Bangka Belitung archipelago is a well-known name not only in Indonesia but also International. It is famous for becoming one of white pepper exporters and also the biggest tin producer in the world These resources share very big income revenues to the Republic. Historical places, culture, custom, natural beauty of forest and beach lying around Bangka Belitung are also its other resources. As one of the regencies, Bangka Barat is geographically lied on the west part of this province, at 105.° - 106.° longitude and 01.° - 02.° latitude. Its land territory is about 2.820,61 km sq. with 6 districts, 4 subdistricts, and 60 villages.
Based on National Decree number 5 of 2003, this regency abuts on Natuna sea in the north, bBangka Regency in the east, and Bangka Strait in the south and the west. It has tropical climate with average rainfall of 11,8 to 370,3 mm/month and average temperature between 25,7° to 29,0° C. Economic supporting infrastructures here are quite good; road connecting districts are in good condition; Muntok harbor is available for international trading with loading and discharging activities. Besides that, there is also a passenger harbor here, while airport is in provincial capital around 140 away km from Muntok.
Wisma Ranggam/ Pesanggrahan Muntok
3 km driving or riding a motorcycle from Muntok will bring us to Pesanggrahan. It was built in 1927 by Dutch colonial administration as a resting place provided for employees of Tin Company. Sukarno and H. Agus Salim were exiled to this place from 6 February to 6 July 1949. Some documents were formulated and signed here such as the displacing of the state capital from Yogyakarta to Jakarta, and also negotiations like UNCI, BFO and KTN. The monument in front of the building has been constructed in1951, and dedicated in 17 August 1951 by Bung Hatta.
Mount, or properly called hill, Menumbing (445 m) can be visited by car for 12 km from Muntok. Here was the place where Bung Hatta, Mr. Ag. Pringgodigdo, Komodor Surya Darma, Mr. Assa’at (the founding fathers) were exiled from 22 December 1948 to 6 July 1949. It was built in Dutch Colonization in 1873 - 1904.
There are main buildings supported by some public facilities. This grandiose architecture building still sturdy stands as a symbol of revolution and culture. The rooms of those leaders are now still conserved and can be visited. A number of memorable photographs recording the existence of those leaders are still preserved. A car used by Bung Hatta (BN 10) and a marble desk is still well taken care here.
Tanjung Kalian is only about 7 km from Muntok and can be visited by following an asphalt road or perambulating white sand beach. It was well known as a popular beach tourist destination in Muntok. A Dutch made 56 m English architecture lighthouse constructed in 1862 is still strongly stand. It still works well, blazing a light as far as 25 mile to guide ships getting in and out of Bangka Strait.
A monument of WW II was also built here not far from the lighthouse on 2 March 1993. It is to remind us of Banka Massacre victims and the sinking of an ally ship in Bangka Strait in 1942.
Batu Rakit Beach
This beach is about 6 km from Muntok, next to ASDP harbor. It is occasionally crowded for a lot of people visit it especially on holidays. Public utilities and sport facilities like futsal and beach volleyball field, gasing court, wall climbing, flying fox and others are available in this area. It is the beach where the regency and the locals hold their ceremony.
Located about 7 km from Muntok, this beach lies next to Tanjung Kalian. White sand and natural scenery become its attractiveness. Many people visit it in the afternoon especially on holiday. Here we can taste delicious snack like otak-otak sold in this area. Gazebo, garden, and fresh water bath are also available.
Tanjung Ular Beach
Just about 12 Km from Muntok, here stands a Dutch made lighthouse. Many of Chinese Hakka people live in the village nearby since generations ago. There are around one hundred families living as farmers of whom some of them plant white pepper, fishermen both catching fish by using bagan or fishing rods. It has blue sea beautified with coconut trees grow in line along its white sand. It is one of domestic tourist destinations. On the time when fish is easy to get, this beach is full of fishermen catching bilish, small anchovy, in their bagan.
Jamik Mosque of Muntok
Jamik mosque, or the Grand Mosque, is in the downtown in a village or Kampung named Tanjung. It was predicted being built in 19 Muharram 1300 of the Islam calendar (1883) by Batin or leader of Muntok, Abang Muhammad Ali (± 1859 – 1886) also known as Abang Muhammad Ali Tumenggung Karta Negara II, helped by prominent citizens of Muntok like Haji Nuh and Haji Yakup. It has a specific colonial characteristic marked by tall round pillars in its porch, wide and tall window, thick wall and marbled floor.
Kung Fuk Miau Chinese Temple
Built around 1834 when Bangka was under the reign of Sultan Mahmud Badarrudin II, Kung Fuk Miaw Chinese Temple is located in the center of Muntok district. The construction was led by the 1st Chinese mayor (Tan Jin Men) of which the defrayment was also supported by Canton Kong Hu Chu association and Ho Khian (written on the bells inside the temple). It had been renovated twice in 1980 and 1995 to 1997. It stands next to Jamik mosque symbolizing religious harmony
Banka Tin Winning Building
This 1816 constructed building is in Mentok and was functioned as the center administration of Bangka (resident) previously named Hoofdbureau Banka Tinwinning Berdrijf. It is Bangka Barat cultural heritage which is only about 200 m from the downtown Muntok. Currently, the building functions as Indonesia Tin Museum in Muntok
Rumah Mayor/ Ma Jau Buk, or Mayor house, is a heritage building that can be found in the area of old harbor of Muntok. This building was built for Chinese Mayor appointed by Dutch Colonial government to administrate the area. The building was built in 1834, originally was 90 m2. Now, the building is only 60 m2. The house has European style, but uniquely, it has 2 lion statues on each sides of the façade
Kuta Tempilang Fort
This constructed of mix soil and lime fort was built around 1717 believed by the people as the defense to anticipate pirates attack to plunder colonizer tin. It is 114 km away from the capital of Bangka Barat regency. It is a cultural historical site in the land of Sejiran Setason Bangka Barat and a national asset conserved under supervision of Badan Pelestarian Peninggalan Purbakala (BP3) Jambi as a cultural heritage. The old time portrait of Kepulauan Bangka Belitung heyday is represented by the scattered ruins.
English Eds.: Zelly/RB