Bangka Island, The Hidden Gem
Since I was a little girl with big red lollipop, I have always been in love with sea. Although I lived away from the salty blue water and white sand beach, I always dream that one day I will travel away and live in one beautiful island in the middle of an ocean, just like Granpa Gohan from Dragonballz, where I will spend most of my day swimming in the sea and drinking coconut juice, what a paradise!
I've been to some beaches in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Australia, and I am not being a nationalist when I say Indonesia has the best beach of them all (so far..) , it's a paradise here. In Indonesia you don't have to travel far to find the beautiful beach, well, not in Jakarta area though, and if you are lucky, you might find private pristine beach, all you have to do is visiting unpopular island.
That's what I did with my husband, on our belated honeymoon back in May 2013. After arguing a lot ( and with love) we decided to steal time from our hectic schedule to go on a honeymoon. I threw some options for him, including an offer to escape to Singapore or Malaysia or Vietnam (I've never been to Vietnam), but because we don't have much time, and that I need to visit my hometown, we finally decided to go to Bangka Island, after crossed out Belitung Island from the list.
It takes one hour flight to Bangka Island from Jakarta, when we arrived at the airport, we rented a car to take us to Tanjung Pesona Hotel & Resort, the rented car fare is vary, but worries not, the rental car company provides list of fare based on the distance, no hidden fee, you will pay the 'real' price plus tip for the driver. We arrived at the Tanjung Pesona Resort almost two hours later, at first glance, this hotel has strong vibe of 1980s, it is a kind of hotel that you will find in postcard or travel brochure back in 1980s. It does not mean that the hotel is old and crappy, it is far from that, the hotel is well maintained, with nice park and helpful staffs, this hotel also has decent facilities such as restaurant (of course! three of them!), karaoke hall, bar, swimming pool (too bad it is open for public, so you better watch out for the kids) and others (to this point I forget what are they, for further info just click on the link above). However, those are not our only attractions here, because the main attraction is yet to reveal.
welcomed by mermaid :)
Yup! our main attraction is the famous Tanjung Pesona Beach, it has a breathtaking view, with white sand beach, blue greenish calm water, humongous artistic white stone. Once I see it I just want to jump and swim, too bad I saw it from the second floor of the restaurant.
View from the restaurant
your own private beach
The sea is very calm, sitting by the beach doing nothing is almost meditating, and that is my husband's first choice activity, and me... I have to do what Mila should do, jump into the water and swim :).
The view is totally breathtaking, especially the humongous stones, it is scattered around the island, some stones looked as if they erect from the sea.
The weather was friendly too, the sun was bright with intermittent summer sea breeze, and if you love to have a nice sunbathing experience, just lay down and enjoy the sun. I had applied sunblock with 30 SPF (I ran out of SPF 50 sunblock), it barely protected my skin from the sun, after three days swimming and playing on the beach, I got nice tan, at least 3 shades darker than my usual skin color.
just me enjoying the sun and showing off my curve :)
Another attraction of this resort is the local cuisine which is mostly seafood. I had mouthgasm experience here. I love fish, the bigger the better, the fresher the better, and you can get that here, the fish is fresh, big and delicious! my favorite is all of them, yeay!!! but here are my top two favorite dishes (we ordered these dishes several times).
Kepala Kakap Lempah Kuning
Or Snapper Head Yellow Soup. It is a must try local delicacy, the fish is fresh and they will serve you the head of the fish, which in my humble opinion as a certified fish lover, is the best and most delicious part of a fish. The soup is a clear soup with chili, onion, and turmeric, it tastes a bit like Tom Yam, it is served with slices of pineapple that added fresh and sour flavor to the soup.
a.k.a Grilled Jebung, or grilled chicken fish. Jebung that we had was big, it was grilled and served with dabu-dabu sambal (Dabu dabu sauce), the fish was fresh, however it had strong fishy smell and taste. If you don't like too fishy food you may skip this one.
I'm happy that I visited this beach during weekdays, the only guests were just us, it was almost like our own private beach, and it was perfect for a honeymoon. After three days staying at the hotel, we realized that some area of the hotel are open for public, not only swimming pool, the beach is also open for public, and there is also family theme park on the other side of the hotel, that will be packed with kids and their families during weekend or holiday, so I strongly suggest all of you to visit the beach on low season or during weekdays.
I recommend Bangka Island, it is a hidden gem for you who seek solitary vacation, a calm getaway, like honeymoon, but it is not for you if you love festive vacation. Will I return to this lovely island, yes of course!