Located in Billiton Island, at longitude107045’ to 108018’ East and latitude 02030’ to 03015’ South, this regency has a total area of 2,506,920 km square bounded to the west by Belitung Regency, to the east by Karimata Strait, to the south by Java Sea, and to the north by South China Sea. Belitung Timur is a new regency founded based on Law number 5 of 2003 establishing Manggar as its capital.
It has 7 districts and 39 villages with 110,315 inhabitants in 2011 comprised of various ethnic groups including Chinese. Malay is its ethnic origin living in harmony with others through social interaction and marriage. Most of them are Moslems and the rest are Christians and Buddhists. They retain a strong attachment to the value of tolerance and mutual cooperation especially reflected in traditional ceremonies.
Besides having mineral – such as tin, kaolin, and quartz –, plantation like pepper and also sea products, it also has promising tourist destinations, especially marine tourism. Its sandy beach, calm sea and beautiful coral reefs call visitors to dive in or even catch fish. Tourism sector has contributed to the increase of Regional Generated Revenue.
Buding Museum, as the name implies, is located in Buding Village – about 40 minutes travel from Manggar. Various collections of ancient artefacts of Balok and Buding traditional administration is exhibited in this small museum having an administrative name Istiqomah Buding Museum. It was formerly used as a mosque before Buding community moved into a new area next to the old village where it is standing under the concern of its community.
Kwan Im Chinese Buddhist Temple
This temple is not only a place of worship for devout Buddhists but also a tourist historical destination. It has a long history and keep many stories since the building located in Burung Mandi Village, according to some information, was built in 1747. A feast is sometimes held to commemorate the founding of the temple. Tourists can take pictures or shake Chinese fortune sticks or Chien Tung in this place. Chien Tung is a fortune telling practice originated in China in which a person requests answers from a sacred oracle lot in front of an altar. It is simply done by asking a question, hold the shaker at a slight angle and gently shake it until a single divination stick falls out. The number on each stick refers to a fortune poem, a traditional interpretation and a commentary. These reflective words will guide to the answer and course of action.
Burong Mandi Beach
Unlike other beaches in Belitung, we can only find white sand without huge boulders stretching for miles on this beach. The name Burong Mandi – literary means bathing bird – does not mean as it implies. It takes its name from Burong Mandi Hill standing firmly about 18 km to the northeast of Manggar. It is unique for it is the only beach in Belitung commands a view of a mountain.
Even though accommodations are not many, it only takes an hour travel of scenic drive to this beach from the airport. Facilities were built on Bukit Batu Beach – located on the slope of a hill two kilometers in the east of Burong Mandi Beach – by Basuki T. Purnama, well known as “Ahok”, as the first Regent of Belitung Timur in 2004. Gazebos were laid in Bukit Batu to overlook the white sand beach. If you visit it, make sure to have a bird’s eye view of the beach from the gazebo.
The biggest Chinese Buddhist temple in Belitung was also built in this area. It has a good “feng shui” since it is on the slope of a hill and of course affords a panoramic view across the beach. This locally well-known Buddhayana temple is crowded with pilgrimages in February to celebrate Chinese Lunar Year. In spite of the fact that this is a religious place, it is also visited as a tourist attraction.
Having crystal-like sand, a row of pine trees offering shade from the sun and sea breezes, this beach is a good choice for you to enjoy yourself in a scenic beauty area. A row of fishing boats waiting to put to sea creates a traditional atmosphere as its local color. Furthermore, calm sea also invites you to enjoy swimming.
Weir of Pice
As a historical tourist destination, this weir was built from 1934 to 1936 by a Dutch architect of whom his name was taken as the name of the weir. Located in the upstream of Lenggang River, it is 50 m in length and has 16 outlet arch gates of which each of them has 2.5 m in size. The sound of roaring water falling down from around 10 m in height is where the name gemuro – roaring – waterfall derived from. Unfortunately, this weir functioned to control water level to support dredger in tin mining activity is no longer working. In spite of that fact, this historical solid structure is now a recreation area for the locals and also one of the tourist attractions in Belitung Timur Regency.
The Rainbow Troops Elementary School
Located in Linggang Village, this school is an exact replica of the original Muhamadiyah Gantung Elementary School built for the filming purpose of Laskar Pelangi. Internationally known as The Rainbow Troops, Laskar Pelangi is originally the first part of tetralogy novel written by Andrea Hirata set in his and Bu Muslimah’s village – the main character in the novel. As a literary village, it also has a poetry house which is available to be used by anybody who wants to write a literary work or art.
Having a fine white sand and clear water to 18 meters depth, this isle is a magnet for tourists. Its underwater offers a magnificent beauty of the coral reefs and other creatures. Furthermore, its 15 m underwater visibility of the isle located on the coordinate of 2044.3443 north and 108025.304 east is a challenging for diving lovers.
The same as Memperak Isle as a part of Manggar district, Siadong Isle also offers a scenic overlooks of underwater world. It is a 15 m diving spot both in visibility and depth. Syplifa sp is the common coral reef found the isle located in 2047.359 to the north and 108025.627 to the east.
Buku Limau is an archipelagic village consisting of 18 isles on the north east of Belitung Island, in 2049’37.45’ S and 1080 22’ 14.56” E. It takes about an hour by boat to reach the closest isle of Buku Limau from Manggar, the capital of East Belitung.
There are around 1.200 people inhabiting the isles. This area is well known for its salted fish and dried squid. The coral reefs around the isles are the main attraction.
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