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Our orangutan tour in Kumai was amazing, but the river is extremely dirty and crocodile invested, so as soon as we returned from our trip, we hightailed it out of there. We were still behind the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia Rally, but instead of meeting up with the rally in Bangka we made our stop in Belitung.
Check out the official tourism site for Belitung Island.
There are several flights a day into Belitung from Jakarta and there is also a car ferry from the Tanjung Priok dock in Jakarta, operated by KM Lawit.
When we arrived in Belitung on October 18th most of the rally was still there. We joined our friends anchored on the east side of Pulau Kelayang. There were quite a few boats anchored out on the west side of Pulau Kelayang too. We caught up with rally friends and did our one boat chore: filling up on diesel. The water was fairly clear, but the beach was a beautiful, hard-packed white sand (easy to haul the dinghy up the beach).
This whole area is spotted with huge granite boulders, just like the Baths in the BVIs. One large cluster is right next to Pulau Kelayang, which has made it a tourist attraction. Boats frequently went out to the island, ferrying tourists back and forth.
Thankfully one of the best parts about cruising is that I can do things like this on my own schedule. I had a blast paddling around the rocks and to the beach every day in the early morning and always had the island all to myself.
Ashore on the island is a short trail into the caves. The path is very easy to follow and inside the caves you can see bats!
The weather has also turned to monsoon season. The mornings were calm and sunny, perfect for a swim, paddle, or to run a load of laundry. But in the early afternoon, or maybe even the late morning, squalls rolled through with high winds and an absolute downpour of rain.
There are opportunities to dive and snorkel around Belitung. We chatted with a guy named Zach – born in America to Indonesian parents, his family moved to Belitung to open a resort. Zach has his own local boat and takes people out diving.
We didn’t make it out to the lighthouse on Lengkuas Island, but several friends did and really enjoyed it.
While we would have liked to stay longer in Belitung, there was a rare window of good weather to head north. Our next important item on our list – crossing the equator!