Take a short boat ride out to Ketawai island for Pristine beaches and a true tropical paradise.

Tirta Tapta Pemali (Hot Springs & Waterslides! ) 

Tirta Tapta Pemali is a rustic waterpark which offers natural hot springs and a few waterslides. Its not the same quality Universal Studios Volcano Bay waterpark but at just $1 entry ( Rp. 15,000) it’s extremely affordable.

On the weekends you can find live entertainment, and even a mini zoo.

tirta-tapta-pemali-di-bangka_waterpark

tirta-tapta-pemali-di-bangka_waterpark. Source: www.tribunnews.com

Kaolin Lake – The Bluest Lake in Indonesia! 

There are a couple of lakes on Bangka island which used to be mines but are now abandoned. One is called red hill, which you can find here. The other is a true paradise called Kaolin Air Bara Lake located here.

Many call Kaolin Lake the Bluest lake in Indonesia. This is an instagrammable spot!

Why is the lake so blue?

Kaolin Lake is not a natural lake. It used to be a mine for Kaolin, a mineral which is used in the production of cosmetics, porcelain and ceramics. Kaolin mining was great for the people of Bangka island as they have jobs from the industry.

However, since then the mining stopped and the lake was abandoned. There is a white coating of minerals at the bottom of the lake which causes the sunlight to reflect and the shimmering blue color to appear.

Kaolin Lake bangka Island

Kaolin Lake Bangka Island, Indonesia.

SAFETY TIP: DON’T SWIM IN THE LAKE!

Although the magical blue waters will make you feel like diving in, the government urges those not to due to the dangerous chemicals which could still be in the lake from the mining.

Top Tip: Head here during midday to see the bluest shimmer of the lake and capture some instagrammable photos! Be sure to wear sunscreen/sunglasses and a hat though as it can get real hot this time of day.

The are a few small vendors where you can buy water/snacks but i would suggest bringing water with you, especially if its a hot day.

There is no entrance fee to Kaolin lake you just have to pay Rp10.000-Rp20.000 (US$1-2)/car for parking.

Kurau Fisherman Village

This is a quaint fishermen village located around 20km away from Pangkal Pinang in the Koba District. Walking around the locals are friendly and love to chat, you can watch them work on there craft and even buy fresh fish from them.

Kurau Fisherman Village bangka island

Kurau Fisherman Village bangka island. Source: Wiki commons

Location: KurauBangka Island 33181, Indonesia

Bangka Botanical Garden (BBG) 

A great place to escape the main city, at Bangka Botanical Garden (BBG) you can find pine tree lanes, cows and even a lake. The area is more of a park then a Botanical Garden but still an interesting place to visit.

Batu Belimbing Rocks 

These are perhaps some of the strangest looking rocks you will ever see! When we wen’t there some locals were abseiling down them for some tour company. There was also a local vendor selling fermented shrimp.

Batu Belimbing Rocks , Bangka Island, indonesia

Batu Belimbing Rocks , Bangka Island, indonesia. Source: indonesia.transresortbali.com

Gold Bridge Bangka

Gold Bridge Bangka is one of the very few bridges in Indonesia which can open to let ship pass through. Interesting bridge to drive over.

Address:  Ketapang, Pangkal Balam, Pangkal Pinang City, Bangka Belitung Islands, Indonesia

Gold Bridge Bangka island

Gold Bridge Bangka island. Source: wartakota.tribunnews.com

Bhayangkara Park

Bhayangkara Park is a neon light lit park which is a cool place hang out with friends, take a bike ride or walk. It’s not too far from the airport.

Address: Office Complex of Provinsi Kepulauan Bangka BelitungPangkal Pinang, Bangka Island, Indonesia

bhayangkara-park

bhayangkara-park

Temples in Bangka:

If you would like to explore the spiritual side of Bangka then you should head to one of it’s many temples.

Gua Maria:

Gua Maria, offers a unique experience to see a christian site nestled with the Jungle close to Belinyu town in the north of Bangka island. There is three crosses, one with Jesus on and even a cave housing the virgin Mary.

Gua Maria-Bangka Island

Gua Maria-Bangka Island

Pangkalpinang city

Head to Pangkalpinang city for a historic pleathora of traditional temples and a vibrant shopping area.

Sea Goddess Temple  (Klenteng Dewi Laut)

An peaceful colorful temple which faces the sea, when i went here it was completely open to the public. With no fence, signs or anybody else around…its a nice place to relax or even do some prayer.

Address: Air Itam , Bukit IntanPangkal Pinang, Bangka Island, Indonesia

Sea Goddess Temple  (Klenteng Dewi Laut) bangka island

Sea Goddess Temple  (Klenteng Dewi Laut) bangka island. Source: /wisatalengkap.com

Penataran Agung Temple (Hindu) 

An orange hindu temple with Ganesha Statue. The Hindu temple is located around 300m from The Sea Goddess Temple (Klenteng Dewi Laut) near Pasir Padi beach.

 

Penataran Agung Temple (Hindu) Bangka island

Penataran Agung Temple (Hindu) Bangka island: Source: www.inspirock.com

Insider Tip: 

The Temple was locked when i went to visit, but still worth a quick visit after the Sea goddess temple.

Fuk Tet Che Temple 

Fuk Tet Che Temple is a brightly lit red temple, which is best seen at night. Opening hours  06:00 – 21:00.

Address: Pangkal Pinang, Bangka Island 33684, Indonesia

Fuk Tet Che Temple bangka island

Fuk Tet Che Temple bangka island. Source: www.instazu.com

Where to Eat in Bangka?

Warung Kopi Tung Tau

After visiting all those temples you must be hungry. I suggest heading down to the historic Warung Kopi Tung Tau, which first opened in 1938. They offer local traditional dishes with a modern twist. There is two branches you can visit one Pangkalpinang and Sungaliat.

Neptune Club – Aroma Laut Restaurant

Aroma Laut Restaurant is a small restaurant which offers fresh seafood, with boat decor all around you will feel like your floating water!

AddressJl. Raya Pantai Pasir Padi, Kel. Temberan Kec. Bukit Intan, Pangkal Pinang, Air Itam, Bukit Intan, Kota Pangkal Pinang, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung 33147, Indonesia

Tel: +62 717 4256140

Neptune Club - Aroma Laut Restaurant

Neptune Club – Aroma Laut Restaurant. Source: www.opensnap.com

Otak Otak Ase

Otak Otak Ase has branches all over Bangka Island including at the airport. Try the famous Indonesian fish cake “Otak” while waiting for your flight.  You should also get some local kerupuk (crackers) as a souvenir.

Where to Stay on Bangka Island?

The most modern hotels are in the capital city of Pangkal Pinang. These include Novotel Bangka Convention Centre and Menumbing Heritage Hotel.

Novotel Bangka Convention Centre indonesia

Novotel Bangka Convention Centre indonesia.

Bangka island does not really have luxury resorts  the closest you will find is places like    Tanjung Persona Beach and Grand Parai Resort. 

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