This is not a paid post. All opinions are solely at my own discretion.
We are back from our trip to Belitung in Indonesia. It was a fabulous stress-free trip which I had longed for, to be away from my silly bosses and crazy friends. I have been yearning to visit places like this which is under developed yet offers the nature's best & exotic surroundings. Most importantly I found a good hotel which allowed us to relax in peace without even the need to step out, just in case it rained everyday like this wet season in Malaysia now. Somehow, the weather at Belitung was kind to us with hot sunny days and wet evenings.
I hope to share my trip in 2-3 postings in my blog if I don't hibernate and procrastinate again. I wished I am just as hardworking like many blogger friends out there.
We boarded the AA plane which took us just 1 hour 45 minutes to arrive safely at the Tanjung Pandan's airport in Belitung Island. This island is located off the main Sumatera Island and below Singapore.
We stayed at this wonderful Fairfield by Marriot Hotel for 5 days. I could say that it is the best choice of hotels in Belitung for its strategic location which is in-between the small town, airport and main roads leading to the attractions around Belitung Islands. The service is very good by all the staff and it comes with very modern & spacious ambiance with sea frontage. I often chose boutique class hotels with international branding status like Marriot, Hilton or Holiday Inn chains as they often offered very attractive room rates that came with hearty breakfast buffet daily. You can expect good service by the staff too. Here at Fairfield, their staff were so friendly and warm to all the guests including yours truly. They helped to recommend me places to visit and even took me across the hotel to make bookings to rent a car with driver and motorbike to ride by myself.
I liked what I saw when I made bookings for the rooms and found this Deluxe room which I thought looked very comfortable and luxurious with a balcony that overlooks the huge infinity swimming pool. The price is under RM300 a night with complimentary breakfasts included.
My wife was surprised and happy to see the unique layout of our Deluxe room. Here she often relaxed on the deck chair with phone and snacks while watching me swim. I was even more surprised while we had our dinner at the hotel's restaurant and she produced her own Marriot Member's Privilege Card which entitled us to discounts for all our meals. I forgot that she always stayed in Marriot's Hotel chain when she flew to Texas, Pennsylvania and California during her work trips in USA.
The hotel's dining restaurant is very big with high ceiling and overlooks the panoramic view of the pool, gardens and ocean in the backdrop. The daily breakfast buffet was generous and sufficient to feed us well before we start our whole day activities around the island.
I rented a motorbike for 2 days and fetched my wife to many spots around the coastal stretch of Belitung Island. The feeling was so happy as it made me feel like a teenager again as I do not have the chance to ride back home. Here there's very little traffic around the peaceful island and it is very safe too without any crime or thefts as assured by the local folks. We felt safe and rode for hours under the sun and rain. My wife was singing happily and non stop like a radio! We passed many small villages and the friendly kids often waved to us too.
I was surprised that in this quiet and laid back island, there's a branded outlet store located along the same street of our hotel. We went inside to browse at the many racks that carried branded clothings from Guess, Nike, Burberry, Ralph Lauren and many other authentic brands that were made in Indonesia for export market. They were priced very cheap and I bought a clearance tee shirt from Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) for only RM30.00!! Unbelievably cheap. I also bought a nice pink jacket for my wife for under RM100.
We hired a car with driver to show us around as I did not carry an international driving licence with me. The first spot we visited was this famous Kaolin Lakes which has very unusual blue or turquoise green waters! I heard that the only other places with such similar coloured lakes are found in Iceland.
These lakes are actually mining pools with white sand banks and blue water. Even our driver had no idea how these colours appeared. I guess it must be the minerals that they mined together with the reflections of the blue skies that created different shades of blue water.
We spent less than 30 minutes there as visitors are no longer allowed to get too close to the water as the dredging tractors are still actively mining the many pools of water.
Our driver took us to many places but I will share them in my coming posts. Here, we rode the bike by ourselves the next day to the famous Pantai Tanjung Kelayang to make direct booking for a boat to bring us on island hopping trip the next day.
We posed by the beach at Tanjung Kelayang which has a fantastic pristine clear waters. Far behind us is the Island of Borneo where Kalimantan, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei are located. My wife was delighted to see such a clear looking ocean with millions of fishes swimming. Stay tuned for my next post to see the beautiful islands, fishes and famous spots like the residence of Ahok the former Governor of Jakarta.