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Published: October 2nd 2011
When Puang Madonna, my fellow reporter preach when our pitching approved by the News Division Head, I'm really excited. Can you imagine? We will come to the island's most often talked about two hundred million people in Indonesia. The island is so famous for its best-selling novel about the story of a young poor kid reach his goal. And islands to be written in itinerary by every foreign tourist who has seen the film in Cannes, France. Yes! The next coverage, we will go to the Belitung island!
Exciting, isn't?! Donna and I landed at the H.AS. Hanandjoeddin airport On May, 25 2011 ago. Not a soft landing because the runway is shorter than Soekarno-Hatta airport's runway. But is okay, the sky at 9 a.m at Tanjung Pandan was dark blue! It is outrageous, even the sky of Bali and Lombok are not as blue as this!
Arriving at Tanjung Pandan downtown, we were invited to eat Belitung noodles. The most famous culinary in the city. I am not a culinary expert. But my local tongue is a little bit picky. And Belitung noodles isn't one of my favorites. It feels weird. The sauce is thick and feels somewhat
fresh. As a child who born in eastern Indonesia, a strong flavor is the main requirements of my tongue. And this Belitung noodles doesn't feel strong on the tongue. But it's my personal assessment, the fact is the owner always overwhelmed serve customers who keep coming again and again.
After breakfast, we headed straight to Pegantongan Pier, in Badau district to survey location for our next episode tv programs called "Pengabdian". One and a half hour from the Tanjung Pandan downtown don't like one and a half hour in Jakarta. Here the journey is really far away and several times through the seaside without people and local homes.
At the pier, we immediately boarded to the personal rent boat. Six hundred thousand a day to the Rengit Island and Betang Island. As the name suggests, Rengit is Belitung language stand for mosquito. and this island is the malaria mosquitoes nest. The island is only a stone's throw from the Pegantongan pier, but is not many people lived there. in the middle of the island was still a marsh with reeds that grow fast. This is where the malaria mosquitoes breeding sites are located.
When viewed up close,
the Rengit island apparently not too creepy. On the pier, hundreds of palm trees grow neatly arranged like a welcome bottle of palm trees on the Los Angeles . The community is very friendly too. Mr. Sulaidi, the head of community and grouper fisherman welcomed us. He explained about the history of this island's population and diseases that often attack people. Quite interesting that this was two years old, malaria is no longer attack the citizens. That's good points. However, other diseases are still haunting. Average illness ranging from hives, high blood pressure, rheumatism and gout to pneumonia.
Seeing the condition of cleanliness was still far from a reasonable point. Along the walkways around the island, a lot of junk bottles and discarded snack packs of children and adults. And more surprising, there are only four toilets suitable to be used and two active wells here. The toilets and other facilities was built by the local government assistance a year ago. Even more alarming, the water quality here is bad enough. The color is dark brown like a dark tea. Even bang Aziz, our Associate Producer / Director went back to Jakarta brought the toothache. He is stubborn because
he brushed his teeth using this water. And don't forget to bring a lot of Detol (antiseptic product) if you don't want get allergy and irritation.
From the Rengit island, we continued to survey the Betang island. One hour from here. Unfortunately, we were rained on that journey. On arriving there the situation getting worse. Because almost 95% of the population in that island has been moved to Rengit island, there used to be docks have been destroyed without trace. Our motor boat run slowly until the boat bottom touch the sea surface. Having to go down to the beach at chest height and still have to walk as far as five hundred meters to the beach. This is not right. We want to take a risk go there and meet nobody. Finally we decided to go back to the mainland.
I thought the Belitong island will be as busy as Bangka island. But I was wrong. This island is very quiet and from one location to the others was really far away. In the downtown, there is a small park and stood the meteor stone monument as a landmark. The meteor stone is the Belitung
most famous souvenir. Out of curiosity, we went to mr. Firman Zulkarnaen's home. The Satam stone craftsman. The Meteorite (Billitonite) which was discovered by accident in the Satam area when miners were digging tin ore.
Mr. Firman is in my opinion isn't craftsmen. He is more appropriately called a fraudulent traders make Satam stone craft. Our welcoming hospitality were amazing. He used to joke and show off the stones Satam sized knuckle in front of us without the worry of missing. Though the stone was the cheapest one for Rp. 200,000. Wow! The price is quite expensive for a small stone. When Donna was busy to pick, mr. Firman exhibit a three-foot Satam stone necklace that ever bargained for two billion rupiah! And he had two! A businessman had offered to buy the necklace, but Firman still can't bear to pack it off.
After buying the drugs, logistics and property for the coverage later, we spent the time to the Tanjung Tinggi. The beach that had jumbo rocks which also had been a shooting location Laskar Pelangi and Sang Pemimpi. The location was the same extent to the Pegantongan pier. One hour from the hotel past
the road widening project for the preparation of tourism agenda Sail Wakatobi - Belitung island this October.
Travel magazines and even movies that have filmed here doesn't lie. Tanjung Tinggi beach is truly beautiful. It have fine white sand stretching along the horizon. The stones as high as houses spread across the left and right divide it into two coastal beaches formed like the letter "W". Come here on weekdays. There are only sunshine, sea breezes and some soft drinks merchants who accompany you there.
Day Four. Is time to shoot with a new advance team arrived. After breakfast and buy the logistics, We heading to Rengit island. Had stopped briefly in Membalong area for filming dr. Arien trip who will be staying and holding social events in Rengit island, we arrived there at five p.m.
Honestly, Filming documentary on this Rengit island is the one of the most annoying. Not because people are very friendly. But more of us who are not friendly with the very hot weather and full of mosquitoes at night. Thankfully, because of hospitality and the great curiosity of the people in here, our shoot went smoothly and
impromptu acting actors from local residents there really naturally.
Belitung Island the right location for our TV program. But for the tour, it's another thing. Road widening project along the road to the Tanjung Tinggi beach inevitably disrupt the mood on the trip. Lengkuas Island and other exotic islands here were far enough away to attend in a day. This is homework for Tourism Department to prepare a facilities and infrastructure are adequate and quite a lot if they want Belitung look like Bali or Lombok island. And if you come here without enough travel information, you can be bored to death in a hotel room.
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